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St. Petersburg is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, at the mouth of the Neva River and on over 40 islands in its delta. The nearest suburbs of St. Petersburg are situated on the plain adjacent to the Neva, and along the Gulf. The city is 600 km northwest of Moscow and 300 km east of Helsinki; it is situated in the latitude of 60 degree North, the same latitude as Stockholm, Oslo and Anchorage (Alaska).
Thanks to its geographical position St. Petersburg is famous for its delightful White Nights that begin at the end of May and last for some 50 days. The shortest night is June 21/22 when the sun slightly disappears beyond the horizon, and even the brightest stars are not seen in the sky. The maximum length of a summer day is 18 hrs 45 min. Situated on the Baltic Sea, the city has a favorable geopolitical location. As a sea port it has access to the Northern Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The territory of the city is 606 square kilometers (377 sq mi), and 1 439 square kilometers (894 sq mi) with its suburbs. The length of the city from north to south is 44 kilometers, and 25 kilometers from west to east.
St. Petersburg is characterized by an intermediate (from nautical to continental) climate. It is quite mild and humid with frequent fogs and rains. There can be quite dry and hot periods in summer time, when the temperature goes up to +25-30°C, but they last for a week at best. Precipitation is not too plentiful, being 550-600 mm per annum. August is the rainiest month. High humidity is the result of the lack of sunny days. The average July temperature is +17.8°C. The weather conditions of the city are much different from what you can see in most North European cities.
According to the last census that took place in 2003, there are 4.7 mln people in St. Petersburg (which makes approximately 3% of the Russian population). Gender distribution is: men - 45.1%, women - 54.9%.
St. Petersburg is located in the Moscow Standard Time Zone (MST), which differs from the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Summer MST is equal to GMT +4 hours, winter MST is GMT +3 hours.