I visited the Euler Institute from 10 to 15 May 2000 in order to take part in the International Conference on PDE dedicated to the 150-th anniversary of S. Kowalevski, and I enjoyed very much my stay. The Institute is situated in a small XIX century palace on the bank of Malaya Nevka (one of the beds of the Neva river), opposite the picturesque parc of Stony Island that is extremely convenient for walking and discussing mathematics. The building of the Institute itself is beautifully decorated. It is delighting to assist in a learned meeting in the light of crystal lustres in a hall adorned with stucco-work and with shining parquet floor.
The Institute is well equipped for not too big conferences, say, up to 70 participants, and for "Research in Pairs" visits. The computer-room is well-stocked and the Internet connection to foreign servers is much faster than from some places in Moscow, say, from the Steklov Institute. As concerns the library, the stock of books and journals is rather incomplete comparing to many Western mathematical institutions, but the visitors of the Euler Institute have also access to the library of the Petersburg Branch of the Steklov Institute on the bank of Fontanka.
Petersburg is a nice place to do mathematics, from where many famous mathematicians come, spread all over the world, but some of them are still there: L. Faddeev, Yu. Matiyasevich, A. Suslin ... And it is not just a nice place, but a fantastic one to do sight-seeing. Those who saw the parc and the palace of Versailles should know, that they look very modest comparing to the parc and the palace of Petrodvorets! And to see all the exposition of the Hermitage, one has to walk some 20 kilometers along the numerous corridors and the exposition halls of the Winter Palace.
I will certainly apply once for a RiP visit, and I will think to come along with my family, some time in June - when the cascades and fountains are on, blinding with the shine of their gilded sculpture groups, and when the daylight lasts 24 hours a day!
University of Lille