The Venice of the North – St. Petersburg, Russia

Travel Recommendations

Length of Stay

I recommend at least a week if you are able to take that much time. We only had three days and I wish we had more time.

Transportation

Public transit is all you need to get around the city. It’s so easy!

Lodging

We stayed at a hotel, AZIMUT Hotel St. Petersburg.

Clothing

Being on the coast, it was much cooler than in Moscow. I would recommend bringing a raincoat for the changing weather.

Local Cuisine

Try the Beef Stroganoff or their Savoury Pancakes.

Tipping Protocol

Standard is 10%, more if you’re feeling generous.

Best Time to Visit

We visited in the summer and it was beautiful. I imagine fall and spring would be great too.

Currency

The Russian Ruble.

Things to See/Do

  • Catherine’s Palace
  • Hermitage
  • Peter and Paul’s Fortress
  • Hop on and off the Subway
  • Christ our saviour over spilled blood
  • Ballet

Lessons Learned

Eye masks for sleeping if going in the summer. The sun seems to never go down.

Our Visit

St. Petersburg

Peter I of Russia, also known as Peter the Great, ruled May 7, 1682 – February 8, 1725. Peter the Great was known for bringing western European ideas to Russia. During his reign, he moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

Peter the Great

Catherine’s Palace

Our first day of adventure took us outside the city to see Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin. It was the home of Catherine I of Russia and later became the Tsars’ summer home. It was constructed in the 1700s and has the famous Amber Room which was decorated with all amber. We were not allowed to take photos but it was incredible.

During WWII, the palace was taken over by the German Nazis and destroyed. Much of what we toured was reconstructed/ restored during the Soviet Union era.

Catherine’s Palace
Gold Leaf All Around

Communist Cafe

We were told that communist foods are gaining in popularity, so we decided to eat at a little cafe to enjoy traditional foods of the Soviet Union era.

The Menu of the Cafe
Dumplings
Beer

Hermitage

The Hermitage is a must see. We didn’t get our tickets ahead of time and I would recommend definitely getting them ahead of time to avoid the lines. The place is huge and is home to many artifacts from around the world. Walking around the museum you’re just in awe of the construction and the beauty. Don’t miss the Throne Room and the Grand Staircase.

Hermitage
Throne Room
Grand Staircase

Ballet

Russia is also known for their famous ballets. Naturally, we saw the Don Quixote at the Mariinsky theater.

Standing Ovation

Russian Orthodox Church

If you have time, definitely tour a Russian Orthodox Church, they are beautiful. We went through the Church of our Savior over spilled blood. This was the location where Alexander II of Russia was assassinated. He was responsible for freeing the serfs of Russia. The inside of the church was beautiful. All mosaic tiles depicting biblical stories. One really stood out to me and that was Jesus going to hell to gather all the souls who were there before he died on the cross.

Jesus at the center of the church

We Came, We Saw, We Selfied

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