Top 8 Places to Visit in St. Petersburg

Featured

From February until May, St. Petersburg became my new home. During these months, I had the opportunity to visit many tourist attractions and experience a completely different culture. It was fascinating to explore what St. Petersburg has to offer and discover why this city is so unique from any other. This blog is designed to give you ideas about where to go when you visit St. Petersburg based on my own experience! I hope it will give you some inspiration!

8) Galleria Shopping (Галерея)

30A Ligovsky Avenue,
St. Petersburg, 191040

I love shopping so for me, finding a shopping centre in St. Petersburg was essential. The enormous Galleria Shopping Centre fulfilled my expectations and more. It contains globally recognised branded stores such as Adidas, Sephora, Zara and H&M as well as Russian stores. There is also a cinema and multitude of restaurants and coffee shops. It has everything and more!

7) New Holland Island (Новая Голландия)

2 Admiralteysky Canal Embankment,
St. Petersburg, 190000

My favourite leisure complex in St. Petersburg is New Holland Island. The main building in the complex – The Bottle House – used to be a naval prison, however it now contains numerous shops, restaurants and health and beauty facilities. If you venture outside the complex, you will find a couple of outdoor activities. For example, I was in St. Petersburg during the winter, and I often visited New Holland Island to go the Ice Rink. Although I couldn’t skate very well (at all!), I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and music while I attempted to skate.

6) Kazan Cathedral (Казанский собор)

2 Kazanskaya Square,
St. Petersburg, 190000

Another cathedral that I would recommend is Kazan Cathedral. It has such a powerful and beautiful exterior, coupled with an equally beautiful interior. Once you enter the cathedral, it’s silent nature allows time for thought and contemplation.

5) St. Isaacs Cathedral (Исаакиевский собор)

4, Isaakievskaya Square
St. Petersburg, 190000

Built in the 19th Century, this beautifully constructed cathedral will leave you speechless. The outside is architecturally stunning, and if you venture inside, the beauty continues and even increases. For an additional cost, you can even climb up to the Colonnade -St. Isaacs Cathedral’s viewing platform – to see the city from a height.

4) Mariinsky Theatre (Мариинский театр)

1 Theatre Square,
St. Petersburg, 190000

As an avid lover of music and dance, living within walking distance from the Mariinsky Theatre was a dream. This historic theatre is a must-see! You can watch spectacular, classic ballet performances such as Swan Lake, or if opera and symphonies are more appealing to you, there are countless musical performances on offer. Tickets sell out very fast for many performances, so it is essential to book in advance. However, do not worry if you can’t do this as sometimes, you can go to the ticket office on the day to see if there are a few seats available.

3) Nevsky Prospekt (Невский проспект)

You will find numerous shops, restaurants and tourist attractions along this extremely long street. It is famous across the world as the main street in St. Petersburg! If you visit St. Petersburg, there is no doubt that you will find yourself here at least once on your travels.

Fun fact of the day: Nevsky Prospekt is approx. 4.5km in length. I have spent hours walking up and down this street during my time in St. Petersburg (only when the weather was warm!).

2) The State Russian Museum (Русский музей)

4 Inzhenernaya Street,
St. Petersburg, 191186

Equally fascinating is The State Russian Museum, where you can truly immerse yourself in Russian culture, history and traditions. Located in the Mikhailovsky Palace, you will find a large and diverse range of Russian artwork created during and after the early age. Personally, I found this museum interesting as it allowed me to explore the history of Russia in a depth that I had never experienced before.

1) The State Hermitage Museum (Государственный Эрмитаж)

34 Dvortsovaya Naberezhnaya,
St. Petersburg, 190000

My top place to visit is definitely The State Hermitage Museum. Located within the beautiful and historic Winter Palace, this museum contains countless spectacular pieces of artwork from all over the world. Due to its huge size, two days is recommended to explore all, if not, the majority of the diverse artwork on offer. When I lived in St. Petersburg, I visited this museum numerous times and still did not even see all that it had to offer! It is simply a must see when in St. Peterburg!

Tip: This museum is free for children and students. It is also free for everyone every third Thursday of the month!

I hope that my blog has inspired you to visit St. Petersburg and explore the culture and history of such a beautiful and historic city. It truly opened my eyes to new experiences and new opportunities that I never thought I’d have. I hope you will find this city as intriguing and unique as I did! X

Russia: First and Last Thoughts

Featured

Last year, I embarked on one of the most daunting trips of my life: Russia. I would be studying there for 3 months. Before I left, there were mixed reviews about life in Russia and what to expect. For example, you can pretty much guarantee that anywhere on the UK news, there will always be a story about Russia containing elements of classic Russian stereotypes – a dangerous country, alcoholics, hooligans and bears. I soon found out that this was far from the truth

On 11th February 2018, I flew from London Heathrow Airport to St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport. I arrived in snowy St. Petersburg full of nerves, yet excited at the same time. I’d never seen so much snow in one place! After making my way outside, I was taken to the flat where I would be living with a Russian host and two of my fellow university classmates. To my surprise, I would be living within walking distance from the famous Marinskii Theatre (literally a 5-minute walk!). After getting settled in at the flat, my classmates and I sat down with the host to learn a little about the area, how to get to university and her background. The host was such a lovely, kind and generous lady, who – throughout our entire stay – provided us with meals, snacks, lots of tea and general advice.

I won’t go into detail about the days that I spent in Russia, but I will say that the country itself and its citizens surprised me. Yes, it is totally different from the UK in terms of how it functions, thinks and its mindset, as well as its extreme weather conditions, culture and traditions. However, it is fascinating because of those differences (which I will explain in detail in a later blog post).  It is such a beautiful country, full of historic architecture and traditions that make it unique from any other country. The stereotype of Russian people faded away so quickly when I was there. Yes, people can seem harsh at first (just like people from any other city e.g. London), but once you get to know them, they are friendly and can really help you! They are definitely not scary, alcoholics or hooligans as the UK media often portrays them to be.

Throughout my Russian adventure, I spent time not only in St. Petersburg, but in Moscow and Sochi too, where I met a diverse range of characters. This experience taught me not to believe in stereotypes and to experience it for myself before making a judgement. It made me grow as a person as I learnt more from first-hand experiences by embracing different cultures and other ways of thinking. If you are willing to adapt and be open to change, Russia will be such a positive experience for you, like it was for me. Yes, there were lows but there were also highs and it is these experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I can definitely say with confidence that I will be returning soon!

до скорой встречи! x