Top 8 Places to Visit in St. Petersburg

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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

Essential Travel Checklist

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So the day has come…YOU’RE GOING ABROAD! As the excitement sets in, you race to get ready, pack your bags for the trip and leave for the airport. As you arrive, panic sets in…have you got everything you need? Have you forgotten anything important? Where’s your passport?! To ensure you have a stress-free start to your amazing travel experience, here is my essential travel checklist to help make sure that you don’t forget anything! I hope it helps!

1) Passport/Visa

The most important item to remember when going abroad is your passport. Without this, you won’t be able to go on your travels so make sure to pack this the night before! Double check in the morning too for peace of mind.

Some countries may require a visa. You will have to check on your countries travel guide website to check whether you will need one. For example, in the UK, you can check the entry requirements for each country via https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Make sure you apply for your visa well in advance to ensure that the document will be ready before you travel.

2) Additional documents

Personally, an important and arguably, essential document to take with you when you travel is travel insurance. This will cover you for your time abroad and any additional sports activities, such as water sports, that you might want to do. It will normally include medical expenses, accidents, theft, loss and other categories. There are a diverse range of travel insurance options available so make sure you check them all out first before you buy so you can choose the right one for you.

If you are from the UK, EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland, you can apply for an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) for free. This is additional to your insurance and will cover you if you are unwell or require medical attention. The charge may be free or come at a reduced price so it is always handy to have one.

3) Flight details

There are websites that compare a range of airlines so that you can buy the cheapest and most efficient one for you! My personal favourite is SkyScanner and I have used it many times! Once booked, note down your flight details or print the details off. Often, airlines will allow you to check-in online 24 hours before you fly for free. This option is normally easier and makes your airport experience a little more stress-free!

4) Money

Before you travel, it is beneficial to exchange your money to the currency of the country which you will be visiting. If you do forget, you can always buy at the airport, however, generally this works out to be a more expensive option. Alternatively, you can use a cash machine abroad and withdraw money but often, you will incur charges based on the country and the cash machine specific bank.  

TIP: When exchanging money at home, use travel money comparison websites for an easy comparison of suppliers to see which one is the cheapest! Please note that sometimes online offers do vary from instore offers.

5) Hotel/Hostel/Apartment

For a stress-free experience, remember to book your accommodation before you travel. When you land, you will know exactly where to go and can arrange your transport to your accommodation. Hotels and hostels are very popular options as well as AirBnB apartments. Be sure to check out reviews before you book as other traveller’s experience can help you make an informed decision about where you want to stay. Once booked, make sure to print any additional documents and reservations or save them on your phone so that check-in is quick and easy!

Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa, Gran Canaria
Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa, Gran Canaria

6) Clothes and toiletries

Another essential is clothes and toiletries. Check the weather before you go so you can pack seasonal clothing and accessories. Toiletries are useful to take as well but make sure to check the airlines flight restrictions on toiletries and what you can and cannot take. If you forget to pack any items, remember that, more often than not, you will be able to buy items when you are abroad so don’t worry!

7) Phone/Camera/Laptop

Last but by no means least, remember to take your phone, tablet, camera or laptop with you to capture all the amazing memories and stay connected with the world! Don’t forget to bring chargers and charger adapters too!

I hope that this checklist has helped you have a stress-free experience when travelling! If you want to be super prepared before you go, use social media e.g. Facebook groups, Instagram and Twitter to connect with fellow travellers and see how they found their experience to that country. It is also a great way to make friends before you travel and get some more advice! I hope you have a great experience wherever you are planning on travelling! x

My Top 5 Bars in Barcelona

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Did someone say bar??? If you are like me and love to socialise, Barcelona is certainly the place to be. With hundreds of bars throughout the city, you will be spoilt for choice. Barcelona’s bars are such great places to meet up with old friends and even make new ones! Here are my favourite affordable bars to visit when in Barcelona!

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1) Bar Jardí

Carrer de la Portaferrissa, 17, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest Metro: L4 Jaume I or L1, L3, L6, L7 Pl Catalunya

Located at the back of a shop and up the stairs, is this secret, hidden gem of a bar. This rooftop bar is totally unique and is a great place to relax and unwind. Although the menu of drinks on offer is small, the quality, affordability and freshness of the drinks definitely makes this bar stand out.

Bar Jardí, Barcelona

2) Dow Jones

Carrer del Bruc, 97, 08009 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest metro: L4 Girona

Ever heard of a stock-exchange bar? Well you have now! For an exciting and completely unique experience, Dow Jones is a must! The prices of all drinks fluctuate throughout the night, leaving you in control of when you buy your favourite drinks. There are also crashes when the prices of drinks hit an all low, creating a mad rush to the bar to get the best deals.

3) The Coconut Club

Carrer Marina, 19 – 21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest metro: L4 Ciutadella | Vila Olímpica

For a bustling atmosphere with great music, visit The Coconut Club. Located near to Barcelona’s beach nightclubs, this bar is the perfect place to start your night out! Although slightly pricier than the other bars listed here, the quality and atmosphere is something to be a part of!

The Coconut Club, Barcelona

4) Sub Rosa

Carrer d’en Rauric, 23, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest metro: L3 Liceu

Located off one of the many narrow side-streets in the Gothic Quarter, Sub Rosa offers a diverse variety of drinks in a uniquely designed small bar. It is a great place to meet friends and there is even a Happy Hour, meaning drink’s prices are very affordable.

Sub Rosa, Barcelona

5) Broders

Carrer de Còrsega, 232, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest metro: L6, L7 Provença

This colourful and Latin American-themed bar is another great place to meet friends and family. Enjoy a range of cocktails, beers and wine here along with a delicious range of food! It certainly has an authentic vibe!

Whenever I’m in Barcelona, I enjoy spending some of my free time at these bars and I hope that you do to! So sit back, relax, socialise and enjoy the atmosphere! x