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

My Welsh Adventure – Barmouth

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I thought I’d change country for this next blog post to somewhere a bit closer to home…Wales. This Monday (24th August 2019), I spent the day in the stunning town of Barmouth, Wales.

I started my journey at Wolverhampton train station embarking on a long, but direct 3 hour and 15-minute journey on the ever-reliable (or in my case, as you will find out later, unreliable) Arriva Trains Wales. The journey was comfortable surrounding by classically stunning Welsh hills and farm animals which soon transformed into equally beautiful coastal views.

View from the train

After 3 hours 15 minutes, I arrived at my destination: Barmouth. After popping into a local shop to gather the essential snacks for the day, I ventured out to try some of the local fish and chip shops. I was spoilt for choice as I soon found out! Eventually I settled on a fish and chip shop by the beachfront. After ordering takeout, I headed straight to the beach to find a quiet spot to relax and enjoy the food.

Barmouth beach

The beach – white sand scattered with seashells – was absolutely stunning, serving to host a whole variety of people looking to enjoy themselves, relax and swim. Laughter filled the air all around creating such a positive and memorable atmosphere. Not to mention, the sun was shining – which if you’re familiar with this area, you know it is very rare!

Barmouth beach

After a few hours of relaxing and sunbathing, I ventured out to the town to explore. But before I could do so…I had to get an ice cream! My choice was a classic Mr Whippy paired with bubble-gum and raspberry sauce! Content with my ice-cream, I walked out to the town, where I soon came into contact with several souvenir shops and local sweet shops full of different flavours of rock (sweets) and fudge.

After exploring, I made it back to the train station to catch the train. Little did I know, I was in for a treat…NOT! The train that I wanted to catch was cancelled! After a lack of announcements and several phone calls, we (myself and many other frustrated people wanting to get the train home) were told that there would be a replacement bus in 1hour-1 hour 30 minutes to take us home. After waiting and calling up again, this did not happen. As you can imagine, the stress mounted up as we all wondered if we would ever get home. Luckily an early issue regarding the trains was rectified and the very last train of the day to Wolverhampton was confirmed to run, although delayed. To cut a long story short, after a very lengthy and crowded train journey, I did in fact make it home!

To sum up my Welsh adventure up, I loved the beach and town of Barmouth, and I cannot recommend it enough! It is definitely worth the visit however; I do hope that the Arriva Trains Wales service gets a lot better in the future! But for now, on to the next adventure… x

Top 3 Day Trips in Barcelona

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Barcelona is a top European destination with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to its city centre to experience what it has to offer. The hustle and bustle of this city and the atmosphere is amazing however, there are places in Barcelona where you can enjoy the tranquility and amazing views that the city has to offer. These are unique to the city and make Barcelona so much more than just another European city. Experience a different side to the city. Here are my top 3 day trips that I would recommend visiting in Barcelona!

1) Montserrat

My top choice is Montserrat! Here, you can take in the stunning views, relax and even reflect outside of the hustle and bustle of city life! It’s a perfect day out which you can enjoy alone or with friends and family.

The start of the journey begins at Plaça Espanya. Here, you have to take the R5 train (to Manresa), getting off at either Aeri de Montserrat or Monistrol de Montserrat. If you want to get the cable car up to the Monastery, get off at Aeri de Montserrat. However, if you want to either hike or get the funicular up to the Monastery, get off at Monistrol de Montserrat.

When you reach the monastery, you can visit the Basilica of Monserrat, the Art Museum of Monserrat, Sant Miquel’s Cross and the Santa Cova Chapel. There are also a number of outdoor stalls – in which locals sell various food products and products – cafes, a restaurant and a souvenir shop. You can also hike around the mountain to higher points and enjoy a picnic or relax infront of the stunning views.

It is definitely worth visiting if you have the time!

Montserrat

2) Mount Tibidabo

A trip to Mount Tibidabo is also an excellent way to enjoy a family or/and friends day out! There are various ways of getting there, however I would recommend getting the T2A bus from Plaça Catalunya, which runs every 20 minutes.

The first thing you see when you get off the bus is the absolutely stunning architecture of the ‘Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón.’ It is free to enter this church and take in the breath-taking views from the outdoor grounds. For a small cost, you can go right up to the top of the church’s viewing platform, directly underneath the statue of Christ.

Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón

You’ll also find the highly popular amusement park here! It has a great retro look and is so much fun with a range of classic fairground rides. There are also food stalls and ice-cream stands around the park if you are feeling a little peckish. There is even a Xurreria stand!

The mountain is also a great place for walks. There are many paths across the mountain to explore and enjoy. There is also green spaces to enjoy, especially if you have bought your own picnic along with you.

Mount Tibidabo

3) Montjuïc

There are several ways to get to Montjuïc. The quickest route and the one that I used to get is the funicular situated in Parallel metro station. However, if you want a more scenic route, you can use the Montjuïc’s Cable Car or Port Cable Car in Barceloneta.

At the top of the mountain, stands Montjuïc Castle. You can enter the historic castle for a small cost, however it is free to enter on Sundays after 3pm! There are also temporary exhibitions that you can see but these will depend on when you visit. The views are simply stunning, and you can walk around the castle grounds to take them all in!

If you are interested in art, there is an amazing, contemporary art museum here called ‘Fundació Joan Miró,’ dedicated and featuring works from the famous artist, Joan Miró. There are numerous pieces of art from paintings to sculptures are more!

Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic Park is also situated in Montjuïc. The Olympics played an enormous, vital role in transforming the way the world sees Barcelona as an important European city. Here, you will be able to find the main Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi and the architectural statement that is The Telecommunications Tower.

As you venture down Montjuïc, you will be able to see the Palau Nacional which hosts the MNAC(National Art Museum of Catalunya). The building itself is just so beautiful and is surrounded by stunning views and greenery. Inside, you will be able to explore thousands of art work pieces and various expositions.

At the bottom of Montjuïc, you will find the Magic fountains. There are fountain shows here that must not be missed! These shows last around 15 minutes and are totally free. They do get busy often, so I would recommend getting there early and securing your spot. I would also recommend taking some drinks or food along and relax as you watch the show!    

Thank you for reading my blog on the Top 3 day-trips in Barcelona! I hope you have enjoyed reading this and that it has opened your eyes that Barcelona is much more than just a standard, European city! x