I’m so glad we made the effort...
St Petersburg is a city I have wanted to visit for years, and it didn’t disappoint.
The Architectural wonders of St Petersburg
The build-up prior to the departure was a little uneasy, as it was still uncertain whether Russia was going to extend their presence in Ukraine and the impact this would have on international travel.
It didn’t help, when I was asked by people where I was venturing off to, and their response was ‘rather you than me’.
This was one of the main reasons I wanted to visit Saint Petersburg.
The exquisite buildings are breath-taking throughout the city, they most certainly make an impact.
No expense was spared where the rulers were concerned.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St Issac's Cathedral
Palace Square with the Hermitage Museum, or Winter Palace, in the background
The Palace Square truly is magnificent.
We visited there a few times as I just couldn’t get over its size and lavishness of the Hermitage and the Triumphal Arch.
The Triumphal arch leads onto Palace Square
The Boat Tour
If there’s ever an opportunity to jump on a boat tour, then I’m there. Not only did the trip take you through some of Saint Petersburg’s canals, but also out into the huge Neva River.
You get such a different perspective of a place from the water, I loved it.
The Peter and Pauls Fortress from the boat tour.
A useful guide
If you've yet to discover the incredible history and architecture in St. Petersburg, you're in for a treat. I found this DK Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide invaluable, they're extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our St. Petersburg adventure, now you can grab the revised copy.
I didn’t realise that St Petersburg would have so many cakes. Although I was extremely pleased it did.
A fabulous chocolate cake
We spotted one café that had an enormous walk-in fridge with shelves full of delights. My excuse was that it was my birthday and the chocolate layered cake it had to be.
We came across were Pelmeni a savoury dumpling & Varenyky another dumpling but can be sweet or savoury. Also, Shashlik a skewered meat, very tasty.
Canals & Bridges
do like the simple pleasures in life at times and a stroll along any kind of waterway or river is so relaxing.
We wandered around for hours and as St Petersburg is awash with canals and bridges, I was in my element.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
Definitely has to be the stunning, colourful architecture, without any doubt.
Our room at the the SO/ Saint Petersburg
It has to be the Matryoshka Dolls (Russian Dolls to you and me).
I couldn’t resist buying a set, similar to the original dolls painted in traditional dress, that date back to 1890.
They weren’t cheap, but they certainly evoke memories for me.
My set of Matryoshka Dolls from Saint Petersburg
Don't just take our word for it!
Our Things to do Differently
- Do a bit more research into this incredible city. - Certainly, be a bit more adventurous. As majority of the signs were in Cyrillic script, we were a little too cautious. - Stay longer than 3 nights.
Our Funny Moment
This has to be on the flight going out, when the mother a young Russian family sitting behind us, asked the stewardess why the flight was so empty. The stewardess diplomatically replied, that there weren’t any cruise ships leaving in the next couple of days, so the passengers were fewer. But the son of the Russian lady quipped, ‘well we are flying into a war zone, what do you expect’. Gary and I did have to laugh…..
We didn’t need the hard hats after all, but we certainly needed the sun cream.
Inspired to visit Saint Petersburg?
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