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voyager Saint Petersburg - A travel report by Mick
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Saint Petersburg,  Russia - flag Russia -  Sankt-Peterburg
2438 readers

voyager's travel reports

Sleeping Beauty Awakens

  19 votes

Saint Petersburg travelogue picture
On the eve of her 300th birthday the city of Saint Petersburg is putting on makeup and generally sprucing up for the big event. The city is still a bit run-down and in need of some paint and a good scrubbing here and there but the beauty manages to shine through. In spite of the scaffolding most everywhere and the cacaphony of sandblasting machines, our five days in Saint Petersburg were an absolute pleasure. The city is a dream for art lovers and for those who enjoy museums as there is no shortage of either. It is by far one of the most enjoyable places I've ever visited and a place I expect to visit again and again.

Please see the note of caution below under "sights".


Favourite spots:
Hermitage Museum, Fortress of Peter and Paul, Church of the Spilled Blood, the Cruiser Aurora and Peterhof top my short list of favorite spots

What's really great:
We found great people who were as curious to learn about us as we were to learn about them, we found fantastic food at bargain basement prices and we found a city that simply overwhelmed us with its ambience. In spite of Saint Petersburg's vastness we found most of the major tourist areas to be walkable. I must admit we were a bit taken aback by the cyrillic alphabet and we found few English speakers but we never felt unsafe anywhere in the city.

Sights:
Art lover or not, the Hermitage is a must see sight. The seven museums in the Fortress of Peter and Paul are close behind and a trip to Saint Petersburg without a sidetrip to Peterhof would be a criminal act.

One note of caution: Unless you're a really experienced traveler or unless you speak some Russian, I highly advise the use of a tourguide or participation in a group tour...at least until you feel at ease with the Cyrillic alphabet and Russian customs. We found that a private guide can cost less than a group tour so shop around. I can't say enough good things about our guide Alexey Aleshechkin (alpetro@comset.net). He's a St. Petersburg native and proud if his city. Best of all, he made it feel like we were traveling with a friend.


Accommodations:
Hotel Marshal is a small (11 rooms) boutique hotel. It's newly remodeled and in a safe and generally convenient area. Much nicer than the Moskova or any of the Nevsky area hotels at 1/2 the price. http://www.marshal-hotel.spb.ru/

Nightlife:
Numerous clubs in along or near Nevsky Prospekt to satisfy most any appetite. Just check under night clubs in the Saint Petersburg yellow Pages http://www.yell.ru/eng/

Hangouts:
Most every neighborhood has a few. You will probably be ignored unless you try to intiate a conversation with the locals

Restaurants:
Hard to find until you learn what to look for. Look up and down as well as at street level for signs that say PECTOPAH (restaurant). Every meal we had was well prepared, of good quality and CHEAP (if you avoid tourist spots and eat where the locals do, the average price is less than $5.00/person for a nice beef stroganoff or chicken kiev dinner and a beer).

Published on Thursday July 11th, 2002


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Thu, Jul 29 2004 - 08:27 PM rating by jimbojones007

Hi Mick,

licked your report on St. Petersburg. I looked up the internetpage of the hotel though and found it rather expensive. For a singel room they are charging something like EUR 90. Can you reccomend anything cheaper?

Greetings Daniel

Sat, Jun 05 2004 - 02:00 PM rating by kathmandukitten

Thankyou for your report on st. petersburg... it seems as though you are the only globie who has been there!

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