St. Petersburg Journals

Winter in St Petersburg

A January 2003 trip to St. Petersburg by Nella

Quote: A long weekend in St Petersburg, enjoying Russian culture and gastronomy.

Winter in St Petersburg

Overview

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Don't miss the Mariinsky Theatre for a performance by the Mariinsky Ballet (previously known as the Kirov). The whole experience is different to a night at an English theatre - from the wooden chairs in the auditorium and the rough treatment of balletomanes by the Babushkas, to the vodka-filled bar (reminiscent of a British roadside cafe!), this is a real experience. The displays of Russian ballet history are full of interesting photos and artefacts, but the explanatory texts are in Russian only.Quick Tips: Try to speak Russian, even if it's only "Hello" or "Do you speak English?" The Russians we met were always impressed even if only the basics of their language were attempted, and made more...Read More

Hotel St Petersburg

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

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This might sound strange advice, but I actually recommend staying in one of the old Soviet monolithic hotels if you're only in Russia for a short stay. They may be huge, noisy and spartan but they add to the experience - more so than the more western luxury hotels (although I recommend the SAS Radisson's piano bar on Nevsky Prospekt for its drinks, bar snacks and ambience!) The Hotel St Petersburg is a typical Soviet-style hotel. It's classified as three-star, and has decent enough bathrooms in each room. However, our room had two single beds placed head to head which was slightly bizarre. We also had a window facing the extensive building work the hotel is currently undertaking. The C...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Hotel St Petersburg
5/2 Pirogovskaya Naberzhnaya
St. Petersburg, Russia
(801) 315 7442

The Idiot

Attraction

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The Idiot is acquiring quite a reputation amongst the English as a cool place to go for drinks and supper in St Petersburg. It's a dark cellar, quite easy to miss from the street (like a lot of St Petersburg eateries), but it is quite cheap, informal and the staff are friendly. It's a bit labyrinthine, with different corners to sit in, so you can be as sociable or unsociable as you like. You get a free vodka when you come in, and the blinis and red caviar are a must. The food comes in generous portions, so don't over order. The Idiot is known for being popular with expats, and there were a couple of British and Americans there when we went, but most people were Russian(including some Russian to...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

The Idiot
82 Moika Embankment/Naberezhnaya Moiki
St. Petersburg, Russia

Quote:
The one thing that strikes you about visiting St Petersburg in winter is how dirty it can get as the snow melts away. The cars (mainly Ladas, living up - or down- to the Russian stereotype) tend to be coated in mud and grime, to the extent that even the windscreens are black, except for a small gap to see out of. The streets can also get very dirty, as well as dangerous with ice and snow. As the snow melts from the canals and embankments, you can find yourself treading very carefully to avoid the sewage and rubbish that can accumulate. Even in April, there are still snowfalls, so take lots of warm and waterproof clothing just in case. However, visiting St Petersburg in winte...Read More