A May 2005 trip
to St. Petersburg by LetsGoThere
Quote: When I first planned my trip to St Petersburg, I had images of the former Soviet days - wrong! Anybody who loves amazing architecture, fascinating history, entrancing culture, friendly people, and great food will also love St. Petersburg, because it delivers all this and tons more.
Roumia (our guide) was an amazing lady born and raised in St. Petersburg. She can recite every detail of the 300-year history of the city from memory and truly has passion for what she does. I can’t recommend her enough. Without her help, we would not seen half of what we did. Personal guides know the fastest way to the sights. Plus, many of the big attractions have huge lines from coach tours and a good guide knows how to circumvent these lines (which means they just walk to the front, yell at the ticket takers, and barge right in, dragging you behind them).
Looking at the angry folks in line was a little uncomfortable at first, but after a while, you start to feel special and actually enjoy it. Not to mention that on a bus tour, you’re kind of stuck to whatever pace the groups move at.
Highlights included Peterhoff Palace, Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood, the Hermitage and Winter Palace, and the best beef stroganoff ever!
You can’t be the location, smack-dab in the middle of Nevsky Prospekt, and you’re only a 10-minute walk from the Hermitage and virtually all of the major sights in town.
The breakfast buffet costs $24 per person, but I’m not complaining, because it is among the best I’ve ever seen (boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, baked beans, cereals, fruits, a fresh juice squeezer, yogurts, salmon, meats and cheeses… and on and on and on)!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2005
Hotel Radisson SAS Royal
Nevsky Prospekt 49/2
+7 (812) 322-5000
The drive from the city is fascinating. Once you leave the beauty of downtown, you find yourself passing ghosts of the former Soviet Union. There are hundreds of huge apartment buildings crammed with thousands of living units. People still live in them today, but now they have pay rent. I got a few ominous shivers when I passed a statue of Lenin and saw an old rusted out hammer and sickle on a huge factory. All kind of statues memorialize the millions of Russians that died during the 900-day Nazi siege of the city during WWII. Roumia still speaks proudly of the "heroic struggle of the soldiers and citizens of St Petersburg during the siege."