St. Petersburg Journals

Three Days in St. Petersburg

A May 2006 trip to St. Petersburg by Wasatch

Quote: One of Europe’s greatest tourist sites, and one that lives up to the hype.

Three Days in St. Petersburg

Overview

Quote:
Peter the Great built St. Petersburg in the 18th Century to be the great capital of the great Russian Empire.For 300 years, St. Petersburg, not Moscow, was the seat of government. Day 1: Morning trip to The Hermitage. It is not clear exactly what the Hermitage is. Simply put, it is oneof world’s greatest art museums-- 350 rooms, 2,700,000 works of art– but it is also more than that. Itconsists of 1, 2, 3, or 4 buildings, depending on how you want to count. The Winter Palace, now part of theHermitage, displays art in the grand rooms of the Tsar’s official home. The decor overwhelms the art. TheLarge Hermitage was built by the Tsars as an art museum. The Her...Read More

Winter Palace/State Hermitage Museum

Attraction | "The Hermitage"

Quote:
Simply put, the Hermitage is one of world’s great art museums-- 350 rooms, 2,700,000 works of art– but itis more than that. It consists of 1, 2, 3, or 4 buildings, depending on how you want to count. The WinterPalace, now part of the Hermitage, displays art in the grand rooms of the Tsar’s official home. The decoroverwhelms the art. The Large Hermitage was built by the Tsars as an art museum. The HermitageTheater is only used for performances. Our guided tour took through the most of the major palace roomsand works of art– Da Vinci, Renoir, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Rubens- but if you want to see all thegrand palace rooms, abandon the tour.The entr...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2006

Winter Palace/State Hermitage Museum
Palace Embankment, On The Neva River
St. Petersburg, Russia

Peterhof Palace and Gardens

Attraction | "Peterhof Palace and Gardens"

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Peterhof, the Tsar’s summer place on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, is about 15 miles west of StPetersburg. Peterhof consists of 7-8 palaces and churches set in a large park, English garden on the oceanside of the Great Palace, a French garden on the other side. Our tour took us through Catherine Palace (notto be confused with THE Catherine Palace in the town of Pushkin), because, according to the guide, therewas not enough time to tour the Great Palace. In addition, we saw the Great Cascade and the Englishgarden with its fountains and follies. If I had to do over, I would leave the tour and go through the GreatPalace and visit the Grand Cascade, which is...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2006

Peterhof Palace and Gardens
Petrodvorets
St. Petersburg, Russia

Catherine Palace

Attraction

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This is a “don’t miss” while in St Petersburg. By now, I had lost track of how many palaces the Tsarshad, but this was their favorite. The entrance is through the main door in the front of the 900 ft blue andwhite long facade of the main palace.The first room visited is the aptly named “Grand Hall’, with a short concert, CDs, $20. The star ofCatherine’s Palace (named for Peter the Great’s Wife, Catherine I, not for Catherine the Great, CatherineII). Two dinning rooms are next, each set up for a state diner. Next are the ruby(red) and emerald(green)gaming rooms. Tradition has it that gambling debts in the first were to be paid with rubies and with...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2006

Catherine Palace
Pushkin
St. Petersburg, Russia

Quote:
Russia, especially the big cities, are dangerous for minorities. Anyone who does not look Caucasian should only travel with a group. Otherwise, personal safety is a little worse than in most large cities, except for pickpockets.Pickpockets are endemic in St Peterburg and a real problem in several other European cities. On our first trip to Prague, our Cruise Director, in warning the passengers about the pickpocket problem, said that he had brought 50 tours to Prague, and not once had there been a trip where a pickpocket did not steal at least one passport. On the other hand, he said a single woman could walk any street in Prague alone in the middle of the night without fear....Read More

Restrooms

Story/Tip

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The usual sources of tourist information have dire news about public restrooms in Russia. On the whole,we found the facilities better than we expected.Some charged a fee, 5-8 rubles (20-30 cents). Many were free. All were clean, but many look shabby. They ranged from squat toilets* to Austrian quality.**Be on the lookout for the location of the toilet paper. It was quite common for there to be a single roll forthe entire restroom located somewhere outside the stalls. You have to tear off what you think you will useand take it into the stalls with you. Error on the generous side. Remember to check– this is not a lessonyou want to learn the ...Read More