Weekend Trip to St Petersburg

As part of my 6-week stay in Moscow, I went with my group of friends to St. Petersburg for the weekend. Read on to find out about 11-hour train journeys, seeing the sights, and boat rides aplenty.


Weekend Trip to St Petersburg

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by suartd on August 17, 2006

The highlights of my trip to St. Petersburg were definitely visiting Peterhof and The Hermitage, taking a boat trip around the city, and experiencing the "white nights." Not much sleep was had during this trip, but it was amazing how much we could cram into a day and a half.${QuickSuggestions} It is very useful if you are a student to get an ISIC card. This got us cheaper train fares, free entry to Hermitage, and cheaper entry to other sights all over St. Petersburg.

If you are getting a boat trip, make sure to check if they do it in English. Ours didn't, but luckily we were there with some Russians who could translate for us.${BestWay} Again, like Moscow, the metro is heavily used around St.Petersburg. Although it is not as big as the Moscow subway, it is still as clean and efficient. Walking around St. Petersburg is also quite easy if you stay near the centre, as many of the sights are quite close together. We took a boat ride to Peterhof, which had amazing views of St. Petersburg and took little time to get to Peterhof. Buses can also be used ,but can get really crowded and hot. If the journey is quite long, you can be squashed in a hot, sweaty bus for a long time.


Hermitage

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by suartd on August 17, 2006

One word to describe the Hermitage would be huge. The place is so big that I spent an entire morning there and almost covered one floor.

The rooms themselves are amazing pieces of art. Each room is decorated differently and has amazing frescoes on walls and ceilings. The entrance hall to the Hermitage takes your breath away when you enter it. There are golden chandeliers everywhere, and the walls are covered in golden decorations. There are red rooms, blue rooms, green rooms, and every other colour. The beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings could hold your attention for hours on end.

Then comes the art. There are apparently enough pieces on art in Hermitage that it would take you years to look at them all. Well, I definitely experienced that. I spent the whole morning there and looked around almost one floor. There are paintings, sculptures, jewellery, etc., from all different periods of history all over this museum. There are maps available for anyone who needs to find their way around, and I strongly recommend using these if there are pieces of art you really want to see.

If like me you just want to have a look at lots of different types of art, then just having a wander around is a very nice way to spend some time, and occasionally you can listen in to guides giving other people a tour around the art.

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

St Petersburg Boat Tour

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by suartd on August 23, 2006

The boat tour is one of the best ways to see all around St. Petersburg if you are only there for a short trip. Our group consisted of two Russians, so we just joined a Russian tour on the boat and they translated for us. There are English-speaking tours available, but I think they are more expensive (rip-off the tourists).

Anyway, the trips take you out in the main harbour so you can see all of the buildings, the fortress, and the ocean liners. Then the small boats head under the bridges and in amongst the city. There are plenty of historical buildings that can be seen on the trip, and the tour guide gives plenty of information on the history of the city and all of the buildings, monuments, and cathedrals. The trip lasted about 45 minutes and was very much worth the money.

Two things to watch out for on the trip: the first is getting wet. I got soaked at one point when we turned and the water splashed all over the boat. The second is getting burnt. If you are there on a sunny day and have fair skin like me, sunscreen is your best friend, as I got very burnt while on the boat. Other than that, the trip was fabulous

Boat tour by the rivers and channels of Petersburg
near Dvorcovaya Square
St. Petersburg, Russia

Peterhof

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by suartd on August 23, 2006

Peterhof was my favourite part of my trip to St Petersburg. There is a grand palace surrounded by the most magnificent gardens I have ever seen. There are over 140 waterfalls and fountains in the gardens, with each of them different so exploring them all is very good fun. There are always people in the fountains cooling off in the water or playing around. This is not strictly allowed, but it is all in good fun.

If you get sick of the gardens and fountains, you can explore the palace as some rooms are open for visitors. Also, there is a beach directly in front of Peterhof, so a whole day could be spent there relaxing and having fun. Everyone can have a great day at Peterhof, and you get the most amazing postcard-like photos from there.

Peterhof Palace and Gardens
Petrodvorets
St. Petersburg, Russia

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