Moscow or St. Petersburg

Old Jun 13th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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Moscow or St. Petersburg

I am tossing around the idea of taking an extended weekend city trip to Russia in August.

I am wondering if anybody out there has visited both and would suggest one over the other.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 08:29 AM
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St Pete's historic center is one of the loveliest in Europe - Moscow's center one of the most blah! You may be looking for other criteria.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 09:00 AM
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There is certainly much more to do in St. Petersburg but I very much enjoyed Moscow and the feel of the city more than St. Petersburg.

I would say if you are in touring kind of mood for palaces and museums then and churches then do St. Petersburg, but if you just want to see a museum and wander the kremlin and enjoy good restaurants then do Moscow.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I'll agree with the others in alot depends son what you are wanting to do on your trip. Personally I loved Moscow much more then St. Petes. Though I very much enjoyed St. P's also. Its a beautiful city,"The Venice of the North". There is tons to do and see in both cities. I'm not sure what it is about Moscow that I liked better.

Are you leaning any particular way???
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 11:17 AM
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My vote is for St. Petersburg. It is such a beautiful city, and in August you will have White Nights when it stays light really late. We loved it and want to go back.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 06:03 PM
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We went to both cities 2 years ago. We loved St. Pete. It had more ambiance than Moscow. Highly recommend it.
As the others said, it really depends on what you like to see/do.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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Actually, you will be missing the 'white nights' in St. Petersburg in August, because 'white nights'only last until early July. Still, St Petersburg is the city of outstanding beauty and culture, with many things to do in the city and it's famous saburbs. Moscow is much less charming.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 07:17 PM
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Oops, thanks for correcting me, helen. We were there at the beginning of the White Nights in late May, and I assumed they lasted through summer. So they are really only about a month long?
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 10:26 PM
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Thank you for all the replies.

As MNP was asking, I am leaning towards Moscow but that is mainly due to having a direct flight to Moscow. St. Petersburg will require a connection and almost twice as long travel time.

Not to mention also as a youngster, Moscow and in particular the Kremlin seemed such a foreign and alien place!

Originally I had planned only for Moscow but after doing a little research, St. Petersburg seemed like a worthwhile choice as well.

For us personally, a few years ago when we visited a city we would hit all the big museums, palaces and churches. But I have noticed lately that we tend now to do less specific sights and more wandering the streets(particularly a cities historic area). St. Pete's center sounds interesting.

How did you find getting around the cities? I know that Moscow has quite an extensive Metro system and the main tourist areas seem compacted while St. Petersburg seems very spread out although I am aware of there metro system as well.

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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 02:28 AM
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Moscow DOES have a great metro system, and most of the signs (in the central stations) have stops listed in Cyrillic and English. It is cheap and fast. Piter metro isn't as user friendly, and is definitely more of a walking town. For Moscow, you can see a lot in a small area. Be sure to get tickets to the Almazny Fond (Diamond Fund) to see the riches of the tsar on display in the Armory Palace (w/in the Kremlin). If you take the subway to the "Sparrow Hills" area, near the university, you can see a beautiful panorama of the city.
I love both Moscow and Saint Petersburg, for their differences. I hope you have a great time!
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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I think both are worth a visit, I'd find a hard time choosing between the two. But I'd have to give a slight edge to Moscow because it seems so much more Russian than St. Petersburg which is more western European in design. When I think of all of the images I knew of before I went to Russia, almost all of them were of Moscow, the Kremlin, Red Square, Lenin's Tomb....

That being said St. Pete is one of my favorite cities in the world, the palaces are simply beautiful (Hermitage, Summer Palace and Catherine's Palace in Pushkin) and the setting on the Neva gives it the Venice of the North description. If you are more of a palace sort of person then I might give the edge to St. Pete.

I found the transport (metro) in Moscow to be more extensive than St. Pete but St. Pete is a great place to walk around.

Whichever you decide, you will enjoy!
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 01:48 PM
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Moscow's metro is not only extensive, but very reliable and simply gorgeous!!

I have to second what Kristi said in that Moscow feels more like Russia then St. Petes.

Also if you are interested in WWII, (or even if your not) there is an outstanding WWII museum in Victory Park. Its fascinating to get a Russian perspective on the war....

Good Luck with your decision.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 07:49 PM
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Marilyn, you are right, if you were there at the end of May, you cought the beginning of white nights. They last from about late May to the beginning of July (if I remember correctly), and peaks in the middle/end of June. In May it is normally still a little cold, but in June the weather is better, and at this time there many many people on the streets walking until morning, the music is playing, people reading poems, theaters have special 'white nights' performances, etc... It is a very special time... IMO, at this time of the year, St Petersburg is more romantic than Paris...
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Thanks for the info, helen. When I stop to think about it, it makes sense because June 21 is the solstice and the longest day of the year, so White Nights must be centered around that date.

We thought the light at 10 and 11 in the evening was eerie and exceptionally beautiful, very pale and clear, unlike anything I've ever seen.

We also thought it was QUITE chilly in late May and I usually wore several layers including a cashmere turtleneck and a gortex jacket. Imagine our surprise to see the locals stripped down and sunbathing midday in the park when the sun was out!
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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I just spent the first week of June in St. Petersburg and would have sweltered in wool and Goretex. I usually wore t-shirts or lightweight long-sleeve shirts, and I occasionally added a light jacket after dark. I think August tends to be warmer and wtter, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, I absolutely adored St. Petersburg and, even after a week of fairly intensive sightseeing, would love to go back. Beautiful, fascinating, atmospheric. Haven't been to Moscow, though, so I can't compare.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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I said that I added a jacket after dark, but of course there really was no "after dark" -- I meant "at night."

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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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KT, must be global warming. (I was there 10 years ago.)
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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The climate is not the best part of St Petersburg. The weather is unpredictable, and it feels dump, even if it is warm. And of course, there are terrible winds.
Nevertheless, this is the most beautiful city in Russia, and it is very ‘Russian’ even it looks like some other European cities. Before communist revolution, St Petersburg was a center of Russian culture (and still is), and Moscow was considered more as a provincial city. I like Moscow, it is a modern city with a lot of things to do, outstanding theaters and museums, decent nightlife and shopping, but the cultural center of Russia is St. Petersburg, and Moscow does not come even close (The weather is much better in Moscow though!)
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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I have been to both Moscow and St Petersburg a number of times,

However, for a first time visitor to Russia I would go to St Petersburg. It is an easier city to visit as many of the attractions are located are located near each other.

One of the best ways of seeing the city is to walk, it is a very walkable city if you are able. One walk would be down along Nevsky Prospek, with walks along some of the canals that you cross over. Another walk would be from the Hermitage crossing the bridge ( Dvortsovy Most) onto Vasityevskiy Island. From here you can cross another bridge (Birzhevoy most)and head towards Peter and Paul Fortress. Enter from ane end and exit from the other end. Nearby you will find a metro station, one stop will take you back to Nevski prospect. You could continue walking and cross over on any of the bridges. For guided walks see www.peterswalk.com

I would recommend that you take one of the tours out of the city to one of the palace estates, such as Peterhof or Tsarskoye Selo. If yiu only have time for one, I would go to Peterhof. Tours to both leave from Nevsky prospect near Kazan Cathedral.

Another way to see the city is to take one of the river or canal trips. The canal trips leave at the landings just off Nevsky prospect.

For more information:
www.city-guide.sbu.ru
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 11:30 PM
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St.Pete is a lyric, Moscow is an old good novel.
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