Tell me about St Petersburg!

Old Dec 26th, 2002, 07:13 PM
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Tell me about St Petersburg!

Received a nice gift of money for Christmas and am thinking St. Petersburg for about 8-9 days.
What's the best of St. Petersburg and what would you suggest I do? My loves are art, architecture, music, and people watching.
Old Dec 26th, 2002, 08:35 PM
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Take a look at They are based in New York. I have used them before on my first trip to Russia, and will use them again in June for a relative's birthday party in St. Petersburg. It's owned by Mark Miller (who frequently posts here) and he and his staff are very knowlegable. All of their tours are customized, so you can choose how much "organization" you want. They run trips for some cultural groups as well (as Mark is a big supporter of Russian groups) and have great access. One of the best things about them is that they will work with you on a schedule, and make sure that you have as much free time as you want without missing out on things.

At there is a long list of things to see and do in St. Petersburg.

My favorites are the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, Novgorod and the Mariinsky Kirov Opera (and some good private art dealers). You'll love the trip.
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 12:40 AM
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First time I went to St PEtersburg - about 7 yrs ago- a student studying Russian said that "it was the world's most beautiful slum" . Russians that I have said this to have never disagreed. Lots of amazing things to see but also lots of falling apart infrastructure and run down buildings - (much more than say Dresden just after the reunification). Hermitage Museum is fantastic (and the whole area around there) as is Petrodvorets (? spelling) Palace a boat ride away.
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 06:31 AM
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Gigi, I did russia on my own this summer but hired a guide for a few hours to get my bearings. Certainly the hermitage and the palaces were wonderful but my favorites were the churches. St. Isaac and Church of the spilled blood (I hope I have my church names right) were just beautiful. Architecturally I was much more impressed with Moscow than St. Petersburg. Since you have 8-9 days I would spend half my time in Moscow, I enjoyed it much more than St. Petersburg.
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 06:33 AM
Eye Spy
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Another great website is the Official Hermitage Museum website, designed by IBM. It's amazing and you can go on "virtual tours." I hope this helps you plan for your trip.
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 07:22 AM
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Harris, thanks for the website. What a great recommendation for Mark. Did you have his group locate hotels and transports, too? I typically do everything myself, but, would be interested in the day tours. Any one tour in particular that you preferred?

Would you share with me the hotels you chose?

What's your opinion of 8 days in SP?
Thanks, Harris

Debbie, that is the first time I have heard someone say that Moscow was preferred to SP. Can you tell me more? I hadn't planned on Moscow. I would be interested to know how you traveled between the two and costs.
What in particular did you like about Moscow?

Eye SPy...I shall check it out! Thanks!

Anyone else?
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 08:34 AM
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Gigi - despite the crumbling infrastructure, I personally think SP is the most beautiful city in Europe. Nine days might be a little long, however, and you should consider a day or two in Moscow. Once you've seen Red Square and the Kremlin there is not much more to see, except you might include the Bolshoi given your proclivity to music and the arts. Another consideration would be trips to Helsinki or Tallinn. Petrodvorets is an absolute must for a day trip.
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 12:49 PM
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Gigi, I thought the Architecture in Moscow was stunning so I just walked along Tverskya and side streets all day. It was one of those places that I couldn't wait to see what was around the next corner. I did not feel that way about St. Petersburg at all. Even though they have a few great sights the rest of the city was not attractive or interesting. I also took a day trip to Sergeyev Posad which was really nice to get outside the city. I also spent some time walking along the Arbat which is a mile or two from Kremlin. It is a closed street that has alot of vendors selling sketches, souvenirs etc. I found it the best place to pick up reminders of my trip.
I also must admit to being partial to warm weather and it was cool and drizzly in St. Petersburg but perfect in Moscow, that makes a difference to me. I stayed in Hotel Budapest in Moscow and Moskva in St. Petersburg. If you want more details you can e-mail me at [email protected]
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 09:51 PM
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I stayed at the Nevsky Palace (it was a Sheraton then), and will stay at the Astoria in June.

Discovering Russia can arrange everything or just the guide. They do have a good relationship with the better hotels in Russia and also with some local companies who handle the less-expensive hotels (which means that you can get a hassle-free reservation, which some of my friends did not get when they booked directly).

8 days is ok, depending on what you like. Like Deb, I think tha you could also go to Moscow for a day or so (I am doing this on my next trip also
Old Dec 29th, 2002, 07:47 AM
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Thanks for the help, everyone. Harris, I shall look at the Disc Russia group, thanks, again.
If you do a trip report Harris, would you send me a copy, please?
I am looking at a couple of days in Moscow, too.
Thanks, again,
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 11:42 AM
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Try visiting
Ultimately, any US-based reseller uses companies like ours.
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