Hello from Russia – for the next 9 days we will be exploring this incredible country with On The Go Tours, and still pinching ourselves that we are here! We have had Russia on our list for the longest time, and we finally had a break in our travels to organise a visa and head on over.
The first stop on our Russia travels in the beautiful city of St Petersburg. Being our first Russian city we have ever visited we really did not know what to expect and we were so surprised. This city is full of beautiful architecture, culture, art, shopping and delicious food!
If you are curious to see what we got up to during our 48 hours in St Petersburg check out our YouTube video below, and keep on scrolling for our list of top things to see & do.
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1. Hermitage Museum
The Hermitage Museum is the second largest art museums in the world, founded back in 1764 when the Empress Catherine the Great began to collect paintings. The museum is located in the Winter Palace, which was formerly the official residence of the Russian Emperors before it was converted into the museum. Today, it houses over 3 million pieces of art, so you definitely need to give yourself enough time to see as much as you can here.
Price: 700 RUB; The third Thursday of each month is a day of free entrance to the museum
2. Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
This breathtaking church was built in memory of Alexander II who was assassinated in 1881. The church actually stands in the very place where a bomb was thrown into his carriage by a young man who opposed the Tsar’s reforms.
If you think the outside is beautiful, just wait until you go inside. What makes this church so special is the 7500 square meters of mosaics that covers the inside walls and ceiling. The intricately detailed mosaics depict biblical scenes and figures, it truly is like nothing we have ever seen before.
Price: 400 RUB
3. Catherine Palace
If you head 25km outside of St Petersburg you will find the stunning Catherine Palace, built in 1773 as a summer residence for the empress. We loved spending the morning roaming through the palace and the wide gardens, and have heard it is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer.
Price: 520 RUB
4. Coffee & Doughnuts at Pyshechnaya
They are cheap, greasy and delicious, if you are looking for an easy snack spot to start off your day in St Petersburg we highly recommend checking out Pyshechnaya. Pyshki or doughnuts were a very popular snack during the Soviet times and this place has been around for decades. This cafe is a no frills Soviet style where locals are often found queuing outside the door for their coffee and doughnut fix.
Address: Bolshaya Konyushennaya Street, 25, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
5. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral
Saint Isaac’s Cathedral is the largest orthodox basilica in the world and the fourth largest cathedral in the world! We highly suggest you climb the stairs all the way to the top to get the best views of St. Petersburg!
Price: 200 RUB
6. Boat Ride along the Canals
One of the first things we noticed when we arrived in St Petersburg is how much it reminded us of Venice and Amsterdam with many water canals running through the city. There are actually over 800 bridges that cross over a total length of 300km of artificial canals here in St Petersburg!
We highly recommend spending an afternoon on a canal tour. The city looks so stunning from the water, and the tours a very easy to find. Jut head along Nesky Prospekt and you will see boats each time you reach a bridge.
Price: Around 700 RUB
7. Stroll along Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Prospekt is the main street here in St Petersburg. It is lined with a bunch of shops, boutiques stores, cafes and restaurants. We recommend spending some time simply strolling along the main street, roaming through shops and see if any food spots catch your eye.
8. Try Traditional Russian Food at Sovetskoye Cafe Kvartirka
If you are looking for a spot to eat that serves delicious Russian food we have found an amazing spot. Walking into this cafe feels like you are walking back in time. The entire restaurant is styled to feel like you are eating inside an old Soviet home. All the decorations are old Soviet style, with old televisions playing Soviet movies and Soviet music playing through the speakers.
We recommend trying the pelmeni which is a Russian style dumpling, pirogi which is Russian style pie & a big slice of napoleon cake.
Address: Malaya Sadovaya St, 1, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191023
IF YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE ALL THIS AND MORE, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND CHECKING OUT THE 9 DAY TOUR WE DID IN RUSSIA WITH ON THE GO TOURS.
A big thank you to On The Go Tours for inviting Flying The Nest to visit Russia and sponsoring this incredible trip, as always all opinions are our own.
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