Yo, my people! What's crackin'?
Just as I finished writing this article, I'd like to announce that this old bastard here has already been living over one year in Saint Petersburg.
And wrote less than 10 posts for the blog this whole time. * C o m m i t m e n t *
Since I am almost a local and have taken upon myself the task of visiting all the famous and not so famous bars in Saint Petersburg, I decided to share a few things you can do while visiting the cultural capital of Russia.
I will take a bit of a different approach than in my Moscow post. Here I'll dedicate the whole post to St. Petersburg main attractions, which will be specially useful if you are short on time. No need to thank me for it, I know I'm awesome.
Later on I think I'll write a bigger article on my favorite bars.
Hermitage and Russian Museums
If you are into art, culture, you should totally visit Hermitage and Russian museum. If you are not into art and culture, you shouldn't really have chosen Saint Petersburg to begin with. Seriously, why else would you come here?
Hermitage is incomparable if you are looking forward to experiencing all the gold and opulence you will never have in your life as a filthy peasant, so I do recommend going there. Make sure you look at all the detailed artwork and try not to cry at the white marble stairs when you realize how you suck at painting. That did not happen to me, I swear.
I can assure you that Hermitage is definitely worth going at least once in your life before you die
and let's face it, 2020 is really trying to get you killed. However, if you are not looking forward to standing hours in lines, then Russian Museum is a great choice, often with smaller lines and I assure you: you will not regret exploring their exhibitions, although you might have an existential crisis there as well if you pay too much attention to the details in the paintings.
Both museums are in the city center and not far away from each other, so you can always go around between walks along the main streets.
If you want to get impressed with some outright decadently opulent architecture, a beautiful garden and a fuckload of statues, you should totally visit Peterhof. It might sound like I am exaggerating, but man, Peter the Great went to town on that project. I wonder why would anyone even decide to build such a frigging huge palace. I guess he was trying to overcompensate something.
It is possible to get there by boat
if you are a rich bitch and enjoy the view of the Gulf of Finland, although I'd say that taking a cab for a family of 4 or just going by train if you are alone are smarter choices. Make sure to enjoy the walk from the train station to the palace itself as well. It's a very nice neighborhood.
Peterhof is a large territory, so you can be sure that you'll spend the whole day looking at all the places there. Don't forget to wear some very comfortable shoes and maybe pray your feet don't hurt by the end of the day. Or use band-aids if that's your thing.
Also make sure to post a selfie with the weird lion statues.
Canals & Bridges
Getting an excursion around the city canals is a lovely activity if you want to
freeze to death on those boats because damn that wind is cold enjoy a lovely view of Saint Petersburg's main touristic attractions without having to walk. An excursion through the canals of the city will certainly leave you wishing you had brought a warmer coat completely amazed at all the exquisite architecture of the city.
Be sure to take some photos of the Saint Isaacs Cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and Trinity Cathedral. Please don't drop your phone on the water.
An even better opportunity to
die a chilly death enjoy the Petersburg atmosphere is to watch the drawbridges opening, specially during the white nights. That happens starting from 1am though, so you might want to prepare beforehand to make sure you are completely awake and rested when the excursion starts and bring a bigger coat, for God's sake.
Also, if the bridges are open and you are on the wrong side of the river, prepare to stay awake until they close. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Just walk around and enjoy. Also, bars.
Saint Petersburg has a city culture that is completely different from Moscow. Here it's commonplace to simply enjoy a walk around the city center, looking at all the cute finely planned tidy streets. That is very contrasting to Moscow, where the only people walking around calmly are tourists.
Try to get lost in the city a bit but make sure you have Saint Petersburg Google Maps downloaded, you don't want to actually get lost. You will find many monuments, squares, streets lined imperial era buildings, churches and museums.
While you are at it, make sure you have a walk along Rubinstein and Nekrasova streets. There you will find many unique places where you can sit and taste all kinds of cuisine and drinks. This bar culture is something that makes Saint Petersburg look much more like Europe than Moscow as well. If you are lucky enough to visit the city on a warm day
and that does not mean summer, sit outside and enjoy the view.
But bring a bigger coat. And an umbrella. And sunglasses. I don't mean overall, it's for the walk.