Introduction to St. Petersburg

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 04 Feb 2015)
Ask anybody in Russia what they think about St Petersburg and you'll have the impression it's the cultural capital of the country. Most people have a very romantic image of St. Peterburg: a beautiful city of channels and impressive architecture, great historical heritage and vibrant cultural life, home for many famous artists and poets, a symbol of Russia on the Baltic sea.

St. Petersburg View by Andywon@FlickR

St. Petersburg view from St Isaac Cathedral / Photo by AndyWon@FlickR
Being the symbol of Russia, St. Petersburg is a completely untypical Russian city. Situated so close to Europe on the shore of the Baltic Sea, it expresses everything European that Russia has to offer, but in a unique and a strange way mixing with old traditions. St. Petersburg is a bit like Berlin in this sense: constantly torn between its legacy and future, poor but thriving, impressive, shabby and chic. On the other hand, St. Petersburg was inspired by Amsterdam, so it has this port city feel to it.

Many think it's a mad city with all that water, fogs, and even the white nights - typical place to get mad and commit a suicide. But it's also very a very inspiring place, many great Russian writers, poets, dancers started to work here. Even nowadays people in St.Petersburg are considered to be a bit more intelligent, smart and polite comparing to Moscovitans. 

View on the St. Petersburg Canal / Photo by Ezioman@FlickR
View on the St. Petersburg Canal / Photo by Ezioman@FlickR

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Here are some special things you can do while in St. Petersburg, and enjoy them:

- Walking along the Nevsky Prospekt street and quiet neighbourhoods around.
- Going inside the courtyards of old houses.
- Taking a boat trip along the channels.
- Climbing up St.Isaac cathedral to have a view on the city (see the photo above).
- Having a nice meal with vodka in Idiot Restaurant (see Eating Out). 
- Oh, visiting Hermitage, of course, but not all at once. It's better to choose something specific you might be interested in and to come there especially for that (see Museums).
- Walking along Moika river embankment in the evening (see Map).
- Going out to see what's on in a former squat - presently art center - Pushkinskaya, 10 (see Art)
- Going out to the small St. Petersburg bars, hanging out with locals and students (see Clubs)
- Sleeping in a nice family hotel or your own apartment (see Accommodation).

  What is like Saint Petersburg? Click below to find out:


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