OH MY. It’s been a week since my trip to Russia, and I still cannot believe that I had this great opportunity to travel to this beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The advantage of this trip is that it was all organised by my university, so I did not only enjoy the easy travel but also the insights to the cultural, political and economic facts of Russia and especially St. Petersburg.
Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge
After 10 hours bus ride, we finally made it. We stayed at Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge, a really nice hotel, which I would recommend you to stay in while booking your next trip to St. Petersburg. It’s mostly known for its Spa facilities, which unfortunately was closed for renovation during this week, however, the location was easily accessible and the atmosphere was cosy.
Exhausted, but hungry, a few friends and I went to the heart of St. Petersburg to search for a place to have dinner. According to distance on map, it should have taken us only 15 min walk to the Hermitage from the hotel. But the sunset was so beautiful that we finished up walking more than half an hour just to enjoy the moment.
Winter Palace / Hermitage
This is definitely a museum I would recommend any person to visit. The space is huge and apparently according to some insiders, if you spend one 1 minute on checking out each item, you end up spending 11 years in this building. The baroque inspired architecture and design is incredible and if you enter this museum, you start to question yourself the value of gold as there is plenty of it, even overload.
I really enjoyed the evening walk through the city. The reflection of the city on the Neva River was beautiful. Did you know that this city consists of around 70 canals and 300 bridges? Crazy isn’t it? That’s also why, Olya, a friend from St Petersburg warned me that this city is usually very windy and cold. I guess we were lucky as we had sun for 3 days. However, on the last day, the snow took us by surprise and we basically had a snow storm during the whole day.
Can you actually believe that this picture above is taken inside a metro station? I’ve been to many undergrounds, but I have never witnessed this type of metro station where the decor is picture perfect as if in a movie scene. Of course as St Petersburg is a city of culture and art, the walls had some art made of mosaic tiles. (Tips: The red line has most of the nicely decorated metro station. Once you are inside the metro, you can take any metro line without time limitation (buy coin at the counter for 35rub)
Russian Ballet and Folk Show
While our stay in Russia, we could not miss out on the Russian Ballet experience. So Chay, Sandia and I booked some tickets for the Nutcracker Ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theatre and we definitely did not regret any cent spent. The venue was stunning, just as you imagined; a beautiful and classic decor, and the ballet was fabulous. I would recommend this experience to anyone who loves ballet.
We also went to visit the Nikolaevsky Palace to watch a Folk Show, the traditional dance and music of Russian culture. At first we thought that this will be super boring, but we ended up enjoying everything. One thing is certain: Russians know how to run the show business.
Unfortunately, my camera ran out of battery after the second day, so I ended up using my phone camera, which obviously can be seen in the quality of the photos. I left Russia with very good memories and I will definitely return someday. I guess one week is the approximate time you need to be able to do some visits and to enjoy the city.