Our adventure in Russia started with St Petersburg, probably the most european city in all Russia… Indeed, St Petersbourg has been founded in the 18th century by Peter The Great. The town planning is definitively modern and it is quite common to believe that you are walking in a different European city like Paris or Amsterdam.
But let’s talk about our arrival in Russia. We entered Russian Federation by land from Narva in Estonia. By the way, this city seems to have a rich history… Contrary to our other border crossing to east (see Ukrain, a trip to Lviv), we have to admit that our entry in Russia was quite fast. A short stop on the Estonian side to notify our Schengen Area leave and then one hour on the Russian side to be granted with the magical stamp…
2 major facts emphasized our first steps in St Petersburg :
- The temperature was around -20°C and that’s the perfect moment to understand where St Petersburg is located on a map. The city is on the Baltic Sea, set on swampy lands… wind is quite usual and so humidity is maximal… Conclusion, -20°C is kind of very low temperature and very epic.
- We couldn’t find the hostel we booked and that even helped us to get the visa… We set an appointment. First it was hard to find the place (no signs at all). Then, when we found it, the door was just closed… Thanks god, we were in a really nice neighborhood and it was not difficult to find another place to sleep.
St Petersburg has 396 bridges and 14 of them open every night to let the ships enter and leave the city
We stayed in St Petersburg for 3 days and in general, we made relative short walks in the huge city discovering palaces, historic buildings and churches; everything more beautiful than the other ones.
State Hermitage, Russian museum, the Savior on the blood church, Isaac cathedral, Royal Horsehouse; so many monuments that we loved to admire, especially thanks to Valentina… a lituanian-polish-russian woman living in St Petersbourg since 30 years. She offered us a walk in the city thanks to Couchsurfing website and thanks to her, we already know much more about monuments, their history as well as some secret passage in the city.
The second day, we decided to visit a small part of Hermitage museum as we wanted to have a short overview of the Russian art but more globally the way how art is shown and expressed in this part of the world. Guaranteed impact! The museum, even if it is very touristic and you have to queue outside (… refreshing moment… ), is enough big to leave a space to everyone.
With Louvre museum in Paris and MET in New York, State Hermitage is one of the 3 biggest museum in the world.
But finally, what we love the most are the walk around the frozen canals as well as around Neva river (frozen too). Luckily, the city decided to put its most beautiful white dress to welcome us… A real pleasure for eyes, an excellent opportunity to visit the city in the conditions that we will not have everywhere everytime…
Now we would love to see St Petersburg in summer and visit the White Nights… On our way, we saw a lot of bars, restaurants, café… looks like the night life is very promising. With a warmer climate, it can be a nice mix for a wonderful moment too.
See you soon St Petersburg!
We want to share with you a place that we tried and approved; a nice restaurant to have Pielmieni (dumplings) and Solyanka (soup).
Nevsky avenue, 20, Sankt-Peterburg, Russie, 191186