The ideology of a super power nation is what Russia depicts. While that stands true, the country is much more than just armies, snow and vast unoccupied land. With many famous cities within it, Russia is growing towards becoming one of the most famous countries in the travel list of tourists. Focusing on St. Petersburg which is a city built on swamps; the place has gradually been transformed into a modern mecca of rich art and culture.
St. Petersburg is an imperial capital of the country which is prosperous in Russian culture and interestingly houses some of the best classical concerts and musical festivals. Known for its world class ballet and opera sessions, the city remains to be one of the oldest historic metropolises which are rooted into its culture. Hereby, we map out travel essentials like the best time to visit, a list of places and activities that one must do and a brief idea on budgeting right while on your trip to this wonderful city.
Time Frame of Visiting St. Petersburg
The time frame of visiting St. Petersburg is best during the months of May and September. For travel loners who dislike crowds and love their own space, it is best to visit the city in early May or September where the crowds decrease in numbers. These months are also favourable for tourists who would love to experience the white nights wherein the sun hardly sets down, thus giving you a lifetime experience of enjoying your nights in broad daylight. With longer days and minimal nights, travellers get to experience the city and all the activities to the maximum of St. Petersburg.
Must Visit Destinations in St. Petersburg
Art and Architecture
- State Hermitage Museum
State Hermitage Museum
It is one of the most magnificent museums in the world. It fascinatingly houses over three million items spread across hundreds of rooms in the structure. It is suggested to plan your visit by focusing on your areas of interest in order to complete your tour in a planned & efficient manner. With its enormous size and never ending things to see, the museum would always leave you wanting more!
- Russian Museum
The Russian Museum is the next popular historic house after The Hermitage. Situated in the centre of the city, this one is known for lesser known treasure arts of the country. With permanent and temporary based exhibitions housed at the museum, travellers could have a perfect piece of their historic pie while visiting this beauty.
- Church Of The Spilled Blood
Built and structured in the loving memory of Alexander II, the church is one of the most stunning beauties of St. Petersburg. The church imbibes fundamentals of the pre-historic period and also took a lengthy span of over twenty-four years to build. The spot being a tourist favourite is something which should not be missed.
- Grand Palace
With a rich background history, the Grand Palace is known to have been reconstructed by the modern government after it was left in complete ruins post the World War II. However, the palace houses original paintings, furniture and beautiful chandeliers within it which are worth looking out for.
History and Culture
- Cruiser Aurora
The historic Cruiser was launched in the nineteenth century and played a significant part in the Communist Revolution. Unfortunately it sunk during the World War II. Currently being restored for tourism purposes, one could view the crew quarters and live a historic moment in the gigantic cruiser.
- Kirov Museum
The museum has been created in the house of Sergei Kirov who was one of the most powerful men in the country during the nineties. The house is being redesigned to show his lifestyle and interesting artefacts of what he used. The most interesting thing to view is the real clothes he was wearing when he got shot by rivalries. The museum is hauntingly real and fascinating!
- Marrinsky Theatre
This theatre is surely a must-visit place in St. Petersburg. Named after Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Alexander II, the theatre was made in the eighteen hundreds. Being one of the most loved and respected institutions, the theatre stages the world’s best ballet and opera. It houses a two thousand seat audience and has six stages for the perfect historic performances.
- Mechta Molokhovets
This is a heaven for every food lover. Mechta Molokhovets covers all the Russian traditional cuisine and hosts the classic dishes to taste. From fish pies to goose breast and rabbit meat, the restaurant is a classic favourite for every tourist who is looking to dine in the Russian way!
Budgeting Right when in St. Petersburg
While planning a trip to a foreign land, it is always useful to be aware of that country’s currency, their tipping policies and most importantly drafting an approximate budget for yourself. That way, you could plan your overhead expenses and be assured to not go overboard.
The Russian currency is known as Russian Ruble and it equals to Rs. 1.14 in the Indian Rupee. For tourists looking at changing their currency, St. Petersburg houses banks and exchange offices everywhere. One can also find ATMs at every pit stop!
During the trip, one could pay by cash or card at restaurants and malls. However, it is suggested to keep some cash handy as smaller boutiques or takeaway restaurants might not have card facilities. As for the tipping policy at public places, it is best to pay a 10% tip at restaurants if the service is good and R50 per bag at hotels.
To provide a wholesome idea of an approximate budget which you could follow while visiting St. Petersburg, we have drafted a detailed table for a better understanding:
|DAILY COSTS PER DAY|
|LOW-RANGE (50 €)||MID-RANGE (50 – 200 €)||HIGH-RANGE (200 & ABOVE €)|
|Dorm Bed: 12 €||Double Room at a Standard Hotel: 60 €||
Four Star Hotel with Double Room: 150 €
|Supermarket & Business Lunches for Food||Two Course Dinner with Wine: 50 €||Two Course Dinner with Wine: 100 €|
|Cheap Theatre Ticket: 15 €||Theatre Ticket : 30 €||Best seats at The Mariinsky Theatre: 125 €|
With many more sights to see and numerable theatres and classics to view, St. Petersburg is there to surprise you! Despite every traveller who prefers Moscow, considering its commercial popularity, this place is the new and upcoming destination that you wouldn’t want to miss. The city has grown from swamps to a wonderful revamp and houses some of the best classical music in the world.
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
Statistics Table Credit: Lonely Planet, Russia
Kirti is an avid traveller & writer who is hoping to write a book one day. She is a media geek by profession and is a strong believer of Love, Faith & Hope. She is a scorpion at heart, who loves socialising and is a proud mother to an adorable Beagle puppy named Romeo!