How did that happen ?
The trip to Russia is undone without being in the world’s second most beautiful city known as Saint Petersburg. I took Sapsan bullet train from Leningradsky railway station in Moscow at 6:50 am and the journey lasted for 3:30 hours reaching Saint Petersburg at 10:30 am in the morning.
The day I arrived & the first impression
Saint Petersburg has all the ingredients for an unforgettable traveling experience. Big streets, people rushing to offices, speedy cars, tourists converging for trips, friendly people, artistic and vibrantly looking buildings, cleanliness, shopping were some of the factors which had a lasting impression on my mind. It was a city with immense action and liveliness. I was elated and enjoyed my first few hours in Saint Petersburg on the day of arrival.
A guy on the streets of Saint Peterburg was playing the sitar and soon after his performance I asked him about Pandit Ravi Shankar Prasad and he instantly replied: ” Oh yes, I have been following him since my childhood and it was a mix of western and Indian scales I was playing with.” I felt connected there and we stretch our conversation for almost an hour, discussing technicalities and complexities of music.
The reviews are based on the travel itinerary.
- Winter Palace
I am running short of words after exploring the winter palace. The whole experience was captivating. What I witnessed is beyond explanation.
You would need a complete day to explore the extraordinary and a historically significant palace. The tickets usually start from 700 rubles. To avoid long public queues, there are provisions online where you can buy tickets between $40-60. Whether you are on a short excursion or planning to extend your stay in the city by few days, the hermitage museum is an enthralling experience to carry always. One interesting fact: Salman Khan’s movie Lucky was shot here.
2. The Palace Square
On my first day in Saint Petersburg, I was just rambling around Nevsky Prospekt and walked about 1.5 km to a beautiful and harmonious ensembles of architecture in the world. I was stunned to see the enormous square and referred google maps to know the place I arrived. It was Palace Square opposite to the State Hermitage Museum. You will find street musicians, tourists, localities everywhere. Do not forget to take panorama shots of the square as you cannot capture the whole of it in just one frame. It is worth watching and holds many major events even till date, so be there and enjoy the surrounding of the magnificent architecture.
3. Savior on the Spilled Blood
Incredible cathedral and one of the main attractions of Saint Petersburg is worth a visit. The ticket costs 350 rubles. Opposite of Savior on the Spilled Blood, is Kazan cathedral which is just 5-10 mins walk away. You will find many souvenir shops, eatery stalls, and painters. Despite the touristy landmark, it is clean and peaceful. Interesting fact: Saif Ali Khan’s Movie Agent Vinod was shot here.
Nearest Metro station: Nevsky
4. Kazan Cathedral
It is quite fascinating and surprising when you are walking down the bustling streets of Nevsky Prospekt, doing shopping, visiting stores aimlessly and suddenly you witness a gigantic architecture. Located near Nevsky ave metro station on the Nevsky Avenue street, Kazan cathedral is an aesthetically looking beautiful church which is free to explore for every visitor. However, photography is prohibited inside. The cathedral is opposite to the Savior on the Spilled Blood and a must-visit.
5. BrStrelka Vasil’yevskogo Ostrova
As you leave Winter Palace, move further up towards the Neva river, make a turn to your left and cross over a bridge, you will arrive at Strelka Vasil’yevskogo Ostrova. Along the way, you can capture some stunning and the most scenic views of the Neva river. Indulge yourself cruising, dining, and shopping for souvenirs. You will spot many tourists engrossed taking selfies and making their passage to Peter and Paul fortress.
6. Peter and Paul Fortress
What a grand fortress, 2.5 km away from Nevsky ave, it is located on an island across the Neva River. I walked up to fortress from my hotel at Nevsky avenue and enjoyed the sightseeing all the way to yet another spectacular destination. The fortress is visited by tourists from different countries every day due to its prominence and elegant architecture. Get a ticket for 500 rubles to experience the marvelous cathedral with glittering chandeliers and colorful art inside. I recommended this place to visit. Usually, it is closed on Thursdays.
7. Bronze Horseman
The Bronze Horseman is one of the most recognizable symbols in Saint Petersburg representing the first Emperor of Russia, Peter the Great. The place attracts people from all corners of the city to spend leisurely time. The site has huge lawns, street vendors selling souvenirs and edible items. Closest landmark and yet another big cathedral is St. Issac. Dine in at Indian restaurants nearby.
8. Anichkov Bridge
Nice place to hangout, busy and a beautiful street. Great river views to capture some amazing shots.