5 minutes reading time Russia
What do you think of when you hear the word “Russia”? You probably think of the biggest country full of snow, not always smiling people or maybe not typical cuisine. You will find out that Russia can be very different from all of those stereotypes, especially if you visit “the Venice of the North” – Saint-Petersburg. It is the best city to start your acquaintance with this enigmatic country. Saint-Petersburg is more than 300 years old, but it already has a great history with wars and revolutions, moments of prosperity and raise of the state.
What is so special about the city?
Of course, its historical city center, created by the time of Imperial Russia. You may find here numerous museums, with private collections, such as worldwide known the State Hermitage Museum. It is really worth seeing, as you can admire a rich collection of pieces of art and imagine how the royals lived during that time, walking through the corridors of the Winter Palace. It will take you at least few days to visit all the halls of this legendary museum.
But let’s go back outside and breathe the fresh air blowing from the Gulf of Finland.
The best season to come to St Petersburg is late spring and the whole summer. It is the period when everybody spends their free time at parks and gardens. The best ones are Krestovskiy Island and Yelagin Island. Townspeople can walk around, visit some restaurants, get a ten, do sports, such as beach volleyball, bicycling and roller skating. Amazing views of the famous “Gazprom Arena Stadium” and one of the longest bridges in Russia through Korabelny fairway can be seen from these islands. This view is actually new made and symbolizes future for St Petersburg. It is a great example of harmonious combination of old architecture and modern trends of the city look.
When the weather is nice and hot, the best way to escape city heat is to take one of the boats and have and enjoyable trip around the city. The boats may take you to the Gulf of Finland or to the closest suburbs, such as Petergof, with its spectacular fountain cascades and green parks.
Saint – Petersburg is a place of channels and rivers. At night crowds of people gather at the river embankment to see St Petersburg visiting card – raising of drawbridges. The best season to do this is in May or June, during the famous “White Nights” and spectacular festival show of “Scarlet Sails”.
The heart of any city in the world, of course, is its people. They are so relaxed and very friendly here, always ready to help or to tell you the way. The rhythm of life is not so “fast” like in Moscow. Its a big city but at the same time it’s so cozy that you feel comfortable here. St Petersburg is also called the “cultural capital of Russia”. And it is really true, because here you can meet so many artistic people – musicians, dancers, actors and artists. They are open-minded and welcome for conversations.
After you visit all main landmarks maybe it’s time to get some extreme experience and take a rooftop tour? There are thousands of roofs in Saint – Petersburg with breathtaking panoramic views; some of them are open for the visitors. You can see all the main attractions of the centre: from St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the Church of Saviour on Spilled Blood from the bird’s-eye view. For the locals, especially for the young ones, it’s a kind of a leisure time, when small groups of people meet up on the roof to watch the sunset or to organize a little party.
Nightlife in Saint-Petersburg is varied – here you can find small coffee shops behind the corner, noisy bars with life music, and nice restaurants with any type of food. Somebody get together to visit the concert of the local rock band, another ones – spend their evening at the amazing ballet show in the world-famous Mariinskiy Theatre, the third ones spend time at bars and clubs. Russians like to party a lot, even till early in the morning. So you have a feeling that the city never sleeps.
There is also a great number of events, held in St Petersburg every year, such as economic and cultural forums, sport championships and big festivals.
Most mysterious cities in Russia
St Petersburg is one of the most mysterious cities in Russia and its full of legends. Many writers and poets were inspired by the beauty and magnificence of the city. For example, the courts of St Petersburg are one of the features here. There are some tours that offer the visitors an opportunity to see the city hidden under the splendid facade, to stroll along the real labyrinths of courts and tunnels and to explore the most beautiful entrances in the area. All they look old and charming and keep the memories of past life and the secrets in its walls.
“Sablin caves” are located just forty kilometres drive from Saint-Petersburg. This natural miracle is known for its 14 caves, 2 stunning waterfalls around and canyons of Sablinka and Tosno Rivers. In the middle of nineteenth century the quartz sand was mined here and then used to produce glass. Now the place attracts those who believe in paranormal phenomena and ghosts, as there are lots of stories related to its mystic past. For others it is just a picturesque and unique landscape with nice spots for best shots. Spend just one day to make an unforgettable trip outside of the city.
Also in the countryside, only twenty minutes drive, you will find an amazing vacation zone, with a line of beaches and picturesque spots. This place is popular among the locals all year round, because of its nature and beautiful view of the Gulf.
So visiting Saint-Petersburg can be an unforgettable experience, especially when try to follow not a typical guide-book, but also listen to advices of the locals.
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