Experience in Russia

Russia: Moscow and St Petersburg.

Publication date: 7 Apr 2019
  • Experiences USD 96
  • Accommodation USD 198
  • Transport USD 66
  • Total experience USD 1380

GALLERY Photos and videos of the trip

SUMMARY

Know the destination

Where I Went During My Six Days in Moscow and SP.

Let Me Begin With Some General Information about Russia

As you may already know, Russia is the largest country in the world. It goes from Asia to Europe, although you may not consider it neither an entirely Asian or an entirely European nation. Russia is unique, and it is its unicity that makes it so special to visit. Visiting Russia means entering over 1100 years of history (since it was known as the Kievan Rus), and many parts of my trip showed me how splendid can man history be when you open yourself to the experience of learning new things.

Travellers usually reach Russia by plane, although it is feasible to travel by train too, if you are already in Europe. There are many trains for Russia from France, Germany, Poland or Ukraine (just to name a few options). Its currency is the ruble and its weather during winter can be gelid, so, if you plan to travel to Russia, make sure to check out what the weather is like in the areas you plan to visit so you can include the necessary clothes in your luggage.

My Six-day Trip to Russia

I visited to two of the most popular tourist destinations in Russia during my trip. I spent three days in Moscow and three more days in Saint Petersburg. Both cities hold formidable beauty, especially if you pay attention to their architecture, monuments and museums. Both cities also hold lots of historic places too; but, should there be anything distinctively Russian, however, I would say it is definitely its cathedrals and palaces.

My Three-day Adventure in Moscow

I began my trip heading from the airport to my accommodations. After a short time resting from the long trip, I went to ‘The People’s Palace’ —or just the Moscow’s underground, if you wish. I heard it was famous because of its decorations and finishes, but any description falls short. The underground is full of tall ceilings, chandeliers, mosaics, stained-glass windows… It is just quite likely the most beautiful metro system in the world. If you visit it, I recommend you to get the guided tour. It is about two hours long, and it will help you learn how each station has its share of history.

After I visited the metro, I went to see the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. It is the tallest Orthodox temple in Russia, and one of the most famous landmarks in Moscow. I just saw it from outside, so I cannot speak about its indoors, but let me tell you that, if you like churches, there are many other temples and cathedrals you can visit in Moscow, like the Annunciation, Basil’s or Dormition Cathedrals. I finished my day with a cruise along Moskva river. These cruises are about three hours long and they help you sightsee many beautiful buildings along its river banks. Some cruises even include their own bar and I hear one even includes its own disco. I did not take that one, but I am happy to share with you the option is there if you wish to take it.

On my second day, I took a free tour. During my two-hour walk, I was able to see the famous Bolshoi theatre, the former headquarters of the KGB, a shopping mall called GUM and the Red Square. I was also able to see Saint Basil’s cathedral and the Kremlin, so after the free tour I went back to the cathedral so I could see it inside. The tour ended at Zaryadye park, so I also had time to visit Lenin’s mausoleum, which was also free to attend. After that, I went back to my hotel.

The third day was also cultural for me. I visited the Kremlin in the morning and then I headed to Gorki park. Gorki is really big. It has over 100 hectares of gardens and lagoons. It is a great place to take photographs. After that, I took the beautiful metro again towards Sparrow Hill, one of the highest areas in Moscow. From there, I could enjoy a panoramic view of the city, specially of the new financial area.

What I liked most about my visit to Moscow is the variety of things you can see and do for free, or spending very little money. This was the end of my visit, but if you can spend more time than me, I suggest you visiting Moscow’s museums. There are many throughout the city, and I am sure it will be a great experience for you.

My Three-Day Trip to Saint Petersburg

The flight from Moscow to Saint Petersburg was short and swift. I arrived to ‘The Venice of the North’, I went to my hotel, and then I headed to Peterhof Palace. Peterhof is one of the most famous landmarks in Saint Petersburg, so seeing it is a must. It is not hard to understand why it is so famous when you get there. Besides the building, the palace has 112 hectares of beautiful gardens and water fountains. I got to the palace taking a ferry along the Neva river and the Gulf of Finland. It was a full day visit for me because I wanted to see the most of it. I got back to my hotel by bus when I was done.

On my fifth day in Russia, I took a free tour around Saint Petersburg city. I saw some of its main attractions, including the Palace Square, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazaan. The walking tour lasted about three hours. After lunch, I went to one of the most impressive places in Russia: the Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage is one of the largest and oldest art museums in the world. Its construction was ordered by the very Catherine the Great. I spent there all my afternoon, as you may guess. I could not believe my eyes in many of its rooms.

Lastly, I spent my sixth day’s morning visiting the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood and a few other places. The church is an Orthodox temple, so it is familiar yet different from the Catholic churches you can find in America or Western Europe. I also visited Strelka, in Vasilyevsky Island, which is just the perfect spot from where to see the beauty of the Winter Palace and the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Fortress, among a few other places in Saint Petersburg. It is a must for your trip too.

Some time later, I crossed the bridges over Neva River. There are many bridges and many designs. When you see them, you will understand why Saint Petersburg is called ‘The Venice of the North’: Neva river discharges in a delta into the Gulf of Finland, and its many bridges give such a romantic atmosphere to the area that it is not hard to understand why Saint Petersburg is considered one of the most romantic cities in Russia. Last but not least, I visited Saint Peter and Saint Paul fortress. The place is famous for holding the mausoleum of all Russian Tsars, including Nicolas II and her daughter, princess Anastasia Romanov.

I ended my trip by buying a few souvenirs, including my own Matryoshka doll.

DAY TO DAY Itinerary day by day

The prices that appear per day are referential and correspond to the sum of activities that were made that day

    DAY 1 USD 33

    I arrived to Moscow and got to my hotel. Early in the afternoon, I took a two-hour tour of the Moscow Metro, so I could see the ‘Underground Palace’ with my own eyes. The place has both impressive decoration and architecture, and the guide told us the history behind each station. After that tour, I walked to see the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the highest orthodox temple in the world. I ended the day by taking a cruise on the Moscova River.

    DAY 2 USD 18

    I took the ‘Free Tour’ and I walked for three hours with a group. They showed us Bolshoi Theater, the former KGB headquarters, and the GUM shopping center. Later, I visited the Red Square, where I saw Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. We finished at Zaryadye Park, next to one of the longest floating bridges in the world. After the tour, I entered the Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Some time later, I visited Lenin’s mausoleum. Both are free.

    DAY 3 USD 10

    I visited the Kremlin in the morning. Then, I walked down Bronnaya Street, one of the most exclusive areas of Moscow. There are many fine restaurants and bars there. In the afternoon, I went to Gorki Park. It is over 100 hectares large, and it is full of gardens and lagoons. Then, I went by metro to Sparrow Hill for a little sightseeing. Sparrow Hill is one of the highest points of Moscow, so the view is great.

    DAY 4 USD 13

    On my fourth day, I arrived to Saint Petersburg (by plane, because it is faster). After checking in at the hotel, I went to the Peterhof Palace, one of the most famous imperial sites in the world. Peterhof Palace is almost 4000 hectares large, and it is full of gardens and fountains. I arrived to the palace by ferry. The trip took half an hour and it offered me a nice view of the Neva river and the Gulf of Finland. I went back to my hotel by bus.

    DAY 5 USD 11

    I did a “Free Tour” around Saint Petersburg. During its three hours, I saw many Saint Petersburg attractions such as the Palace Square, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazaan. After lunch, I visited the amazing Hermitage Museum. I already mentioned above how wonderful it was, so I will leave you a tip about it later in this review.

    DAY 6 USD 11

    I visited the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood, I crossed a few of the bridges of the Neva River (it is clear to understand why it is called ‘The Venice of the North’). Then I went to Strelka, in Vasilievsky Island, and I visited the fort of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, where all former Russian tsars, including princess Anastasia, rest. I finished my day buying souvenirs, like the famous Russian dolls, the Matryoshkas.

ACCOMMODATION Lodging per night

The lodging that is shown in the list of each night is recommended by the traveler, you can find more similar options. The cost is per person in a double bed room.

Night City Recommended accommodation Type of lodging Cost of the person
Night 1 Moscow Citadel Comfort Hotel Hotel USD 32
Night 2 Moscow Citadel Comfort Hotel Hotel USD 32
Night 3 Moscow Citadel Comfort Hotel Hotel USD 32
Night 4 St. Petersburg ArtApart Family Hotel Hotel USD 34
Night 5 St. Petersburg ArtApart Family Hotel Hotel USD 34
Night 6 St. Petersburg ArtApart Family Hotel Hotel USD 34

TRANSPORT Transportation per day

The prices that appear by transport are referential and correspond to what the traveler paid at that moment

Nº Day Origin Destination Link web Type of transport Cost
Day 1 Arpt Moscow (VKO) Moscow Center https://www.uber.com Taxi USD 7
Day 3 Moscow Center Gorki Park - Sparrow Hill http://news.metro.ru/index.html Metro USD 4
Day 3 Sparrow Hill Moscow Center http://news.metro.ru/index.html Metro USD 2
Day 4 Moscow Center Arpt. Moscow (VKO) https://www.uber.com Taxi USD 7
Day 4 Arpt. Moscow (VKO) Arpt. St. Petersburg (LED) http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-8909329-12992435 Plane USD 30
Day 5 Arpt. St. Petersburg (LED) St. Petersburg Center http://www.saint-petersburg.com/essentials/st-petersburg-airports/ Public Transportation USD 2
Day 5 St. Petersburg Center Peterhof Palace https://en.citycruises.ru/cruise/meteory-v-petergof/meteor-iz-spb-v-petergof.html Ferry USD 10
Day 5 Peterhof Palace St. Petersburg Center https://wikitravel.org/en/Peterhof Bus USD 2
Day 7 St. Petersburg Center Arpt. St. Petersburg (LED) http://www.saint-petersburg.com/essentials/st-petersburg-airports/ Public Transportation USD 2

RECOMMENDATIONS Tips for your trip

I recommend buying a SIM card for your phone so you can communicate freely in Russia. I spent about 10 USD to get 4 GB of mobile Internet connection.

 

I strongly suggest you planning your trip between May and September to avoid Russian winter, but do not be careless. Take a jacket, even in summer (just in case).

While in Moscow, use the Metro for everything you can. It is very easy to use and it is cheap, less than one dollar per ticket. Avoid buying a card. That is not really convenient for tourists.

A ticket to the Hermitage Museum costs 700 rubles at the entrance, but you can also buy it online and avoid the queue. If you can, I recommend you paying for the private tour. The guide will tell you a lot about Russian history if you do.

In Moscow, I liked Margarita Bistro and Valenok restaurants. There is also a famous burger place called the Black Star Burger.

In Saint Petersburg, I liked the Serbish and the Duo restaurants. For a drink, I liked O’Hooligans.

For nightlife, you can go to either Bronnaya Street, which is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Moscow, or Arbat Street, one of the oldest and most famous streets in the city. If you have the time, I suggest you going to both.

Important information:

Many countries need a Visa to enter Russia:, my country, Peru, like most of Latin America, do not need. Visa Policy of Russia.

Remember that the budget is always per person, so the cost of the taxi is divided between two people. The value that comes out must be multiplied by 2 to get the full value of the cost of the taxi.

The ferry that goes from Saint Petersburg to Peterhof cost 850 rubles on the website but just 650 rubles at the ticket booth when you are about to board it.

There are two tickets to Peterhof Palace. The one at the site only gives you access to the gardens and fountains. If you want to enter a palace or the museum, you must buy another ticket from their website.

It is easy to move by metro and bus all over Saint Petersburg, especially if you go to Peterhof. Just pay attention to the names of the streets and stations, and you will not get lost. http://www.metro.spb.ru/en/

Buy individual tickets in Saint Petersburg too. You will not need many rides if you stay near the city centre.

2 Opinions

  • Monica

    Such a small and informative article on best time to visit Russia and what all tricks and tips you need to follow while visiting it while surely keep in mind when travelling to Russia and will also share it with my friends and family for the same.

    Answer
  • Alonso

    Tks Monica! I appreciate a lot your comments! That will motivate me to keep posting trips and tips! Tks for sharing it to everybody! 🙂

    Answer

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