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Off the Beaten Path in St. Petersburg


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We will be in St. Petersburg for two days for our second visit.  We've done the more popular palaces; Hermitage, Catherine's and Peterhof and enjoyed them all.  We have several sites that we'd like to visit this trip, but would also like to incorporate a few things that are not on the usual tours.  We did not visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, subway, grocery store or do a canal cruise, so those are on our list.  Any other suggestions?  

Thanks for any suggestions!!

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2 hours ago, foser22 said:

We will be in St. Petersburg for two days for our second visit.  We've done the more popular palaces; Hermitage, Catherine's and Peterhof and enjoyed them all.  We have several sites that we'd like to visit this trip, but would also like to incorporate a few things that are not on the usual tours.  We did not visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, subway, grocery store or do a canal cruise, so those are on our list.  Any other suggestions?  

Thanks for any suggestions!!

There are many interesting things to see and do in Saint Petersburg – your choices are almost limitless. Do you have any particular interests? Art? History? Music? Literature? Dance?

 

There is enough in Peterhof Park alone to keep one busy for several days.

Peterhof: Cottage Palace in Alexandria Park, Grand Palace, Monplaisir Palace, Gothic Chapel, Alexandria Park, Farm Palace, Marly Palace, Hermitage Pavilion, Imperial Yacht Museum

 

Some possibilities:

Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya   

Festival of the Fountains (Peterhof/September closing ceremony)

St. Michael’s Castle

Choral Synagogue

Smolny Institute – we enjoyed our private tour and saw Lenin’s apartments.

Smolny Cathedral

Sheremetev Palace, Museum of Music

Museum of Theatre & Music

Museum of Political History

Marble Palace

Kronshtadt History Museum

Rimsky-Korsakov Apartment Museum

Russian Museum 

St. Nicholas Church 

Cruiser Aurora 

Peter's Log Cabin

Peter's Summer Palace

Menshikov Palace

Oranienbaum: Chinese Palace 

Gatchina Palace & Park

Priory Castle

Oreshek Fortress

Dostoevsky’s Apartment

Scarlet Sails (white nights)

Edited by dogs4fun
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You might want to try doing some classes, a cooking class or Matryoshka painting class would be interesting and fun. You shouldn't miss a ballet show while in St. Petersburg. Hopefully there will be available shows when you visit.

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On 5/22/2020 at 2:57 PM, dogs4fun said:

There are many interesting things to see and do in Saint Petersburg – your choices are almost limitless. Do you have any particular interests? Art? History? Music? Literature? Dance?

 

There is enough in Peterhof Park alone to keep one busy for several days.

Peterhof: Cottage Palace in Alexandria Park, Grand Palace, Monplaisir Palace, Gothic Chapel, Alexandria Park, Farm Palace, Marly Palace, Hermitage Pavilion, Imperial Yacht Museum

 

Some possibilities:

Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya   

Festival of the Fountains (Peterhof/September closing ceremony)

St. Michael’s Castle

Choral Synagogue

Smolny Institute – we enjoyed our private tour and saw Lenin’s apartments.

Smolny Cathedral

Sheremetev Palace, Museum of Music

Museum of Theatre & Music

Museum of Political History

Marble Palace

Kronshtadt History Museum

Rimsky-Korsakov Apartment Museum

Russian Museum 

St. Nicholas Church 

Cruiser Aurora 

Peter's Log Cabin

Peter's Summer Palace

Menshikov Palace

Oranienbaum: Chinese Palace 

Gatchina Palace & Park

Priory Castle

Oreshek Fortress

Dostoevsky’s Apartment

Scarlet Sails (white nights)

What a great list!  Thanks so much!  I’ve started looking some of them up, but I think it’s clear we need to go back and stay for a week!  

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11 hours ago, foser22 said:

...I think it’s clear we need to go back and stay for a week!  

I agree - that is precisely what we said after our first visit. All of our subsequent visits have been 2-3 weeks in duration (there are other fantastic places to visit in Russia - examples include Moscow & Novgorod). Enjoy! 

Edited by dogs4fun
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As others have noted, it will depend on your interests. Some people like palaces and cathedrals, some people like slice-of-life visits (subways or grocery stores), and others like quirky things -- for example, two places that we visited on our last visit were the Soviet Arcade Game Museum (where you get 15 kopek coins to play the games, and our guide also found us an employee of the museum who was able to tell us about history of video gaming in Soviet Russia) and the Grand Maket (not market but maket -- it's a giant model train set with Russia in miniature). Finding the quirky sites can be tricky so it's good to ask here!

 

Also, if you're on a private tour that you're setting up yourself, you can also think about what you'd like to do for meals! I recommend trying some Georgian food, and next time I'd like to try an Uzbek place.

 

If you chat with your tour company, they may also have some suggestions for you. (One reason that we toured with Red Sun last visit is that they were great about listening to what we wanted instead of just offering the standard itinerary.)

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I'd forgotten about the Grand Maket, a HO scale model of Russia. We visited with friends about 4 years ago and although we found it somewhat interesting, it really wasn't our "cup of tea". I imagine it would be great for children as there are many working/moving parts to the maquette. Below is a youtube video of the Grand Maket:

 

The Museum of Soviet Arcades:

 

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St.Petersburg might be called a big open-air museum as you can see great landmarks just on the streets. I like one part of the city, the oldest one called Petrograd side, it's full of old beautiful buildings, narrow quiet streets and endless yards. There are roof tours, porch tours (but I'm not sure it's oficially allowed) and of course boat tours which are my favourite. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/13/2020 at 5:03 PM, Nok977 said:

Hi Lagerta, 

 

I have heard from several people that roof tours in StP are officially not legal although many people still do it on their own risk. Have you done it yourself? Is it safe enough? My husband is a big fan of such things, and we have already investigated options in e.g. Stockholm. However with regards to Saint-Petersburg I am not quite sure. Any feedback/information is highly appreciated

Hello! Oh no, we are too old with my husband to jump on the rooftop although they say it's quite safe now! We've had enough of roof excperience taking fotos from the Isaak's Colonnade and the Terraza restaurant (near the Kazan's Cathedral)

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/23/2020 at 4:36 AM, flowslow said:

You might want to try doing some classes, a cooking class or Matryoshka painting class would be interesting and fun. You shouldn't miss a ballet show while in St. Petersburg. Hopefully there will be available shows when you visit.

Hi Flowslow,

I am interested in doing a cooking class when in St. Petersburg. Have you done it yourself? How does it usually look like? How many people? Or should we book it individually just for us? 

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Nobody's mentioned the venerable old battle cruiser Aurora, whose guns signalled the start of the Russian Revolution. 

Berthed beyond St Peter & St Paul (yes, that's well-worth visiting too),  and open to the public.

https://navalmuseum.ru/filials/cruiser_aurora

 

There's a flood barrier across the Gulf of Finland, which your ship will pass through on its way to / from St Petersburg,, about an hour out. Your ship passes through the flood barrier right alongside the town of Kronstadt on the tiny island of Kotlin. This was Russia's main naval base during the 1917 Russian Revolution, and the sailors played a leading part in that Revolution.

Later, in 1921, "The Kronstadt Rebellion" took place between the sailors and the Bolsheviks. No flood defence barrier there in those days, the Bolsheviks waited til winter, then attacked over the ice. They took heavy casualties but eventually prevailed & the defenders fled north across the ice to Finland.

Kronstadt remained the Baltic base of the Russian Navy well into the 1960's.

You'll pass fortifications old & new on both sides of your ship, and scrapped Russian submarines and other vessels.

Should be daylight both in-bound & out-bound, but out-bound will be a much more sociable time of day.

Well worth letting your dinner go clod for 15 minutes :classic_smile:

 

https://goo.gl/maps/ro3FyTC8kApzwRhZ9

https://goo.gl/maps/rp1bd4hTWnK3xT596

 

http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1921-2/kronstadt-uprising/

 

JB :classic_smile:

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32 minutes ago, dogs4fun said:

And how about a visit to the observation deck of the Lakhta Tower? The panoramic views should be amazing and, bonus, it is free. Hopefully it will be open when Baltic cruises commence. 

Lakhta Center.jpg

Wow, it is a space rocket?  😄

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1 minute ago, Fran2020 said:

Wow, it is a space rocket?  😄

It resembles one, does it not? We drove by on previous visits but it wasn't yet completed - looks pretty impressive from the exterior.  Would love to get inside - hopefully on our next visit (fingers crossed).

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