Re: the streets of St. Pete's...
December 18, 2005 8:23 AM   Subscribe

Help me not miss the coolest parts of St. Petersburg. (Russia, not Florida.)

I'll be visiting a friend in St. Petersburg for two weeks in January. However, the only things I know I want to see in Russia are in Moscow.

Has anyone spent any time in St. Pete's? Can you tell me what I should be sure not to miss?
posted by joshjs to Travel & Transportation around St. Petersburg, Russia (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Don't miss - The Hermitage, Underground (metro), Peter & Paul Fortress, shopping on Nevsky Prospect.

It'll be fcuking freezing in January, so wrap up well.
posted by the cuban at 8:29 AM on December 18, 2005

The longest escalator in the world is in the St. Petersburg Metro (don't know which station but it sounds like a quest to me).
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 8:46 AM on December 18, 2005

Definitely don't miss the Kunstkamera.
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 8:47 AM on December 18, 2005

Best answer: Gostiniy Dvor is a great shopping spot, very well known. A nice bar with an odd little artist community behind it is Fish Fabrique - worth looking up online before you go. They serve Myedavuxho - mead - which is rather tasty.

Also, don't discount shopping. You're in st. pete for the winter - leave space in your suitcase to buy a heavy coat, hat, gloves, etc. (but take one with you anyway - you're going to need it from the time you get there to the time you get a chance to shop!)

Check out the bridges rising at night - I think around one or two in the morning.

Cathedrals: Savior on Spilt Blood / Ressurection has fantastic murals, St. Isaacs is a fixture of the city, and Kazan (which was built to look Roman) are great.

Remember your daylight hours will be limited.

Peterhoff is outside of the city, but if you get a chance, you should go. It's amazing. Same goes for Catherine's palace, but it's even cooler - make sure to check out the newly rebuilt Amber Room if you go there.

CDs and DVDs are pretty cheap. Not like in China, but still pretty cheap. You might consider seeing a movie in a theater, actually - the experience is quite different. People talk and drink beer.

In Your Pocket has finally put out a publication on St. Petersburg - definitely check it out. Club Metro was fun.
posted by lorrer at 8:51 AM on December 18, 2005

The band Okkervil River is named after Okkervil River... I'd definitely therefore go on a pilgrimage.
posted by Marquis at 8:53 AM on December 18, 2005

I haven't been there, but I'd want to go to Pushkin's house.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:34 AM on December 18, 2005

If you're into art, *plan* your trip to the Hermitage - it is enormous - SERIOUSLY big - you could spend two weeks just in there and not see everything - planning it out is a must if you want to make good use of a visit.
posted by DrtyBlvd at 12:34 PM on December 18, 2005

If you're a fan of Kandinsky, check out the The Russian Museum, if I remember correctly the museum has more of his work than the Hermitage. I also attended an Opera but I can't remember the name of the theatre. The theatre was something to see and the people watching fun.
posted by Sagres at 2:21 PM on December 18, 2005

Petersburg is magic! All of the above are good suggestions. Indeed, see the Kirov Opera or Ballet (both of which are world-class) at the magnificent Maryinsky Theater; you can reserve advance tickets on their site. People-watching while walking around the city center and taking the metro is a great treat. The NYT travel guide to Peter (as the natives call it) has some good articles, including restaurant reviews and walking tours of Nevsky Prospekt and Palace Square. Perhaps more than anything, Petersburg is associated with many of Russia's greatest writers, such as Pushkin and Dostoevsky. If you're game, consider visiting sites associated with the authors' lives and works.
posted by rob511 at 4:28 PM on December 18, 2005

Rent the Russian Ark DVD now. NOW.
posted by intermod at 9:58 PM on December 18, 2005

A good friend of mine went there last year, and from what she told me the Hermitage and Peterhoff are musts. However, Peterhoff is outdoors, so it might not be your best bet in january. Her pictures were amazing, though, so if you can stand the cold it would be worth going.
posted by MadamM at 10:23 PM on December 18, 2005

Response by poster: I'm from Wisconsin, so I'm used to stretches of bitter cold.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by joshjs at 10:48 PM on December 18, 2005

Second the Russian Ark suggestion. And don't do what I did when I was in Leningrad and skip the Hermitage entirely!
posted by languagehat at 5:39 AM on December 19, 2005

If you're at all interested in art, give the Hermitage a full day. I only had one day with it and wish I had had the chance for at least one or two more, but Lufthansa didn't see things my way. It's more than the Musee d'Orsay and the Louve in one building.
posted by bonehead at 9:16 AM on December 19, 2005

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