For those heading to Russia and are planning to spend time in the capital, should most-definitely plan a few days in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. Located 448 miles northwest of Moscow, St. Petersburg is a city rich with history and culture.
Established in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great, the city was undergoing rigorous construction in order to become the most modern city of Russia during that time. Peter the Great hired engineers, architects and the likes as well as thousands of surfs yearly in order to build a magnificent city, which remained the capital until Moscow was named the capital in the early 20th century. For several hundred years, St. Petersburg was stricken by multiple revolutions and in 1941, it was seized by the Germans during World War II. It took several decades after the war for the city to rebuild into what you see today.
From the Winter Palace to the Church of the Savior on Blood, St. Petersburg has so many beautiful spots to see and explore. So if you plan to take a train or flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg, here are some places to add to your list on your trip there.
History of Religion Museum
St. Petersburg is swarming with museums, but one in particular called the History of Religion is quite interesting, even for those who are not religious. The museum features an array of religious items from different parts of the world that span thousands of years, some of the oldest being from the Neolithic Period (6000 BC). From Buddhism and Judaism to Christianity and Polytheism, this museum is fascinating to history buffs and those who love to learn more about the world.
Chapel of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg
The patron Saint of St. Petersburg is St. Xenia, who was known for donating everything she had after her husband, who was a Colonel in the Russian Army in the 18th century. She died at the beginning of the 19th century and was buried in the Smolensky Graveyard where there now stands a Chapel to mark the spot. The chapel is small yet beautiful and many come here to pray. St. Xenia is known to aid those who seek help in the workplace, marriage, homelessness and children who have gone missing.
Most who head to St. Petersburg will visit the Winter Palace, but did you know there are over thirty palaces in and around the city? But there are a few outside of the city that are magnificent as well and well worth a trip. Our favorite is Catherine Palace, located 18 miles south of St. Petersburg, and was home to the Royals for several hundred years until the fall of the Monarchy in 1917. The interior design of the palace is extraordinary and a fine example of royal wealth, one of the most interesting rooms being the Amber Room made from Baltic amber, reconstructed in the 21st century (the original amber was taken by the Nazis during World War II). If you end up visiting the Palace and do not speak Russian, make sure to book a tour in English in advance, otherwise, all tours will be in Russian.
Looking for a fun bar to grab a few drinks at? Head to Khroniki Bar, designed in a Soviet-era 1920s style—from the chairs and tables to the back of the bar and even the ashtrays, this bar is quirky and fun for people of all ages. Khroniki Bar has great cocktails and beers, and also serves one of the strongest drinks you may ever try called Free Ingria. They also serve Russian-style sandwiches that pair well with a delicious, cold beer.
St. Petersburg, although younger than her sister city Moscow, is an awe-inspiring place to spend a few days while visiting Russia. From the museums and palaces to the riverboat tours and views, we hope this guide will help you discover some gems on your getaway to St. Petersburg.
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