8 hours in St Petersburg. What would you do?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Feb 17, 2013 9:20 AM Last Post By: jaoto
Feb 11, 2013 1:42 AM
8 hours in St Petersburg. What would you do?Hi
My girlfriend and I will be traveling to St Petersburg from Helsinki in a few weeks for a short amount of time, 8 hours!
If anyone has knowledge of the city we'd really appreciate advice for such a short trip. e.g. What must we see, good place to eat traditional Russian food, how to get about, what areas to visit etc.
Thanks in advance.
Feb 11, 2013 2:30 AM
Feb 11, 2013 2:43 AM
Feb 11, 2013 3:51 AM
3Thanks for the quick response, we arrive by boat at 1030 on a Friday and depart (by boat) 1900 the same day.
One thing we'd like to do is visit the Winter Palace. My girlfriend is keen to try local cuisine. Maybe we could do this at the end of the day near the port if there are any nice restaraunts in the area.
We are likely to go back for a longer time in the future so basically we'd like a taster of the city. Realistically we have five hour time frame to do as much sightseeing as possible so any "must see attractions" would be really helpful, particularly any that are in the same area. I'm aware its a large city.
Feb 11, 2013 12:43 PM
the place to go for a taster of St Petersburg is the tower of Isakievsky Cathedral. It is not far, you can see a lot in a short time and it is arguably the best place in town for a panorama photo of St Petersburg. It is also close to the castle square, the winter palace, Kazansky cathedral and other major sights of St Petersburg.
some people would spend all the time in museums if they had only 8 hours. Others would pick one museum. If your main interest is art then the Winter palace is your place of choice. If history is your main interest you probably will find Peter i pavlovsky fortress more interesting. If it is a sunny day the river side outside the fortress is also one of the nicest places to relax outdoors in St Petersburg (the Stelka on Valiselvsky Island is the other) - even in late winter I have seen Russians sunbathing along the fortress wall on a sunny day. A very Russian experience.
I would try out "Elki Palki" - a fast food chain serving inexpensive and decent traditional Russian food - pancakes, soups, sandwiches, kebabs - you name it. Especially if you have limited time, they have a branch on main street Nevsky Prospekt 88 and you can eat fast. It is nowhere for a romantic meal though;).
Have nice trip
Feb 11, 2013 9:25 PM
5Please check with the cruise ship operator whether you can travel in St. Petersburg on our own without obtaining a visa. If not, then you may want to reconsider your plans as obtaining a visa is a hassle for a day. At one point, visa free travel was only possible on organized prearranged tours.
Also you need to consider how long it will take you to get from the cruise ship dock to the Hermitage. And whether there is transportation readily available.
Certainly if the museum is on your radar, I would buy entrance tickets online on their website in advance as the lines can be long. And I would use information on the museum website to plan your time there. The museum has a cafe so if you really want to experience typical Russian restaurant dining, that is an option. If you are interested in the buildings as well as the art, you would be best to have a guide. http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/index.html
Feb 13, 2013 4:00 AM
6Thanks for your thoughtful replies, its really appreciated.
Although I will check again over the weekend the visas are covered by the ferry operator, bizarrely if you use the shuttle bus to transfer to/from the city / to/from the ferry (which is mandatory) then you do not require a visa.
I think we'll head for the hermitage museum and work from there. Not sure we'll be sunbathing though!
Thanks again for your help
Feb 17, 2013 9:20 AM
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