"So many museums, so many people in them" Saint Petersburg by fred98115

Saint Petersburg Travel Guide: 3,596 reviews and 7,730 photos

We Came on a Ship

Our visit to St. Petersburg came in a cruise to ports on the Baltic Sea. Since we confined our sightseeing to ship excursions, we faced large crowds in the museums we saw, but - and this is a big cost item - we did not have to buy a visa. St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia. Much of the city was destroyed in the Second World War and a million Russians starved to death when it was under seige for 900 days. To their credit, the city has been rebuilt. It is on marshland and has many canals for drainage, thus giving it the nickname, "Venice of the North". Judging by the vast number of apartments, we would call it the "Apartment Complex of the North".

Hermitage calls

Located in the Winter Palace with 353 rooms, this art museum houses three million exhibits. This is more than the Louvre, MOMA, Prado and British Museum combined. It is impossible to see it all, so we appreciated that we were on a tour that focused on the gems in the collection. It also meant that we did not wait at the gate to enter, which was great because the museum was crowded. Be forewarned: if you plan to photograph in the galleries, you will be required to buy a pass and payment must be made in exact change. We did, we paid, and it was a very wise decision since the museum is gorgeous inside.

Catherine's Palace

Outside of the city in Pushkin is the completely restored Catherine's Palace. It was gutted in the war by a bomb and ensuing fire. Even though the Palace portrayed the monarchist's life, Stalin initiated a restoration that took forty years to complete. This is a stunning place inside and out. When you go, and you should go, be sure to walk about the grounds.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fascinating history and museums make this a great site
  • Cons:Can be very crowded in the summer
  • In a nutshell:A must see for all serious travelers
  • Last visit to Saint Petersburg: Aug 2010
  • Intro Written Jul 4, 2011
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