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"St. Petersburg in Spring" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Petersburg by Canadienne

Saint Petersburg Travel Guide: 3,669 reviews and 8,016 photos

In May 2003, just prior to the 300th Anniversary Celebrations, we spent eight days and nights in St. Petersburg.

Peter the Great modelled the city after European capitals and it has long been referred to as Russia's "Window on the West." In some ways, the similarities can be disconcerting ~ the canals, palaces, churches and museums are reminiscent of other cities I've visited. . .but the city isn't entirely welcoming to tourists (outside of groups at least). It takes an extra effort on the part of a visitor ~ in language, in planning, in legwork to obtain the requisite papers ~ to make a visit a success. That said, we put in our effort and were richly rewarded for it.

May is an ideal time to visit ~ you get the benefit of the longer hours of sun without the heavier crowds. . .and you can share in the residents' happiness in welcoming great weather.

The memories I will treasure most:

*Church services ~ the choirs, the chanting and the mesmerizing aroma of incense are unforgettable

*Sunlit walks along Nevsky and its neighbouring streets at 11 pm ~ coming out of a Canadian winter, it was heavenly

*Riding through the network of canals ~ a renewed look at the city's rich architecture

*The Church on Spilled Blood ~ the interior and exterior decoration defy description. . .you'll simply have to see it for yourself

*The Russian Museum ~ a wonderfully arranged introduction to masterful artists whose work tells the history of the country

An additional point is needed ~ to go this far from home and not include Moscow in your itinerary would be a big mistake. Check out my Moscow page for a look at the fascinating "other" capital of Russia.

  • Last visit to Saint Petersburg: May 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (126)

Comments (73)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Nice page

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 23, 2009 at 6:28 AM

    Hi, Stevie! ~ Great pages here at VT! Thanks!

  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    Hoping to get to St. Petersburg in the not-too-distant future. This church is stunning! Your pages are great.

  • trav4bus's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2009 at 3:02 AM

    A beautiful pic of ST.PTSBERG

  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2006 at 6:25 AM

    Thanks for a good overview of St. Petersburg. I'm thinking of a visit while on a Scandanavian cruise and need to get oriented.! Greetings from Augusta, Georgia ~ Marcia

  • Apr 25, 2006 at 1:09 PM

    Thank you for your kind treatment of my city, I not realize Americans so intersted in Russia and the culture here. We are noyt the evil people some thought we were.

  • budapest8's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2006 at 1:35 PM

    Gr8 St.Pete and Pushkin pages with OCHIN HARASHOW pics and tips. I moved to Leningrad CCCP in `89 and left St.Petersburg, Russian Federation in 1994. Thx for the memories!Tim

  • bobs12's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2005 at 12:07 AM

    Beautiful photography Canadienne! One of my students has a picture site; come back soon!

  • malashen's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2005 at 4:48 PM

    Great site, just want to correct you on the momunet of Peter the Great - it was not modelled on Pushkin's poem "The Bronze Horseman" - rather Pushkin had it in mind while writing the poem!

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2005 at 4:24 AM

    We want to visit there with friends who were BORN THERE, but it looks like they can learn of St. Petersburg from your pages, will be back to study more, thanks.

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