Saint Petersburg Favorite Tips by Canadienne Top 5 Page for this destination
Saint Petersburg Favorites: 262 reviews and 271 photos
Favorite thing: A new perspective on the city can be gained from water-level. . .and the boat trips visit some areas of the city that might not be reached on ground.
Fondest memory: The Sheremetev Palace (1750's) is located on the Fontanka ~ outside of the central core of the city. It's another example of the beautiful Baroque palaces that can be found throughout the city, but we wouldn't have seen it without the trip through the canals.
St. Petersburg Canals
Favorite thing: St. Petersburgs encompasses more than 100 islands and is crossed by more than 50 canals and rivers.
The city was under constant threat of flooding from its very first days ~ in fact, the entire city was submerged due to rising water levels in 1824. . .the flood destroyed over 400 buildings.
A dam project was intiated in the late 1980's, in order to prevent a future catastrophe.
St. Petersburg Canal
Favorite thing: Boat trips through the canals can easily be found on Nevsky Prospekt at the bridge over the Moika and at the bridge over the Griboedova (further west)
As the city is sometimes referred to as The Venice of the North, it would be a shame to miss out on this special aspect of it.
Fondest memory: Our boat ride cost the equivalent of 10 USD per person and lasted just over an hour, with a commentary in Russian. The language was irrelevant though, as the singular draw is the view. . .
Pushkin Monument, Arts Square
Favorite thing: There are a multitude of parks and squares in St. Petersburg ~ some (such as the Summer Gardens) require a token payment to enter, others are spaces fully open for the public to enjoy.
Fondest memory: We were lucky enough to visit St. Petersburg during ideal weather and these green spaces gave us the perfect opportunity to relax and regenerate.
It was also wonderful to see how many Russians and their families were enjoying the parks, as well. . .
Favorite thing: For our first day in St. Petersburg, I had arranged a two-hour guided oriention (by car) to the city. In our jet-lagged state, it turned out to be a good introduction. . .but we quickly came to the conclusion that the best way to explore the city would be by foot.
Fondest memory: A tour by car, bus, or even one that relies heavily on the metro, would mean missing out on all the little details that can be found throughout St. Petersburg.
We found beauty and charm everywhere in the city ~ from grand palaces to scrolling woodwork in doorways. . .
Water Taxi, St. Petersburg
Favorite thing: The canals of St. Petersburg are worthy of a Must-See tip, but their importance is much broader than that. . .the city was founded on its network of waterways and the maritime connection has never lessened in importance.
Fondest memory: A boat ride on the canals is the best way of appreciating them ~ and it's a fantastic way to get a new look at bridges and embankments.
We picked this boat in the photo based on its size ~ there are many larger ones, some of which can't enter smaller canals.
Bolshaya Morskaya ul. 43
Favorite thing: There is so much architectural interest in the city, that the best way of appreciating it is to simply get out of your hotel or apartment and walk.
Outside, at street level, you'll find unending doorways, carvings, atlantes and caryatids. . .bridges, statues, and more. . .all with appeal and character.
Fondest memory: As St. Petersburg was carefully modelled after European capitals, it shares this in common with them: leisurely (even aimless) walks are immensely rewarding.
Much of our appreciation for the city came from this approach.
Bolshaya Morskaya ul. 47
Favorite thing: Examples of Style Moderne architecture can be found all over St. Petersburg ~ this type of art and decoration became popular in Europe in the late 1800's as "Art Nouveau."
The lines of this style are unmistakable ~ curved and rippling. The wall surfaces are smooth and rounded. . .you'll find lots of asymmetrical facades, large windows, iron and metal-work, tiles and mosaics. . .sometimes all of these items combined in a way that should work, but does.
The best way to appreciate it ~ keep your eyes open and explore the city by foot.
Favorite thing: Many colourful and decorative Baroque buildings pepper the city ~ the Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace is but one, easily located off of Nevsky Prospekt. The Winter Palace, Stroganov Palace and the Smolny Convent are also excellent examples of the art form.
Fondest memory: If the canals haven't yet convinced you that you are in a regal European capital, a good look around the architecture of the city might do the trick. . .
Favorite thing: In haste and hurry to ensure that St. Petersburg was different from Moscow in every possible way, Peter the Great imported European architects and designers to build his city.
He whole-heartedly encouraged Baroque art and design ~ paying for Russian students to be sent to Europe to for training. He also brought numerous Dutch, Germans, Italians and French architects to St. Petersburg to try their hands at buildings and estates.
Fondest memory: The "birth" of the city is dated to May 27, 1703 (or May 16 by the old calendar), when the first stone of Peter & Paul Fortress was laid. . .but it's in admiring the Baroque buildings and palaces that you find Peter's true city.
When he moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg, the face of "Europe" seen in the facades of so many of the city's buildings was what he envisioned.
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