Liteynyy bridge, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Reasons why you should travel to Saint Petersburg instead of Moscow

Nargiz Shiraliyeva Nargiz Shiraliyeva 20 February 2021
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Which is better Moscow or St Petersburg? Each of these places has a soul, an atmosphere, a vibe. Saint-Petersburgers treat the city with reverence. It is the only place in all of Russia where they believe that moving to Moscow is not a success, but a fall from grace. "If the Saint Petersburg weather were better, people from all regions would flock to us" – citizens say.

 St Petersburg is creative city. Here, as in most cities, they rush to work, push to the subway, and build a career. But besides that, they dream, walk along the embankment, write poems and paintings. The atmosphere of the city is festive, romantic and leisurely. A stranger passing by may smile all of a sudden.

st petersburg

The neighbours will help to roll out a stroller from the front room. There is little sun, but kind people and good mood are everywhere. And the buildings are deliberately painted in warm colours to make the city seem brighter in rainy weather. It is an essential part of the history of Russia. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great, after victory in the Great Northern War, he got access to the Baltic sea.

Muscovites are other people. The whole country works for them, and the citizens will never give up the comfort and convenience that the capital offers. It is the city of careerists. Fast, rapid, severe. The sky is not noticed here. Poems are written in their apartment, in breaks between two works. They rarely smile here for no reason. And if they smile, it means they want to earn money. Moscow, the capital of Russia teaches you how to survive, how to protect your borders, how to make money. They do not come here to rest or to build relationships. Moscow does not know fatigue. And there is no time left for love and friendship.

Is Russia in Europe?

st petersburg

Do you know where is Saint Petersburg? Many of you may wonder, is Russia in Europe? So the Saint Petersburg is located in the European part of the Russia Federation. 

It is faster and cheaper to go to other Europe countries from Peter than from Moscow, the capital of Russia. There are different ways: by car, bus, ferry and train. In just four days of sailing, you can visit three European capitals: Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn. To neighbouring Estonia, you can go by car and bus. Prices are democratic: 38 USD per round-trip ticket.

The closest European city is Narva. To get there, you need to get the train to Ivangorod and cross the border on foot. Here is tourism for 3 hours and 10 USD. Although 80% of the local population - Russian-speaking, there are many tourist attractions related to European history.

lake

A favourite city of the people of Saint Petersburg is Finnish Lapperaenta. You can go there for a weekend, feel the spirit of Finland, buy delicacies and go back to the beginning of the working week. Drive only for 4 hours. At BlaBlaCar drivers regularly post ads about finding fellow travellers. 

A trip from Moscow to Europe is longer. A one-way trip takes 7 hours. Before going, the Muscovites think: won't such a journey be tiresome?

Hospitality

st petersburg summer evening

There are so many cafes, tea shops and bakeries here, like in no other city in Russia. Croissants, hot breakfasts and fresh cakes attract from the shelves: eat me, have a good rest. Hospitality is spread from every street.

Moscow can boast of its facilities. The Pushkin restaurant, confectionery 'Laduree' and food market 'Depot' is famous all over Russia. But you should go there purposefully, allocate time and gather like for a holiday. In St. Petersburg, everything happens by itself: citizens and tourists take a stroll and come in for a cup of coffee.

'Magazin Kuptsov Yeliseyevykh' is located on Nevsky Prospect, in the very centre of St. Petersburg. The grocery store sells confectionery products with different tastes and manners: cakes, eclairs, cookies, nougat, marmalade, and chocolate. There is a showcase with bread, puffs and buns. Delicatessen racks: cheese, sausages, spark, olives – you can not find it in a regular store. The place is interesting for its history. In the early XX century, it was founded by the Yeliseev brothers. Now their wax figures welcome visitors from the second floor.

bakeries

Bakeries of Philip Volchek is famous in the whole of St. Petersburg. It is a favourite format of the city's cafes. Walks around St. Petersburg can be long and tiresome, so it is nice to have a break for tea or coffee. Prices here are democratic, and in the showcase - everything you need for a simple snack: puffs, pies. The cakes here are made in a traditional way: "Medovick", "Prague", "Carrot". You can sell your soul for a berry tartlet with custard.

If you walk around the historical centre, it's hard not to notice the confectioner's shop 'Schastie'. There are several of them in the city. Handmade sweets, toffees and chocolate with special additives: basil oil, cream caramel, dried lavender, and nut praline are made here.

Moscow or St Petersburg? Those who want to colourful trip to Russia with a tasty meal - definitely should visit Saint Petersburg Russia.

Leningrad region

st petersburg historic center

An apple falls not far from an apple tree. The Leningrad Region is a little different from St. Petersburg. When the people of Saint Petersburg want to change the atmosphere, they go to Pushkin, Vyborg or Repino. The rhythm and aesthetics are the same there. They get there by car and by train and road takes from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

The city of Pushkin was founded in 1710, which is part of the history of Russia. It was called Sarskaya manor, Tsarskoye Selo, Soldier Village, Children's Village. The town was conceived as a place for poetry and beauty, so in this way, it was seen for Catherine the Great. She was the one who built a summer residence here.

Pushkin is a museum city; each street has its history. Here passed the youth of writers Alexander Pushkin, Anna Akhmatova, Nikolai Gumilev. At the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, where future Decembrists studied, you can have a walk today.

park

Alexander's and Catherine's parks are examples of garden and park art. There are five palaces for 100 thousand inhabitants, and each of them conducts excursions. In 1941, the city was occupied by the Nazis, and most cultural monuments were looted. The famous Amber Room, full of jewellery, was also destroyed. There was an investigation, but most masterpieces could not be found. Restoration works are still in progress; most of the heritage has been restored.

Vyborg was founded by Swedes back in IX century. They built a fortress here, which they called Vyborg. The city is located at the junction of three cultures: Swedish, Finnish and Russian. They say it is the most European city in Russia. It is decorated with ancient streets, castles, authentic restaurants in medieval style. Costume knight tournaments are held here every summer. And the border with Finland is at hand. If the visa is open, you can cross it on foot.  

The main feature of Repino in the Gulf of Finland, which stretches from edge to edge. In the warm season, there are many tourists, they camp, sunbathe on the beach, live in the countryside. The streets of Repino are narrow and tangled, but it is difficult to get lost - each one leads to the water. Here is an artist's mansion, whose name the city is named.

Granite embankments

st petersburg port

The total length of Granite embankments is 150 km. And every kilometre is living history. Architectural styles of baroque, classicism, art nouveau are intertwined and mixed from building to building. They tacitly tell us what happened here in the past centuries.

Now the barriers are covered with granite, but at the dawn of St. Petersburg, wood and limestone were used for cladding, which quickly fell into disrepair. A whole century, meter by meter, the embankments painstakingly covered with granite. It was mined here, near St. Petersburg.

Petrovskaya embankment was a mute witness to the birth of the city. In 1703 Peter the Great in just three days, built in this place the first wooden palace. Later, there were buildings of other wealthy people. The city began to live and grow.

Saint Petersburg embankment

English Embankment appeared in the early XVIII century. Houses here are a concrete facade, go to the courtyards can only through the arches. The place was renamed several times - we gave it the names of the buildings that are located here. The quay adjoins Senate Square, on which stands the Bronze Horseman, the most famous monument to Peter the Great.

Moika River embankment passes through St. Petersburg's entire historical centre. Once upon a time, this barrier housed public baths, hence the name. It is in contact with the Summer Garden, Mikhailovsky Castle, and Mars Field. Here stands Alexander Pushkin's house, where he spent the last years of his life and wrote "The Captain's daughter" and "The Story of Peter the Great".

ship

There are 14 massive bridges over the Moika: the Small Stables, the First and Second Garden Bridges, the Lantern Bridge, and others. In the XVII century, the river was artificially connected to the Fontanka, its bottom was cleaned, deepened, and ships were launched across it. Even now, they walk along the narrow channel. There are several marinas on the Moika, from which you can get to the ship's excursion.

The capital of Russia, Moscow embankments are different - they breathe modernity. The vast, kilometre-long bridges offer panoramas of skyscrapers, highways, art nouveau and post-modern buildings. Everything is in step with the times. High-rise buildings of Moscow, the capital of Russia - city which adjoin to the quay of Tarasa Shevchenko are the business centre of the capital, a place of meetings and offices. The most famous object in Kotelnicheskaya embankment is Stalin's high-rise. This dwelling house symbolizes Moscow of the Soviet era. And a massive building of the largest confectionery factory, Krasny Octyabr, stands on Bersenevskaya Embankment.

Palaces

peterhof palace

Watch an opera or a performance, admire the paintings, walk around the halls with a tour or slowly pass by, admiring the grandeur of the architectural structure. There are dozens of palaces in St. Petersburg: imperial, grand-ducal, for nobles.

Winter Palace is the central place in Russia, which is part of the Hermitage Museum. It is located on Palace Square, in the heart of St. Petersburg. The former royal residence - a three-storey building with a thousand rooms and a hundred staircases. It was erected by Peter the Great, but in his time the building looked modest. Every ruler, who took the throne after Peter, ennobled and rebuilt the castle.

Today, its doors are open for visitors. The Hermitage Museum has 3 million exhibits. The interior of the palace epoch was recreated and restored in several halls.

Count Stroganov built the Stroganov Palace on Nevsky Prospekt. In his time, this place was the centre of social life. To visit a ball or a reception was considered an honour for any noble person. During the revolution, the owner's descendants moved abroad, and the palace was nationalized. Now the building belongs to the state - here is the Russian Museum, and it is open to the public.

sunny day in st petersburg

Anichkov Palace is one of the first buildings in St. Petersburg in the Baroque style. It is located on the Fontanka River. During construction on the other side of the embankment was a battalion of officer Anichkov. Soldiers built a wooden bridge. The building was called the "Palace at Anichkov Bridge," and then "Anichkov Palace". There was a royal residence, lived the poet Vasily Zhukovsky, arranged balls, where Natalia Goncharova spent her time. In 1937, the Palace of Pioneers was opened here. In the war years, a hospital was located. Now the building is called "Palace of Youth Creativity". There are 20 clubs and sections for children.

St. Petersburg is ready to welcome guests all year round, but Saint Petersburg weather is the best in spring and summer. Numerous fountains begin to work, and trees bloom and green. During your trip to Russia in St. Petersburg, you can plan nothing: wander the streets, sit in tea houses for a long time and accidentally stroll into the Russian Museum.

metro

In Moscow, unwittingly begins to rush even tourists. Distances are immense here, travel by transport takes time. Traffic jams catch at the wrong time, and sometimes it takes half or a third of the time of the whole trip to change in the subway.

Someone does not like St. Petersburg because of rain and overcast weather. But for some people, the summer is more pleasant here than in Moscow. It does it without heat, scorching sun and temperature of +35. But if you want to catch sunny Peter, you can come there in the first weeks of September. Indian summer here is warm, bright; it is almost devoid of rain and frowny sky. So Moscow or St Petersburg - what is better?

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Nargiz Shiraliyeva
Nargiz Shiraliyeva Wanderlust. Booklover.

Nargiz was born in Russia where she grew up until the age of 12 before moving to Baku, Azerbaijan. At different life stages she lived in Turkey and Serbia. As of 2020, she has been to 38 cities in 11 countries. AIESEC Azerbaijan Alumna. She is fond of participating at youth projects and making friends with people from all around the world. Her biggest dream is to visit all the continents and as many countries as possible. Following her passion to travel, she joined the team of a “Trawell Group” company.  

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