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St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

Adelaide, South...
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St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

Hi everyone

In late August we are doing a tour with 'On the Go' to Moscow and St Petersburg. We have 2 and a half full free days in St Petersburg. I would like to spend one of them at Peterhof and the other exploring St Isaacs, Seeing the Church on Spilled Blood etc. Our hotel is about 15-25 minutes out of St Petersburg but apparently a bus stops right out the front. I have been to St P before but on a highly organised tour where I didnt have any free time and didnt have to figure out the local transport system myself. Has anyone had any experience in either of these things and if so, do you have any tips?? I have travelled in Europe before but I am a little nervous (and excited!) about navigating St Petersburg independently. Any tips re places to eat, sights not to miss, navigating the transport system much appreciated. Thanks Cathy

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1. Re: St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

Dear Cathy,

Knowing exactly where you stay we could give you the detailed information what bus to take, where to get into the metro and how to navigate the city. In general a metro ride is 20 rubles one way. You simply come to the ticket box, give money, receive a token and go. A bur ride is 18 rubles. Usually there is a special person wearing the orange jacket who comes to everybody to collect money. There are also private buses and minibuses. Then one ride might be 25-35 rubles and you pay to the driver. The only problem with the private bus / minibus is that you shall tell the driver where to stop.

For Peterhof you can take the hydrofoil prom the pier in front of the Hermitage or take a bus from Avtovo metro stop.

St.Isaak’s and savior-on-the-Spilled Blood are both located in the city center. The nearest metro station is NEVSKY PROSPECT.

While walking in the city stop in the main book shop (Zinger building) for a cup of coffee with perfect desert – there is a very nice coffee shop on the second floor with good view over Nevsky prospect.

Have a pleasant journey!

Birmingham, United...
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2. Re: St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

I always tell people to learn the Russian alphabet when visiting and travelling independently. It will help so much and is amazing how much you can understand with this little knowledge, especially on the public transport system. Its very easy to learn, is fun to learn and will help immensely

I would try and visit St Peter Paul Fortress while staying in the city. Its a great place to visit and I was so glad I made time to go there myself

Adelaide, South...
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3. Re: St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

Hello! Thank you so much. As far as I can tell I am staying at this hotel: St Petersburg - Karelia hotel


(Im on a tour so dont get a choice)I think it is about 25 minutes from the city centre. If you can give me any information re buses that would be great.

If you know about Moscow, we are staying at this hotel: Izmailovo-Vega hotel

The information you have already given me has eased my mind a little so thank you. :-)

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4. Re: St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

I have little personal experience of public transport in St.Petersburg because I went on an excursion and didn't have a visa as such. But I can say that the Peterhof palace, Catherine's palace and the Hermitage are all worth a look. I'm going back there myself in august and will probably visit Peterhof and the Hermitage, seeing as Catherine's palace was the main thing I did last time. As you mention the Church on the Spilled Blood is another site not to miss.

Using public transport shouldn't be a problem, although a knowledge of the Russian alphabet (as was already pointed out)would certainly prove very useful indeed.

Eating probably depends on your budget to be honest. Some of the more touristy places can be expensive but then again finding the right meal for the right price can be pretty tricky anyway so I don't know what to suggest there. Good luck with it anyway.

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5. Re: St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

LakesideChick, looking at the map of Saint-Petersburg, i think they made everything to keep you from going around the city by your own. Unfortunately i cannot tell you about public transport in that area, just if you find a way to get into the metro it will be easy.

As about food what kind of food do you like? What money do you want to spend on it? Maybe i can help you with places to eat in city center.

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6. Re: St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

Looking at google-maps, it seem your hotel is not close to the Metro. Busses, expecially trolley-busses are also nice, so you sould aks the hotel which one to take to the centre.

For Heremitase byu a voucher on the net. you avoid the long lines. Sold by the museum at http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/

Peterhof is nice, expecially at summertime. Take the boat by Heremitase. its nice and easy. 900 rubles (about 20euros two-way)You also need tickets for the park and museum.

The park itself is plenty to see, so you can skip the museum at nice weather.

Fine restaurants are also not super-expensive. F.ex. Azerbaiz-restaurant Bacu, right off Nevski prospect (white tablecloth etc) was 1300 ( about 25 euros)rubles for a main course for 2 people. Really good food. Also at Sadco, across the street from Marinsky theatre a two course meal for one cost 1000 rubles (with out drinks).

The are numerous boat-trips on the canals. Good way to see the city, as feet get tired from walking the whole day. Most of the canal tours are 45-60minutes. By the Heremitase they also sold a 2 hour trip, with both the canals and a look around Neva-river. These longer trips leave at 11.30 and 14.30. Cost about 500 rubles.

7. Re: St Petersburg, a few independent days... help!

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