3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

St. Petersburg is a beautiful city with a magical feel to it, the magnificent palaces, spectacular churches and the dreamy canals look like they have been plucked straight from the pages of a fairy tale. The best time to go is during the white nights’ of summer and experience the glowing midsummer eves when the entire atmosphere of the city is nothing short of a festival.

 

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

Where to Stay

 

We stayed in an apartment situated at Nevsky Prospekt, which is the city centre and is a hub for all the touristy things like shopping, nightlife, entertainment. Also, there are several attractions like the Church on the Spilt Blood, the Kazan Cathedral, Canal boat rides, which are just a stone throw away.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

Day 1

 

Catherine Palace

 

The Catherine Palace was our introduction to the Royal Russian opulence. The very facade is beyond pretty and what left us even more awestruck was the humongous line of people waiting to get into the palace.

We also joined the line and after waiting at the same spot for at least half an hour realised that the chances of us getting in were very bleak. It’s a shame that we couldn’t see the palace from inside, but the huge garden estate and the pristine water bodies wiped away all our disappointment.

 

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

How to Get There

 

The Catherine Place is situated in a small little town called Pushkin, named after the famous poet. It’s about 40 Kilometres south of St. Petersburg and it takes roughly an hour and a half to reach there.

 

We took a metro from Nevsky Prospekt to Kupchino and from there a marshrutka (mini bus) to Catherine Palace. There are various Minibus options on this route, but the one which we took was No. K-286 .

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

After spending a good 2 hours at the Catherine Palace we headed back to our apartment, rested for a while and stepped out at around 8:30 PM to be pleasantly surprised with the presence of daylight and decided to explore the city. We ended the day with a night boat ride and saw the bridge opening custom which is an absolute must.

 

There are several river cruise tours to choose from, so no need to pre book, just walk to the Anichkov Bridge (The Horse Bridge) near Nevsky Prospekt and book a tour of your liking on the spot.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

 

Day 2

 

Peterhof Palace

 

Not wanting to spend the day just in the gardens yet again we decided to wake up early and push off as soon as we could to the Peterhof Palace.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

How to Get There

 

You can either take the hydrofoil to the palace (a little expensive, but a much more fun ride I assume) or you can save some bucks and take the metro followed by a Marshrutka ride to the palace. We took the M2 line from Nevsky Prospekt and changed to M1 at Tekhnologicheskiy Institut, got off at Avtovo and took K224 Marshrutka which drops you right at the palace gates.

 

If you are going in the summer months, be prepared to queue up right from the Marshrutka stand to the Palace to buy entry tickets.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

Tickets

 

You need to buy a couple of different tickets, so yes, it’s a bit confusing. There is a separate ticket for the gardens and then once you are in the compound you must buy another ticket to visit the palace. But the views, especially outside of the palace are worth all the hassle I would say.

 

Upper park is free and if you take minibus you’ll be right there at its entrance and will walk through it to reach the lower park and the Palace.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

We concluded the day with strolling around Nevsky Prospekt, enjoyed the views of Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and sealed the day with a lovely dinner at one of the several cosy cafes around the Nevsky Prospekt.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

Day 3

 

We did an early checkout and went straight to the station and used the locker facility to deposit our baggage and decided to go on a self-guided walking tour of the remaining wonders of the city like the Kazan Cathedral, Bank Bridge, State Hermitage and the Winter Palace and St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

 

Kazan Cathedral – Since we had started our walk early we couldn’t go inside the Cathedral but were really impressed by its exteriors.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Bank Bridge – Just a stone throw away from Kazan Cathedral this pedestrian bridge over the canal with its four gryphon looks absolutely gorgeous and the view of the Spilled Blood Church from here is magical.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia

 

State Hermitage and the Winter Palace- Another sneak peek into Russian Extravaganza, the exteriors are jaw dropping but getting in to see the interiors can again be very frustrating during the summers because of the huge crowd. We did line up and managed to see the interiors but wasn’t the best experience as it was very crowded and we had very limited time at hand, so everything was very rushed up.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia
Well, we did find out later that apart from buying the tickets from the counter one can also buy it from the ATM style self- vending machine or you could just simply get the tickets online in advance.

 

Check out this entry on the Rick Steves’s blog

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia
In my opinion, if you really want to enjoy and appreciate the history behind this palace and the museum you need a complete full day.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Isaac’s Cathedral- The day we visited the church was shut but we were absolutely swept by its overpowering exterior structure and the great columns, not to mention the brilliant 360-degree view from the rooftop which according to us was far more impressive and exciting (because you can feel the wind blowing right into your face) than any other observation deck we have been to. It is 200 steps climb up a spiral stair case and the tickets were very nominally priced and very easy to purchase from a self-vending machine.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia
Souvenir Shopping- There is a wide range of memorabilia that you can buy in Russia, we did buy some Gzel pottery and vodka in Moscow however from St. Petersburg we bought some lovely postcards from a book store in Nevsky Prospekt.

 

3 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia
For lunch, we decided to taste the delicacies of Georgia. Click here for a detailed review.

And post our lunch we headed back to the station got our luggage back from the lockers and headed back to Moscow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Comments

  • Divya Nambiar August 3, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Wow — those buildings! So elegant.

    Reply
    • Ankita August 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Divya,
      Thank you so much for reading…I’m glad you liked the post.
      It’s an absolutely beautiful place 🙂

      Reply
  • Yogi Saraswat August 3, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Beautiful place indeed !!

    Reply
    • Ankita August 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Yogi,
      Glad you liked the post. Thank you for dropping by 🙂
      It’s a beautiful place…a must visit if you get the chance.

      Reply
  • Velvet Blush August 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I loved seeing the beautiful palaces, and all the places you went! It’s definitely on my list, one day! x

    Velvet Blush

    Reply
    • Ankita August 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      It’s beyond beautiful….you MUST visit <3
      So glad you enjoyed reading 🙂

      Reply
  • Sapna August 15, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Beautiful pictures and details.

    Reply
    • Ankita August 17, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited 🙂
      Thank you so much for dropping by <3

      Reply

Leave a Comment