To the North: Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg Travel Blog

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Church of the Saviour on Blood

I left the hostel in Moscow at 5:30AM to make it to my flight to Saint Petersburg, which was scheduled at 8:45AM. The plane was full of Chinese tourists! Russia must be one of the top destinations for Chinese tourists. I realised I had to brush up my Chinese skills because I met so many Chinese people during my trip to Russia.

Somehow, my hostel in Saint Petersburg, Nord Hostel, forgot about my reservation, so I had to find my way to the hostel... Not again!! My guidebook had an explanation on how to get to the city centre by public transportation. But after staying up all night to make it to my early-morning flight, I was in no mood to take public transportation.

Kazan Cathedral
I decided to take a cab. It cost me 1,000 roubles, and I was not happy. The driver was great, though. His name was Artur (Russian for Arthur). He was such an intellectual guy, and we had some interesting discussions about Russia and Japan. It reminded me of a Russian friend of mine, who once told me he was impressed by how cultured Saint Petersburg's cab drivers were. 

At the hostel, I saw a guy from the hostel in Moscow. It seems everyone includes Moscow and Saint Petersburg in their trips to Russia. You go to main tourist attractions and end up seeing familiar faces, especially at Hermitage.

I was exhausted from staying up all night, so I decided to do minimal sightseeing and go to bed early. I went to the following attractions: St. Isaac's Cathedral, Nevsky Prospekt, the Kazan Cathedral, the Church of the Saviour on Blood, the Summer Garden and Palace Square.

View from the Summer Garden
I lingered on at the Church of the Saviour on Blood. I loved it because it was such an ornate church. Every inch of the structure was covered by some form of artwork. It is extremely lavish but austere at the same time, which is probably due to the fact that the church was built to honour the death of Tsar Alexander II. It was build on the very spot where the Tsar was killed by a bomb.

After that, I went to the Summer Garden, which is one of the most beautiful parks in the world in my opinion. Statues and monuments dot the park, and there is a cafe and a souvenir shop. Surprisingly, the cafe was not as touristy as I expected. It was very local. I had a cup of espresso plus some stuffed bun with meat filling (called "pirozhok s myasom"). I was walking very slowly, fatigued by the trip from Moscow, and a French tour group caught up with me. Eventually I found myself among these (mostly elderely) French tourists. And I saw one of them hiding his bag from me and staring at me. He took me for a pickpocket!

I went to bed at around 6:00PM and woke up at around 1:00AM because of mosquitoes. I was surprised to find out it was quite light outside. Saint Petersburg experiences white nights during summer. But I decided not to take advantage of the white night and went to bed again.

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Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral
View from the Summer Garden
View from the Summer Garden
Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Church of the Saviour on Blood
Armenian Church
Armenian Church
Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Prospekt
Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral
Summer Garden
Summer Garden
USSR
USSR
Saint Petersburg General Tips & Advice review
Artur is the cab driver that took me from the airport to my hostel in Saint Petersburg (while the hostel totally forgot about my reservation and reque… read entire review
Saint Petersburg Hostels review
Nord Hostel is located right next to Palace Square. It is probably the most centrally-located hostel I have seen. It is a stone's throw away from Herm… read entire review