Carlo Rossi was one of the Italian architects who has given huge influence to the city. On of the places I try to visit every time in StP is Rossi's Street. It has extremely warm atmosphere, when you locate yourself to right point you can see the whole street in full and perfect perspective! The length of the street is in perspective with the width of street and the height of the buildings (which are symmetric). If I remember correctly the length is 220 meters, hight and width 22 meters giving this perfect phenomenon (the length is ten times to width and I don't know what is behind this secret calculation).
In Rossi Street 2 there are Vaganova's ballet academy (Academia Russian Ballet), located here from the days of revolution. Vaganova has been a source of inspiration to many dancer seen in Bolshoi, the Royal Ballet and American Ballet and many more.
As we were running ahead of time on our tour, our tour guide suggested coffee & cake in one of the most popular Cafes in St. Petersburg.
The cafe was in the basement of a building, we would have walked straight past if we were on our own!
Our guide led us downstairs and into an elegant dining room, quite unexpected!
In the time we were there, it filled and emptied and refilled with customers.
If you do this, make sure you have Rubles, as they didn't take euros!
We had to go to a nearby ATM, and get some rubles, then we went back and chose a traditional Russian cake to try, and a Coffee.
Different, but OK!
What a surprise it was seeing one of the two 3500-year-old sphinx monuments that guard the entrance of the Academy of Arts Museum.
The Russian government bought the pair from Egypt in 1820 and placed them here, visible on the bank of the Neva river. The pair are the most Northern-located Egyptian sphinxes and they are covered in snow in Winter, very different to Egypt!
We are now on the Moika River and viewing another massive Palace located close to the beautiful Mariinsky Theatre.
Yusupov Palace is only one of two surviving St. Petersburg residences of the wealthy Yusupov family who hold the status of wealthiest Russian noble family.
In 1830, the palace was purchased by Prince Nikolay Borisovich Yusupov, and it remained in the ownership of the family until seized by the Bolsheviks in 1917.
The Palace is famous as Grigory Rasputin was assassinated here. The legends surrounding Rasputin's murder, which took place in the basement of the Yusupov Palace on 16 December 1916, are mostly based on the sensationalist account in the autobiography of Prince Felix Yusupov, who claimed to have led the plotters in first poisoning, then shooting, then beating Rasputin with clubs and throwing him into the icy Malaya Nevka River, where the Mad Monk eventually died of hypothermia.
There is now a display in the palace museum that uses photography, documents, and wax figures to recreate the assassination and the following investigation.
You will see a Rasputin display (which can be seen only on guided tours in Russian, unless booked in advance), reception rooms and living quarters on the ground floor of the palace (English-language audio tours available).
Opening hours: Ticket office open from 10.45am daily.
Tours start hourly on the hour from 11am to 5pm.
Closed: On the first Wednesday of each month.
The Senate & Synod is a beautiful yellow & white building located next to the Bronze Horseman.
The building style is late classicism. There are two buildings here, that are connected together by the Arc de Triomphe in the middle. Now one wing of the building is the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the other wing, the Presidential Library of B.Eltzin.
Looking above the Arch, are two figures representing piety and justice. The facades of the building has a gallery containing statues of geniuses. It really is an attractive building!
The architecture in St. Petersburg is amazing. Where ever we went, there were beautiful building's.
What you must do, is have you Camera ready all the time, just snap and sort out later, otherwise you will miss out. Even if you don't know what all the buildings are, and I don't, I still have memories of what I saw.
The photo's on this tip are taken just on the short journey from the Doric columns to the Bronze statue, not far, but so many nice buildings in that short drive!
The Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange is the main building on the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island. This building was built in Greek Revival architecture, inspired by the Greek Temple of Hera. Constructed between 1805 and 1810, it was built for the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange, but was used for a different purposes and still is, as now it's the Central Naval Museum.
Visiting the Museum wasn't on our agenda, just the details about the historic building.
The Central Naval Museum traces its founding to Peter the Great's creation of his "Model Chamber" in 1709 – a collection of models of ships in the Russian Navy, and over 8,000 items including a ship belonging to Peter the Great in which he learned to sail while a teenager. The collection includes several ancient ships, model ships, submarines, engravings.
As you can see by my photo, early morning, and it was just starting to get busy with Tourist Coaches arriving.
St Petersburg's flat terrain makes walking easy and it is a fantastic city to explore on foot but the City Tour Hop On/Hop Off bus is a great way to get an overview of the city's major sights. As with all the other hop on/hop off buses in cities all around the world, your ticket is good for a whole day and you can take the whole tour in one hit (about an hour and a half) or get on and off as you please. The open-topped doubled-decked buses follow a route that includes taking you up and down the length of Nevsky Prospekt, past churches, cathedrals, monuments, museums, palaces and parks, over bridges and along waterside embankments. The audio-guide commentary, available in eight languages, is informed and entertaining.
The buses wait a while at each stop, time enough for a few photos, before moving on or, if you've opted to hop off, the next one will be along in 30 minutes (summer) or an hour (winter). The first bus leaves from Ploshad Ostrovskogo at 9.00am but you can pick the tour up at any point along the route.
During the White Nights, there are weekend night-time tours - check the website for information
You can celebrate Halloween at home with a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, pumkin pie, and other decoration for fun.
And many clubs and restaurants have special parties.
Despite the fact that the orthodox church and the education department in Moscow banned the observance of the holiday in schools, it is allowed to observe the holiday outside the schools and jack-o-lanterns can be seen in increasing numbers in Russia.
Most train stations in St. Petersburg are worth seeing. My favourite one is Vitebsky station from where trains to Eastern Europe and the Baltic States leave.
The Art Nouveau building was inaugurated in 1904. Besides the beautiful facade, the inside is a real gem. Go inside and have a look at the great hall, the waiting room and the restaurant.
The Vitebsky station is located almost in the city centre, just next to the metro stop Pushkinskaya (red line).
Address: Vitebsky Station, Zagorodny pr. 52, St. Petersburg
Now part of the Naval Museum, the Aurora is an armor-plated cruiser which saw action in the Battle of Tushima against the Japanese fleet. Aurora is most famous for being the ship from which a blank shot was fired signaling for the Bolshevik attack on the Winter Palace to begin. Thus began the Russian Revolution of 1917!
Permanently docked near the Nakhimov Naval School on the Petrovskaya Embankment of the Neva River, the Aurora appears by all accounts to be in excellent condition considering she was built between 1897 - 1903 at the Admiralty wharf right in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately for me, the sun was not shining brightly when the accompanying photo was shot which makes her appear more drab than she really is. She's a proud-looking ship and I think a significant piece of Russian history has been lovingly preserved in her.
As you can see in the picture, the Aurora now hosts guests on a paying basis. There was quite a large tourist group on her bow when we arrived, and our group unfortunately was not scheduled to tour her. However, it was very worthwhile to take a little time to see this ship which figured into a significant piece of Russian history and a time period in which I am very interested.
Go to Dom Kino (Films House) to see a new European film in the original language with Russian subtitles (sometimes they have Russian voice-over - the notice is at the ticket office). Entrance to Dom Kino is to the left from the statue of centaur). I like this place for the film selection, the public and tickets and buffet prices :) Film festivals are held here.
I love military camouflage stuff and shirts and wanted to get some from Russia. For those with the same interests, look for shops with this sign around St. Petersburg and they are reasonably priced because real soldiers go there to get their items. Some of these shops are along Nevsky Prospect.
If you have time why not combine city sightseeing with an authentic stay in a Russian dacha ?
I spent 2 weeks in Russia. 1 week having a city tour of main sights in St. Petersburg, and 1 week in a real dacha (small country house) located beside a beautiful freshwater lake.
I chose this trip because my host, Tatiana was not only a licenced guide for the city sights, but also a Russian language teacher. So my time at the dacha was spent studying Russian language.
However there are many other things you can do - walking in the beautiful countryside, swimming in the lake, fishing, even experience a real Russian banya.
I had a wonderful time, and would thoroughly recommend this type of trip - and the services of my guide/host.
I saw at their website http://www.fc-zenit.ru/ that information on today 05/05 - 5600 tickets were sold and 2800 tickets will be delivered tomorrow from Manchester.
They sell only via fan-club and will begin to sell on 07/05 at 12.00. The ticket costs 1600 roubles (32 pounds).
English and Russian version of this website is not the same :-)