Recap Of Our Visit To St Petersburg

Cat Museum

Our trip to Russia started off with an interesting visit to Moscow. We just got home from the trip and it’s time for a recap from our time in Saint Petersburg.

We flew from Moscow to St Petersburg on Oneworld member S7 Airlines. We booked the flight using British Airways Avios points and had a little problem at check in. When we got to the counter, we were told that Lucas was not listed as a lap baby. This was definitely strange since I called BA a bunch of times and was told that he was added. I am not sure what caused the problem but luckily one of the S7 representatives spoke a bit of English and was able to help fix the problem. Otherwise the flight went well and S7 even served a small snack box for our short one hour plus flight.

Our hotel, Park Inn Nevsky was in a great location and an excellent choice for our visit to  Saint Petersburg. There is a train station less than 2 minutes away and buses are easy to catch (within a 5 minute walk) on the Nevsky Prospect, the main street in St Petersburg. Our room was a decent size and well worth it’s price. The rate also included breakfast.

Saint Petersburg was a nice change of pace from Moscow. One positive was that the it wasn’t as cold or snowy. It is a walk-able city with many sites in close proximity to each other. I really loved seeing the canals and impressive architecture all around. If you need to take the train, signs are written in Russian as well as English which makes them much easier for tourists to navigate through and figure out. The city had a very European vibe, more so than the cold feeling of Moscow.

Some Highlights:

  • Visiting The State Hermitage Museum
  • Jumping by the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood
  • Visiting the first museum in Russia- The Kunstkamera
  • Wandering around the neighborhood Kolomna
  • Stopping by the Cats Museum (we think)
The Hermitage
Visiting The Hermitage is a place you have to stop at while in St Petersburg. I am not a big art fan but just about anyone would be amazed by the collection of works by masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse and many more. The one negative I found was that the museum is just so massive. You can easily wander around and skip various parts of it without even realizing. Luckily, being that it was winter the lines were not long so we didn’t have to spend the extra money to reserve our tickets online in advance.
Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood
The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood reminded us of St. Basils Cathedral in the Red Square due the funky colors of the onion domes. You can spot the domes from pretty far away and it was a fun site to check out. We didn’t go inside the church due to there potentially being lots of stairs to go up- not exactly fun while traveling with a stroller for Lucas. Behind the church was a pretty decent market where we picked up a couple of souvenirs.
The Kuntskamera
The Kuntskamera was very high on my list of places to visit during the trip. I had read about the oddities on display that were collected by Peter the Great and I had to see it for myself. I assumed the collection would be similar to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia but it was much more shocking. There were some two- headed animals on display but the bulk of the collection were deformed human and animal fetuses. There were other random body parts on display in this room but the bulk of the museum was actually dedicated to anthropology and the “culture and life of the peoples of the world”. These displays were pretty impressive but also seemed a bit outdated and in need of some TLC.
Grand Choral Synagogue
We decided to visit the neighborhood of Kolomna to see what a not-so touristy area was like. It was nice to wander around minus the crowds. While walking around we saw some interesting buildings. Some seemed to be falling apart, others were under construction & being restored. A highlight of the visit was stopping in to visit the second largest synagogue in Europe- the Grand Choral Synagogue. The synagogue was an impressive site both inside and out. I plan to write a post about it in the future.
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Kim had read about the Cat Museum on TripAdvisor. Since it wasn’t really out of the way we decided to stop by. There were two parts to the building, a cafe and the museum which was more like visiting a petting zoo. There were around 25 cats in the museum area which included some interesting breeds. The visit was fun and Lucas had a great time but I definitely wouldn’t call this a museum.
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This is a recap of some of the things we did in St Petersburg. I’ll be writing more about some of these experiences and others in future posts.
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Keep checking back for more posts about our trip to Russia!

2 thoughts on “Recap Of Our Visit To St Petersburg

  1. I think I’d really like St. Petersburg over Moscow; It seems more of my style. I really had no idea about what the city had to offer, so it was fun reading through this over my morning coffee. Still can’t believe the Kuntskamera. I have never seen a collection like that before. It does look out dated, even from your phot; however, I think that kind of adds to its strangeness.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I think St. Petersburg is definitely a more appealing city to visit but Moscow is still a must on a Russia trip. The Kuntskamera was a real jaw dropping sight to see! I should be doing a full post on it soon with lots of photos.

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