After Moscow our next stop is St. Petersburg. One of the prettiest cities in the world. Saint P is gorgeous, pastel and summer here is simply one of those gifts of nature. I spend a little less than a week here and I feel Saint P is a very underrated city. There is a certain quality about this city that grows onto you. Here is Brown Boy's first hand guide to Saint Petersburg.
1. Walk around The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood - It maybe smaller than it's cousin in Moscow but this is much prettier. We suggested you watch the sunrise in Moscow. Here we suggest you take an early evening stroll.
2. Get a Haircut - Saint P has some amazing dandyish salons and the barbers here are really very talented. I would just fly down to Chop Chop or Headbusters just to get a haircut if I could. The barbershops are hip and for 1000 bucks you can come out looking like a rockstar. These salons are more like hangouts where people come and chill.
3. Walk along the Canals - Take a beer, soda or an ice-cream and walk along the canals. Sit somewhere and just people watch. Trust me Russians are phew!!! I am surprised with so many hot people around why the country gets so cold during winters.
4. Rent a Boat - It could be expensive but it's totally worth it. Rent a boat and sail around the canals as you like it or get on those touristy ones. Either way its a great way to spend an early evening. It's the best time because the light is just phenomenal and makes the city look spectacular.
5. Picnic in Summer Gardens - I love taking it easy and just doing nothing on vacation. Like being at the beach all day reading a book or eating and sleeping on fresh grass in a park. It's romancing the nature. Summer Gardens is quaint and beautiful. Perfect date spot. You can even find one of the charming canopy kind of thing and make out with your date.
6. Party - During summers the Sun rarely goes below the horizon in St. Petersburg. Usually things heat up post midnight and can go up until 7 in the morning. A lot of nice non-touristy clubs are located near the Kazan which you could try. It's very hip and chill. All sorts of bars and clubs to go to. I fell in love with this popular Russian band called Viagra. Listen to this popular song. You'd know what I mean by an attractive Russian woman.
7. Hermitage Museum - It is a beautiful building and you must walk around the square and admire the design. However only if you like paintings and appreciate renaissance art then you should definitely go inside. The museum has one of the finest collection of Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt.
8. The Food - Saint P is in sync with Moscow when it comes to food. If Moscow is chic, Saint P is hip. There are amazing Vegan restaurants and cafes. I also would recommend some shopping as you eat. Since Saint P is a young and artistic city there are some amazing indie designers here in the city.
I hope this is guide is helpful and makes you experience the city outside that of a generic guidebook. You can avoid tourist traps and rather experience the city and it's vibe. The people here are really nice and the language should be the last thing intimidating you. Russia is extremely clean and unlike the bad reputation it has - it is a friendly and safe country to travel to.
The next post on Russia is gonna be really exciting. Meanwhile read our Guide To Moscow here.