One of our favorite spots of the cruise to the Baltic Sea was definitely Saint Petersburg, Russia. It really is one of the most beautiful places that we have ever visited! So make sure it is now in your bucket list!
We needed a visa to enter Russia, and given our history (ha ha) we decided that the best option was to take the guided excursions from our Royal Caribbean cruise. That, really helped us, as they handled all the visa paperwork for us. So, make sure you don’t forget your visas!
We were picked up very early in the morning from the cruise terminal and we were around 40 minutes on the bus until we arrived to our first stop, the Hermitage Museum! One of the most visited sights in Saint Petersburg. The museum has a huge collection of European artists and it definitely is a great place to have a look at various styles of the European art.
The famous museum is absolutely beautiful, it is full of rooms with amazing paintings, sculptures and other creations by renowned artists like Picasso, Da Vinci, Van Gogh, among other master artists. The museum used to be a Palace, home of the king and queen of Russia, it has a very interesting history and the place itself is gorgeous.
Our next stop was the most incredible monument of all, the Spilled Blood Church, with the typical Russian architecture. It might sound weird but that is actually its name as Tsaar Alexander II spilled blood in there, so that is part of its history. The outside of the church was simply majestic and we could really get the Russian vibe as this is actually a vivid portrait of what Russian architecture looks like. But, the inside was also splendorous! It was filled with gold decorations and magnificent and glorious paintings, it was all a masterpiece made to conquer everyone’s sight. The ceiling was hand painted and it had granite and marble all over. A true beauty! We fell in love with this the moment we saw it (ha ha), surely love at first sight.
After enjoying this monument we stopped for lunch at a local Russian place. The food was good and quite different, servings were small and very Russian. We had soup, salad and chicken, followed by a dessert. Of course we also ate caviar! A true Russian delicacy!
The weather in Saint Petersburg is the oddest thing that we had ever experienced! It was sunny and then it rained… and then it was cold, and then it was windy… just to be sunny again. Russians say that the weather has a female mood (ha ha), as it changes the whole time quite unexpectedly. None the less, this did not stop us from loving every corner of it! Just make sure to carry a small umbrella with you to avoid getting wet, as it is likely it will rain when you visit!
We then continued with the tour, and we entered a souvenir shop. In there we bought some Russian souvenirs, matryoshkas for Jack and us, Russian hats for the three of us, an Amber bracelet for Beca as a gift from Jaime, and amazingly delicious Russian chocolate. Money can be exchanged easily to get Rubles, Russia’s currency.
Later on, we went to Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, an eye dessert which is capable of being enjoyed by viewing this huge Cathedral and its amazing decorations. Russians sure know how to build nice things, as most of the city is just breathtaking. Even if one can still see the remainings of the communist period with its old and characteristic buildings.
We then made a quick stop to take pictures in the edge of the city… This was worth the whole trip to Saint Petersburg! This view was the most enjoyable thing from the whole trip and a few words can describe what we saw in there! We could see the whole city and its monuments, from a far distance and actually go down to touch the Baltic Sea. It really was glorious! It is these moments of joy in life that are worth everything!
From there we could observe in the far distance different views from eye catching monuments, like the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral and mostly all of the ones that we mentioned before.
Before heading back to the cruise ship, we stopped by the Palace Square and took a couple of pictures.
We ended up being quite exhausted! It was a lot in one day.
Saint Petersburg’s roads are full of traffic, which is no surprise! Even if the city is surrounded by water, it has only a few bridges that connect one side with the other. We were told that in winter you can even get stuck on the other side if you don’t arrive to bridge on time! to cross from one place to another… So keeping track of time is very essential there! As the City is connected like this, we could of course not miss the views of the beautiful Griboyedov Canal!
On our second day, we made a brief morning stop to get some pictures. We portrayed a beautiful Russian Church which has huge marble columns and a beautiful sculpture. Both, the reflection of the greatness of the City of Saint Petersburg, which is truly majestic.
After that, we went to the Petershorf Gardens, which are outside of Saint Petersburg. These, are located around an hour drive away from the City and then, you can arrive to the magnificent place. The sight used to be a Royal Palace. We were absolutely delighted with the beautiful gardens, fountains and in general with the place itself. It was so full of people that we even got lost from our tour guide, but we were able to find her… luckily. We caught amazing views.
We truly enjoyed the majestic City of Saint Petersburg and we would recommend visiting it, it sure is worth a visit, and perhaps… More than once!