St Petersburg – Part 1 of our long weekend in Russia

The Hermitage

The first 2 days of our long weekend in Russia was spent in St Petersburg.  While searching the trip advisor forums for things to do in St Petersburg and Moscow I kept coming across good reviews of the tour company Insider Tour.  I sent them an e-mail with what we wanted to do any they were more than happy to help.  After some back and forth we decided to do a City Highlights tour, visit The Hermitage, Peter and Paul Fortress, Catherine’s Palace and Alexander’s Palace.  I took care of the hotel stay myself but everything else was arranged by Insider Tours (I’ll post a review about our stay at the brand new W St Petersburg later).

The Hermitage

First off, we visited The Hermitage Museum.  Normally I don’t like visiting museums.  I have the patience of a 5 year old high on pixie sticks (jumping off of buildings is more my thing).  However, for some reason this time was different.  We spent almost the entire day at the museum and I actually enjoyed it.  Part of the reason is we had an excellent guide from Insider Tour and the museum was HUGE so there was a lot to look it.  With over 3 million items it would take you years to look at every one.

Here are some of my favorite rooms in the the Hermitage.

The Hermitage

The Hermitage

The Hermitage

The Hermitage - main entrance

The Hermitage

The military was rehearsing for an upcoming parade which make for some nice photo ops.

Square in front of the Hermitage

Russian military in front of the Hermitage

Here is a collection of some of our favorite art work from the Hermitage.  There was just so much to soak in but we did have a few favorites…

We also made a short stop at Peter and Paul Fortress.  It was pretty cool to see the final resting place of significant historical figures such as Peter the Great and Catherine the Great.  The chapel they were buried in was pretty impressive.

Peter and Paul Cathedral

The Catherine Palace was our next stop on our whirlwind tour of St Petersburg.   This was a very impressive palace especially since it was only used as a summer retreat (it was also pretty huge just like everything else in Russia).

Catherine Palace

Our favorite room of the palace was the ballroom.  It was HUGE.  Everything being huge was begining to be a common theme during our visit to Russia.

Catherine Palace - ballroom

Catherine Palace

A block away from our hotel was the Saint Isaac’s Cathedral.  Another HUGE thing in Russia.

Saint Isaac's Cathedral

A trip to St Petersburg wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Church of the Savior on Blood.  Arguably one of the most famous landmarks in St Petersburg.

Church of the Savior on Blood

Stay tuned for Moscow… Part 2 of our long weekend in Russia…

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