We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post, this time from Janice. Usually these are submitted by readers and members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Do you have a solo travel destination to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 2 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Russian, English is found but, in my experience, not common
Reasons to go:
One reason to go is that St. Petersburg is an easy entry to Russia which can be a challenging country to a westerner. But there is way more.
St. Petersburg is gorgeous. It is a magnificent planned city built in the 18th and 19th centuries in the Baroque and Neoclassical styles. It is rich with elaborate architecture and arguably owns the greatest art collection in the world. If Russians don't have the resources to go to Europe, they go to St. Petersburg. The reason? St. Petersburg is very, very European. There are canals like those in Venice and Amsterdam, buildings like those found in Paris and art from all over the world.
Main things to do:
- Visit The Hermitage. Even if you're not interested in art you must go there for the ambiance
- Walk Nevsky Prospekt for the shopping and people watching
- Go to the Peter and Paul Fortress which was the original St. Petersburg
- Visit the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. This is one of the few examples of Russian Orthodox style that you'll see in the heart of St. Petersburg. See it for its history and the mosaic work inside.
- Take the fast ferry to the Psterhof which was modeled conceptually on Versaille but has its own kind of richness.
- Go to the Mariinsky Theatre but make sure you will be attending a performance in the main theatre as they do use others.
- Explore the metro system when it's not rush hour. Take the “red line.” It’s the oldest and deepest metro line in St. Petersburg and stop to take a look at each station. They are unique.
There are plenty of hotels, including western chains, in St. Petersburg. I chose a more local experience. I stayed in an apartment rental thanks to HouseTrip.com which put me in a community not a tourist zone.
Other posts on St. Petersburg:
THE HERMITAGE IN PHOTOS AND FILM
The Hermitage ranks as one of the greatest museums of the world. Through photos and video, I've tried to take you there.
RUSSIA THROUGH THE BACK DOOR – REALLY!
Getting inside the local culture is one of the great joys of travel. Here's one way that works.
SOFT LANDINGS IN RUSSIA: DAY TOURS MAKE CHALLENGING CITIES EASY.
It was with a little trepidation that I went to Russia but taking these great day tours in each city made it easy.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 3 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 2 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)