We are taking a Baltic Cruise, and we have three days in St. Petersburg. This will be our second cruise to the Baltics and St. Petersburg. We have arranged for the same private guide all three days that we used last time - she's so wonderful that she's become a personal friend and came to visit us in the USA as our house guest for a week!
Our original plan for this cruise was to use the "Moscow option" and spend our second day not in St. Petersburg, but in Moscow. However, the second day is a Thursday - when the Kremlin is closed. The second day is the only day that the long trip to Moscow is possible. But there is no point in going all the way to Moscow without seeing the Kremlin! Major disappointment!
Plan B - Instead of Moscow, our guide suggested that we might want to go to Veliky Novgorod on our second day,Thursday. I haven't found too much about it other than that it's one of the oldest cities in Russia and it has lots of churches. One church is okay, but we're not really interested in visiting lots of them, and if we make the long trek to Novgorod, it has to be for much more than a church. What else is there to see and do in Novgorod? Is it worth the 2.5 - 3 hour drive each way in the car between St. Petersburg and Novgorod? Or are we better off staying in St. Petersburg and seeing again what we did last time? I loved St. Petersburg, so revisiting sights wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. However, if there is somewhere outside of St. Petersburg that is incredible, fabulous, amazing - then, I'd like to go there, too. Does Novgorod fit that description? Alternatively, if it doesn't, can you suggest a place outside of St. Petersburg that does? Preferably a place that is closer to St. Petersburg? Or even a place within St. Petersburg that is off-the-beaten-path that we might not have seen last time we were there?
Thanks for your help!