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Looking for advice and suggestions

florida
10 posts
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Looking for advice and suggestions

I'll be in St Petersburg for a few days in July -- the last stop on a river cruise from Moscow. I believe the river cruise boats dock near the Proletraskaya metro station. How easy will it be to get from the boat to the city center (walking, metro, taxi???). The cruise includes several tours of the main tourist sites -- I'm guessing it will be a standard (rather superficial) bus tour of cathedrals (St Issac, Spilled Blood, Sts. Peter & Paul), Pushkin, Nevsky Prospekt, and a ballet/opera performance. There's also a half-day tour of the Winter Palace/Hermitage. I'm thinking that the bus tour might be a nice orientation, but I'd like to get out and explore more on my own. Does anyone have any suggestions for a short stay? Is it safe to wander around outside an organized group (I'll have a visa)? Because of the limited time, would a private guide be a better way to get around? If the weather's good, I'd like to see Peterhof and the hydrofoil sounds interesting -- is this the sort of thing one can comfortably do in an afternoon?

Also, I don't know a lot about the Eastern Orthodox Church, but I think I'd get more out of the trip if I did. Does anyone know of any "primers" on Orthodoxy -- something that will help put things in context. Same with Russian history -- I'm OK on 17th and 18th centuries and spotty on the rest -- any recommendations?

Thank you in advance for any assistance....

Mentioned in this post
Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Prospekt
3,921 Reviews
St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg
Northwestern District, Russia
Moscow
Moscow
Central Russia, Russia
Pushkin
Pushkin
Pushkinsky District, Russia
Peterhof
Peterhof
Petrodvortsovy District, Russia
Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
6,710 posts
47 reviews
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1. Re: Looking for advice and suggestions

Hi,

We saw Peterhof in an afternoon... get on the hydrofoil as early in the day as possible, as there is a lot to see, and the last boat back leaves Peterhof in the 4-5 pm range. We only had about 3 hours, and ended up spending all our time in the gardens (plus a break for snacks in the nice cafe).

If you want to explore the central sightseeing area on your own, it is really easy, once you are IN the central area (I have no idea where your boat docks). Just get a map. It is a small, compact city center, clearly laid out and with landmarks everywhere. Very safe. And if your tour doesn't include a canal boat ride, do take one if you have time. Embarkation points just off Nevsky prospect on the main canals. Can't miss them.

I read a college textbook on Russian History, that i borrowed and since have returned. Facinating history, worth reading up on.

The one book I LOVED was Massie's "Peter the Great", which is a thick but a terrific and very entertaining read. Not just a bio of Peter the Great; tons of background on earlier Russian history and culture and religion, and context of general European history in his time. Really great.

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Peterhof
Peterhof
Petrodvortsovy District, Russia
USA & Altai Kray...
Level Contributor
879 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Looking for advice and suggestions

You might look for a book called "The Other Side of Russia (A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East)", by Sharon Hudgins (Texas A&M Univ. Press, 2003). Sharon is an intrigung writer. She and her husband,Tom, lived and taught in Irkutsk and Vladivostok in 1993-1994 in connection with a University of Maryland program. The book is about their experiences living and teaching at universities in those two cities as visiting American professors at the end of the Soviet era, and it's a MUST read for new Russophiles!

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Side
Side
Manavgat, Turkey
Russia
Russia
Europe
Siberia
Siberia
111 Reviews
Moscow, Russia
3. Re: Looking for advice and suggestions

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