Guns & Butter: St. Petersburg Travel Guide

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St. Petersburg Russia Travel Guide is part of the Quest Around the Globe Trip Report.


TPOL’s Guns & Butter Travel Guide is the best way to see as much as you can in as little time as possible. Here’s how it works – A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy. The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa. The guide includes inefficient activities i.e., tourist traps that should be avoided and aspirational activities that are worth doing but may be impossible to see given the constraints of time and resources.


Here are the reasons why St. Petersburg is ranked 6th in TPOL’s Best Big Cities in the World list.

Accessibility 

The best way to travel is by train. The train from Moscow to St. Petersburg is convenient and a better alternative than going back to the airport (see Take the Train to St. Petersburg!).

History 

While I’m not a museum guy, one of the main reasons I came to St. Petersburg was to see where Rasputin was killed (see Visiting Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg).

Ra ra Rasputin, Lover of the Russian queen

Architecture 

What other city has so many beautiful buildings and statues?

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood 

Built on the site where Alexander II, the former Emperor of Russia, was assassinated in March of 1881, this building was once a church but is now a secular museum. It is also the prettiest attraction in St. Petersburg from any angle, by day or night.

My old Cadillac.

Palace Square 

Stroll around the Palace Square while simultaneously reading the Wiki page on all the major historical events that transpired here. It includes the following: The Bloody Sunday massacre, which gave way to the First Russian Revolution (the Revolution of 1905), which led to the Russian Revolution in 1917, which culminated in the overthrow of the monarchy, execution of the imperial family, and creation of the Soviet Union by the Bolsheviks, which was founded by Lenin. How’s that for a historical synopsis?

The General Staff Building was the HQ of the Russian Armed Forces.

The Alexander Column 

The Alexander Column was raised after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon’s France. The column is named for Emperor Alexander I of Russia, who reigned from 1801–25.

Alexander under the Alexander Column
Alexander at night

The Winter Palace 

The Winter Palace was the residence of the Russian Emperors from 1732 to 1917. Today, it is a museum. See it both day and night.

Wandering 

Wandering the streets with no map is my idea of exploring. From the rivers and bridges to the statues, St. Petersburg is a city worth seeing on foot.

TPOL: JD/MBA/WorldExplorer

Nespresso 

Maybe not on the top of your lists for places to go domestically or internationally, but stopping at the Nespresso bar provided for caffeine and great pictures.

This is probably better coffee.

Vodka & Caviar 

Vodka and caviar tastings are a must if you visit St. Petersburg. I recommend the Grand Hotel Europe, which also is the birthplace of beef stroganoff.

International Cuisine 

The restaurants in Moscow were great. The restaurants in St. Petersburg were even better. Topping the list:

Start with Uzbekistan

Looking to relive the glory days of good eating in Mongolia, an underrated city for international fare, I went to Baklajhan, an Uzbek restaurant (see Shashlik in St. Petersburg).

Georgia on My Mind 

Following my wonderful time at Baklajhan, I tried to go to Tarkhun, a famous Georgian restaurant, in St. Petersburg. I arrived too late and they wouldn’t seat me. Hungry and trying to avoid McDonald’s, I searched for restaurants that were still open. I came across Khochu Kharcho and decided to give it a shot.

Even though it was past 10PM, the place was packed and lively.

Just because a place is open 24/7, does not make it Denny’s. The dinner was as quality as my other culinary experiences in Russia. I ordered appetizers, wine, entrees, and dessert. The price was around $100. 

TPOL’s TIP: Khochu Kharcho is located at Sadovaya St, 39/41, St Petersburg, Russia, 190031

Japan are you in the house? 

Hungry for sushi after hours? Go to две палочки. It’s open 24 hours and it’s fantastic.

TPOL’s TIP: Dve Palochki is located at Nevsky Ave, 47.

Dumplings? 

This strange restaurant isn’t the place I would recommend for dumplings but you should certainly sample some before you leave.

Souvenirs 

The nesting dolls were over $50. Clearly, they are made for tourists. I had to pass despite wanting the Michigan one.

Look who’s next to old Jimmy.

Russian Motors

I recall the business school case study on Lada. What’s a trip to Russia without seeing their stellar auto lineup?

Anyone for a Drink? 

A travel guide wouldn’t be complete without a few libations. Here’s where I went:

Craft Brew Cafe 

Next to Leffe Brune, my second favorite beer is Delerium. I first had it at Craft Brew Cafe.

TPOL’s TIP: Located at Malaya Morskaya Ulitsa, 15, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000

Ivan & Maria Gastropub

Looking for serious beer? Try Ivan & Maria. It’s not as potent as vodka but it’ll get you there.

TPOL’s TIP: Located at Nevskiy Ave., 64, St. Petersburg 191011 Russia

If cocktails are more to your liking, I suggest these two places:

географя (Geography) 

Damn right that’s all I need.

TPOL’s TIP: Located atRubinstein St, 5, St Petersburg, Russia, 191025

Tesla Bar 

This was my favorite bar in St. Petersburg because of the atmosphere and the cocktails.

TPOL’s TIP: Located at Rubinstein St, 30, St Petersburg, Russia, 191002

Overall

It is clear why St. Petersburg is one of my favorite cities.

St. Petersburg: It’s a slam dunk.

St. Petersburg Russia Travel Guide is part of the Quest Around the Globe Trip Report.

 

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