Google “Russia’s Most European City” and the answer that pops up will inevitably be Saint Petersburg. Ask an expat in Moscow what Russia’s most European city is and the answer will be Saint Petersburg. Considering that Russia is on the continent of Europe, that statement might sound a bit odd. But given that a lot of Russia is covered with Soviet style architecture, or countryside homes (dachas) when you get away from the big cities, it makes sense. Most of the rest of Russia is not like Saint Petersburg and does not feel European. Given its proximity to the Baltic states, as well as the easy access to those nations, it’s easy to see why Saint Petersburg is more European than the rest of Russia.
A visit to Saint Petersburg, or St. Pete as it’s sometimes referred to, should be on everyone’s must see list for many reasons.
People don’t generally go to Russia for the food. Certainly not in the same way they would travel to Greece or Italy for the food. But if you find yourself already in Russia and would like a wider choice of good (and affordable) food, then make your way up to St. Pete. Here you can find food from all over the world, and at considerably lower prices than in Moscow.
The history and art
Russia has had a long and intriguing history, and St. Petersburg offers a glimpse into the past with places such as the famous Hermitage museum and the Peterhoef.
Russian architecture is unique and beautiful. The huge cathedrals and churches are often incredibly ornate and one of the most famous cathedrals in the world is found in Saint Petersburg.
Saint Petersburg is the world’s most northernmost city with a population of over 1 million. Because of its northern location, it enjoys long hours of daylight in the early summer. These days are referred to as the White Nights and during this period of around 3 weeks, it never gets completely dark outside. To celebrate these long days, there are festivals and carnivals and musical performances around the city. Saint Petersburg is the place to be during the White Nights of summer!
You just never know what you will see or find in St. Petersburg. Go and be surprised!
Russia is a fascinating country! And Saint Petersburg is a fascinating city. While it is more European than the rest of Russia, in both visitors, food and architecture, it still very much carries the flavor of Russia. It is an easy city for first time visitors to visit in that you will find English much more widely spoken here than anywhere else in Russia. And it’s easy to access from the Baltic states by either a short plane ride or a longer ferry ride. With so many reasons to visit, why not put it on your bucket list?