10 day itinerary: Moscow – Valdai – St. Petersburg – Novgorod – Moscow
Day 1-3. Moscow: Red Square, Kremlin, Arbat, parks and anything in city center, depending on your interests: THE CITY is simply huge!
Day 4. Driving from Moscow to St. Petersburg, stop in Valdaj Iversky Monastery half the way (total driving for the day: 730 km/450 mi)
Day 5. St. Petersburg: Peterhof Palace and walking: Cathedrals (Troitsky Cathedral, Isaac Cathedral, Church of the Savior on Blood), riverside and countless streets
Day 6. Pushkin(~30 km away) : Ekaterinian Palace in Pushkin and bridge opening in St. Petersburg at late night
Day 7. Hermitage Museum and a boat trip through channels and Neva river
Day 8. City of Veliky Novgorod
Day 9. Driving back from St. Peterburg to Moscow
Day 10. Flight back
This 10-day itinerary is devoted to mainly visiting St. Petersburg, so I focus here on it in my posts as well as I post some pictures from Valdaj and Veliky Novgorod, two towns lying between Moscow and Petersburg. I will add links here to connect this post to others as soon as I describe all the itinerary. Stay tuned and let me know what your interests are!
Below are the basic facts one should know before visiting St. Petersburg:
- Petersburg is considered to be a cultural capital of Russia. Proximity to open waters and maritime climate (to be read: miserable long winters with little sunshine) serve well as inspiration to many artists, musicians, poets and all other kinds of artistic souls.
- Petersburg is named after Peter the Great, lived in 1672-1725 and reigned from 1682 (!) who after his considerable traveling in Austria, Holland, England, Venice, Saxony and Brandenburg “opened a window to Europe for Russians” by introducing an European way of life, Dutch shipbuilding and city planning.On January 26, 1924, five days after Lenin’s death, the city was renamed to Leningrad.“Piter” is a colloquial word form for “Petersburg” which you would rarely see in printed form but often hear in public.
- St. Petersburg was the capital of imperial Russia between 1713 and 1728 and in 1732–1918 (so almost for two centuries and that finished quite recently!).
- Petersburg is named as “Venice of the North” with its 342 bridges.
- If you arrive with a cruise, you can stay visa-free for 72 hours (3 days).