Categories
Travelers Advices

Where to stay in St Petersburg?

For once I will start an article with a confession. Well, no need to be that excited. I’m not living in St Petersburg and I’ve only been there 3 times (still better than nothing right?). That’s why this article will be shorter than the one on Moscow, and more tourists oriented  than for expats. But I am still writing it so it will be as good as usual. Thing is with St Petersburg, the city is smaller than Moscow, less expensive and absolutely stunning. That is why you can afford living in the very center, where the city is truly active, or in very trendy quarters.

 

Nevsky

Where?

Nevsky is the heart of Petersburg. It’s a big boulevard with lot of shops, restaurants, cafés and historic sites. Nevsky links all the major sites and places of St Petersburg’s city center. You can not do more central.


Why?

Of course for its location. But also because Nevsky combines all the main sites of St Petersburg. This quarter is perfect for both tourists that can find a reasonable and comfortable accomodation in the very heart of the city, and locals that will have all activities, shops, restaurants and cafés in less than 15min walking.


What to do?

St Petersburg main sites such as the Ermitage, Christ the Savior on the Spilled Blood, St Isaac, Our Lady of Kazan cathedral, the Russian Museum…

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg- Cafe Singer

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

New Holland

Where?

The New Holland quarter is located in the city center, on the West of Nevsky and St Isaac cathedral.

 

Why?

The New Holland quarter is one of my favorite. It previously was a prison and so not such a good quarter to live in. But the prison closed and the quarter renovated. As a result, it became a trendy quarter with many small restaurants and shops!


What to do?

Visit and eat at the Bottle (Botilka) that is the former prison, transformed in a very nice place with cafés en shops.

IMG_4295

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

Vasilievsky Island

Where?

The Vasilievsky Island is on the opposite side of the Neva, right in front of the Admiralty.

Why?

The Vasilievsky Island is a newly renovated quarter not far from Petersburg very heart. As a result it’s a very convenient, comfortable and trendy part of the city. Great to stay there if you plan on discovering the city, but also the current life of Russians living in Petersburg!


What to do?

Despite the proximity of the main touristic sites, you can should visit the spit of the island and the Menshikov Palace.

shutterstock_121537738

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

Summer Garden Quarter

Where?

The Summer Garden is located on the east of St Petersburg very heart, on the banks of the Neva.

 

Why?

Although the beauty of the garden itself, this quarter of St Petersburg hosts many historic famous and unknown sites and palaces. Plus, the quarter is also a very trendy one with backstreets hiding delicious restaurants and cafés but also nice shops for hipsters (but like the good ones).


What to do?

In this quarter I highly recommend the famous Summer Garden and Russian Museum of course. But if you want to discover something different, unusual, you must visit the St Ann’s church, a church/theater that burnt some years ago…

dreamstime_xxl_113486919

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

Categories
Travelers Advices

Where to stay in Moscow?

We always emphasise it (but you can’t understand how important it is until you feel it), Russia is big…and so is Moscow! Distances are huge and doing things can quickly became very time consuming. Plus, some parts of Moscow don’t really worth the visit. I mean it’s nice to see and discover what is the traditional Soviet architecture. But… well… no. So while staying in Moscow either for a long or short time, you must choose the neighborhood that will best suits your needs and expectations. So here are some tips and infos.  

 

Lubyanka

Where?

The Lubyanka quarter is located at the north east of the Red Square. Very convenient, it’s about 15min by foot from the Kremlin and can be considered as in Moscow’s very heart!


Why?
First for its location obviously. It’s really close to the Red Square and so to the most symbolic sights of Moscow. But by not being on the Red Square you’ll avoid the crowd and the noise of Moscow’s biggest boulevard. As a result it’s very convenient for both tourists and expats.


What to do?

Lubyanka is mainly known for being the FSB (the Russian secret services) quarter. Indeed Lubyanka is famous for hosting during the USSR the KGB headquarters and so for being the heart of the Soviet repression. In addition Lubyanka is also known as being a “french quarter” and some visits are organised to better know this part of Moscow!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Place Loubianka - ciel bleu

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Chistye Prudy

Where?
Chistye Prudy is located right after Lubyanka on the north east of the Red Square. It makes the border between Moscow’s city center and the rest of the city. In fact Chistye Prudy’s heart is made of the garden circle that constituted the limit of Moscow some centuries ago.

 

Why?
Chistye Prudy is my favorite part of Moscow. First because it’s beautiful since it hosts gardens and ponds.This quarter is very clean and has been renovated some years ago. But also what makes Chistye Prudy my favorite quarter of Moscow is that it’s a more comfy part of the city. With many cafés, restaurants, super nice bars, it’s a quarter to relax and enjoy Moscow, and to remember that there is something for every taste here.

 
What to do?

Chistye Prudy doesn’t host a famous sight or museum. But you have plenty of things to do! Basically this quarter is the perfect one to relax, escape a bit the city and enjoy going in good cafés, restaurants and bars.

Dreamstime @ Moscou - Tchistye Prudi

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

The Old Arbat

Where?

The Old Arbat is a famous quarter located on the east of the Red Square inside the garden ring.


Why?
This quarter of Moscow is one of the most beautiful. It’s mainly composed of a pedestrian street where stand beautiful colourful houses and artists’ shops. It’s another facette of Moscow’s city center that worth the visit due to its artistic and historic heritage.


What to do?

In the Old Arbat the best to do is just to enjoy a walk through it. The best of this quarter is its atmosphere characterised by its artistic and historic heritages. But to that and to really appreciate it, you must book a guided-tour!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vieil Arbat.jpg

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Patriarshye Prudy

Where?
Located on the north east of the Red Square, Patriarshye Prudy is also constituted of the garden ring. This quarter is calm even though being really close to the Tverskaya.


Why?
First for its relaxing atmosphere. But also and above all because it’s Bulgakov’s quarter and so the very origin of “The Master and Margarita”. So if you’ve read the book, you definitely must go have a walk there!


What to do?

As for Chistye Prudy, Patriarshye Prudy is a very good place to chill and relax in gardens. It hosts the very famous Bulgakov’s house-museum that really worth a visit. You’ll also be able to find other great-quality museums. 

dreamstime_m_46085461.jpg

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Novokuznetskaya

Where?
Located 10min walk south of the Red Square, Novokuznetskaya is on the other side of the Moskova but remains in the very heart of Moscow.


Why?
Novokuznetskaya is a very nice and pretty quarter of Moscow with a peculiar atmosphere. Made of cafés, restaurants and a stunning church. On the plus side, Novokuznetskaya is close to the Red Square and is the quarter of the Tretyakov Gallery.


What to do?

Despite having a walk in the quarter, the thing you must do in Novokuznetskaya is the Tretyakov Gallery. It’s one of the most famous museum in Russia as it hosts the biggest collection of Russian art in the country.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Galerie Tretiakov (9).jpg

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Timiriazevskaya

Where?
In the north of Moscow, outside of Moscow city center and after the second ring, is the quarter of Timirazevskaya. Unknown from most of Muscovites and tourists, this quarter is located close to the famous VDNKh park.


Why?
This quarter is a nice one to live in since it’s residential but modern and calm. To be honest it doesn’t really worth the visit if you’re a tourist, but expats can be interested to live there. The main interest remains the proximity of VDNKh park.


What to do?

There is no much things to do in Timiriaevskaya expect going and visit the amazing VDNKh park and the Cosmonautics museum. VDNKh is a big park that hosted international exhibitions under the USSR. The buildings are surprising and the Cosmonautics museum is both impressive and interesting!

Dreamstime © Moscou - Musée des Cosmonautes (8)

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Sokolniki

Where?
The Sokolniki quarter is located between Moscow city center and VDNKh. So not too far from the main touristic and interesting places, but away from the noise and the crowd.


Why?

Sokolniki is a nice quarter with a good location that allows you to escape the difficulties of leaving in Moscow city center, and allows you to breath in its big park (like Hyde Park * 4), without going to the other side of the country.


What to do?

The main (well only) thing to do in the Sokolniki quarter is to enjoy nature (the real and wild one). If it’s dedicated to children and so hosts many activities for them, the park offers many things to do. You can walk in the forest, swim, run, skate, horse-ride… Very nice and convenient to chill out during weekends.

dreamstime_xxl_81899081

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

Categories
Top

Top 5: View Points on Moscow

To be honest with you, Moscow isn’t one of these cities that you absolutely need to see from the top. Russians have quite a big territory and because of that buildings aren’t really high. That’s why Russian cities are often better looking from the ground. However, from the centuries-old cathedrals of the Kremlin to the brand new towers of Moscow City and Stalin’s Seven Sisters, Moscow can offer quite stunning views. But to enjoy Moscow from above you must know the good places…and that’s why I’m here!

 

  • Rusky bar  

More than diving into contemporary Russia by exploring Moscow City, you have to jump to the top of the highest restaurant of Europe. Set of restaurants and bars with a terrasse in summer and the highest skating rink of Europe in winter, the 354 will offer you an unusual and magnificent view over Moscow. While eating and drinking (my two favorite activities) you’ll be able to admire the Russian capital, its treasures and differences, from above. For sure a stunning view is awaiting you… if there aren’t any clouds.

ruski

 

  • On the roof of Dietski Mir

Far less high and hype, but located in the very city center, Dietski Mir offers a great view on Moscow. Its location makes it interesting as you can see Moscow’s symbolic buildings as if they were really close. However to reach the top you’ll have to go through the worst. Indeed Dietski Mir is a mall dedicated to children. In other words you’ll see and hear children everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And then you’ll have to reach the food court, composed almost exclusively of fast foods. But if you made it, you’ll be able to get fresh air and a beautiful view on the Russian capital.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vue aérienne (13)

 

  • On the platform near the Academy of Sciences

Do you know the Academy of Sciences? It’s this big white building made of two towers and topped by what looks like an orange in-construction extension! Well nobody knows it but you can go on the platform in front of the building to enjoy an amazing and unusual view on Moscow. Unusual because you’re the only one (well and me and the billions of people that read me everyday) to know that the public can access it. Amazing because you can embrace the whole city, its diversity and all its most famous buildings. Be sure to be pretty and you’ll have a super popular Instagram shot!

shutterstock_653715952.jpg

 

  • Sparrow Hill

The Sparrow Hill is most probably the highest point of the very flat Moscow. That’s why if you want to enjoy a natural view above Moscow you can only go there. To me the view isn’t the most beautiful as everything seems a bit far and “clouds” are often fogging the view. Plus there are always many people. But it remains interesting to go there as you’re really close to the Lomonossov University which is one of Stalin’s Seven Sister!
Dreamstime © - Moscou - Université Lomonossov (6).jpg

 

  • Take an excursion on the roofs

One of the best and most beautiful way to enjoy a view on Moscow is to go on roofs. Most of them are closed but you can find some that are accessible. Once you’ve jumped on it, you’re always in front of a magnificent spectacle. I strongly advise you to go for the sunset. And the best is that you can choose the part of Moscow you want to discover more. Stunning and peaceful!

fullsizeoutput_200a_edited

 

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!