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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

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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

 

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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

 

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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. 

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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

 

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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)

 

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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.

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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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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Top 6: Where to go out in Moscow

Moscow is a big capital with a dynamic nightlife. Pubs, bars, clubs, rooftops… Moscow offers a wide range of activities and places to go out for all different types of night owls. From crowded places to lesser known hidden gems, you can find in Moscow what suits you best! Even for those like me that like to go out in fancy places but hate people (big up bros!). But Moscow is also very big and has its secrets. In fact most of the good places to go are hidden. So if you want to discover Moscow’s real nightlife and amazing bars, follow me!

 

  • Mendeleev

Want to go out in a fancy place? Go to Mendeleev! A very nice and luxurious bar located in the stoned arched cellar of a tiny noodles restaurant in the heart of Moscow. Don’t be tricked, the restaurant is only a facade and hides a place where wearing Louboutin or being a foreigner won’t guarantee you to access. Once inside, you’ll enjoy exquisite cocktails while listening to live jazz music.

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Credits: Mendeleev Cocktail Bar

Side note: as an in person, you must go through the kitchens and access to the VIP room where a waiter will be at your service and where you’ll probably meet famous Muscovites.

Address: Petrovka 20/1, 107031 Moscow (go through the scary noodle restaurant)

 

  • Untitled Bar

The Untitled Bar isn’t hidden but very unknown. The bar is very small and its menu has nothing special. I mean cocktails are (very) good but remain classic. So why adding the Untitled Bar in this amazing top for in people? What makes the Untitled Bar so special and so good are its events. Indeed, if the bar organises casual events in the day as vintage markets, in the night it organises wayyyyyy too good parties all night long. My favorite are the disco nights!

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Credits: Untitled Bar 

Address: Petrovka Ulitsa, 15 стр.1, Moskva, 125009

 

  • Gypsy

This one is a classic. It’s one of the most famous club in Moscow. But you have to go there at least once. I usually don’t like clubs, they’re crowded, very warm and tiny. But the Gypsy is different…and I love it! The Gypsy is very big, has fountains and palms inside. The music is most often composed of remix of famous Russian and Western songs… which means that you can sing and enjoy it. On the plus side, you have huge windows. So in summer you can dance while admiring the sun rise above Moscow!

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Side note: if you want to go in, you better not speak Russian, they love foreigners

Address: Bolotnaya Naberezhnaya 3/2

 

  • Schrodinger Cat Bar

This one is hidden. But like really hidden. I mean even when you know where it is, you often can’t find the door since it’s a part of the wall that opens when pushing the hidden button (yes it happened to me and no I wasn’t even drunk). The Schrodinger Cat Bar is a very nice and good bar where every cocktail is served in a unusual glass. Music is always good since a Dj is mixing and people there are super nice. On the plus side, you never exactly know what’s in your cocktail before ordering it since cocktails names are chemical elements and only the alcohol is written on the menu. Great experience guaranteed!

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Credits: The Moscow Times

Address: 32 Ulitsa Bolshaya Dmitrovka

 

  • Sosna i lipa

In the back of a courtyard, in a big building, you have three different bars managed by the same very good people. The first bar is very modern, all is in concrete, a DJ is mixing more electronic music and at the bar you can find delicious strong fruits alcohols. This one is really fancy and without any surprise it’s my favorite of the three! The second one is more a restaurant that serves mexican food (delicious). The third one is a beer bar with another DJ. In this one you have wooden tables, comfy sofas and many kind of very good beers. I personally love this place since it suits all tastes…so no need to argue with your buddies on where to go!

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Credits: Calvert Journal

Address: Ulitsa Pokrovka, 17

 

  • Mitzva Bar

The Mitzva Bar is a fancy place to have tasty and unusual cocktails. With many and exclusive combinations, the Mitza Bar won’t disappoint you. You have comfy sofas to sit in and drink your almost tailored cocktail. In addition, the ornaments of the bar are… nice! It basically takes elements from every major conspiracy theories. The result is a funny and beautiful bar!

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Credits: Mitzva Bar

Address:  Ulitsa Pyatnitskaya, 3/4 с.1

 

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Travelers Advices

Taking the Train in Russia?

Russia is big and one of the best way to travel across this huge territory is to take the train! If you’re full of clichés, and I know you are, you would think that taking the train in Russia is horrible and difficult. Spoiler: you’re wrong. You might face lot of difficulties while in Russia but trains are definitely not one of them. Trains are always clean (even if some of them are super old) and one time (super impressive to be honest). So if you’re traveling across Russia, I would definitely recommend you to take the train.

Dreamstime @ Train russe (2)

But taking the train in Russia, you must obey to certain rules. Like not official rules but more officious and cultural ones. More, you should try to know a bit more on Russian trains (as you did with the subway).

The Russian railway company is RZD. It has three main categories of trains, the high speed trains (those with which you’re doing St. Petersburg-Moscow in a bit more than 3 hours), the regional trains and what I would call the “normal” night trains.

Dreamstime @ Train russe

You also have a third category made of special trains (transsiberian…), but well these are really special. Regional trains are working as in many countries: you buy a ticket at the station, and seat in the train. The only special thing is that they are well-organised seller within the train so if you need something don’t worry, you’ll be able to buy it. Back to normal night trains, you have 3 classes:

  • The First: two very comfortable beds, common bathrooms and toilets, air conditioner, linens, meal, travel kits… Very nice and comfy but expensive.

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  • The Kupe: a bit like the first but with 4 beds, which means that you’ll meet people! And also, you don’t have a meal. No you don’t. So you must think about it. The kupe is a good way to travel as it’s very clean and comfy, but you also have the experience of meeting people.

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  • The Platskart: my favorite! And it’s quite a surprise since I’m kind of a prince that only likes good, comfortable and of a high standards things. The platskart is basically a dormitory. An old one. But for the price it’s amazing. You have linens and hot water at your disposal (and a toilet of course) and you meet the real Russians. It’s safe and to be honest it won’t be your best night of the year but we can sleep very well. I highly recommend it!

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If you’re traveling in either kupe or platskart, you have some rules to follow. Indeed, beds are separated by a table, common to all the 4 passengers. Therefore, when arriving in the train, people use to seat in the under bed…even if it’s not theirs. No matter if you’re sleeping on the under or upper beds, the under ones are considered as seats when not sleeping. That’s why usually people make their bed late and enjoy the first hours of travel to eat, drink tea or discuss. After a bit of time (you have to feel these things) the ones with the upper beds make their beds. Ones they’re ready, they often stay in them even if it’s quite early. It allows the ones on the under beds to make their bed and go to sleep if needed. In the morning, the staff will wake you up. You usually have to undo your bed and let your linens to a side of the train.

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All is easy and very well-organised! Traveling across Russia is an amazing experience that will allow you to discover its stunning landscapes, fastly cover huge distances and meet the real people. So jump on the next train and let see where it goes!

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Traveling in Russia

The Bolshoi Theater

Who doesn’t know the Bolshoi? If you don’t know it, it’s a shame. Like a real shame. I mean the kind of shame you feel when you have to walk in the middle of two groups of judging babushkas.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (2)

Anyway the Bolshoi is one of the best Opera and theater in the world, especially known for its ballets. With nearly 200 dancers, one of the most extensive repertoires in the world, technically the best-equipped theater in the world, and with the modern stage opened in 2002 and the historical stage reopened in 2011 after six years of work, there are not enough superlatives to describe the Bolshoi. Opened in 1776 and two steps away from the Kremlin, the Bolshoi remains as one of the most vibrant and famous symbols of the Russia and the Russian arts scene.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï - Ballet (2)

This symbolism lies of course on the quality of its representations, its history, its continued world-tours and on its ornaments. From the chandelier and ceiling paintings to the loges, the Bolshoi itself offers to its visitors a magical decor. But the Bolshoi is more than that. The Bolshoi is a real historical milestone that saw as well as contributed to history. Indeed, if Lenin wanted to destroy it (no comment, I promise), it was Stalin that saved it. A bit later, the Bolshoi’s first representation after the dissolution of the USSR was Swan Lake and its nowadays the most well-known ballet among people.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (5)

 

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Cultural Fact

Russian contemporary art

Russian art and artistic life are mainly known for the imperial architecture, the classic music and literature and the Soviet modern art. More, Russia is often seen as a country where contemporary culture doesn’t exist. It couldn’t be more wrong. Indeed the Russian contemporary artistic life is rich, diversified and of high quality! However it’s true that Russian contemporary is most of the time a bit hidden. Why? First because it rarely (and very sadly) goes out of the country due to a clichés and low interest from foreigners (bad). Second because Russian contemporary art isn’t about gigantism or pop art (yes I despised Jeff Koons). But missing Russian contemporary art is missing what Russia really is nowadays and it’s staying on the surface of a buzzing society.

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Of course, to better know the Russian contemporary art, you can go in well-known museums and galleries. Among them, the best are the Garage Museum and Winzavod gallery in Moscow, and the Erarta Museum of St Petersburg!

Starting with the Erarta Museum in St Petersburg, because this one is my favorite (and trust me I know about art). The Erarta Museum is the most important museum of contemporary art in Russia despite being opened in 2010. It displays more than 2300 objects d’art. But to me the most important is its philosophy. Indeed, the philosophy of the Museum is to combine the elements of the participation of the visitor with the preference given to talented artists over popular artists. Finally a museum of contemporary art that gives the way to talent over popularity!

Musée Erarta © Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée art contemporain Erarta (4)

In Moscow the two museums that deal with contemporary art are the Garage Museum and the Winzavod gallery. The first one is a well-known and good quality museum in the heart of Gorky Park. It’s rather small but often has good exhibitions. Even if, to be honest, you need to be careful when choosing as some of them are more modern art than contemporary and so a bit… different.

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The Winzavod gallery is different (and free). It exhibits contemporary art project in a big industrial building. You’ll therefore meet young artists, often a bit underground and discover many styles and personalities!

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But if you want to discover the Russian contemporary art, the best remains to explore, walk by the streets, go to gallery openings and find the doors to the underground. Good luck!

 

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Top 7: Russian landscapes

Russia is often seen either through its political and military sides, symbolised by Moscow and the Kremlin, or through its cultural and historic sides, symbolised by St Petersburg. But Russia is way more than that. Limit your understanding of Russia to its western part and to the ethnic Russians, and you would miss what Russia really is? From Moscow to Vladivostok, from Sochi to Murmansk and from Irkutsk to Vorkuta, Russia is socially, economically, “biodiversifically“ diversified. As a result it has absolutely stunning landscapes to discover by train, walk or horse. And trust me I’m kind of an expert since I lived in many countries (sorry but not sorry).

 

  • The Baikal

Starting with a classic. The Baikal is just stunning. In winter as in summer the Baikal is one of the most (if not the most) beautiful landscape of Russia. The Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world and the deepest, but more importantly it’s the meeting point of religions and societies. Indeed the Baikal hosts one of the most sacred buddhist site, but also ancient shamanists sites. Between Western Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia, the Baikal is a the crossroads of cultures that increase even more its majesty!

Dreamstime © - Baïkal - Cap Khoboï (4)

 

  • The Kola Peninsula

The Kola Peninsula is a bit less fancy and far lesser known. But this peninsula catches one of the most Russian atmosphere and landscape. Basically the Kola Peninsula is a piece of land located at the extreme north of Russia in the polar circle. Strategic region with both military basis and oil, this region close to Murmansk remains the realm of winter and so offers beautiful landscapes.

Dreamstime © - Péninsule de Kola - Pêche (9)

 

  • The Altai mountains

One of the most beautiful landscapes of Russia can be found in the Altai region. These mountains are a real natural and preserved gem in the heart of the Russian territory. Forests, rivers, lakes, wildlife, flowers offer you stunning landscapes that definitely worth the hike. Yes…of course the Altai is quite difficult to explore, so better jump on the train and then your shoes! BUT the Altai is famous for its honey, another reasons to go and “hike” (if you know what I mean).

Tsar Voyages © - Altai - Paysage (9)

 

  • Yakutia

The largest sub-territory of the Russian Federation is located on the East side of the country and most of it is inhabited. So again lot of hikes, sorry. But this territory knows among the most extreme climate in the northern hemisphere. This created magical landscapes with a specific biodiversity!

Dreamstime © - Yakoutie - Rivière Indigirka (2)

 

  • Karelia

The Karelia region is located not far from the Kola Peninsula, in the extreme north of Russia’s western part. But this region goes above the States borders and encompass the territories of Russia, Finland and Sweden. The Russian part of Karelia is famous for the Kiji islands on which have been erected among the highest wooden churches in the world. And if you’re lucky enough you’ll even be able to see belugas!

Dreamstime © - Ile de Kiji - Eglise de la Transfiguration

 

  • Kamchatka

By far one of my favorite landscape of Russia. Why? First because it’s dangerous and inaccessible (yes, I’m kind of an adventurous guy). Second, because it concentrates all the Russian territory diversities and raw potential. The Kamchatka is a huge peninsula in the Far East where the continent meets the ocean. You can reach it only by snowmobiles or helicopters but then you discover awesome landscapes shaped by extreme climates and volcanos (about 200!).

Dreamstime © - Kamchatka - Volcan de Moutnovsky (6)

 

  • The Caucasus

Last but definitely not least, the Caucasus is highly different from above. Of course it’s in the south so there is sun and wine. Which change everything. But above all, the Caucasus is very specific because at the crossroads of cultures, a sweet mix of Russian, Central Asian and Middle Eastern influences. So are the landscapes, mainly composed of mountains (who would have guessed?) but also stunning views on the Caspian and Black Sea!

Dreamstime © Piatigorsk (17)

 

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Traveling in Russia

Peterhof Palace

The “Russian Versailles” and the symbol of Russia’s elevation to a position of power within Europe, the Peterhof Palace is, without a doubt, one of the most sumptuous palaces within Russia (and I’m a high standards person).

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (9)

The very first aim of Peterhof was to spread Russian art and culture throughout Europe and of course to symbolise Russia’s accession to the rank of a great European maritime power. That’s why the Palace is dedicated to the god Neptune and the fountains are some of the greatest curiosities. As a result, Peter the Great ordered a stunning European-style palace on the shores of the Finland Gulf. Peterhof is therefore highly influenced by Versailles but developed a peculiar architecture to please the Tsar and its court.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (3)

Peterhof’s interior ornaments are amazing, but the most impressive thing, the real treasure of this imperial summer residence, are the gardens. They aren’t something in addition, but are a real part of the palace and thought as it. The Upper and Lower gardens, the fountains, the labyrinth, the pavilions, the canal, all of these are creating a marvelous park that increase even the beauty of the palace.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (5)

In the summer, you can travel to the palace by hydrofoil, and let yourself be sprayed by the fountains, some having been designed for this very purpose. For its interiors and its sumptuous gardens, the Peterhof Palace is an essential visit for any stay in St. Petersburg!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (8)

 

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Top 7: Russian palaces

Russia is known for many things, and one of them being its glorious and shiny imperial past. Who wouldn’t be astonished by the luxurious golden palaces, the huge parks and masterpieces exhibited in these imperial residences? But more (because I know why you’re reading this top), who wouldn’t dream of being the Anastasia of the 21st century? (I personally didn’t lose hopes). I already wrote about all the imperialist things we can do in Russia and especially in St Petersburg (here). But I know that most of you would rather focus on the palaces and enter the intimacy of the Russian Tsars (cheeky). So here it is! A top to know which, when and at which price you can visit imperial palaces!

 

  • Peterhof Palace (St Petersburg)

Peterhof Palace is probably the most famous palace in St Petersburg after the Ermitage. And to be honest everyone knows why. The Russian Versailles was the summer residence of Peter the Great. But above all, it has been built as a symbol of the Russian imperial power and as a way for Russia to appear as a European Great Power. That’s why the palace is absolutely stunning on the inside and even more on the outside! A definite must-do!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (6)

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday: 10.30-17.45

Saturday: 16.15-19.45

 

How much?

Full price (Grand Palace): 1000 RUB (16 USD)

Full price (Lower Garden): 900 RUB (15 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

 

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  • Pavlovsk Palace (St Petersburg)

As I already explained, Paul Ist isn’t the best nor the most appreciated Russian Tsar. Nevertheless he had a beautiful palace. And especially and huge and awesome park to explore. An estate to discover and admire on the inside as on the outside (in summer of course).

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When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 10.00-17.00

 

How much?

Full price: 700 RUB (11 USD)

Children (from 7yo to 18yo) & Student: 200 (3 USD)

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

 

 

  • Yusupov Palace (St Petersburg)

When we think palaces and Russian Empire, we often only think about the Romanov. Which to our defence is normal due to the kind of Russian autocratic, hyper-personalised, tradition. But still the Russian Empire has been also dominated by powerful, rich and influential families such as the Yusupov. Enter their main residence on the Moika and discover about them (yesterday and today)…and discover where Rasputin has been killed!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - 2e Palais Youssoupov

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 11.00-17.00

 

How much?

Full price: 700 RUB (11 USD)

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

 

 

  • Tsarskoye Selo (St Petersburg)

Tsarskoye Selo is the imperial village. Why? Because it hosts two amazing palaces, the Catherine palace and the Alexander palace. If the second is under reconstruction and so close to public access for some years (you know what I mean), the first one is one of the most beautiful palace of St Petersburg. Probably because it hosts the Amber Room (well a copy since the real has been stolen, but still)!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Tsarskoe Selo - Ensemble

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 12.00-19.45

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 12.00-18.45

 

How much?

Full price: 1000 RUB (16 USD)

Students: 350 RUB (6 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

 

 

  • Kuskovo Palace (Moscow)

Another powerful family were the Sheremetev. Their country estate in Moscow, Kuskovo, is one of the last remaining imperial palace around the Russian Capital. The palace and the estate are beautiful and you definitely should visit it!

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When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 10.00-19.30

 

How much?

Full price: 200 RUB (3 USD)

Student: 50 RUB (0,8 USD)

 

 

  • Tsaritsyno Palace (Moscow)

Tsaritsyno is another palace close to Moscow. To be honest it’s more famous for its park, but the palace worth the visit because of its architectural style and its history!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Tsaritsyno (3)

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Weekdays: 11.00-17.30

Saturday: 11.00-19.30

Sunday: 11.00-18.30

 

How much?

Full price: 350 RUB (6 USD)

 

 

  • Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov Palace (Moscow)

Last but not least this wooden-palace is impressive. Far from the huge, goldish and European-style palaces of the Imperial Russia and St Petersburg, the Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov Palace is a true representative of the Russian style. More it explains and shows the beginning of the Romanov accession to power.

Dreamstime © - Kolomenskoe - Palais du tsar Alexis Mikhaïlovitch (4)

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00-17.30

 

How much?

Full price: 350 RUB (6 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student: Free

 

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

Categories
Travelers Advices

Taking the subway?

Some days ago I told about how the Moscow subway is beautiful (want a guided tour? Click here!) and how wonderful it is to have free internet access. But now I realise that I didn’t explain you how to actually take the subway! So here it is… and enjoy the ride (from 5.30 am to 1.30 am)!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro - Komsomolskaya (3)

On the contrary to many countries, taking the subway in Moscow and St Petersburg is a very convenient and comfortable way to travel across the city. Indeed the cities are so big that taking the subway is often a necessity. However, as for everything in Russia, distances between two stations can be huge… so stay awake and keep in mind that walking 15 minutes to get to the nearest station is absolutely normal in the city center.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro (4)

First you need to know where you are, where is the nearest station and where you go. To that end, you really (but like really really) download the official apps. Up to you to choose between Yandex Metro and Yandex transport (my favorite) but download one of them! Thanks to them you’ll always find your way and avoid unnecessary detours.

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Then you need to enter the metro (and pay of course). Since Russia is hosting major international events, some employees of the subway speak a bit of english. So two options for you to buy tickets: the gentle and funny woman at her desk, or the machine (they “speak” perfect english). Being a bit afraid of people (and even more of Russian grannies) and never sure of my perfect Russian (real reason is, I hate people), I always go to the machine. But up to you!

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At this point you have three options:

  • Single ticket (Единый): it costs 55 RUB (0.9 USD) and it is available for only one entry. Once you entered, you can stay the time you want and go where ever you want.

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  • Two-rides ticket (Единый): it works the same as the first one except that you can enter the subway twice. It costs 110 RUB (1.8 USD).

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  • Troika card (Тройка): the troika card is a transportation card on which you can put how much money as you want. It’s the most convenient way to use public transports (it works for both the subway and buses!) if you use them more than occasionally. There is no date of availability and you only have to pop it up when you don’t have anymore money. Moreover by using the Troika you save money as using public transports only costs 36 RUB (0.6 USD)!

Side note: the troika card costs 50 RUB (0.8 USD), and can only be bought at a counter (sorry)

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So now that you’re in the subway, you must act as Russians. Please do. For you and also for me (yes I hate people that misbehave in the subway). So here are some basic rules:

  1. Walk fast, please. And if you want to admire the ornaments, stop on a side.
  2. In escalators, stay on the right. Or go on the left only if you’re not stopping.
  3. Let your seat to elders, children, bearing women, or (if you’re man) to women
  4. Stay close to the door only if you go out at the next stop.
  5. The station before your stop, go closer to the exit door.

Thank you. And it will prevent you from any Russian grannies assault (beware, they’re quite intolerant and violent).

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro (3)

To finish this very long post, I would advise you to always check your directions and especially when you want to go out of the subway. Choose the wrong exit and you’ll find yourself about 1km away from where you wanted to be! To help you, many indications have recently been translated in english… or at least in the Latin alphabet. In addition, the voice in the wagon indicating stops and directions are different according to where you go! If you go towards the center you’ll hear a male voice, on the contrary if you leave the center, it will be a female voice.

After reading this it can seems scary but trust me it isn’t. Russian transports and especially subways are very comfortable, clean, safe, fast and you almost never wait! So let’s go!

 

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