Categories
Russian Culture To Do in Moscow Top Travelers Advices Traveling in Russia

Top 3 best parks to enjoy summer in Moscow in 2020

If you wonder what parks to visit in Moscow in 2020 and spend an amazing time outside, hereunder you find the best answer.

Parks of culture and leisure became a real thing in 2010s when Moscow government decided to invest money in landscape gardening of the city and its image of a “green capital”. Right now, in Moscow parks are the most popular places to hang out for the full day with lots of activities: walking, cycling, playing basketball and volleyball, laying on the grass and having a picnic etc. If you don’t know where to go on weekend in Moscow – parks are best options to spend time.

Gorky Park in Moscow
Gorky Park in Moscow

 

Hereunder you will find the 3 best parks to visit in Moscow:

  • Gorky Park of Culture and Leisure

Gorky Park is the most famous park in Moscow, about which you could have heard in the song “Wind of Change” by Scorpions. Back in the days it was an amusement park with biggest rollercoasters in Eastern Europe. Nowadays this park is loved by hipsters, youngsters and families for its number of activities. In Gorky Park you can practice sports like basketball and volleyball on pitches made by biggest sports brands Nike and Adidas. You can do yoga classes, dancing classes and many more. What to eat while in Gorky Park? In food-courts, of course! There are a lot of different restaurants with numerous cuisines – Greek, Chinese, Thai, Italian and Russian. We recommend you to sit on the terrace near the Moscow River bench and enjoy the moment. Also, in Gorky Park you may go to a concert or a show, which are held almost every day!

If you want to know what is Gorky Park and how it changed the image of Moscow, follow Leo, young French journalist and guide living in Moscow for his Gorky Park private tour, during which you discover the history of this place, walk around best sights and get to know how to spend great time on fresh air in in Moscow.

address: Krymsky Val, 9

open 24 hours a day

Center of Gorky Park in Moscow
Central Fountain of Gorky Park in Moscow

 

  • Zaryadye Park

The most recently opened park now in Moscow is Zaryadye Park right in the heart of the capital near Red Square and Kremlin.

Park Zaryadye in Moscow has numerous installations, created by very famous Russian artists, and many things to visit – the Ice Cave made of 70 tons of frozen water, Florarium with more than 200 plant species, Media Center with interactive walls and floor to watch stunning 360-degrees videos, etc.

Zaryadye Park in Moscow
Zaryadye Park in Moscow

 

But the most symbolic and impressive sight in Zaryadye is definitely the River Overlook Footbridge from which you can amazing views on Kitay-Gorod, Kremlin, St.Basil’s Cathedral and Stalin Towers.

River Overlook Footbridge in Zaryadye Park
River Overlook Footbridge in Zaryadye Park

 

If you want to discover more Zaryadye Park with Kremlin and Red Square, take part in Walking Tour in the Center of Moscow of Tsar Visit and explore Moscow deeper with professional guide.

address: Ulitsa Varvarka 6, building 1

open 24 hours a day

  • VDNKh Park

VDNKh Park (or VDNH, which stands for Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) in Ostankino District of Moscow is at the moment the biggest and the most developed park in Russia.

If you want to receive all at once – VDNKh park is the best choice. It contains a lot of worldwide famous symbols of Russia and USSR – pavilions of former USSR republics, the People’s Friendship Fountain, Ostankino TV tower, Moscow Monorail and Museum of Cosmonautics.

Ostankino Tower in VDNKh park in Moscow
Ostankino Tower in VDNKh park in Moscow

 

VDNKh Park was recently renewed and now it has one of the biggest Aquariums in Europe with more than 12000 water animals. In VDNKh you can play any sports, rent a bike or a scooter, walk the eco-trail, go climbing or do yoga.

VDNKh Park in Moscow
VDNKh Park in Moscow

 

If you want to explore VDNKh Park fully, join the tour of VDNKh and Cosmonautics Museum by Tsar Visit and learn about these impressive sights with a professional private guide.

address: Prospekt Mira, 119

open 24 hours a day

Cosmonautics Museum in VDNKh Park
Cosmonautics Museum in VDNKh Park

 

All in all, in Moscow more than anywhere else in the world, parks are sights definitely worth visiting. They contain a lot of worldwide famous attractions and they keep developing every day. If you want to know Moscow better and to spend amazing time in Russia – visit the famous capital parks.

Categories
To Do in Saint-Petersburg Top

Top 4: Unusual Things To Do in Saint Petersburg

Are you bored to see tourists everywhere you wanna go? Do you feel like you want to explore areas others haven’t? You can unearth places like that even in Peter! (yeah, that’s another way to call Saint-Petersburg, way more popular in real life than “The Venice of North”) Thanks to this top 4, you’ll bring back home unique pictures and memories, and everybody’s gonna tell you: wow, where have been? where have you seen that?… Now you’re wondering what exactly, I’m gonna tell you.

In Moscow? Check this unusual top 3!

  • Saint Petersburg Secret Roofs

Many people have already seen outstanding videos and pictures on St-Petersburg from its roof. But few had the opportunity to actually go there, and pretend to be one of the Hermitage’s cats. Several locals started “mini-businesses” and let you access the roofs through their stairs. For the view, the feeling of breaking the rules, the adrenaline and for the likes on Instagram, take the stairs and explore another side of this surprising city! But careful when roofs are wet or icy, you wouldn’t let your annoying step-sister fall…

Picture: View from Saint-Petersburg's roofs © Dreamstime
View from Saint-Petersburg’s roofs
  • St-Anne’s Church-Theater (Annenkirche)

Building shared by a lutheran congregation and a liberal theater company, St-Anne’s Church Theater is the doorstep of Peter’s underground. Hidden in a small street, the building had a long history, built as a church it became a theater and a nightclub that burnt in 2002. Restored on popular initiatives it remains a strange and amazing building half-burnt but slowly rising again. There you’ll meet interesting people and will be able to explore the whole building (including the mysterious and very scary undergrounds) by yourself. This place is actually great for photo shoots (especially if you like to pretend that you’re so “out of the tracks”) or if you want to appear as a muzhik by protecting your so… but don’t bring your kids, they’ll have nightmares.

Picture: Gloomy Interior of St. Anne's Lutheran Church (Annenkirche), Saint-Petersburg
Gloomy Interior of St. Anne’s Lutheran Church (Annenkirche), Saint-Petersburg

If you like this kind of original, non-touristic places, try our tour “like a local” of St Petersburg.

  • Loft Project ETAGI

This surprising building in the heart of St Petersburg is a center of cultural life for many artists, hipsters and all curious people. There, you’ll find progressive exhibitions, workshops and original events. For example, you may meet real huskies and play with them while sitting on a swing on the 4th floor of the building. While your new-made Petersburgian friends may enjoy a meal in the food-court in the basement, you might head up to the rooftop and enjoy the rays of sun while sipping mulled-wine or a milkshake. Across the different floors, you’ll probably pop into one of the shops selling all sorts of things from clothes to graffiti equipment, nail bars and green cafes. You’ll even find a container alley and a sock vending machine (yes, yes, a machine that sells socks, some with pikachus, some with unicorns, and many others).

Picture: Main entrance to Loft Proyekt Etazhi © Eva Delaunay
Picture: Main entrance to Loft Proyekt Etazhi
  • «Pushkinskaya-10» Art Center

This is the only non-governmental, self-regulated and independent art center of St Petersburg, and probably even of Russia. In this creative place, you may try yourself at painting by taking drawing classes, or simply discover contemporary art from local and international artists. If you fell like you want to keep concrete memories from this unique place, you may buy paintings or books, and even music! An since St Petersburg underground is a vibrant and fashionable topic, people there will be pleased to inform you about its history.

«Pushkinskaya-10» Art-Center © Eva Delaunay
«Pushkinskaya-10» Art-Center

If you’re really fond of art and prefer to see real Russian art across all ages, then the State Russian museum was made for you.

 

Want to know more about Russia? Read more on our Travel Blog!

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

Categories
Cultural Fact

Victory Day in Russia (9th of May)

In Russia, the end of World War II and the defeat of nazism isn’t celebrated on the 8th of May but on the 9th of May. Indeed, when the armistice was signed between the Allied and the Nazi leadership, it was already May 9th in Russia. Nowadays, the 9th of May is one of the most important day in Russia and in the lives of many Russians (if not the most important). Indeed, if in Western Europe the end of World War II is celebrated through official ceremonials and bank holiday, in Russia it became a real commitment for the people to celebrate the USSR victory over nazism and the sacrifice of millions of Soviets.

Dreamstime (c) - 9 Mai à Moscou (1)

The Victory Day became an official celebration and non-working day in 1965. Since then military parades have been held almost every five or 10 years to celebrate the different anniversary of the nazi defeat. Progressively the victory of the Great Patriotic War has been erected a founding myth for the USSR…and more recently to the Russian international power and strength. The military parade on the Red Square became an annual unmissable event in 2008. It aims, as almost every military parade across the world, at spreading patriotism among the population and showing to the world the military strength of the country.

dreamstime_xxl_91487636.jpg

 

But what makes the Victory Day celebrations in Russia so special is what follows. Indeed, many countries can brag and show their newest military toys in city centers. But what is really unique and impressive in Russia is the Immortal’s Regiment. After the military parade, thousands of Russian march on Moscow’s biggest boulevard towards the Red Square, handling picture of their fallen relatives. Even more than 70 years later, and because the Soviet Union lost about 27 billions people during World War II, Russians continue to mourn their death and remember their sacrifice. The atmosphere there is unique: a mix of sadness, happiness, mourning, gratefulness and joy!

Dreamstime (c) - 9 Mai à Moscou (6)

 

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

 

Categories
Top

Top 10: Soviet Russia

If you’re not like me, and if you fancy bad things, you would probably fancy the Soviet Union. Indeed many people currently visit Russia due to its Soviet past. And to be honest they are still plenty of Soviet legacies in Russia…and especially in Moscow. That’s why, and because I am a super nice person (I know you think I’m lying) deeply interested in history, I made a top for you (silly people) that want to dive into the Soviet times. In case you’re a good person and like the Imperial Russia (high five and welcome to my club!) you can visit this amazing top

 

 

  • Stars’ city (Moscow)

Located 40 km away from Moscow, Star City is a training complex for Soviet (and now Russian) cosmonauts that will bring you back to Gagarine’s era. Each building hides a specific type of training: centrifuge, hydrolaboratory… It is kind of a highly secured and out of the track activity (that’s why everything is on request), but the visit worths it. Especially because you can meet cosmonautes, eat cosmonautic meal. Really nice!

 

When?

On request

 

How much?

On request

 

Ask us if you’re interested, we for sure can do something for you!

dreamstime_xxl_8435182.jpg

 

 

  • Lenin mausoleum (Moscow)

One of of the famous sight of Moscow. And of course one of the key (the “keyest”?) actor of the October Revolution and Soviet Union creation. Lenin corpse has been preserved and is exposed on the Red Square since 1930! (yummy and fresh!). You won’t be able to admire him for hours since it’s difficult to stop once in the mausoleum but at least you’ll be able to see this controversial man from the Soviet times.

 

When?

Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday: 10.00-13.00

 

How much?

Free

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Mausolée de Lénine (5).jpg

 

 

  • The Bunker 42 of Taganka (Moscow)

The Soviet times aren’t only the October Revolution but also (and above all?) the Cold War. A war during which nuclear attack was an everyday threat. To feel a bit more secure (and let’s face it, to be able to reply in case of attack), the Soviet military and political had a highly secret and secured bunker under the heart of Moscow. Now that the Cold War is over (please let’s not start a debate on this), you can visit this legacy from the Soviet Union.  

 

When?

Everyday: 10.00-20.00

 

How much?

Full price: 2200 RUB (35 USD)

Student: 1300 RUB (21 USD)

Dreamstime © Moscou - Bunker Taganka (3)

 

 

Yes the Kremlin isn’t a Soviet building and has a long history. But the Kremlin remains a symbol of the Soviet Union and its leadership. Moreover, the Kremlin has been transformed by the Soviet leadership. From its surroundings to the red stars on the top of each towers, the Soviet past of the Kremlin can’t be dismissed!

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 9.30-16.30

Thursday: Closed

 

How much?

Full price: 1,800 RUB (29 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Place rouge - Tour du Sauveur (2)

 

 

To me if St Petersburg is an European and Imperial city, Moscow is definitely a Soviet city built under the Soviet Union. Indeed all buildings in the center as in the neighbouring cities are impregnated by communism and Soviet architecture. Take a guided tour in Moscow city center’s and embrace this Soviet legacy!

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vue aérienne (13)

 

 

  • Mosfilm studios (Moscow)

Hollywood is too mainstream for you? Want to discover what a real film industry is? Visit the Soviet studios Mosfilm! Mosfilm studios are a symbol and key element of the Soviet culture. Main TV and movie studio were directed during the Soviet Union, contributing to the emergence of a Soviet culture. Nowadays not a single Russian don’t know movie produced by Mosfilm. Take a tour there and find out more about these movies!

Ask us if you’re interested, we for sure can do something for you!

Tsar Voyages © - Moscou - Mosfilm

 

 

  • Varenishnaya number 1 (Moscow)

You would think that the Soviet cuisine and the Russian ones are the same. Wrong! Well of course traditional dishes remain quite the same, but the current Russian cuisine is deeply influenced cuisines for other parts of the world. That’s why if you want to feel the Soviet Union you should go to Varenishnaya number 1. The restaurant recreated a Soviet atmosphere and serves traditional, easy going dishes as served during the Soviet Union. A bit touristic but still nice.

dreamstime_xxl_73832685.jpg

 

 

  • The Road of Life (St Petersburg)

One of the major event during World War II for Russians is the blockade of Leningrad. Millions of people starved to death and it has been of the most terrible battle of the War. However, if Leningrad stood up it’s not only because of the incredible resistance from the inhabitants. But also because of the bravour of some men who crossed the iced-Ladoga lake to bring some help to the city. Nowadays you can follow their path by visiting the interactive museum and drive along the road that is, since then, called the Road of Life.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-17.00

 

How much?

Full price: 900 RUB (14 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student: 500 RUB (8 USD)

La Route de la Vie @ Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée La Route de la Vie (2).jpg

 

 

  • The Gulag Museum (Moscow)

The Soviet Union, especially in the West, is also known for its darkest sides and its gulags. Gulags became famous after the publication in English in 1974 of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book “The Gulag Archipelago”. Nowadays a good way to know more about it is to visit the Gulag Museum in Moscow!

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-18.00

Thursday: 12.-21.00

 

How much?

Full price: 300 RUB (5 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student: 150 RUB (2.5 USD)

Musée du Goulag @ Musée - Musée du Goulag (2)

 

 

  • The Aurora cruiser (St Petersburg)

St-Petersburg doesn’t really fancy its Soviet past. Nevertheless, it hosts a crucial element that led to the October Revolution. Indeed, if the Aurora cruiser mainly served during the Russian Empire and especially during the war with Japan, it became a symbol of Soviet Russia because it gave the signal for the Winter Palace assault on October 24th 1917. Later it became famous through many Soviet films glorifying this (to my upper opinion) terrible night.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Friday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-18.00

 

How much?

Full price: 600 RUB (10 USD)

Student: 400 RUB (7 USD)

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Croisieur Aurore (3).jpg

 

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

 

 

Categories
Top

Top 8: Artists’ houses

Many Russian artists, from writers to dancers, are world-famous. Who never heard of Tolstoy, Dostoievsky, Pushkin? These artists inspired the world and continue nowadays to have a significant impact on our culture. But all of them have also been crucial witnesses of their centuries and of Russia. As most of them were famous while still living, their houses have been preserved by the Russian and later Soviet State. That’s why visiting artists’ houses and apartments in Moscow and St-Petersburg isn’t only about walking where they walked, but is above all diving in specific atmospheres from the past.  

 

  • Tolstoy House-Museum (Moscow)

My favorite is definitely Tolstoy’s house in the city center of Moscow. Not only because Tolstoy is my favorite Russian author, and that I’m dying for his Anna Karenine, but because his house is amazing. Tolstoy’s house is a wooden one that have been protected by the State right after Tolstoy’s death. As a result the house hasn’t been damaged. Enter it, and you instantly dive into the life of the Russian intelligentsia from the late Russian Empire. Amazing and definitely a must do!

Maison-Musée Tolstoï @ Moscou - Maison-Musée Tolstoï (6)

 

  • Dostoievsky House-Museum (St Petersburg)

Other super famous Russian author, Dostoievsky’s apartment in St Petersburg has also been quite well preserved. However, contrary to Tolstoy’s house, Dostoievsky’s apartment became a museum only 1971 due to the Soviet leadership’s unstable view attitude towards the author. Nevertheless the apartment kept the peculiar atmosphere of its time and above all of the vibrant soul that lived in its walls.  

dreamstime_xxl_109450714.jpg

 

  • Pushkin House-Museum (St Petersburg)

Probably the most loved and cherished author in Russia, Pushkin died in St Petersburg after a famous (and still painful for most Russians) duel. The apartment in which he lived his last years and died became a memorial treasured by all. As a result the atmosphere remains penetrating. Visiting it also means learning a lot on Pushkin’s life and work so go for it!

dreamstime_xxl_109759799.jpg

 

  • Gogol House-Museum (Moscow)

This house being Gogol’s last residence, has been recognised as it only in 2005. Nevertheless the building, both on the outside and inside, is stunning and worth the visit. Enter it and you will travel back in time to discover the living standards of the Muscovite upper classes before the Soviet Union…you may also find some decoration tips for your own house? (I hope not, but who knows?)

Tsar Voyages © - Moscou - Maison-musée Gogol

 

  • Bulgakov House-Museum (Moscow)

If Bulgakov is not the most loved author in Russia, he is not far from it. More, his book The Master and Margarita, is by far the most appreciated and famous book in Russia. That is why Bulgakov’s apartment in Moscow city center is always crowded. This very tiny apartment recall the life of the author but before all smartly mix Bulgakov and Margarita’s lives. Indeed the apartment described in the book is basically Bulgakov’s one. So if you really want to appreciate the tour, read The Master and Margarita before!

dreamstime_xxl_70401792 (1).jpg

 

  • Gorky House-Museum (Moscow)

Nowadays, Gorky is a name associated to Moscow’s favored park. But before being a park, Gorky was a Soviet writer. After the revolution, the Soviet leadership seized Ryabushinsky house built in the early 20th century by Fyodor Shekhtel, and Gorky lived in it. To be honest the most important thing about this house isn’t the fact that Gorky lived in it (sorry not sorry). The house worth the visit because it is a mesmerizing and absolutely unusual house, a true eccentric symbol of the Modern Style. Words are not enough to describe it and all the beautifully strange things in it, so just go and open your eyes…but be ready!

Internet Escalier1

 

  • Galina Ulanova House-Museum (Moscow)

The Soviet time also knew some prominent and world famous artists and it would be foolish to think the opposite. One of them is Galina Ulanova. A world famous ballet dancer considered by many as the greatest ballerina of the previous century. Born in St Petersburg, and despite being dancing around the world, she mainly lived in Moscow where her apartment has been preserved since her death in 1998. Tiny apartment of a women with skills, ambition and temper, it definitely needs to be visited. You will be transported to the Soviet times and into Galina’s intimacy.

Tips: some secret letters are displayed on Galina’s desk. You should ready them…

Musée-appartement Oulanova @ Moscou - Musée-appartement Oulanova (4)

 

  • Nabokov House-Museum (St Petersburg)

This house saw the birth of the world-famous writer Nabokov in 1899. Nabokov’s family flew from Russia in 1917. As a result of the Bolshevik seizing of power, Nabokov aristocratic roots, and of course because the writer wasn’t famous at that time, the family house of St Petersburg has not been protected by the Soviet Union. It became a museum in 1998 with very few objects and furnitures. But by the years, Nabokov house-museum became more than a significant museum dedicated to the Russian-American writer. Nowadays it has great collection of books and artefacts, and worth a visit!

dreamstime_xxl_93805071.jpg

 

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

Categories
Top

Top 10: Imperial Russia

One of the most vivid symbol of Russia in everyone’s mind is its imperial past. Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine II, Nicholas II, Anastasia Romanov are the names that everyone knows either from their sweet taste for history or for movies. Russia has a glorious past that continues to attract billions of tourists every year. But if most of the czarist legacies are located in St Petersburg, it would be a mistake to bypass some crucial places! So wear your most beautiful costume and dive with us into history!

 

Imperial summer residences are numerous in St Petersburg’s neighbouring but not all are equally beautiful. Thankfully, Tsar Visit is organising a very special tour to help you discover the Czars’ most outstanding palaces. You will begin your day at the Pavlovsk Palace. A palace with a facade in shades of yellow with white columns (fancy). You will then go to the town of Pushkin, formerly called Tsarskoye Selo, to continue your journey into Imperial Russia by visiting the sumptuous Catherine Palace (super fancy). But don’t forget that these palaces would be nothing without their gardens (well, except for Catherine Palace, which has the Amber Room…) you must take time to explore them!

shutterstock_100323602.jpg

 

Obviously, the most important and biggest palaces of all is the Hermitage. As the official residence of the Czar, the Hermitage was the very heart of the Russian Empire. Its seizing in 1917 became a symbol of the revolutions and the end of the Imperial Russia. Moreover, the Hermitage became through the centuries the biggest museum on Earth! You would be a fool not to visit it while in St Petersburg…

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (9)

 

  • Peterhof Palace (St Petersburg)

Peter the Great’s summer residence is beautifully amazing. Its sumptuous and rich interiors are only competing with its gardens. Peterhof is for sure the most beautiful Imperial palace in Russia. Indeed it copied Louis XIV’s palace of Versailles. However you must visit Peterhof in summer. Why? First because you can access it by the canal, and this will show to the people what kind of person your are. Second because the fountains are working. Don’t misunderstand me on this. Peterhof goldish fountains themselves are worth the visit as they have been erected as part of the garden…and to please the Czar’s taste for water games. Cheeky!

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

 

  • Tsarskoye Selo (St Petersburg)

Tsarskoye Selo is a small village in St Petersburg’s neighbouring. But Tsarskoye Selo hosts two magnificent palaces, two Imperial summer residences which are definitely worth the visiting. Go to Tsarskoye Selo, and visit both the Alexander Palace (currently under restoration) and the Catherine Palace. But don’t do it in a hurry, you don’t want to miss the opportunity of exploring their english-styled parks!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Tsarskoe Selo - Salle de balle (2).jpg

 

  • Yusupov Palace (St Petersburg)

But Imperial Russia and the Czarist regime weren’t all about the Romanov. The Yusupovs constituted at the end of the Russian Empire, the second most powerful (after the Romanov of course) and the richest family in Russia. Those understood everything: money, power, charity but staying next to, not in, the spotlight. As a result they possessed several palaces in the very center of St Petersburg. The most beautiful of them is the Yusupov Palace on the Moyka. A must do! (at least because Rasputin died in these walls).

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - 2e Palais Youssoupov

 

  • House of the boyars Romanov (Moscow)

One would think that Czars, Romanov, Imperial Russia are words that can’t go with St Petersburg. This is obviously a mistake! If you’re really into the Russian Empire, you must visit were it all started: the House of the boyars Romanov. Located in Moscow’s very heart (and currently under restoration), this treasure from the past is the house (calling it a palace would be a bit much) of the Romanov right before the Russian Empire and Peter the Great. And in addition to the emotion given by the Romanov souvenir, you’ll dive into the Russian Middle-Age!

Dreamstime © Moscou - Palais Boyards Romanov (2).jpg

 

  • Alexander Nevsky Lavra (St Petersburg)

I already wrote a lot about the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, how its peculiar atmosphere and stunning architecture made a great impression on me. I also explained why this Lavra is one of the most important religious sight in St Petersburg. But the Alexander Nevsky Lavra is also deeply linked to the Russian Empire and the Czars. Why? Well check its name! Indeed the Monastery was built in 1710 to welcome the relics of Saint Alexander Nevsky but precisely where Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in 1210. The Lavra is interlinked to the Russian Empire and marks Peter the Great’s intention to establish the new Northern Capital in Holy Russia.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Laure Alexandre Nevski (10)

 

  • The Fabergé Museum (St Petersburg)

We spoke a lot about palaces but one dimension of the Imperial Russia is definitely its peculiar culture, arts and crafts. The Czars contributed to the development and rise of Russian craftmasters in the Empire and in Europe. One of the best and most famous, is Fabergé. His eggs, and all his artefacts, are among the most beautiful and meaningful jewels made under the Russian Empire. More than artefacts, they are pieces of art and one of the last legacies of the Romanov today. It’s a definitely a must-see! (these eggs drive me crazy).

Dreamstime @ Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée Fabergé (2).jpg

 

  • Peter and Paul fortress (St Petersburg)

As a fan of the Romanov and while exploring St Petersburg, you have to go visit the Peter and Paul fortress. Despite the fact that it’s one of the most interesting and visited site of St Petersburg, the Peter and Paul fortress is before all (at least for us, who know the perfection of the Romanov) the place where are lying almost all members of the Imperial family. A great place to remember the Imperial Russia… and think about the tragic destiny of Nicholas II and his family.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Forteresse Pierre et Paul (8).jpg

 

  • Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov palace (Moscow)

Before being St Petersburg, the Russian capital was Moscow, even under the Romanov. That’s why you should visit Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov palace. A place that marks the Romanov transition from being boyards (nobles) to being Russian emperors. This majestic wooden palace highlights the rise of the Romanov but also is a testimony of the Russian noble life between the Middle Age and the Empire in the heart of Kolomenskoye estate!

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

 

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

 

Categories
Top

Top 10: Luxurious Moscow

Contemporary Russia is often pictured in many minds as the country of oligarchs and a country with a huge wage gap. Moreover as the Russian federal capital, Moscow is obviously a  city where you can spend a lot. Moscow can offer you pleasures and entertainments…so block your banker’s phone number and let express the billionaire in you!

 

  • A walk in through passages

Moscow’s city center has several streets dedicated to fancy shops and luxurious brands from all over the world. However the truly luxurious ones are always in small, hidden and elegant passages. Among the best ones, I advice you to go explore the Stoleshnikov and Tretyakovsky streets, and the Petrovsky passage. Of course passages are fancy because you’ll be away from the cold, the rain and the rednecks. So just enjoy and spend, you need this 10,000$ pair socks made of golden spider silk.

Side note: keep your sunglasses when inside, let the crowd know who you are.

dreamstime_xxl_36418259.jpg

 

  • An evening at the Bolshoi

Yes it’s a famous place, and yes it’s culture. But don’t forget that brain is the new tits, and theater the new ayurveda-yoga class! The Bolshoi is a must do, a place where you have to be seen. You’ll be able to show your most fancy suit and dress in a goldish atmosphere. On the plus side, you’ll watch the best ballets and operas of the world. Obviously, you have to be well seated to enjoy this cultural treat. That’s why I definitely advise you to seat on the Amphitheatre or Dress Circle first rows.
Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (3).jpg

 

  • Shopping afternoon at GUM and TSUM

Another place to shop, even though more crowded, are the two famous center-located malls of Moscow: the GUM and TSUM. Both of them are located in stunning historic buildings within a walking distance of the Red Square (actually the GUM is on the Red Square). Both of them were already malls for fancy people during the Imperial Russia. And both of them hosts luxurious quality brands from all over the world. Explore these two buildings, you won’t be disappointed!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - GUM.jpg

 

  • Culture time at Terems Palace

How do we recognise rich “in” people? Not only because they wear outfits from Chanel in a casual day, but also because they can access places that “out” people can’t or (worse) don’t know about. Although out people are visiting the Kremlin, in people are visiting the Terems Palace. As you already know, the Terems Palace is for sure one of the most secret and secured place of the Russian Federation. Why? Because the Terems Palace is the office and residence of the Russian Federation President in the very heart of the Kremlin. Few tours are organised each year…you must go if you want to be in!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Grand Palais du Kremlin (2).jpg

 

  • Enjoy dinner at Turandot

But all this shopping and cultural life are exhausting. So if you need a break and enjoy what life has best to offer (i.e: food), you definitely have to go to Turandot. One of the best and finest restaurant of Moscow established in a very luxurious palace. More than a fancy restaurant, Turandot is a jewel, an imperial palace full of artefacts from the last centuries where you can taste an exquisite cuisine. Top.

6Q3A4567

Credits: Turandot

 

  • Rest at the mythical and historical Four Seasons

Moscow is a big city, and it can take ages to reach point B from point A…even though Hubert is the best private driver at your service. That’s why choosing your hotel isn’t a small thing. So if you want, and I know you want it, to be located within a short distance of Moscow’s best places and want an hotel at your standards, you must go to the Four Seasons. Located on the Red Square, you’ll enjoy life, comfort and luxury in one of the best hotel of Moscow. Plus, who has never dreamed of waking up in front of the Kremlin and the Red Square?

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Aleksandrovskiy Sad (2).jpg

 

  • Get drunk at 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.

Side note: as a 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.

006

Credits: Mendeleev Cocktail Bar

 

  • Some winter shopping at Maison Yves Salomon

Winter in Russia can be coldish. That’s why fur, either you like it or not, is often one of the best option to keep you warm. That’s why wearing fur in Russia, and especially in Moscow, isn’t something outrageous or only for the babushkas (grumpy elderly Russian women). Nevertheless, for both ethical and fashion reasons, if you want to buy some fur you have to do it the right way and shop in Moscow most beautiful and luxurious furier: Maison Yves Salomon. Combining Russian and French fur and craftsmanship traditions, Maison Yves Salomon is the most luxurious place to find what you desire most. Obviously, the French touch of Maison Yves Salomon makes it a must-wear among Russian wealthiest people…so do you.

Yves Salomon-14

Credits: Maison Yves Salomon

 

  • Moscow by the air

Moscow is a busy city with lot of traffic jam. Therefore despite Hubert’s amazing driving capabilities, it may takes ages to cross the city. So why not reaching the sky? Grab an helicopter for about 1,300$ and discover the Russian federal capital by the air! Fly close to land between the tours of Moscow City before going up above the city center and the Kremlin. A must do for every fancy people!

dreamstime_xxl_91072570.jpg

 

  • Get a well-deserved encas at Beluga

What would be visiting Russia without tasting caviar? Nothing. That’s why, and especially after the previously highlighted activities, you truly deserve caviar in a fancy and luxurious place. To that why not going to Beluga? A famous and luxurious caviar bar facing the Kremlin. Delightful!

dreamstime_xxl_47556297.jpg

 

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

Categories
Traveling in Russia

The Hermitage

Everyone knows the Hermitage, either because of its artistic importance or because of Fox Animation Studios’ movie Anastasia. The Hermitage is one of the most famous sight of Russia and many come to St Petersburg only to visit it!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (9)


Indeed nowadays the Hermitage is also the most important museum in the world with its collections of more than 3 million items. These collections include antiquities, masterpieces of both the Western and Russian schools of arts (and especially from the Impressionists), jewels and objects of various types from the Imperial Russia. But the Hermitage is also a work of art in itself.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (3).jpg

The museum sets in the different but interconnected palaces on the Neva’s shores that constitute the former residence of the Czars. The Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the General Staff Building are all stunning, as much for their Russian Baroque art facades as for their interior ornaments.

cropped-dreamstime-c2a9-saint-pc3a9tersbourg-place-du-palais-dhiver-2.jpg

The Hermitage has been built in 1711, mostly destroyed in 1837 by a fire and rebuilt by Nicholas I. But the Hermitage acquired such an artistic importance thanks to the passion of Catherine the Great for fine arts (and the advices of famous intellectuals such as Diderot).

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (2).jpg

But obviously the Hermitage also had (and has?) a political major importance. If it was the residence of the Czars during the Russian Empire, meaning the heart of the Imperial State, its seizure in 1917 became a symbol of the Soviet revolutions. Currently the Hermitage remains a reminder of St Petersburg political power and taste for art, often prompt to recall the Imperial Russia rather than the Soviet Union. That’s why in 2017 the museum staff restarted a clock switched off by the revolutionaries a century before while declaring “the time of aristocracy is now over”… sweet wink to history.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (7).jpg

Because of its history and its collections, the Hermitage is without any doubt an absolutely essential during any visit to the Venice of the North, and is not to be missed for any reason!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (12).jpg

 

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

Categories
Traveling in Russia

St Petersburg historic center

Built, thought and kept as the symbol of Russia’s europeanness, St Petersburg has always been completely different from Moscow. Indeed, St Petersburg emerged under the Romanov, following the dream of Peter the Great, as the capital of a Russian Empire expanding towards the East but living and thinking as a European power. That’s why St-Petersburg, despite not being similar to any city in the world, tends to be considered as a European one. This is mainly due to its Italian-styled palaces and church. But above all, the atmosphere of St Petersburg reminds every visitor that Peter the Great’s city is and remains a city of culture and arts.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (9)

One would think that “Peter” (as called in Russian) is a ghost city all about past and faded imperial dreams. But this is a mistake.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Cathédrale Saint Isaac (13)

First because despite having been the capital city of the Russian Empire, St Petersburg isn’t so old. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, the city therefore only has 3 centuries. Which is why all the stunning sights such as the Peter and Paul fortress, all the impressive cathedrals such as St Isaac and Christ the Savior on Spilled Blood, and all the marvellous palaces have a sweet taste of historical modernity.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Laure Alexandre Nevski (10)

Second because St Petersburg has always been and remains today probably more than ever a city for and of the intelligentsia, prompt to expend new artistic and intellectual trends. That’s why if visiting the Hermitage is a must-do, looking for new places, such as the newly opened New Holland, is also a good one!

shutterstock_444539905

 

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

Categories
Top

Top 5: Capitals’ Must-See

We know you, you’re in Moscow and Petersburg for few days and you want to come back home with pictures to brag about. Don’t worry follow this list and in two days you’ll be able to see everything that matters to the eyes of those you’ll tell your travel about!

 Obviously the first one can’t not be the Kremlin and the Red Square. But to be fair, it’s always something when you arrive on this famous place. We you stand in the middle of the Red-Square, St Basil in front of you and the Kremlin on your right, you truly realize where you are. This place is the place of all fantasizes and it’s definitely the place you want to be when traveling in Russia (well not so long because in winter it’s really cold).  

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Place rouge (5)

 

 The Hermitage is another place to be/go when traveling to Russia. For the sweet taste of imperial Russia or its marvelous cats, you have to go to the Hermitage! The Hermitage will help you in showing to Janet from the accounting that you experienced all facets of Russia. On the plus side, the Hermitage is big and hot, so perfect to protect you from Petersburg freakily cold winter.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (9)

 

The Tretyakov Gallery is a world-known museum that has the advantage of presenting an insight on every Russian schools of art. In a single museum you’ll be able to discover the Russian art from its beginning to the revolution of 1917. Icons, portraits, landscapes and masterpieces from Russian famous artists are all in this museum. So if you manage it well, you’ll be able to pretend that you visited a dozen of museums while travelling in Russia!
Dreamstime © - Moscou - Galerie Tretiakov (2)

 

In case Janet isn’t impressed by the Hermitage, show her some pictures of Peterhof. Peter the Great’s palace is kind of a Russian Versailles (where Janet spent an hour of her honeymoon) created to astonish visitors from all over the world. If you want a tip, go there in summer when the palace shines and the fountains are working and purposely spray water on visitors (the cold water will calm down your children).

cropped-dreamstime-c2a9-saint-pc3a9tersbourg-peterhof-jardins-et-fontaines-6.jpg

 

  • Walk in St-Petersburg’s city center (St-Petersburg) 

 Petersburg is wonderful city to walk through. Along the canals and the palaces, you’ll be able to shoot a city between West Europe and Russia, with great colors and amazing buildings from the XIXth and XXth centuries. More, you’ll find many great places to eat and drink. And because the exception doesn’t make the rule, St-Petersburg’s city center is small so easily done by foot!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Canaux et Neva

 

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