11 Days in Russia – challenging but totally worth it.
Highs & Lows
The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is a highlight for every art lover..
Prepare to communicate with hands and feet, cause people do not speak a lot of english
A few weeks of enjoying and challenging ourselves, traveling through this beautiful country. So many things to see and enjoy and also so different from what we know in our culture
We took a flight with Pobeda Airline from Cologne, Germany to Moscow. Arriving in Moscow we found our way to the hostel, which was a little bit difficult without mobile data. After checking in the first thing we did was get a Russian sim card, which was pretty cheap in comparison to Germany. We then went to an american fast food restaurant (i knoooow, we are that kind of tourists). The Russian kitchen has a lot of meat, and they seemed to not even understand what the wird vegan means. We thought our chances were higher to be able to communicate in english with waiters in American chain restaurants because probably tourists go there all the time. Nevertheless communication was always pretty difficult and we were lucky if they even had an English menu, but we always managed somehow. The following days we explored the inner city, the red square, the Lenin mausoleum, the kremlin and the famous and very posh GUM mall. Luckily we had a friend from Moscow who showed us some interesting places and actually got us a spot at a very exclusive bars in one of moscows skyscrapers with an amazing view over the city.
After 6 days we took a night train to St. Petersburg, which was one of my highlights of the trip. There were a lot of Russian families and Chinese tourists on the train. We slept in really tiny bunk beds, not comfortable but definitely an interesting experience. The first day in St. Petersburg we spend HOURS in the hermitage museum, and trust me that was not enough time. There are a lot of floors with art from all epochs. Some Da Vincis, van Goghs and Monets and much more. A big highlight for anyone who likes art. We walked a lot around the city and it was interesting to notice the differences in architecture between Moscow and St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg felt more European and reminded me of other Scandinavian cities. During our last days we felt a little tired of the communication difficulties and also of the slight harshness of the russians that we met, so we did not see a lot more and just walked around. In total it was a very nice trip though and in retrospective i am very happy to have made it into Russia before the escalation of relations to the west.
Q & A
What would you have changed?Maybe spend less nights in St. Petersburg. And add some time outside of cities to explore countryside
Anything go wrong during the trip?Make sure to apply for your Visa in time, otherwise it can get very expensive.
Restaurant recommendations?We were not big fans of the Russian kitchen, so we went to a lot international places.
Tips you would give a friend?Get a sim card there. Its super cheap
Packing tips?T-shirts with a thin jacket and long jeans.
Transportation Tips?We took a night train from Moscow to St. Petersburg. it was an awesome experience, because there were all kinds of people on the train and not a lot european tourists.
Any surprises?We found more russian people who spoke german than english.