Hermitage museum, lunch @ Teremok, souvenirs shopping, dinner @ Dachniki
This was the day that my friend was looking forward to most but for me it wasn’t that exciting as I’m not a big museum. (Except for the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin which is one of my favourite!!!)
The start of the day was a complete mess as we spent ages trying to figure out how to pick up our prebooked tickets and get in!!! Read about how to avoid our nightmare here. Another advise is if you’re planning to check in your bags or coat do it at the locker rather than the coat check as there’s no order at all!!! You just have to shove in and try to get noticed!!!
One of the wing we were really confused about before we got here was where is the Winter Palace???!!! Well the answer is the Winter Palace is the Hermitage museum!!! Basically there are still rooms within the museum that’s still kept as it was and are the palace rooms! We started off with the tour of these rooms and they were as expected spectacularly beautiful and full of gold!!! The rest of the museum was pretty disappointing for me…
There’s also other part of the museum complex. One of which is the Hermitage theatre, to reach here you have to leave the main building then walk along the embankment. It was actually quite hard to find but just keep walking and it’s just before the bridge. In here you get the see what Peter the great’s 1st palace looks like and it is actually surprisingly small!!!
The weather was still pretty miserable at this point so we went for in search for some lunch and lo and behold we ended up at a Teremok- a fast food chain that specialise in blini!!! After lunch my friend had some errands to run so I did some souvenirs shopping and wandered the streets of SPB!
I chose Dachniki mainly because of the fact that they serve honey beer and honey cake!!! For me this was probably my favourite meal in SPB!!! The place is so cute, right on Nevsky Prospekt and make sure you look for the Russian name Дачники otherwise you’d walk pass it like we did. Actually it’s hard to miss as when you walk pass the door you can hear a cock-a-doodle-do!!! Another tip it’s that it’s right next to the Zenit Arena shop.
The inside is decked out like a Russian summer house and very barn like. The atmosphere was casual and relaxing. The honey beer was sweet and went down very easy. The food quality was pretty decent and prices were good. The honey cake was good, not as dry as yesterday’s although lacking in cream but did have a crunchy top!!!
Peter and Paul fortress, airport then back home
Boo, it’s our last day and we needed to be at the airport by around 3pm but we stil wanted to make the most of our time. The only thing left on our list was the Peter and Paul Fortress. Luckily it wasn’t that far from the hotel and as it wasn’t raining we decided to reach there via a nice riverside stroll. It took us approx 45mins and took in a few sights, not to mention you get some great views of the Hermitage museum.
Here’s a tip, when you get onto the island via the bridge turn left in the oppos direction to everyone!!! You’ll soon see one of the gate to get inside. If you turn right like we did then you end up having to walk to the other side of the island before you reach the entrance. If you have time it is a nice walk, you’d go pass a nice looking restaurant and get to be on the beach. I think this entrance is for people who comes to the island by boat.
There’s pretty good signage inside but would definitely advise you to get a map when you buy your tickets. The main attraction for us here is Peter and Paul Catheral with its golden spire and the final resting place for Peter the Great, Catherine I and the last royal family of Russia!!! Next to the Catheral you’ll find the ticket office. Go there first to buy your tickets before joining the queue for the Catheral! There are a few different exhibition here and you can either buy each separately or there’s a combo ticket for the Catheral and the Prison which is what we ended up doing.
The Catheral was amazing, a small space but the colours in there were like nothing I’ve ever seen!!! The prison was interesting but also very sad as most of the prisoners that were held here were political prisoners… There are 2 floors and be sure to read all the info displayed here.
So now it’s time to hear to the airport!!! We had asked our hotel to call up the taxi company we had used previously to pick us up and it was only 100rub more because they have to drive out to the hotel!!! Keep the receipt and make sure you book in advance to avoid delay!
We got to the airport and found that they have the same set up as Istanbul as in you have to have your luggage so x-ray on the way in!!! We had plenty of time so went in search for food. There are actually quite a few places to choose from. One place to note is the bakery next to Starbucks in the departure lounge. In my opinion they serve the best honey cake we’ve tried in SPB so definitely recommend you to try it out here! I presume they also have branches in the city! I wish we had enough money left as would have definitely bought up a takeaway for the BF!!!
Well that concludes our Russian adventure. I really enjoyed the trip and will sure be coming back soon especially as I feel we’ve not really experienced the true Russian culture!!! Until next time!!!!