Weekend Break St. Petersburg

Nearly everyone we spoke to was skeptical of our weekend break in St. Petersburg idea.

By "nearly everyone" I mean every single person we spoke to...

"You are going all the way to Russia for a weekend??"

"Isn't the visa crazy hard to get?"

"It is so far!"

"RUSSIA! But why would you want to go there?"

I seriously don't get it, how could somewhere this beautiful not be on everyones wish list?

I admit the visa situation is a bit annoying, especially when you are not used to having to think about it. Even worse is the notion that you can't buy it when you arrive, you have to apply in advance. That and the fairly aggressive sounding Russian Embassy website aside, the visa is easy enough to obtain and in Ireland only takes a week to come back.

In terms of distance it really isn't that far, a mere 3 hour fly from London. The train to Edinburgh would take you longer and people do that for a weekend all the time.

If you are still unconvinced please do read on and hopefully all the photos and lists of things to do will change your mind. Here goes my weekend guide to Saint Petersburg!

What to Do in St. Petersburg:

1. State Hermitage Museum

Largest museum in the world, also spectacularly beautiful from the outside. This is a must for any visit to St. Petersburg.

2. Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood

Even with the scaffolding this place was beautiful - worth checking out the inside too!

3. St. Issac's Cathedral

Mansarda restaurant has an excellent view of St. Issac's all lit up at night.

4. Peterhof Palace

We sadly didn't make it here ourselves but I have it on good recommendation that it is a lovely day trip. Reached easily by boat!

5. Yusupov Palace

If you have any interesting in Rasputin this palace is where it went down - literally murder attempts left, right, and centre happened in these four walls, and a stunning chandelier to top it all off!

Where to Eat in St. Petersburg:

1. Tsar

I would return for this place alone. I will write a full review but as a little preview it involves caviar, vodka, and Russian dancers.

2. Palkin

We nearly missed our flight because of this place... do I regret it? Nope!

3. The Idiot

If you are a fan of Dostoevsky or you at least pretend to have read Crime and Punishment then The Idiot should make it onto your food list.

4. Mansarda

Part of the Ginza project which seems to own every cool restaurant in St. Petersburg this spot has a wonderful view of St. Issacs. Also word to the wise, yes it is on top of a gas company, just to save you walking around the block in your Louboutins in freezing cold trying to find it.

5. Brat Cafe

The entrance makes you feel like you are entering an abandoned apartment building so don't fret if you initially think you are very very lost. Trendy interior, creative menu, and great comfort food awaits!

Where to Dance / Drink in St. Petersburg:

1. Lomonosov Bar

"Bar" is somewhat misleading here as Lomonosov is much more of a club. This place is home to a hard core party scene and is still packed right up until 6am.

2. Madagascar Bar

We went here for the Russian karaoke... not really but it was an unexpected bonus!

3. Dead Poets

Apparently a favourite of the Russian Intelligentsia, more of laid back vibe than the other two spots.

Where to Stay in St. Petersburg:

Kempinski St. Petersburg

Unbeatable location and if you manage to sneak onto the roof you can find some of the best views in St. Petersburg.

Taleon Imperial Hotel

Went here for the staircase.

Corinthia St. Petersburg

Luxury hotel, city centre location, won't break the bank. 



  1. I honestly had no idea that St. Petersburg had SO much beautiful and bright architecture! This looks like the perfect location for a quick getaway. Those hotel views are stunning. Thanks for the fun and unique idea!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

  2. I've always wanted to visit St Petersburg - Tsar restaurant must be a lot of fun. How did you get on the roof of the Kempinski? Great view from up there by the look of it

    1. It was such a great restaurant! Would totally recommend it :)

  3. I'm also really surprised those around you weren't more enthusiastic about your trip to St. Petersburg - it's been on my travel wishlist for what feels like forever, haha! Ahh, that hotel's staircase is stunning and I can't get over beautiful some of Russia' architecture is, wow...


    1. It is such a stunning city! I hope you get to go soon!

  4. Great travel suggestions! Brat Cafe seems interesting and that rooftop picture! Beautiful!

    Jenn | http://www.lepetittato.com/

    1. It is really a great city to explore :)

  5. Aaah wow! St Petersburg looks amazing! Lovely photos.

    X Merel

  6. Beautiful post and photos! I really enjoyed reading this post. :-)


  7. I would love to visit just not in the current circumstances. It looks beautiful, as does the view from the roof but with a fear of heights not sure I would make it up there Lucy x