Towering over the rest of Europe with its immense, inhuman size and dismal, brutal chronicle, Russia is an important and captivating destination, the flip side of ultramodern Europe and still an unknown quantity to almost all travelers.
Somehow Russia manages to pull off the truly spectacular effort of being both a really exciting location to travel to while never yielding on its tiresomely bureaucratic advance to life. St Petersburg is one of the incontestable highlights of the vestal.
For something totally different, drop into ignored little Kaliningrad, an enclave of Russia packed 'tween Poland and Lithuania, or to the legendary outstation of Siberia. This might sound awesome, but if you have never been to Russia it can get quite confusing and overwhelming, as is travel to any unknown place. Thankfully for most of there are guides you can find online.
Notice these aren't human guides but actual websites you can visit online to see different guides of places across the world, or in this case Russia. For example take a look at a few instances below where these reviews come in handy regarding attractions and restaurants:
St. Isaac's Cathedral - Top Attraction
This church has seen some changes! At one point it even housed an anti religious museum. Now it has been restored to being a church, but without worshippers, so is called a museum.
At the ticket office we were a little confused between "museum" and "collonade" if you want to go in the church its the museum price and the collonade is to go up to the dome fore view. We didn't do the collonade, but we did go inside the church and it was pretty spectacular.
It has lapis lazuli and malachite columns at one end with plenty of mosaics as well. There are displays on the changes to the church since it was built, which are interesting to look at as well. It was well worth the visit!
Yusupov Palace - Top Attraction
There are two sides of Yusupov Palace. The first part of the tour shows you there beauty of the Palace which is just as grand as some of the royal palaces. The rooms are breathtaking. The art displayed are all reproductions as the originals are in the Hermitage, but still very beautiful and you are taken back into to history not only to see the way Felix Yusupov lived, but to see where Rasputin had his last meal.
This second part of the tour shows you the Madame Tussaud style wax figures which reenact the tea party in which Rasputin was served poisoned cakes and tea, only to appear to feel fine, much to Yusupov's dismay. Rasputin was then attacked in the palace, and was later rolled into a rug and thrown into the Neva River where he drowned according to historical accounts.
You walk down the staircase in which Rasputin used in an ill-fated attempt to flee. For history buffs, this is a great palace to visit. It is located across from the river boats which offer a tour of the canals of St. Petersburg, which is also worthwhile.
Kofemania - Best Restaurants
Kofemania is certainly a coffee house, so it is to be expected that they should have good coffees. Their food menu, however, is what sets them apart from the other good coffee houses in Moscow. Their pastas and other dishes are all very good. Service is generally very good.
The one downside is that they are almost always bursting at the seams. That's an indication of quality, but it would be nice if you could go there sometimes when it is quieter and not so busy. At any rate, a great place for coffee or a meal. Have only been to the Bolshaya Nikitskaya location
Soup-Cafe - Best Restaurant
As you might assume from the name, this place has pretty good soup. Actually, many of the menu items are quite good. There is a pork loin dish, with a creamy pepper sauce (forget exactly what it's called) that is really good.
The wait staff seem to be of a like mind, when it comes to providing surly, unwelcoming service, although we occasionally got a smile or pleasant word from some of them. This place caters more to the younger crowd, so maybe as a "no longer young" person, I wasn't as welcome as some of the other guests. It can also be very smoky at times.
I rated it "above average" since the food is quite good and reasonably-priced, but didn't rate it as excellent, since the service is less than stellar and the smoke can be a problem for some. Now, if you are a twenty-something who smokes, you may just love it. Located near Beloruskaya metro.
You can pick from places to stay, places to eat and attraction to take a look at while visiting. The nice thing about these guides is that they include all the information you could or would ever need for your trip there including photos and reviews from different individuals who have take the trip to Russia. These reviews are for attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc by real people that really have visited there or live there.
So if you can base your opinions off of what these people say effectively, you could just as well have a really nice trip, that is well-thought out and absolutely spectacular without ever actually being there ahead of time!