March may not be the perfect time for a tropical girl like me to visit Russia. It was just too damn cold but I also wanted to see how it was like when it was still snowing but not deadly freezing cold (It was around -5ºC to 1ºC in the day time and several degrees lower at night). My purpose in St. Petersburg was specific, to check out the museum and palaces, especially the ones I read in one of my favourite mangas – The Window of Orpheus / Orpheus No Mado. Weird? Whatever, it’s just my thing. 😀 In the manga, there were scenes around the murder of Rasputin in Yusupov Palace and the fall of the last Tsar in Tsarskoye Selo. And of course, the “mandatory” visit to The Winter Palace / The Hermitage Museum.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral
Admission: RUB 400 (incl. Collonade & the observation deck).
Audio guide: RUB 200.
I bought the entrance ticket in the ticketing machine outside just right before the entrance door while the audio guide ticket can be bought in the machine inside the church. This gilded-iron-domed orthodox church was once the largest church in Russia when it was built (1818-1858) and is now the fourth-largest cathedral in the world (by the size of the dome). Read more here.
The Winter Palace (The Hermitage Museum)
Admission: RUB 700.
Audio guide: RUB 500.
The entrance audio guide tickets can be purchased in the ticketing machine outside the palace near the entrance door. I spent a whole day here and it was definitely not enough. The museum has a very extensive collection, ranging from artifacts from the bronze age, Ancient Egypt, Sumeria and other parts of the world up to various art works from the medieval times, early 19th and 20th centuries. Read more here.
Yusupov Palace / Moika Palace
Admission: RUB 700.
This house once belonged to one of the richest, old and very powerful noble families in Russia – The Yusupov. Their lineage can be traced back to Khan Yusuf, head of the Nogai Horde. This is where the infamous assassination of Grigori Rasputin took place, done by Prince Felix Yusupov II and his co-conspirators. Read more here.
Church of Our Saviour on The Spilled Blood
Admission: RUB 250.
Audioguide: RUB 200.
Actually, the church is also called “The Church of The Resurrection of Jesus Christ” but is more popular with the other name. It does sound a bit weird to me, but later I learned that the ‘Saviour’ on Spilled Blood’ title refers to their king / Tsar Aleksandr II who was assassinated in 1881.
When I went there, the domes were undergoing some repair work, so I could not get the perfect photo of this church (I don’t know how those people do it anyway). The church’s walls are fully covered with mosaics… very beautiful, but also hurt my neck! 😁 Read more here.
The Republic of Cat’s Cultural & Museum Complex
Admission: RUB 500.
The admission fee applies only when you want to enter the cats’ house/shelter. You will get 1 token that can be exchanged with a gift in the souvenir shop or a photograph in the cats house. Read more here.
The Catherine Palace (Tsarskoe Selo)
Admission : RUB 1,000 (excl. audio guide).
Tsarskoe Selo is not exactly in St. Petersburg but has always been one of the main tourist destinations – along with Peterhof – since it is pretty easy to reach from St. Pete. Read more here.
Also read: 5 Reasons to Go to St. Petersburg in March