First Impressions of St. Petersburg, Russia

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Eileen Aldis

With 72 visa free hours in Russia, we hit the ground running in St. Petersburg! Waking up in our cabin on the ship, opening the curtains, and seeing our first view of Russia is something we’ll never forget. We disembark, clear Russian customs, and join a guided tour around the city. This is a great way to get an overview and see the main sights right away, like St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood. You can quickly get an impression and decide if you’d like to return somewhere to spend more time. We cannot believe the enormous scale of St. Petersburg. This city of about 5.5 million people is truly vast with buildings that stretch for blocks. We feel overwhelmed at its size and by how much there is to see and do. Not wanting to waste a single minute of our 72 visa free hours, we head straight to the famous Hermitage Museum. It’s the biggest museum in Russia and one of the biggest in the entire world. We visit the main building, which is located inside the Winter Palace. Each room feels more opulent than the last and we’re left breathless and overwhelmed. At the end of our first day of sightseeing, we grab a Yandex taxi home (think Russian Uber) and head to our hotel. Check out the rest of our videos to see how you can visit Russia without a visa.

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