Visit Russia - 5 Love & Hates of St  Petersburg, Russia

The Best & Worst Parts of Visiting Russia & St. Petersburg. For many travelers visiting Russia is an incredible experience and for many their first views of Russia are through the former capital St. Petersburg. Here we give you the best (the art, architecture, churches) and the worst (lines at the hermitage, getting a visa, service) of visiting St. Petersburg, Russia.
Filmed in St. Petersburg, Russia
Copyright Mark Wolters 2018

The Don’ts of Visiting Russia

10 Shocks of Visiting Russia

What to Know Before You Visit Russia for the First Time

Grab Wolters World Merchandise & Travel Gear at

Help Us Keep Make More Honest Travel Videos:

Our Gear:
Sony Alpha 6000: Our favorite camera for vlogging. One of the best selling cameras of all time and its not too expensive.

Osprey Meridian Carry-on Size Travel Backpack: This is THE backpack that all of the Wolters World family use. It fits in the overhead compartment, gives you a great day pack and has an awesome warranty. We always travel with one.

Duafire Travel Adapter: helps you plug into most countries plugs around the world.

Travel Strip: One plug for your normal device, four USB plugs as well, it saves a lot of trouble and outlets when you travel.

Backup Battery Pack: Essential for travelers wanting to have a backup batter charge for their phones, cameras, and devices.

Hey There Fellow Travelers! Thank you for watching our honest travel vlogs from all over this wonderful world. If you would like to get in contact with us please follow us & send us a message via our social media channels below. Also, if you like our travel videos please feel free to share them with other fellow travelers.

Follow Us At

hey there fellow travelers mark here with Walters rule today we are in st. Petersburg Russia and same one they have for you are the five things you got to love and hate about visiting st. Petersburg and a lot of these things will tie into Russia in general cuz I kinda want to kind of put those a little bit together but this is more focus on st. Petersburg and the first thing you're not gonna like about coming to st. Petersburg and Russia in general is this service look the service here is you need to be proactive you need to be the one asking for the menu of going to pay your bills stuff like that because service isn't a big thing here in Russia I cannot lie to you about that now the people can be nice but you'll see that it's more like can you help me can you help me and so that can't get frustrating and I know for some tourists they get really upset with it just take with a grain of salt know that they're not singling you out as a tourist that happens to everybody so service can be a bit slow and that can be frustrating and with that service kind of thing that might frustrated you is one you do not have a lot of English spoken throughout Russia because it's Russia it's a huge country so the Russian is the main thing it's like in the u.s. it's mostly English because it's such a big country and so make sure you do know a little Russian when you come at least a few words like no privyet is high and spasiba is thank you know those things that it will help but and your lack of Russian really can be kind of problematic and make it tough for some people don't be that way what I recommend is get one of those google apps that translates pictures it'll make your life a lot easier especially at the restaurants and also when you go to when you're walking around here you'll notice that lion culture here in Russia is kind of a free-for-all so you got to be again proactive with your line getting in and getting through kind of stuff so the second thing you're not gonna like about coming to Russia is dealing with all the bureaucracy especially when it deals with getting your visa because you're gonna need a visa come here to Russia and it takes time sometimes getting up to a month if you used an agency which I recommend you probably get it done in a few days maybe but the thing is you need an invitation or Hotel confirmation you're all this other stuff that goes into it it's a real pain and that's one things you really won't like and that's actually probably the biggest reason people don't come to Russia because it's a really a really great place hey st. Petersburg here too but all the stuff that goes into that really can be quite frustrating and with all that hassle and bureaucracy realize make sure you have copies of your passports your your migration cards all this kind of stuff you're going to need because you're gonna have to show your ID you're gonna have to use those things in a migration card they give you when you come into the country make sure you save them I heard some people we were coming through go I don't need this like what are you doing they just filled out you need it to get out of here so just know that the bureaucracy and the house of the visas really can't turn some people off but don't let it stop you this is a cool place to visit now the third thing you're not gonna like about coming to st. Petersburg is it will cost you some money when you are here for the hotels and to fly here and they get here and stuff like that and it's not as cheap as you think it's going to be now because most people think Oh rush it's gonna be dirt cheap I can pay rules there's gonna be nothing no prices aren't as cheap as you think they're going to be and it will cost you a lot to get here with the flights with of these so with all that kind of stuff they can do other things you might not like but there are deals you can find and a lot of stuff actually has the same kind of price you would have in a big state in the US you know so there is one thing you should think about now the fourth thing you're not gonna like about coming to st. Petersburg is the line and the crowds in the Hermitage look the Hermitage you have to see with Rafael's da Vinci's look most museums to go to its the Louvre or something like that it's mostly independent tourists and occasionally a tour group here is tons of to groups to just run through things and the Hermitage is huge and the thing as you can see Van Dyke's you can see Rubens you can see DaVinci you can see Raphael you can see all kinds of amazing art and then the Royal Apartments over there it's awesome and we'll talk about that later but the thing is those groups and then align just gets smashed around and it's so easy to get lost so if you are going with a group make sure like a meeting point a time something like that because it is really easy to get lost and stuck in there so do be careful and the people men the service and the flying culture here up you might get an elbow here there so do just be careful with that and the fifth thing you might not like about st. Petersburg is some of this little safety issues that are out here one thing is you got to be careful when you're crossing the streets okay look at the second outfit the people don't always stop for you when you're the cross lots of stuff like that so you do want to be careful another thing you look at is there are a lot of pickpockets at Armitage and other places so do keep your eyes open if you're in or even the church the spilled blood and things like that they are work beats you do want to watch out and yes there's still other people try to rip off tourists and stuff so to have a heads up for that one I'm also late-night do be careful if you're going about drinking and stuff like that I have known a lot of tourists are a number of tours that have had some incidents with alcohol so you do want to be careful with that I know I've been shut down by the police when I was here in st. Petersburg years ago it has gotten better but you do want to take care of that but those are fun little things you might like this city is awesome I will let joseline start with the loves of this cool city and now four things are gonna love about st. Petersburg and Russia first for me it's the Orthodox churches there are incredible icons in the moe say it the Kazan here has some really beautiful paintings and things inside and then the Saviour on the spilled blood is incredible the mosaics 'red like world-class just really beautiful beautiful places so definitely loved number one for me are these gorgeous Orthodox churches so number two of our loves are the art the architecture and the museum's here you can see behind me the singer building and God is that some great architecture or what but there are great museums there armitage together with the Winter Palace has unbelievable stuff tons of Rubens and some Rembrandt's and just there's so much in there to see and to enjoy you really have to get there to see Russian art there is the Russian Museum and it is absolutely loaded and that's something not to miss also so you'll also see things like the Peter and Paul Cathedral the Admiralty there's just everywhere you look at the Petersburg especially there's exceptional architecture even in the rain Jasmin's right there is a lot to love here in st. Petersburg whether you're going up to st. isaac's I'm gonna walk around there go to the a morale or Admiralty good to see the bronze horseman there's so many cool things to see here in st. Peter's worth at you're gonna go around where the churches museums palaces all kinds of cool stuff and what's cool about it is you have a really good public transportation network that you can use with buses and the Metro the Metro is kind of cool kind of hard sometimes to find the stops but they are there and they're big stations going all over the place clean as well and that's one of the cool things about st. Petersburg in general is its really a clean City for being so big and it's like four or five million people and it's actually clean especially where you're gonna be as a tourist and that's what's really cool about it all and the thing is you're gonna have quite the experience when you're on the public transportation whether it's the buses or the metros it's one of the things I really kind of enjoy about being here so that's something you're really gonna love the fourth thing you're gonna love about actually coming here to st. Petersburg is hey remember those visas and all that stuff I was talking about you don't have to worry about that so much here because you can actually get up to 72 hours visa-free stay here in st. Petersburg if you take a peter line tour or cruise from helsinki here we actually started in stockholm went through helsinki then to here and you get one night or one full day two full days in one night here or two nights here and you can do it without the visa stuff but it limit is that 72 hours anything over that you're gonna be in trouble okay and I think I'll give you the fifth thing you're gonna love is when the people open up to you here in st. Petersburg in Russia in general you do see really you know the service isn't there but that doesn't mean that people aren't warm they're just kind of reserved but once you get them to open up the Russian people are so much fun they will take care of you FMR I've said in many videos how the bush cos gave me so many cabbage rolls that it helped me grow an extra chin but it is really cool and that's why we really did enjoy st. Petersburg we do recommend it one of the downfalls of that 72-hour Mayo stay I was talking about is that you don't get enough time to see it all the city is so huge with so many museums so many sites you can't see it all in a couple days or three days or something like that so go explore more love it because it is a fantastic city we hope you do come visit Russia it is great anyway if you will learn more check us out on our website at Walter's world we've got new videos out every Wednesday and Saturday and do follow us on twitter facebook Instagram YouTube all those things and have a great time here in the show bye so those are our five love and hate and I hope you've enjoyed them if you have subscribed hit like all those good things and we'll see you again five from st. Petersburg

47 thoughts on “Visit Russia – 5 Love & Hates of St Petersburg, Russia”

  1. Hey there, if you're visiting St Petersburg, I'd be happy to show you around.
    I love traveling myself, and when I do, I make sure to experience it through the eyes of the locals. Here's your chance to do the same 🙂
    Even though I am not an actual tour guide, I know the city really well and I can also lend you an e-scooter or a longboard if you want. If you're into that kind of stuff, St Pet will surprise you.
    If you're not, I'd be happy to hang out either way.

  2. Good city and good people!

    Visited in winter a couple of years back and stayed 2 weeks, it was cold at -23 but SPB looked beautiful in a blanket of snow.

    The main sights were all you would expect them to be, while service in the various food outlets along Nevsky Prospect and Rubinstein Street (very popular, big selection of eateries) was good. I haven't waited a good 40 mins for a just baked jacket potato to go with a half chicken in a long time, but it was good, well worth the wait! Genuine food, very much in keeping with the locals.

    I commented on TripAdvisor I found the Russians much friendlier than I've ever found the Italians in Rome, Venice, Milan and Sorrento and who'd have thought that?!

    Like Rome, SPB isn't modern/brash or full of energy like NYC but it has a beguiling charm. I will go back, which kind of says it all really.

  3. 2 Q's: Did you ever encounter any random acts of (blatent) hatred or anti-American sentiment? I have heard of Americans especially having some really nasty encounters with the locals. 2nd Q — where is the cafeteria style restaurant you and your wife went to at time marker 7:50?

  4. Wolters World Service was actually pretty decent in Moscow and St Petersburg. Just the language barrier. Beautiful cities. Been there in 2012.
    Also try and visit Pushkin if possible.

  5. Advice! If you want to be understood, then approach the youth with the request 'HELP ME PLEASE'
    Then speak slowly and with separate phrases.

    For example, if you need to find a bus stop, say “WHERE THE BUS” focus on the word BUS.

    If you need to call a taxi, just say 'TAXI'.

  6. the 10,0000 things you cant do and the 40 thing you can do, or the 500 things you wont enjoy and the 5 things you will!! Ha ha!! Have been dying to go to Russia for years, but everytime i hear this stuff it just does not sound like a place geared up for tourists!

  7. Another bad thing in Russia are the roads; they are bad if you go anywhere other than Moscow and Saint Petersburg, but Russia does have a lot to show. (If you want to see real Russia go to smaller towns, but if you do do that know some Russian)

  8. If you can manage getting to St Petersburg by boat or ship (via Tallinn or Helsinki or a Baltic Cruise for example), and you stay less than 72 hours, you do NOT need a Visa at all. (oops sorry, saw that he got to that later in the video.) And in The Hermitage, get early entry, and there will be at most 10 people in each room with you.

  9. You're totally correct – when the Russian people open up to you, it's great. Some of my most memorable moments were speaking to the locals – one particular conversation with an older gentleman on a bus – I had 50 words of Russian and he had about the same in English – but he and others still helped me to find the stop I needed.

    Also, St Petersburg is just a great city to wander the streets, especially the quieter ones along the many canals. Overall I felt safe there, even later in the evening walking back to my hotel.

  10. Remember not to smile to strangers! They are very suspicious about smiles. People really Are friendly, but they look gloomy and almost arrogant if they don’t know you. It’s just a front they grew up with.

  11. Did St.Petersburg and then the high speed train to Moscow last year. 2 absolute MUST HAVES are Yandex-taxi & Google translate apps. Buy a local SIM-card at the airport. Wish We had stayed longer in St.petersburg, as it firstly was much cheaper than Moscow, and much more accessble. 😀 Don't miss the hydrofoil-boat to Peterhof and Kronstat + the Siege museum.

  12. My family comes from St Petersburg. The fact that you say a down side to coming, is "the service" means you're literally just lazy and too used to being treated like a child xaxaxax

  13. I agree that the service is worse than in the US but better than in Canada. Bright side is that in the most cases the waiter would be more beautiful than any American movie star and you may start flirting with her with any disastrous ramifications.

    Visa paperwork is reciprocal. You cannot even imagine all the full cavity searches that we Russians are subjected to on our way to American visa. For locals the level of bureaucracy is rather tolerable and 99% cases can be solved on-line. We even have Apps to automatically pay traffic tickets, parking etc.

    Russia was rather dangerous place in 90th and early 00th but now for ten years I never heard any crime related stories from people whome I know personally. Probably pickpockets are targeting particular tourists.

    My American colleagues often come to Saint Petersburg carousing all through the nights hitting all the bars in the vicinity and nothing bad ever happen to them. The things may turn ugly if you start to grab somebody’s girl for Russians may be more protective than you expect but it’s another story. Just be decent even while drunk and nothing bad ever happen to you.

  14. I would add another "hate" is the weather!! First of all, it's very cold and very snowy during winters. And, during summers, White Nights are beautiful and definitely worth experiencing, but weather overall is SOO unpredictable – it's super cold one hour and then temperature jumps like 10 degrees in a few hours and then it's hot. It rains one moment and then it's sunshine. So, advice is always wear layers of clothing (even during summer), so you can take things off and put them on depending on the elements.

  15. Hello Wolter,

    It's crazy. About a week or more ago, I searched your videos for a St Petersburg video. Especially this 5 Love and hates I like very much. My favorite video of you is about Shanghai, because it's my favorite city and before I flew to Shanghai for the first time a few years ago, I saw your video and loved it. Now I'm considering St. Petersburg and today I've been looking for a travel video and discover sudden yours. Crazy but great. Thank you !

  16. you wont miss a thing if you don't visit russia. trust me, i know. even as a russian speaker our time there was awful. Wolter is a real champ for looking at the bright side and accepting all the crap as a "cultural difference".

  17. if you don't want to stand in a line in Hermitage you should come in the finish on the day, there is no line 2 or 1.5 hours before it close. Yes, we have a very good metro. If you have extra time you can visit parks and palaces around the city for example Pushkin or Pavlovsk or Petergof.

  18. I was born here and I live here. Saint Petersburg is not really safety?))))) I just came back from Ecuador and Columbia. Bogota is much more dangerous than St Petersburg, policemen every 50 meters and it's still dangerous to walk in Bogota. Guayaquil, Ecuador – we were asked not to catch taxi on the streets. So my city – St Petersburg is very safe.

  19. I absolutely loved the service in Russia, I was both in Moscow and St. Petersburg, a total of three months, where I was travelling and learning the Russian language, but I am coming from Israel and not from America so it could be the cultural difference there.

  20. As you may have noticed, not many people in Russia speak English, and I am no exception), I understand about 30% of your videos, but still watch). Could you write, you're from the USA, right? And what do you do in St. Petersburg? Thanks.

  21. Is it worth putting up with all the hassle and bureaucracy in order to experience the art and culture of St Petersburg? For me, I'm afraid not.

  22. I was there last summer!

    Another love: The Peterhof gardens and fountains are magnificient!

    Another "hate": there are prices for locals and prices for tourists everywhere.

    Another love: The high speed hydrofoil between the Peterhof and the Hermitage is a good way to quickly avoid road traffic, and a cool way to see the canals.

    Tip: Hire a local guide to bypass the massive queues to get in the Hermitage. Ours had a specific time appointment and got us in in minutes ahead of all the lines.

  23. I miss St. Petersburg. I've been there twice. Once in winter again in the spring. I always have a great time there. Luckily it's just a train ride away 🙂 I can attest to Russians being great people. Knowing Russian opens up a whole new side of Russia for the visitor.

  24. Some of the unfortunate sides of Russia are the lack of openness towards the LBGT community . ( This is still considered a crime ) Also if you don't look Russian or European ( aka white) there is a chance you will get stopped by police and have your documents checked. Always a good idea to have those on you.

  25. I found Russians (Moscow, St Pete and Sochi) to be very friendly and willing to help with anything. If you can even try a few phrases in Russian, that goes a long way as they will do the same in English.

  26. Real , is your 1st video where I should say- OMG what a bad video…
    Service??? After Austria and Germany really??? You are kidding me
    After Vatican – lines in Museums??? Really?
    Safety in big citys- what a news!
    Visa? O,man. It's same,as for many who needs visa to EU or USA. I would we, Russian is even easy. Welcome to another side
    And there is everything ok with English language and there will be always someone who I'm help you with.
    OMG…im disappointed
    Ps no. I'm not Russian

  27. I have to disagree with a few things and give some people advice.
    1. Getting a visa will be complicated for foreigners but it isn’t impossible and in my opinion worth it
    2. If you live in England for example you can get very decent prices for flights and hotels. I once paid £260 for a hotel on nevsky (Main Street on st Petersburg) this included my flight and a 5 star hotel called corinthia.
    3. It can be very cheap to eat. If you go to local places you can get borscht or soup for less than 99 roubles (that is currently about £1.20)
    4. You can also drink quite cheap. For example if you go to a restaurant called Tokyo city you can get three glasses of alcohol for 333 roubles (about £4)
    5. The accommodation can be very cheap just look around on etc
    6. Travel is cheap. Download the Uber app or the taxivikoff app. You will be amazed at how cheap it is. Don’t forget the amazing underground which is about 45 roubles one way

    I am a bit biased since I go to Russia twice a year, in particular st Petersburg but I know the city well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *