Just got back

Jenny Cook
Country visited
Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria & Ritz Carlton Moscow


The trip was my first time traveling to Russia. St. Petersburg is steeped in history and colorful buildings while Moscow is the cleanest city I have ever been to. I was excited and slightly nervous about the trip- the reality was that I felt safe, intrigued and left wanting to return to spend more time immersing myself in their culture.

In a nutshell...

Get a guide/tour company. STAR Travel does an excellent job of arranging an itinerary that will fit your timing and personality. We started with a half day afternoon city tour after landing from flying all night. Their English speaking guides are well versed in history and current events.

Good grub?

Get any souvenirs?

I am not much of a shopper- on this trip, I bought a small hand drawn Russian scene (numbered and signed) from a street vendor. Also some hand painted hair clips (typical/colorful).

What struck me most was…

Moscow is very green, with public space, big city energy- and the Muscovites are happy with their lives today. St. Petersburg was designed as a European City with a Venetian flair. Both cities combine well for a diverse itinerary- the Sapsan (fast train) takes 4 hours between the 2 cities.

If you do one thing...

Visit Peterhof Palace (the Versailles of Russia)

Local gem?

Hermitage Museum and the Cathedral of the Archangel Miguel.

Defining moment?

Arriving in Moscow and transferring to the domestic flight to St. Petersburg. Although the signage is predominately in Russian, there are additional markings in English. Initially daunting, yet all

Bizarre encounter?

Favorite activity?

Exploring the Moscow Metro. The underground train stations are filled with mosaic art work. Additionally the Metro is impeccably clean in addition to being the hub of transportation for the locals.

Favorite experience?

Vodka Museum – St. Petersburg. The highlight was going for a vodka tasting with bite size snacks.

Favorite restaurant?

Ctpaha Kotopon Het (Moscow): Kazan-Mangal and Stolle Café in St. Petersburg.

Ready to make your dream trip a reality?