Welcome to St Petersburg! After a long but fairly comfortable ride in the 2nd class on board the overnight train from Moscow we arrived in what felt like a completely different country! Now, I know that Russia is veeery big and we were barely scratching the surface with that tiny fraction of the country we would visit on this trip. But while Moscow felt a lot more Eastern European, St Petersburg gave off a very Scandinavian vibe - part of the reason for that might have been that it was still snowing in April! Even the people here were quite different. They generally spoke English well and it was easier to get in touch with the locals and just strike up a conversation with them than it had been in Moscow.
We wandered around on foot, went on a hop on-hop off bus tour (the English commentary was super helpful in learning more about the city) and explored the incredibly beautiful Hermitage museums. Also, St Petersburg has some really great coffee! Yes, there's Starbucks but I mean local cafes & smaller barista shops - Russia never struck me as a typical coffee hot spot but after having been to St P'burg I now know better! ;)
Two must-do's on our list were wandering around Nevsky Prospekt which is the main avenue running through the city and visiting The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood - it's so iconic, I'm sure you'd recognize it even if you've never been to Russia. So seeing it for myself was very special.