hay! I'm backpacking Europe this summer and i want to know what the best city's in Russia are. I cant speak Russian, so what city would be best for a solo traveler looking to meet people and find the true Russian experience? Moscow or Saint Petersburg? Your advice and experiences would be much appreciated.
Moscow is a much older city than St. Petersburg. The latter, on the other hand, looks more European than Russian - lots of European architects worked in this city in the 18th and 19th centuries. Most people agree that there is more to see in St. Petersburg than in Moscow. In case you are looking for "true Russian experience" you need to visit small Russian towns and see the countryside.
Thanks for the advice! I guess ill just take a train from St. Petersburg to a random Russian town, that would be quite the experience. I should probably take a Russian class this semester, or i better get good at acting out conversations lol.
I'd agree that for the "true Russian experience" you absolutely have to go out of moscow and st petersburg. I've traveled all over Russia and locals have often told me "Moscow is not Russia."
Its gonna happen then! I don't know what town or how i'm going to get there, but its going to happen. Ill just arrive in Russia ready to be lost, should be an awesome stuff lol.
It depends on what type of experience you're looking for, but I always have great fun in Moscow. It's a great place just to walk around, immerse yourself in the streets and the metro, and find some markets or museums. Check out some Moscow blogs by Ed Vallance, who just commented on this thread...
you could always visit Novgorod,about halfway between the two cities and much more of an authentic Russian experience that you will get in either of the 2 big cities.
I quite enjoy my visits to St Peterburg but it is very tourist orientated and everywhere can get very very busy.Novgorod is a much better experience in my opinion.
Big cities are rarely representative of their country. Having said that, Moscow's history goes back nearly 1000 years, St P's about 300, so not surprisingly they both contain plenty of things of interest. They're not tourist constructions a la Disneyland, even though they're popular among foreign tourists. As a non-Russian-speaking first-time visitor a couple of years ago, I found both cities memorable. I'd probably choose St P over Moscow if I had to, simply because St P is more walkable. I've spent little time in Russia outside of Moscow and St P so I'll defer to the other posters as to more authentic Russian places.
Great thoughts and experiences! 1000 years is a looooong time man, the oldest in the US is maybe 400 years old. As for Novgorod i'm down to check out, ill probably get lost on the way there though lol, but its no problem.
From traveling to both cities and living in St. Petersburg I can say that most tourists spend more time in St. Petersburg. There are more beautiful attractions, sites, museums, theatres, parks, and places of interest than in Moscow. In fact, St. Petersburg receives more foreign tourists each year than Moscow. Not to mention the extremely high prices in Moscow. As a backpacker you can find hostels in St. Petersburg. I had some friends come to visit me and I organized a great tour for them around the city using a company called <snip>
Moscow is worth a day or two if you have time. But most of your time is better spent in St. Petersburg. There is a reason they call it the cultural capital of Russia.
If you don't speak Russian I think it is not a problem. Many people speak English in the big cities and are ready to help you. I hope you enjoy your stay in Russia
In Moscow and St. Petersburg impossible to find "true Russian experience" I know exactly as I live in msc all my life and many times have been in St. Petersburg.
Better meet a Golden Ring http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Ring
and for this trips stay in Moscow. If hotels is expencive, can rent apartment, also we have a cheap self-serve place with Russian kitchen.
Even if decided stay in Moscow you can find too much, look monuments for example <snip>
but Moscow indeed is not old, half was crushed in fire 1812, during war with Napoleon.
Pity, everything about msc on Russian, but if you put in google translate, can understand something from this site, this is where to go in actual time <snip>
[Edited: 2012 Jun 24 22:05 - The Travel Camel:11053 - No dropping commerical links on forum, thanks.]
[Edited: 2013 Feb 24 01:22 - Wanderled:257927 ]
I believe Moscow is better, especially if you want to travel with the subway. There is something absolutely magnificent! It's worth going there at least once in a lifetime!
[Edited: 2013 Mar 20 00:40 - Rat on the Road:23681 - No URLs in signatures please]
First Moscow, then SPB. If you need help in Moscow, feel free to pm me.