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Say [EAT DRINK WALK] to Moscow
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toma kuzminova
Moving further:
suburban gems
If you are staying in Saint Petersburg for more than one or two days, it is a good idea to explore suburban areas.
Trust us: they are worth it.


Travelers are lucky fellows. What a great pleasure it is to wake up in the morning and plan a day: where to go, what to see. One of the many options in Saint Petersburg is to go somewhere outside of a city and spend the whole day strolling around outdoors.
Saint Petersburg is surrounded by places which are of great interest and fit every taste. Are you fond of gorgeous imperial palaces and les jardins à la française? Then, you'd probably be satisfied with Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo (also known as Pushkin), and Oranienbaum.
Or maybe you'd like to amble around an English landscape garden and wouldn't spend too much time exploring household gods? Then wild paths of Pavlovsk and Gatchina gardens are the places of your choice.
The Great Gatchina Palace
For those who'd like to see the Gulf of Finland outside of the city – we suggest Zelenogorsk and Komarovo. These are barely touristic places: not that much to see except nature and sprawling waters of the Gulf. You may have a picnic, ride a bike or just get some tan if it's sunny and warm.
You may even visit an island Kotlin - 51 away from Saint Petersburg - where the port-city Kronshtadt is located. Interested in naval? Then the city is must-visit for you (and you can book a tour to go there with our guide Anastasia).
We even have a place for those who want to explore another city with an entirely different vibe – Vyborg. Architectural landmarks, beautiful Mon Repos garden. Originally Swedish, the city today presents the exciting historical gem in Leningrad Oblast and a top-list destination for everyone interested in architecture, at least (but not only) for Alvar Aalto's library – we've got a tour for that one too.
How to reach suburbs?
Being a tourist sometimes means to get lost in a myriad of special offers on how to get to the place of your choice.

Classical guided group excursions are good. You have a comfortable bus, a guide telling you stories full of historical references so you get an idea of what the place is about. But you tide to time, must follow your group and don`t always have a room for maneuver to explore the place by yourself. Private guides always give more space for personal interaction with the place.

One of the means to reach the suburbs in Saint Petersburg is to go by water buses. It is an option for Peterhof and Kronshtadt. It is a fascinating journey – you get to the places faster and at the same time get a chance to see the city from the water side. However, boats are available only during summertime.
We suggest you another option which is the way much cheaper than boats and guided excursions. We are here to help you explore the real Russia, remember?

Suburban trains or "elektrichka" are a great way to travel suburbs in Russia. Maybe it is not that comfy as buses and boats, but hopelessly romantic vibes are guaranteed.

Choosing elektrichka, you get a chance to explore railway stations which are very interesting architecture-wise. Take Vitebskiy Railway Station – the earliest station not only in the city but within the whole country! Or the modern version of Finlyandsky Railway Station from where you take a train to Vyborg.
You may still wonder why we suggest you experience suburban trains in Russia? Well, the thing is that it closely bound up with the social background. Don`t be surprised if you see lots of babushkas with rootstocks – they`re probably making their way to dacha (or country house). During the Soviet times, elektrichka was the main transport to connect cities with a countryside.

Today Russians are absorbed in books, newspapers or phones – sometimes it is an everyday experience for them to travel by elektrichka. They are making their way to work, study – everyday routine.

You will never get bored in elektrichka. Musicians go through the carriage playing popular Russian songs or the ones of their own; writers present their own guidebooks or fiction; you will be offered food and drinks for no doubt. Besides, take a look out of the window and you will see fields, traditional houses and forests passing by.
Taking suburban trains, you explore another – not touristy – piece of Russia. Together, piece to piece we create a bigger picture of the country, so you can Say Hi to Russia knowing exactly how to get to know it better.
I am one of those daydreamers who was always thinking about moving to a big city. Originally Siberian, I have been enjoying Saint Petersburg for almost 5 years now – a big city of my dream.

I guess that travelling is what brings people together in Say Hi to Russia. At some point in my life, I travelled a lot, almost every weekend. It was an adventure of a lifetime I had never experienced before. What a feeling it is to step out of a bus, train or plane at a new place. And what a feeling it is to get to know locals who always have a word to share.

A short while ago I got a sense that there is so much to discover in Russia: it doesn't matter if it is a big city or a small village. My desire is to unite tourist and local experience in my writings. It is a way to rediscover day-to-day places and maybe inspire someone to visit Russia.


Toma Kuzminova
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