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    So, St Petersburg, then...

    I've been asked to speak there at a culture festival and agreed, having visited the city almost 30 years ago when it was still Leningrad and loved it. I should perhaps have considered boycotting on the basis of Putin and his activities but I fear I didn't really engage my political conscience and it's too late to back out now. Anyway, has anyone visited the city recently? What's the best bet in terms of currency? I'll probably be mostly prowling round the Hermitage but another suggestions for a very short stay?

    #2
    I was planning on going in the near future, so take notes, will you?

    My mate who was at the World Cup said it's a bit moody in a way that Moscow isn't. This surprised me as I would have assumed it to be the other way round.

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      #3
      I heard pretty much the same thing (Moscow is "lovely", Big Pete can be tricky). It looks like a stunningly beautiful city and I've always wanted to go. There are apparently day trips by boat from Finland, I'm told?

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        #4
        It's one of my favourite places in the world, I will have a think about recommendations.

        I haven't been since 2010 but have friends there.

        Personally, if I was dropped there now with only a few hours I would go to Nevsky Prospekt, Cafe Literaturnaya (though it's a tourist trap now, you can still have coffee) and walk along the Fontanka.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Reginald Christ View Post
          I heard pretty much the same thing (Moscow is "lovely", Big Pete can be tricky). It looks like a stunningly beautiful city and I've always wanted to go. There are apparently day trips by boat from Finland, I'm told?
          Yeah. You can get a 24 hour visa or something. Pop in and out.

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            #6
            In my experience, the moodiness depends on the weather and the interplay of light and shadow on the canals and sea.

            Overcast days without precipitation are generally best in that respect. The early and late hours of dawn/dusk in the summer can also be good.

            I'm afraid that I have no useful information on currency other than my standard advice to use ATMs rather than bureaux de change.

            And tell your bank that you are going there, as they tend to block credit and ATM cards due to the incidence of Russia-based fraud.

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              #7
              I think "moody" means something other than cloudy, ursus.

              More like "menacing". "Edgy".
              Last edited by MsD; 23-08-2018, 11:45.

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                #8
                Ah, I was thinking "Dostoevskyian", obvs.

                My experience of NYC in the 70s means that my personal threshold for "edgy" is quite high.

                BTW, Dostoevsky's flat is worth visiting if one is a fan. It is strikingly bourgeois.

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                  #9
                  Yeah. Sorry. To avoid confusion I should have said it's a bit more on top than Moscow.

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                    #10
                    Yes, I like Fyodor's gaff.

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                      #11
                      With regard to wingco visiting European cities, did you know that Frankfurt is soon to open a Museum of Modern Electronic Music right in the centre of town? They're getting the rooms rent-free - it's the former Children's Museum, and will only be a pop-up museum for 2-4 years until the city decides what it's doing with the space long term. So anyway, wingco, you should come and do a book presentation there and then we'll go out on the razz.

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                        #12
                        The Faberge museum is worth a visit - the famous eggs are but a tiny part of what's on display.

                        If you find yourself out in the early hours anywhere near the Neva, then the bridge openings are worth a watch - if only to see the chaotic scenes as dozens of boats jostle for the best viewing positions and then tear off upriver to the next bridge. Timetable of which bridges are opened when is here http://www.saint-petersburg.com/quic...idge-openings/. Just don't get stuck on the opposite side from your hotel...

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                          #13
                          What month are you going, I can ask if there is anything special occurring?

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                            #14
                            November. I think the event I'm speaking at is a small part of the special thing occurring - http://www.visit-petersburg.ru/en/event/3504/

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                              #15
                              Thanks for all the tips, everyone though my time might be a bit limited. I'll do what I can.

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                                #16
                                And Ian, that sounds ausgezeichnet!

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                                  #17
                                  Here's the website. The museum's still being constructed/funded, but it looks ambitious in scope.

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                                    #18
                                    How could they have an electronic music museum without Wingco?

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                                      #19
                                      One of my favourite places in the world wingco. Of course you need to try and spend some time in the Hermitage. Especially the Raphael corridor and the room full of Canovas. When I went I bought my ticket on line and would get there about half an hour before it opened. As everyone barges in, don't go to the first window you get to to validate your ticket. There's one round the other side of the kiosk.

                                      There's a great little coffee shop nearby and I have to admit that I thought I had done something wrong when the lady behind the counter just yelled "sit down". But then I saw that she was like that with everyone, tourist and local.

                                      Also don't buy any knock off caviar from the soldiers flogging it in the square as you approach the Hermitage.

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                                        #20
                                        This place : Kunstkamera Peter The Great's Anthropology and Ethnography Museum

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