I will definitely come back!
I want to come back! Six months flew by so fast, and now it’s time for me to write my goodbye post. I came to Russia long time ago, in February when ice still covered completely the Neva in Saint Petersburg and people used to go ice-fishing on the canals. Now the white nights are gone and left only this unusual Russian summer.
For the past six months, living in Russia wasn’t always that easy even if it was my forth time in this country. I knew the city and more or less what to expect from people: they could be extremely nice or they could not be nice at all. But when I arrived it seemed to me like I had to get used to Russia again. I felt quite uneasy at the beginning but now I can finally tell that I gained confidence in Russian language, in people and in those mysterious transport called маршрутка (marshrutka).
Saint Petersburg is really the most amazing city I’ve ever been, a I will come back to: here you can feel a unique atmosphere, that’s probably they compare this city to Venice. The centre is mostly art and history; in addition there are so many cool and different places where you can spend you’re free time during the day or night, or that are open 24hours. Besides it’s not a huge city and living in the city centre is quite safe.
But before I come back, I must say that I’m really grateful for the possibility I had to study and work in Saint Petersburg at Liden & Denz, I wish I did it earlier. Even more I’m grateful for having meet such great people and amazing colleagues and for the time we had together. And I would like also to thank all the passionate and patient teachers of the school.
I will definitely come back to St. Petersburg and Russia as soon as possible, but for now it’s really time to прощаться (proshchatsya), so goodbye Piter, goodbye my good friends and goodbye you all!
What I wish I knew about staying in Russia
Now I’d like to add just some advice about Saint Petersburg and about your staying in Russia.
- When you stay in Russia for seven days or more, remember that in addition to your passport, visa and migration card (that you’ll receive when you arrive in Russia) you need to have a document called visa registration. You have to ask the school for this paper in our case and it’s necessary to have it while you stay in the country. When you leave they generally never ask you about it at the passport control, but you definitely need you show them passport, visa and migration card.
- If you come to St. Petersburg in winter don’t bring extremely warm cloths as I did. Probably I was thinking that I was going to Siberia, but winter in St. Petersburg can be mainly rainy and windy. So, to survive Ветербург (Veterburg), as locals often call the city, bring warm but mainly good cloths to protect you from wind and as a hat, a scarf, a coat and a raincoat or windbreaker and good boots.
Sights to see:
Talking about St Petersburg, you probably already know or you can read in this blog which are the most famous sights to see. But while you are in the cultural capital I recommend you to take some time and wander around the city: it’s totally worthy and you’ll be only happily surprised by it. Nevsky prospekt is beautiful, but the streets around it are much more interesting: in addition to monuments, wonderful churches and buildings there are plenty of bars, cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs that can meet everybody’s taste.
- Besides Думская (Dumskaya), that is the most popular street for nightlife and it’s definitely worth seeing, I suggest you to have a look to, from my point of view, much more original and cool places in улица (ulitza) Белинского (Belinskovo), Рубинштейна (Rubinshteina), Жуковского (Zhukovskovo), Грибоедова (Griboedova), Маяковская (Mayakovskaya), Садовая (Sadovaya) and Литейный проспект (Liteinyprospekt).
- Wandering around Petersburg you will also enjoy peculiar images of the city as cute бабушки (babushki) (but never address them by this name) selling every kind of things and street artists and musicians who always gather around them a big active audience that sings passionately the most popular Russian songs. Then visit the market place Сенной Рынок (Sennoy Rynok), the one close to Sadovaya ulitsa, and the one in Удельная (Udelnaya), they speak for themselves.
- In Russia, of course, you should try Russian food, so in addition to a real Russian experience in a Столовая (Stolovaya), I suggest you try also something completely different in quality and service as the restaurants Severyanin and Cococo. If you fell like trying a Russian pub with only locals of any kind and age and be surrounded by a sort of soviet atmosphere, go to Маяк (Mayak) in Mayakovskaya, but be prepared to find quite drunk people.
- After Russian you must try Georgian cuisine, it’s difficult to find a place that is not good but the best I have tried is definitely Rustaveli. Besides, next to Rustaveli you can find PMI Bar which offer one of the best view of St. Petersburg from the terrace and some of the coolest cocktail and desserts.
- Кальян (kalyan, narghile) is really popular in Russia and many bars and clubs offer the possibility to smoke it. You can find a good place for Kalyan in Rubinshteina, Чайный Дом (Chainyi Dom).
- Young people in St. Petersburg love burgers, so you should try them in some local fast food or restaurant as City Grill, Ketch Up Burgers and Biblioteka and for a special breakfast go to Cafè du Nord!
Jessica, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz