St. Petersburg and Moscow
Two largest and best known cities in Russia, St. Petersburg & Moscow are located just across the border from Finland. The fastest way to reach either one of them is by flight. Train is also a great option, especially to St. Petersburg. These cities have plenty in common; both have served as Russia´s capital and they both sit on the banks of major rivers. Both of them are remarkable cultural centers, with many theathers and museums. Though there are differences as well.
One of the biggest differences of these two metropolitans is the size. Moscow is well over twice the size of St. Petersburg with it´s nearly 13 million people as St. Petersburg population is around 5,5 million. St. Petersburg is a very European city and less quieter and hectic than Moscow. Moscow is fast-paced, more traditional and more Russian. Architecture of the cities is different too; Moscow is more classical Russian style with mix with modernism as St. Petersburg is influenced by European architecture.
Both cities are worth of visiting though it just depends what you are after! Pick one or both and combine them with your visit in Finland.
St. Petersburg is the historical imperial capital of Russia. The second largest city after Moscow, St. Petersburg offers more history, hundred of museums, culture and beautiful architecture in the shore of Neva river and Baltic Sea. The Hermitage, St. Isaac Church, Canals, Bridges of the Neva river and Mariinsky Theatre with the world famous ballet are the highlights of this pearl of the Baltic Sea.
There are fabulous Baroque and Neoclassical palaces, Italianate mansions, beautiful plazas, and grand churches, all showcasing the sophistication and wealth of the Romanovs’, and one of the world’s great collections: the treasures of the State Hermitage Museum.
Nowadays St. Petersburg is modern and safe European style city, where English is widely spoken. Restaurants can be found for many tastes, not to forget the cool nightclubs.
Moscow is an thrilling and sparkling city which attracts visitors from all over the world. It´s a city of contrasts, where traditional and modern worlds meet. Moscow is a mixture of old and new, and that can be noticed in everything; from Soviet architecture to modern skyscrapers and from old Ladas to brand new BMWs.
Moscow has numerous attractions to visit. "The Red Square" and "The Moscow Kremlin" are the most popular among tourists. Moscow is also famous for its theaters and museums, not to forget to mention Bolshoi Ballet. Lush green parks in the city area are great places to enjoy the nature, especially in a hot summer day. That needs to be mentioned too, Moscow can get boiling hot during the summer or freezing cold in the winter.
There are plenty of great restaurants in Moscow where you can find the local dishes or international cuisine. Moscow nightlife scene is vibrant and you can dance until dawn in the fanciest nightclubs in the city.