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Staying at a three-star hotel in St. Petersburg frees you up to explore the city’s expansive history and culture without breaking the bank. St. Petersburg, a city that embraces both the old and the new, has some exquisite remnants of Imperial Russia to explore before you head into the city’s nightlife, which is filled with 21st-century spirit.
Wandering Nevsky Prospekt, the most famous street in Russia, or along the embankment of the River Neva, you’ll encounter everything from the vast show of Imperial power that is the Winter Palace to the Soviet seat of fear, the KGB local branch’s building, the Big House. Step away from rulers for a stroll around the many churches in St. Petersburg. Partly modelled on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Kazan Cathedral’s exterior mixes Orthodoxy and Catholicism, but when you get inside the Russian Orthodox style is much more prominent. Look out for one of Russia’s most revered icons, Our Lady of Kazan. The Church of Our Saviour on the Spilled Blood is an even more ostentatious example of an Orthodox church with five colourful domes topping the building and a dazzling mosaic floor stretching through its interior.
Stay light on the wallet and jump into real Russian culture. Turn off the main tourist streets and hunt out dishes for your own borscht taste test. With each family having a slightly different recipe, you’ll be in for a beetroot delight. Along Nevsky Prospekt, you’ll find quaint cafes and bars tucked in the back streets where you’ll be able to buy hearty delicacies for only a few rubles, or you could pop into Kuznechny Market; wander along the wonderfully unfamiliar aisles, and you might be offered a caviar taster.
There are many three-star hotels dotted around in the area between the River Neva and Nevsky Prospekt. Hotels close to Nevsky are within walking distance of many major tourist sights, but you could also consider staying slightly further out where places to stay will be slightly cheaper. With St. Petersburg’s excellent public transport network, it’s simple to hop from A to B.