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St Petersburg 101 for first time visitors
Your first stop: getting there you'll understand the majesty and significance of the Neva River. Then you'll see the caskets - 300years of Romanov history laid out.
Marvel at a heroic statue - such a setting. And wonder at the age of the brides who line up to be photographed alongside it.
Now skip forward to early 20th century: glory in the wealth and the intrigude of Rasputin's murder.
Now its 1917 and this is where the Revolution started. This 100year old warship seems at ease with itself and its place in history in this mooring.
An unusual perspective on Stalin's 1920s and 1930s. Kirov was the people's champion in Leningrad, and these are his fascinating apartments. Off the beaten track.
A heroic setting - you can imagine the tanks in the square behind - made all the more dramatic if you can secure an evening private visit. One of the world's great museum's.
The interior is not really a tourist attraction - this is a thriving Russian Orthodox church. But, being respectful, go to understand the importance of faith to this benighted nation. Wonder at the Nicholas II icon. Why is there?
You cant go into this building. But you can wonder at it. Such an extraordinary setting, so dramatic on the skyline.
The best time to climb to the top is at sunset. 30minutes before and 30minutes afterwards reward you with amazing views across the Neva and beyond
If you go to one palace outside of St Petersburg, make it this one. The glistening gold spires, refreshed as part of the city's 300th anniversary, coupled with the scarcely believable interioir decor make for an unforgettable visit.
Walk arguably the most famous road in Russia. It makes for an unusual juxtaposition; Canali and Versace alongside begging Afghan war vets and clapped out Ladas. Wonderful for people watching.