I am looking at taking a long weekend (4-5 days) away with a friend at the end of November / early December and was considering Russia. But I have some questions, can anyone help?
1) Due to having 4-5 days only, should I go to St Petersburg or Moscow? What have people's experiences been of either city?
2) I would expect the weather to be extremely cold at this time of year, has anyone visited either of those cities in winter and was it do-able or very unpractical?
3) If the weather isn't an issue, any top things people would recommend doing in either city?
Nov-Dec is cold. Moscow can b even in snow (which is better), St. P is watery city which means humidity+ cold. Also weather can b instabile in end of Nov - cold/warm/rain/snow... etc. U'll b lucky if u catch dry and sunny cold. If you want to enjoy u have to b dressed properly: layers, warm and light and 2 pairs of waterproof shoes can help. Inside houses should b very warm, b prepared to switch. I was in winter in Moscow and in Autumn in SP - it was not too bad weather.
WHAT TO SEE:
4-5 days it s very breafly, but for 1 city can b nice. Depends what ru into.
Moscow is more "commercial", more show-place, attractive architecture, museums, events, night life. Intensive and fancy. St. P. more pale and delicious, more culture. Architecture (lot of baroque), museums, concerts, theathres. in 5 days u can allow yourself 1 daily trip out of city - somewhere nearby. If you r going from S.P. to one of palaces (out of city) keep in mind that in winter gardens are closed. Gardens r 1/2 of sharm of those.
Not far from St. Petersburg are a couple of palaces- one built by Peter the Great, and one by Catherine the Great. They are both amazing- similar to Versailles. But I visited in the summer- I don't know what they are like in the winter. Might be too cold.
The palaces are still lovely, although the fountains are closed and all statues are hidden in wooden boxes.
However, the weather at this time is usually pretty horrible in both cities, but choosing the lesser evil, I'd probably go to Moscow (weather wise). Otherwise they are both beautiful places.
Great - thanks for responses!