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8 Awesome Locations to Visit in St Petersburg

8 Awesome Locations to Visit in St Petersburg

If you’ve visited Russia, it’s likely you visited St. Petersburg. This city is no doubt one of the best places to visit in Russia for a wonderful experience. However, you aren’t guaranteed anything if your visit isn’t carefully planned out. There are beautiful and exciting locations to behold in St. Petersburg and a carefully planned tour and location guide will ensure you see them. You haven’t got the most from your experience if you haven’t visited these hot spots.

1. The Hermitage

A day wasn’t enough for me to see The Hermitage and it certainly won’t be enough for anyone who really wants to explore. This broad collection of the world’s most beautiful art galleries, especially by greats like Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Picasso makes The Hermitage an unforgettable place to visit. Studies revealed it would take approximately 11 years to study all the exhibitions in entirety.

I enjoyed the view of the Imperial states room and the apartments, the Raphael Loggias gallery duplicate of the Vatican Museum. Also, you can find the War Gallery of 1812 here with all the portrait collections of Russian Military Leaders who defended Russia and defeated Napoleon in the 1812 patriotic war. Another wonderful place to visit in The Hermitage is the Treasure Gallery Room with the Gold and Diamond collection of the 2nd-century origin.

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2. Church on Spilled Blood

Following the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, Church on Spilled Blood was constructed and still stands in the very spot of his assassination. The exuberant onion domes and Gaudy Mosaics make this magnificent building an extraordinary site. This building served its highest value during World War II where it was used to store Potatoes by the soviets while on siege by Nazi forces. In 1997, the church was finally reopened for public use. If you’ve visited St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, you will likely recognize the architecture this church is built with. I no doubt believe it’s one of the most exciting places to behold in the entire city.

3. Peter and Paul Fortress

As one of the first buildings ever constructed in the whole city, it holds much history. This fortress features the Baroque Peter and Paul Cathedral which by historical revelation was the final relaxation point of all Russia’s ancient leaders. One of the great exhibits of this fortress is the controversial and odd Statue of Peter the great and cells where the ancient revolutionaries were held. Also, make the most of your time and visit the beach.

While at the fortress, make sure to see Trubetskoy Bastion Prison where political prisoners like Maxim Gorky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Leon Trotsky were held in 1917. Taking a short stroll at the top of the fortress walls, you will have the most wonderful view of the Neva River.  You also have the opportunity to see the highest tower in the city, Bell Tower, and the cathedral which has served as the burial home of most of the Russians Tsars since Peter the Great.

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4. St Isaac’s Cathedral

The gilded viewing locations of St Isaac’s Cathedral make it one of the most famous landmarks in the city of St Petersburg. From this location, you have the most exciting views of the city. The beautiful statue of the apostles stands tall on the Cathedrals’ top and all of its doors ornately crafted in biblical scenes. Formally used as a museum of atheism in the soviet times, it retains it’s museum function even today and features various 19th-century art.

St Isaac’s Cathedral remains one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the whole world measuring over 300feet with Gold-Plated dome. You’ll sure be amazed by the magnificence of the building and the wonderfully decorated interior. The bronze entrance doors, the iconostasis flanked by Malachite and Lazulite columns, the colorful frescoes, the gold trim, the gold lettering and statues are sure to entrance you.

5. Peterhof

Peterhof (Petergof) is home to elegant palaces, fountains, and gardens. In front of the Hermitage, you can get a ferry leaving for Peterhof from the Jetty with just a 30-minute trip. If you prefer to bus, you can get one from Avtovo Metro Station to Peterhof with approximately a 45-minute trip.

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Take one of the popular day trips to the Imperial Estate from the central city. If you’ve visited the grand palace, you can’t miss a visit to the Grand Cascade. The Grand Cascade features over 140 fountains and Canals.

6. Nevsky Prospekt

Nevsky Prospekt is the center of St. Petersburg cultural and social life, with countless cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Also, the center of St Petersburg (Nevsky Prospekt) is Russia’s most famous boulevard extending about 4 Kilometers from Alexander Nevsky Monastery and leading directly to the Admiralty near the Neva River which buzzes with life all the time. If you haven’t visited, then there isn’t a lot you can say about St Peterburg yet. The best Bookstore in the city “Dom Knigi” is located in here. A short walk through what used to be the best boulevard in all of Europe will help you see the beauty and life in this great city.

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7. Tsarskoe Selo

Taking an electric train from Vitebsk Station will land you in Detskoe Selo and a bus should cover the rest of the trip to Tsarskoe Selo. If you have been to St Petersburg and haven’t visited Tsarskoe Selo, you have to visit again. The most magnificent estates in the whole country of Russia are located here,  featuring the Amber Room, and that makes it a must-see destination. The glory of this location was lost for many years after the loot by Nazi Soldiers and has now been restored.

8. Russian Museum

If you ever desired to see Russia’s most beautiful homemade masterpieces, the Russian Museum is a great place to visit. The Russian Museum stands apart from the State Hermitage with its own appeal. You hardly can find any art here apart from Russian homemade masterpieces. Including the best religious icons and wonderful works by Kandinsky.

Featured photo credit: www.dongdui.com via cnn.com

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Last Updated on October 5, 2020

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

How Much Weight Will I Lose?

The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

Can I Work out While Fasting?

Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

Is Fasting Safe?

As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

Conclusion

Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

More About Intermittent Fasting

Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

Reference

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