Selasa, 25 Desember 2012

Icerinks in St. Petersburg

Ice skating is one of the most loved Russian entertainments - may be this is one of the reasons why Russians are so good in figure skating? There are over 30 rinks working this winter all over the city. We have selected for you the best central spots and encourage you to test this traditional Russian winter activity - lots of fun guaranteed!

1. Icerink on Ostrovsky Square (площадь Островского / Ploshchad Ostrovskogo). 
The most popular and central rink in the city. Could be fun in early hours, when it is not overcrowded. Enjoy Christmas market, mulled wine and fun on ice! You can combine this activity with the visit to the recently reopened famous Merchant Yeliseev shop

Nearest metro: Gostiny Dvor (green line), Nevsky Prospect (blue line)
Work hours: 12.00-22.00
Entrance fee: RUB 200/hr
Skate hire: RUB 150/hr
Deposit: RUB 2000
Coach service: free by volunteers from local sports institutions 
Works till 14th January 2013 (as the Christmas market itself). 

2. Indoor rink in the Taurida Garden (Таврический сад / Tavricheskiy Sad). 
Warm and well-arranged rink with 1-hour session and limited capacity of up to 90 people per session. No deposit required for skate hire! You can have a ride on your way to the Water Museum, located just across the street. 

Nearest metro: Chernyshevskaya (red line)
Work hours: 10.00-22.00, additional night sessions 22.00-5.00 on Fridays and Saturdays (in 2012 - 29 and 30 Dec). Check the schedule on the official web-site
Entrance fee: RUB 350-400/hr for adults, RUB 250-400/hr for kids
Skate hire: RUB 150/hr
Deposit: not required
Coach service: special request only

3. Indoor rink at Yubileyny, Dobrolyubova emb. 18 (набережная Добролюбова/ naberezhnaya Dobrolyubova, 18). 
The rink is very popular for its night rides with dance music and cafe. We suggest you to visit it as a warming up before the night clubs or to combine with the Peter and Paul fortress tour during the day.

Nearest metro: Sportivnaya (violet line)
Work hours: 
daytime - depend on the training sessions, can be confirmed by tel. 498-60-43 
nights - Fri, Sat, Sun 23.00-05.00
Entrance fee: 
daytime - RUB 250-350/session (1hr15min) on workdays-weekends 
nights - RUB 400/night
Skate hire: 
daytime - RUB 200/session
nights - RUB 150/hr
daytime - RUB 1500 or driving license 
nights - RUB 2000 or driving license
Coach service: n/a

Have fun!

Senin, 24 Desember 2012

Christmas and New Year Greetings from our little friend Danila and his cheerful Snowman!

Dear friends, colleagues and partners!

Let the Christmas and New Year be as bright and surprisingly pleasant, as our cooperation and this amazing picture!

Snowest wishes,
Mango Travel team, Danila and his cheerful Snowman

Danila, 5 y.o. is a nephew of our colleague Eva Simuni. For a small sweet fee, he gave up drawing his favorite brown cars for a while and created this great card.

Senin, 17 Desember 2012

Mango Travel Events: Conference for System Integrator Company Trinity

Image Source - Trinity 

As we are not only holding queue-free tours to the Hermitage and other museums, here is a short report from our recent event for our dearest regular customer Trinity.  
Image Source - Trinity 

In November 2012 Trinity together with Hitachi Data Systems organised a conference on new effective IT components for organization of virtual cloud information landscapes for companies. Didn't understand a word in the last sentence? Well, we too. However it didn't obstract us from arranging the event, as we all did what we knew best: Trinity and Hitachi took care of IT solutions and server hardware, while Mango Travel Conference Manager Eva Simuni assured that all the participants enjoy comfortable atmosphere and delicious meal.

Image Source - Trinity 

The whole-day event took place in a beautiful 5-star hotel Sokos Palace Bridge. During the conference guests enjoyed presentation of Hitachi representative in Russia, mixed with delicious croissants and dances on servers (see the fist picture of this post). At the end of the conference participants were awarded with a great banquet in one of the most Spanish hotel’s restaurants Sevilla
Image Source - web-site of Sokos Hotels

Companies and places mentioned in this article:
1. Trinity - System Integrator Company, creating your IT infrastructure in Russia
Offices in 4 major Russian cities including St. Petersburg and Moscow.

2. Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge 5* - excellent hotel for your comfortable stay and event
There are 2 more Sokos hotels in St. Petersburg - Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky 4* and Sokos Hotel Olympia Garden 4*

3. Mango Travel - Russian DMC (destination management company), MICE organiser in St. Petersburg, owner of this blog :)

P.S. Nearly forgot to mention that this Trinity was born way earlier than Matrix one and had nothing to do with Carrie-Anne Moss (unfortunately)!

Selasa, 04 Desember 2012

Must See: State Hermitage Museum

"There are art galleries, there are museums, there are the great museums of the world and then there is the Hermitage", says Lonely Planet. "An unrivalled collection of art treasures housed in the magnificent palace from which the Romanov tsars ruled the Russian Empire, the State Hermitage will inevitably be the focus of any first visit to St Petersburg, and rightly so."

You haven't been to St. Petersburg if you miss the Hermitage. Apart from expected and widely known Western European  paintings you'll find there all sorts of art objects from Roman sculptures and Egyptian tombs to belongings of Peter the Great in Russian Department, numismatics, armour collection and even two treasure chambers with world-famous Carl Faberge jewellery.  

Can't visit St. Petersburg in the nearest planned future? Take a virtual tour of the Hermitage!

Tip: To skip the queues (especially suring the high season May to August) we highly recommend you to book your tickets in advance on the Hermitage web-site.  There are also 2-day combined tickets available with an access to the Menshikov Palace (the oldest stone building in the city and the home for the city's first Governor-general Alexey Menshikov, an associate and a close friend of Peter I), Winter palace of Peter the Great and even a Porcelain Museum!

At the information kiosk you can pick up a free colour map of the museum, available in most European languages. Immediately after ticket inspection you can hire an audio guide with recorded tours in English, German, French, Italian or Russian.

The State Hermitage Museum
Address: 2, Dvortsovaya Ploschad (Dvortsovaya Square)
Work days and hours: Tue, Thu-Sun 10.30-18.00, Wed 10.30-21.00\
Museum is closed on Mondays, January 1, May 9 

Rabu, 23 Mei 2012

St Petersburg in 1 hour (and 8 minutes)

Oh my GOSH it has been so long since I last posted! (I must stop starting posts like this.) Anyway, I'm currently in St Petersburg for a few weeks and this afternoon I had a few free hours so I decided to set myself a challenge. As I've been here so many times before, I've visited all the main sites so today I thought I would try and see them all in 1 hour. The great thing about St Petes is that everything is so central so you can walk everywhere. I set off at 4pm and (almost!) managed to get round everything in an hour... Here's what I saw:

River Fontanka

Mikhailovsky Castle

River Fontanka

River Moyka

Mikhailovsky Garden

Russian Museum

Church of the Spilt Blood


Griboedov Canal

Nevskii Prospect

Kazan Cathedral

Nevskii Prospect

Kazan Cathedral

Dom Knigi (huge, massive bookshop!)

Kazan Cathedral

Nevskii Prospect

River Moyka

The Hermitage/Winter Palace

Dvortsovaya Ploshad

River Neva

Peter and Paul Fortress

Rostral Columns

River Neva

The Bronze Horseman

St Issac's Cathedral

River Moyka

Wedding locks on a bridge
1 hour 8 minutes well spent!