João Joaquim: Portugese in Saint-Petersburg.

Posted: 2016-01-14
Written by: EU Network
Category: Russia
Tagged: travel russia portugese portugal diary adventures

Portuguese in Saint Petersburg (Russia). The diary of  Portuguese about his experience in Russia. 


Everything started at Pulkovo Airport in December 2015.

While arriving at the passport control we met  “Police woman” which looked at us  with her angry face which made us a bit unconfortable but she was very pretty.

Once we took  a bus from the airport we got some small ticket with numbers from an old woman (which I would call ohh here comes Babushka tickets’ woman).

After I got my  ticket and since I was with other local Russians, they told me the tradition, if you get the same number in these 6 digits, you need to eat your ticket. Well, I thought, this is a good trick in situation when I don’t have the ticket and I can just say that I ate my ticket because it was lucky number.

When I got out of the bus, I could see many buildings and monuments all around. The most interesting for me were  the roads  - so grand like a high  - ways and that all drivers were stopping in the middle of the cross or turning with only some cm for touching the other car. The traffic in Russia looks like Indian roads where do not  exist roundabouts and all kind of vehicles can drive and pass by others.

Getting in the appartments building, I could see how it looks from inside.  It was  degraded building and full of tubes and some trash tube where you can drop your garbage. Very usefull somehow, while in Portugal we need to carry our garbagge to the trash Bin.

When you get in the house, it’s like paradise -  so warm -  that you need to take off your jacket and shoes. I do not agree that winter in Russia is something awful. Winter in Portugal is a real challenge for people. Most of the  houses in Portugal are without heating and  you need even to sleep with socks, jacket and atleast 3 blankets to  not get frozen inside the house.  Mostly appartments in Russia are small, but enough warm and cozy.

When you open the firdge, you can always find  pickle jar, salads, tomatos and other stuff,  while in fridge freezers you can find frozen  fruits, pelmeni and meat.


Going out to the downtown,  no matter it’s cold or snowing, you can even enjoy a live concert of a Russian guy playing and singing or even some man making some tools with the fire when its -20c .

You can find so diverese cafeterias and museums in Saint Petersburg. You  can visit Submarine Museum, Maritime Museum, Train Museum, the Museum of Electrical Transport, Central Museum of Railway Transport, Saint Petersburg Metro Museum, Labyrinth on Nevsky, Quest museum, Prison Museum, Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology and many other.  I wish in any other part of Europe people were so smart to think that each business should be made with it’s own tematics and gladly in Saint Petersburg each day you can enjoy a different place and get a new knowledge.


I enjoyed the experience of going to a cafeteria and sitting in an old Volga car: drinking and eating some garlic bread or other dishes.

The most interesting and curious for me was that outside all places looked the same appartments buildings and cafeterias, but once you enter you can see a huge variety of different things.

The Mariinsky Theatre was simply amazing. It was a really unique experience to listen the classical music with great musicians. To watch  the  ZENIT BASKETBALL CLUB or SKA Ice Hockey Club matche. It really  gives feeling from like  american movies which are full of energy watching sports.


The most amazing probably was time spending New year’s  eve in Maza Park which is the  biggest in-door amusement park in Russia. There you can go in  laser room,play drums,ride bull at bull rodeo, play bowling, try shooting, darts, laser shooting against other people. Paying only 5 euros for so much fun.

You can take bus, metro for about 0.50 euro. The prices in museums never were higher than  5 euros(including photograhy) and you always can enjoy so many things without wasting money senselessly.

Festival of dance took place  at the ExpoForum International Convention & Exhibition Centre in Saint Petersburg. It was for free. I  was amazed seeing dances from all former Soviet countries for free. It was really like a dream.

Saint Petersburg and Russia might have the same slogan as Las Vegas “ What happens in Russia stays in Russia”. Only people who have visited this country, will  unerstand what do I mean.


Returning back to Portugal, after my trip to Russia, I feel dumb in a way  that English has become the global language and not  Russian as second language.  For communication with people from so many Post Soviet countries,  we need to know Russian.

I saw a huge sense of education, people hospitality and kind hearts. People are very kind  in Russia. They preserve hot drinks on the streets and not throwing  trash on the streets. These rules in Russians mentality are simply amazing.

People would say Russians are crazy and wild and do just crazy things, but they are so  honest and real to themselves in creating a good world without anger, agression, pollution and many other things.

Saint Petersburg also brings alot of different kind of foods. Even I had an experience of feel like in Portugal once I visited  restaurant that offered some portuguese food in Saint Petersburg.

I could not imagine  that there  are so many kinds of Russian movies.  I got a big addiction during my stay in Russia - Soviet Posters. They were so interesting. I could learn a lot from them about the country’s history.


Being portuguese and living in Setúbal with the best fishes in the world,  the only thing I did not enjoy in Russia, was seledka (cелёдка).
I really very much enjoyed my trip to Russia. The time in  Saint Petersburg was really unforgetable experience. Russia is mysterious. Russia is unforgetable. It is  unique, alive, full of  intelligence.

João Joaquim
Youth Leader in Setúbal (Portugal)
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