A trip to Vyborg
Vyborg is a town 130 kilometers to the northwest of Saint Petersburg, near the Gulf of Finland. It is a place with a long and turbulent history. Settlement dates from the 13th century onwards, and since then, the town has been a part of Sweden, then Russia, then Finland, then the Soviet Union, then Finland again, then the Soviet Union again, and since 1991 it is a part of Russia. During the many wars and conflicts in the town, a large part of its ancient buildings has been destroyed, but nevertheless a significant part is well preserved and absolutely worth to see.
The town is easy to reach by elektrichka from the Finlyandsky station. A one way train ticket will cost you ₽301. Be aware of the fact that there are two types of trains. There is a suburban train (пригородный поезд) that stops at every intermediate station, and there is the Lastochka (Ласточка). A ticket for this high-speed train costs ₽411, and will bring you to Vyborg in an hour and a bit. I accidentally bought a suburban train ticket for the high-speed train and ended up paying ₽712 for my trip back to Saint Petersburg.
The historical center is a nice place to wander around, as it has a pleasant atmosphere – the streets are paved with cobblestones, for example – and pretty architecture. The architecture differs from what you are used to see in Saint Petersburg. Facades of several buildings strongly reminded me of Amsterdam.
On the outskirts of the city you can find the Lenin museum. It is located in one of the former houses of Lenin. Here, he lived a couple of months in 1917, before he ‘started’ the revolution in October. It is a rather small museum, with not many items dating from the time Lenin lived there – although you can see a plate that he ate from – but nevertheless, I recommend going there. They have a lot of interesting photographs, newspaper articles, postcards, maps, letters; they recreated the interior from that time, and above all, give very interesting and entertaining tours through the house.
When I bought a ticket to the museum, the cashier called a friend of her, said that I should wait half an hour, and that my guide would be there soon. And indeed, in half an hour, a very friendly and knowledgeable woman came and gave me an interesting tour through the museum for about two hours. A ticket only costs ₽100. That is rather unbelievable, knowing that my guide went twenty minutes by bus to give me the tour. She was clearly eager to tell me everything that had happened there.
To conclude my trip, I visited the Monrepo park. It is a landscape rock park on the northern island in a romantic style. It has zigzag roads, differences in height, benches with nice views on the water. The park is rather big with its surface of 180 hectares, and you could spend hours there. It is a park with payed entrance, ₽100 for adults and ₽200 for foreigners, so, before you go there, practice on your best possible «oдин билет, пожалуйста».