Snow is part of Russia's job description. It's all about wrapping up in a big coat, an enormous hat and exploring a place which looks familiar and feels completely alien. St Petersburg gives you bling into the bargain, which makes it just right for a Christmas escape. Better still, with the Russian Christmas falling in January, everything is open on our Christmas day. Head for the Hermitage for an epic world art trawl in all the grandeur you could possibly want, the Russian Museum for Russian painting, sculpture and decorative art, the Museum of Political History for a leap back into Russia's Communist era and Gostinny Dvor to take the retail pulse of the city. On my last day, I discovered Rosphoto, a small photography gallery tucked away amongst apartments and offices – well worth the search.
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