I love surprise detours and the Russia Metro System was one of the best. I believe in using public transportation wherever I go because that is where you get to meet the real locals. I have seen a lot of Metros and most are what you envision, some cleaner than most, others not so much and ads galore splattered on ugly colored tiles, maybe even a "pizza rat" or two. A little birdy told me to take a look at one or two of the Metro stations in St. Petersburg so I did and just the two that I saw were more impressive than most museums.
The St. Petersburg underground railway system, open since 1955, is one of the deepest metro systems in the world, due to the city's unique geology, with the deepest station, Admiralteyskaya, at 282 feet below ground. The deepest New York station is 180 feet deep. Not to be mistaken for palace halls or the lobbies of 5-star hotels, the stations are mostly made of marble and decorated with mosaics, sculptures, stained glass and unique bas reliefs to represent different historical accomplishments of the Soviet Union, revolutionary events and the country's main pillars of industrialization.
Each station carries a different motif and exhibits many typical Soviet designs and exquisite decorations and artwork making it one of the most attractive and elegant metros in the world.
The metro is just one of the many fascinating highlights of a Russian Experience. Don't let the word "Russia" dissuade you from visiting no matter what the political climate. Just take the proper precautions as you would when you visit anywhere else in the world and do your research. For the best experience and just to feel safe, hire a local guide from someone like Timofey Kruglikov at Tailored Tours St. Petersburg.
Now Get Lost!