Second only in size to Moscow, St. Petersburg is a beautiful city filled with historic charm and all of the majestic architecture of Imperial Russia. Dating back centuries, St. Petersburg once served as the country’s capital which is evident by the number of cathedrals and beautifully crafted palaces that highlight just how important this major city is to Russia. Though the capital of Russia is now Moscow, and has been for substantial amount of time, St. Petersburg still provides that aristocratic sense of grandeur.

As you walk throughout St. Petersburg, you’ll notice that the city is very reminiscent of another popular European destination -- Venice. Intricate canals weave through the city and there are over 340 bridges to give you beautiful views of the waterways and surrounding architecture. The location as a port city means that St. Petersburg is very close to water no matter where you go. It also is reminiscent of Venice in that the architecture features of Baroque and neoclassical styles similar to the quintessential Italian mansions that dot Venice’s own canals. Travel a bit north from St. Petersburg’s center and you’ll find yourself at the coastline with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

St. Petersburg is also highly known for its art and culture scene. One of the most popular destinations during a trip to the city is visiting the Hermitage, which features a vast collection of everything you could imagine encompassing art and history -- some of the top painters have collections here and you will also find many natural history exhibits, including Egyptian mummies. The vast Russian Museum, which is housed throughout a number of gorgeous palaces, contains one of the most comprehensive Russian art collections in the entire world. After exploring all of the historical sites and landmarks, walking throughout the city center and enjoying the outdoor parks is one of the best things to do in the city. The summertime is one of the peak travel seasons for St. Petersburg and is often host to various festivals and performing arts events. Lush green parkways and gardens offer tranquil spots to relax after exploring for the day!