The Best Things To Do In Saint Petersburg
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!
HERE ARE OUR PICKS FOR THE TOP THINGS TO DO IN SAINT PETERSBURG…
Catherine Palace & Park
Once a Russian Imperial Palace and home to the Tsars, the Catherine Palace and Park is now a fascinating museum. The opulence of this era is just stunning, and the magnificence of the architecture and interior decorations is beautiful, with the excess and extravagance to be cause for thought! Enjoy the perfectly manicured gardens and make a day of this visit, as you learn about the amazing history of this by-gone era.
Saint Petersburg Palace Square
In the heart of the city you will no doubt come across Palace Square, as it is so close to many of St Petersburg’s landmarks and monuments, including the Winter Palace. Take some time to absorb the beauty and the history of this famous open space, where the Bolshevik Revolution gathered, and the Bloody Sunday massacre occurred!
Peter & Paul Fortress
Dating back to the early 1700’s, visit the site where St Petersburg was born, at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Originally designed for defence, it later became housing for high-ranking political prisoners, and today is a museum that takes you back to the origins of the city. Explore the prison blocks, the tombs and the exhibitions, and then watch the midday firing of the canon! This is a fascinating tour of the city’s history, so be sure not to miss it!
Peterhof Palace & Garden (Petrodvorets)
Spectacular for its sheer opulence, the Peterhof Palace and Garden (Petrodvorets) is a must-see destination in St Petersburg. During your visit, feast your eyes on the 64 fountains and 255 sculptures that dominate the gardens, then explore the magnificent Grand Palace, which is imposing on the outside but is fabulous on the inside. This is a place you will not soon forget, as the amazing exhibits just keep coming one after the other!
Take a walk along the main road of St Petersburg – Nevsky Prospekt – and capture a fantastic snapshot of the sights and culture of the city. This is great way to introduce yourself to the city, as you will come across many of the main attractions, as well as great shopping for clothes and souvenirs, and even chic cafes and fine-dining restaurants. It’s easy to spend a full day along this street, so take some breaks and watch the locals go about their day.
Monument to Catherine the Great
As you walk around St Petersburg, you will certainly come across the Monument to Catherine the Great, located just off the Nevsky Prospekt. The Empress presided over a golden era for the country and was adored by the people. Commissioned in 1862, the monument was unveiled a decade later, and has both amazing detail, and a quiet dignity that befits this ruler.
Cities & Towns