Best things to do in St Petersburg

st peters basilica in vatican city rome

St. Petersburg, often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” is a city in Russia that boasts a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. From its grand palaces to its world-class museums, there are countless things to see and do in this magnificent city.

In this guide, we will explore some of the best activities and attractions St. Petersburg has to offer, ensuring an unforgettable experience for visitors.

  1. Hermitage Museum – Start your journey in St. Petersburg by immersing yourself in the opulence of the Hermitage Museum. Housed in the Winter Palace, this prestigious museum is home to more than three million works of art, including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. Spend hours exploring the museum’s vast collection and marvel at its architectural beauty.
  2. Peterhof Palace – A visit to St. Petersburg is incomplete without exploring the magnificent Peterhof Palace. Located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, this stunning palace complex is known for its breathtaking gardens, impressive fountains, and grandiose architecture. Take a stroll through the meticulously landscaped gardens and be awestruck by the stunning views of the palace and the Baltic Sea.
  3. Catherine Palace – Another must-see attraction in St. Petersburg is the Catherine Palace. This opulent residence was once the summer residence of Russian empresses and is renowned for its ornate Baroque architecture. The highlight of the palace is the famous Amber Room, a chamber adorned with exquisite panels made entirely of amber.
  4. Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood – With its colorful onion-domed spires, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the most iconic landmarks in St. Petersburg. Built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated, this magnificently decorated church is a masterpiece of Russian Revival architecture. Step inside to admire the intricate mosaics that cover its interior walls.
  5. Nevsky Prospect – Take a leisurely stroll along Nevsky Prospect, the main avenue in St. Petersburg. Lined with elegant buildings, lively cafes, and boutique shops, this bustling street offers a vibrant atmosphere and is perfect for people-watching. Be sure to stop by the impressive Kazan Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church that dominates one end of the avenue.
  6. Mariinsky Theatre – If you’re a fan of the performing arts, the Mariinsky Theatre is a must-visit in St. Petersburg. This historic theater has been home to countless world-renowned ballet and opera productions and continues to enchant audiences with its stellar performances. Immerse yourself in the world of music and dance as you enjoy a show at this prestigious venue.
  7. St. Isaac’s Cathedral – Dominating the skyline of St. Petersburg, St. Isaac’s Cathedral is an imposing architectural masterpiece. With its massive golden dome and intricate facade, this cathedral is a sight to behold. Climb to the top of the cathedral’s colonnade for panoramic views of the city and the Neva River.
  8. The State Russian Museum – Delve into the rich history of Russian art at the State Russian Museum. This comprehensive collection showcases a wide range of artworks from various periods, including traditional Russian icons and avant-garde masterpieces. Explore the museum’s extensive galleries and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s artistic heritage.
  9. Kronstadt – For a day trip from St. Petersburg, head to the charming island of Kronstadt. This naval fortress town offers a glimpse into Russia’s maritime history with its historic forts, naval memorials, and picturesque waterfront. Take a boat ride from St. Petersburg and spend the day wandering through Kronstadt’s streets, discovering its fascinating past.
  10. Fabergé Museum – If you have an interest in exquisite craftsmanship and luxury, make sure to visit the Fabergé Museum. This museum houses the largest collection of Fabergé eggs in the world, created by the famous Russian jeweler Carl Fabergé. Marvel at the intricate detail and craftsmanship of these ornate eggs, each a true work of art.
  11. Peter and Paul Fortress – Explore the birthplace of St. Petersburg, the Peter and Paul Fortress. Built on Hare Island, this historic complex is home to the iconic Peter and Paul Cathedral, where many Russian tsars are entombed. Learn about the fortress’s fascinating history and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area from its walls.
  12. Russian Vodka Museum – Discover the history and culture of Russia’s famous alcoholic beverage at the Russian Vodka Museum. Gain insights into the production process, learn about different types of vodka, and even sample a variety of flavors. Embrace the opportunity to engage in a traditional Russian toast and raise a shot of vodka to your newfound knowledge.
  13. Summer Garden – Take a leisurely stroll through the Summer Garden, a tranquil oasis in the heart of St. Petersburg. This beautifully landscaped park features elegant sculptures, manicured flowerbeds, and tree-lined paths, providing a peaceful escape from the bustling city. Enjoy a picnic or simply relax on one of the garden’s many benches.
  14. Yusupov Palace – Step back in time as you explore the Yusupov Palace, a grand noble residence in St. Petersburg. This historic palace is known for its association with the assassination of Rasputin, a mysterious figure in Russian history. Take a guided tour to learn about the palace’s lavish interiors and the fateful events that unfolded within its walls.
  15. Canal Boat Tours – Experience St. Petersburg from a different perspective by taking a canal boat tour. Cruise along the city’s picturesque canals and admire the elegant facades of the buildings that line the waterways. This relaxing and informative tour provides a unique way to explore the city and gain insights into its architectural gems.
  16. Russian Museum of Ethnography – Gain a deeper understanding of Russia’s diverse cultural heritage at the Russian Museum of Ethnography. This museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts, costumes, and traditional crafts from various regions of the country. Immerse yourself in the traditions and customs of different Russian ethnic groups through interactive exhibits and displays.
  17. St. Petersburg Metro – Explore the elaborate underground world of the St. Petersburg Metro. Known for its stunning architecture and intricate mosaics, the metro stations themselves are like works of art. Take a ride on the metro and marvel at the beautiful surroundings as you travel from one station to another.
  18. Smolny Cathedral – Admire the elegant beauty of Smolny Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece in St. Petersburg. This stunning blue and white cathedral is a prime example of Russian Baroque style and is an absolute delight to behold. Explore its intricate interior and learn about the cathedral’s role in Russian history.
  19. Alexander Nevsky Lavra – Pay a visit to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, one of the most important spiritual and historical landmarks in St. Petersburg. This sprawling complex is home to several monastic buildings, including the stunning Trinity Cathedral and the Tikhvin Cemetery, where numerous famous Russians are buried. Experience the peaceful atmosphere and learn about the significance of this revered site.
  20. Bolshevik Factory – For a unique cultural experience, visit the Bolshevik Factory. Once an industrial hub, this historic complex has been transformed into a creative space featuring art exhibitions, design studios, and trendy cafes. Explore the factory’s vibrant atmosphere and discover the thriving contemporary art scene of St. Petersburg.

With its rich history, cultural treasures, and architectural marvels, St. Petersburg truly offers an unforgettable experience for visitors. Whether you’re exploring the grand palaces, immersing yourself in vibrant museums, or simply strolling along its picturesque canals, the city’s beauty and charm will captivate you at every turn. So, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the best of St. Petersburg and create memories that will last a lifetime.




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