St. Petersburg is called an “open-air museum”.
St. Petersburg is an amazing city that is full of interesting attractions. You can visit it every year, and each time it will open for you in a new way. In St. Petersburg, that is called the ‘Cultural Capital’ in Russia, more than 200 museums, a large number of palaces and parks, many of which are available for visiting.
You can have a wonderful vacation just decide what attractions you want to see and what activities you want to do in St. Petersburg. We have collected 15 things that will help you explore this amazing city, no matter how many days you have.
1. Nevsky Prospect
Nevsky Prospect is the main street of the city. You can see many attractions here, for example, Kazan Cathedral or Singer House. Don’t forget to visit Eliseyev Emporium. It will surprise you not only with its beauty but also with a large number of delicacies.
2. Hermitage Museum
This is the largest museum in Russia, as well as the most recognisable feature of St. Petersburg. Part of its collection is stored in the Winter Palace – the former royal residence. So you will see not only the masterpieces of world art but also learn how the royal family lived.
3. Rooftop tour
You can see St. Petersburg from a bird’s eye view. Rooftop tours have become very popular in the city. In the company of a guide, you can walk along the roofs and see the famous ‘skyline’ of St. Petersburg. The best time to visit this kind of attraction is sunset.
4. Yusupov Palace
The Yusupov family was one of the richest in the Russian Empire. Their palaces are not inferior in luxury to royal residences. You can confirm this by visiting the Yusupov Palace. By the way, the mysterious murder of Grigory Rasputin took place here.
5. A boat tour on rivers and canals
St. Petersburg has countless rivers and canals along which boat excursions go. This is a great opportunity to explore the city and see its cathedrals, palaces and parks. Book a boat tour in advance, or find piers where you can buy tickets. However, you can only join the tour during the navigation period, which lasts approximately from April to November.
6. Colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral
Dome of the St. Isaac’s Cathedral can be seen from many parts of the city. You can visit the interior of the temple and find out how it was built, as well as climb the colonnade and admire the views of the historic centre. The observation deck is located at an altitude of 43 meters.
7. Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter and Paul Fortress is the heart of the city. The history of St. Petersburg began here. The fortress has preserved old bastions and a prison. Peter and Paul Cathedral is one of the tallest buildings in the historical centre. You can climb its bell tower and see the fortress from a bird’s eye view. The angel on the cathedral spire is a symbol of the city.
Drawbridges are definitely in the top-20 things to do in St. Petersburg. You can watch this performance from the embankment or from the water. Boat excursions are certainly more spectacular. You can follow the river and see how the bridges are drawn one by one.
9. Royal Suburbs
St. Petersburg is surrounded by several palace-park complexes, which were built as royal residences. Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, Pavlovsk are the most popular, and perhaps the most beautiful. You can go on an excursion to the palace or take a walk in the park. Which residence you wouldn’t choose, you will have an unforgettable impression.
10. Faberge Museum
The Faberge Museum appeared in St. Petersburg not so long ago, but its exhibits have a long history. Easter eggs made of precious metals and stones were gifts from the Russian Emperor to his family members. You can see some of them during the excursion. The museum also houses a large collection of Russian icons.
The first stations of St.Petersburg Metro were built in the 50s of the last century. They are decorated with marble, metal and glass and look like palaces. For example, ‘Avtovo’ is recognized as the most beautiful station in Europe. In order not to get confused in the lines, click here and find a guide who will give you an excursion. St. Petersburg metro tours are very popular and are offered by almost all Russian travel agencies.
12. Mariinsky Theater
Mariinsky Theater is the oldest theatre in Russia. The best dancers and singers from around the world performed on its stage. You can attend any ballet or opera performance, just book a ticket in advance.
13. Cathedral of the Savior on Spilled Blood
The amazing temple is one of the most beautiful in the city. This Cathedral is also called the ‘Mosaic museum’ because it is decorated not with frescoes like in European tradition, but with mosaic panels. It is fabulous both inside and outside. Therefore, if you don’t have time to visit the Cathedral, we recommend you just to walk around it.
14. Cruiser Aurora
St. Petersburg is a port city. Many naval museums are located here. The most famous of them is the cruiser Aurora – a symbol of the Russian Revolution of 1917. You can board it and explore the internal structure of the cruiser.
15. Botanical Garden
The Peter the Great Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Russia. It consists of outdoor and indoor collections. The garden has 25 greenhouses constructed in 1823-1824. Some of them are open to the public. The outer park includes a small rock garden, English garden and formal garden.
St. Petersburg is called an ‘open-air museum’. It is home to a large number of historical and cultural attractions. Walking along, you will find a lot of interesting things. Just buy the ticket and pack your bags.