Top attractions in St. Petersburg
While Moscow has the bulk of Russia's history, St. Petersburg is its most exciting destination. With a young population and ever-growing cultural landscape, the city is bathed in a unique light and laid-back vibe. See our sightseeing highlights.
Visit the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city, where you can learn about the religion and history of this important landmark. Entry plus audio guide is 350RUB.
With the biggest collection of fine art in St. Petersburg, this attraction is a hit with art lovers, though is often quite quiet. Enjoy the work of Russian artists of the past.
The main street in the city, this bustling thoroughfare offers beautiful buildings, bridges and squares. Best enjoyed as a walking tour, with opportunities to shop along the way.
This opulent building is perhaps the sight the city is most proud of. With more than 100 rooms, highlights include the gilded Armorial Hall. Visit at night for a pretty picture.
Ballet and opera are the cornerstones of St. Petersburg's classical culture, and the best on offer takes place here. The season ends in early August and begins in late September.
The garden fountains (check dates) and golden statues are the real stars of the show at this extravagant palace, although some of the lavish interiors must be seen to be believed.
A vast museum housed in the Winter Palace, the Hermitage is perhaps the jewel in the city's tourism crown. The stately rooms bear many artistic treasures; leave hours to explore.
The St. Petersburg Metro is a good way to get around the city, particularly in winter, when it can be bitingly cold. Tickets are available at the stations from the toll booths, and a smart card that you can top up is the easiest option if you're staying more than a couple of days.
Most international visitors to Russia will need a visa, so check well before you travel and apply early to avoid disappointment.
It's said the weather in this city has character - in others words, be prepared. By Russian standards, it doesn't get too cold - never really below minus 10 degrees - and in the summer highs can reach 30 degrees. However, a jacket and umbrella are always handy to have in your luggage!
- CurrencyRUB (руб)
- Time ZoneUTC (+02:00)
- Country Code+7
- Best time to visitIt's more expensive to visit in the summer months, but this is by far the best time. The temperatures are warm and the days are the longest, so you may get to attend the White Nights celebrations!
Things to Do in St. Petersburg
Top Attractions in St. Petersburg
Cities in Russia
Other Sightseeing Options in St. Petersburg
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What people are saying about St. Petersburg
Arina, was a wonderful person. Her English was excellent and was extremely knowledgeable on Russian history - could answer all of our questions. The tour was great, no waiting in line but Arina really made it very special for my wife and I. Just fantastic!!!!
We were very fortunate there was only 2 of us on the tour. Like a private tour and we had a fantastic guide EGOR. He was very knowlegable about the palace and garden but also was very relaxed. So the 3 of us had a laugh as well. Would highly recommend this tour to anybody
The palace is gorgeous and taking a tour like this was ideal for us: skip the line, small group (not really much of a group activity as the tour of the palace is with audio guide and then one explores the gardens on his/her own), independent transportation to/from the site (we took a taxi to the palace and returned with the hydrofoil). Allow at least 2 hours to explore the huge lower gardens, and come half a hour before activity start time to explore the upper gardens as well (free).
(disclaimer: the itinerary differs from the description in GYG, but it is worth it anyway!) During the tour, we visited a doughnut shop (that has been around since 1959) and a railway station which has magnificent interior design, both of which we would have missed had we explored the city on our own. We also visited a few of the significant metro stations. Our guide, Anna, also treated us to traditional Russian snack and (a small amount of) liqueur. Adding on to that, Anna was also friendly and knowledgeable. She shared many interesting stories about the buildings we passed, and provided tips and recommendations for our trip (for the next few days). This is definitely a great way to appreciate St. Petersburg and its rich culture!
We really enjoyed this very interesting and informative tour guided by Evgenia. She is a very knowledgable and passionated guide.