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!
- RUB (руб)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+02:00)
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- Best time to visit
- It'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
OUR TOUR STARTED IN FRONT OF THE HERMITAGE ITSELF BY MEETING OUR APPOINTED TOUR GUIDE MS ALYONA - WE WERE SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT MY WIFE AND I WERE THE ONLY TWO WHO WOULD BE ACCOMPANYING HER - AFTER THE PRELIMINARY INTRODUCTIONS MS ALYONA TOOK US TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE HERMITAGE AND THUS STARTED THE ACTUAL TOUR - IMMEDIATELY WE WERE IN SHE BEGAN EXPLAINING IN VERY GOOD ENGLISH ALL THAT WE SAW - IN SO DOING DEMONSTRATING THE DEPT OF HER KNOWLEDGE OF ALL THAT THERE WAS TO SEE - WE ACCOMPANIED HER AND LISTENED TO HER VARIOUS EXPLANATIONS ON THE MOST IMPORTANT EXHIBITS OF ALL THE COLLECTIONS - THE NUMBER OF EXHIBITS IN THE HERMITAGE IS SO NUMEROUS THAT IT IS SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE TO VIEW IN ONE VISIT - BUT MS ALYONA DID HER UTMOST TO GIVE US AS MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT ALL THAT WE SAW IN OUR PATH - BEING A CARAVAGGIO AFICIONADO, I ASKED HER IF THERE WAS AT LEAST ONE SUCH PAINTING AND WITHIN THE SPAN OF FIVE MINUTES WE WERE STANDING IN FRONT OF IT - IN SHORT SHE WAS SPLENDID AND WE WERE LUCKY.
INITIALLY MY WIFE AND I WERE NOT SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS TRIP SINCE ON THE BASIS OF WHAT WE READ IT WAS NOT EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR AND THE REVIEWS WERE NOT SO ENCOURAGING - HOWEVER HOW MISTAKEN WE WERE - THE TRIP WAS FIRST CLASS ON ALL COUNTS - THE PIANIST WAS TOP NOTCH - THE VERY CHARMING HOSTESSES WERE AT ALL TIMES POLITE, SPOKE ENGLISH VERY WELL, SERVED THE EXCELLENT FOOD, WINE AND OTHER DRINKS WHICH WE ORDERED IN A SMOOTH AND PLEASANT MANNER - SEATING WAS COMFORTABLE AND THE VIEW OF ST PETERSBURG ALL LIT UP AT NIGHT FROM THE COVERED BOAT SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH - WHAT ELSE COULD WE HAVE WISHED FOR ?? - WHEN IT WAS TIME FOR US TO DISEMBARK WE DID SO VERY SATISFIED WITH THE EVENING WE HAD JUST EXPERIENCED BUT AT THE SAME TIME SAD THAT IT HAD ENDED - I RECOMMEND THIS ACTIVITY VERY HIGHLY - AND WILL REPEAT THE EXPERIENCE SHOULD WE REVISIT ST PETERSBURG
Pick up was on time in a good, comfortable people carrier. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable as she came from the area and gave us a history lesson both on the drive there and back, pointing out all the important buildings and statues which I thought was great. The tour of both Palaces and gardens was wonderful, our guide also told us the local legends as well as telling us the stories behind behind every room. I don’t usually do tours, preferring to muddle through myself but I would recommend this tour without hesitation.
I think it was money well spent. As you drive around to the different sights you get so much more out of it than just the church etc. Very professional. Nice clean comfortable vehicle. Extremely knowledgeable local guide. We then spent a lot of time exploring on our own but got the details from the tour.
It's better to ask the lady at the counter to give you seats near window (if it's possible) otherwise you won't have that nice view. We got seats in the middle, but luckily our boat was almost empty, so we could sit near the windows anyway.