St. Petersburg
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Top Tours & Activities in St. Petersburg

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St. Petersburg's 7 best things to see and do

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.

Saint Isaac's Cathedral

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.

State Russian Museum

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.

Nevsky Prospect

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.

Winter Palace

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.

Mariinsky Theatre

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.

Peterhof Palace

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.

Planning Your St. Petersburg Visit

Getting around

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.

Do I need a visa?

Most international visitors to Russia will need a visa, so check well before you travel and apply early to avoid disappointment.

What is the weather like?

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!

Good to Know

  • Language
  • Currency
    RUB (руб)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
  • 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

Other Sightseeing Options in St. Petersburg

Want to discover all there is to do in St. Petersburg?  Click here for a full list.

What People Are Saying About St. Petersburg

Excellent, informative tour with a friendly, knowledgeable guide.

My partner Michelle and I were lucky enough to be allocated Timur (Tim) for this half-day tour to Peterhof. Tim met us on time at our hotel in central St Petersburg, and right away we were struck by the quality of his English. Turns out that when not guiding, he teaches languages, including English, so not surprising. During the ride out to Peterhof (about 50 minutes,) Tim pointed out many places of interest and gave us the stories behind them. On arriving at the palace, we were able to skip the line, and he took us through the various display rooms, all absolutely stunning, and different from one another. We arrived on the terrace just in time for the 11:00am switching on of the fountains, accompanied by suitably dramatic music. Then we toured the beautiful grounds, where we heard the stories behind the various fountains, cascades, and follies. Throughout Tim was informative, good huimoured, and willing to answer our many questions. Overall, thoroughly recommened.

Peterhof Palace and Gardens Half-Day Tour Reviewed by Stuart, 08/22/2017

Very informative tour with a very nice and professional guide.

I really liked this tour, we traveled comfortably in a van to Petergof, our guide did the utmost for us in order to skip the long line, and she was very nice and helpful and answered all of our questions, would recommend this tour definitely.

Peterhof Palace and Gardens Half-Day Tour Reviewed by Jenny, 08/21/2017

Best value for money, great experience, a must do

A truly fabulous day, Tim our guide was fantastic, very knowledgable and personable, with good English and Spanish. We did not rush through the palaces, had plenty of time to see and read things. The drive between was also interesting and comfortable, a good chance to see more than the main tourist city. We would highly recommend this experience.

St. Petersburg Imperial Residences Tour Reviewed by Cheryl, 08/20/2017

she is the sweetest girl in the world , and very polite and generes!!

dear olga NO WORDS CAN DESCRIBE YOUR CHARM AND GENTELNESS ! your are a marvales person and smart ! your presiclly detailing is a perfection! we love you and will recommend your guidance is existing, thank you !

St. Petersburg Imperial Residences Tour Reviewed by jorge luis, 08/17/2017

Irina was such a great guide! Very knowledgeable and expert.

We enjoyed so much visiting the Hermitage with Irina! She involved in the history of this place and showed us a lot of aspects that we would have never understood if we had a non-guided tour. Thank you!

Hermitage Museum St Petersburg Private Tour Reviewed by Francesca, 08/13/2017