The exciting canal town takes the tourist with it to the whirlpools of Russian culture, glorious architecture and fascinating history. St. Petersburg is a metropolis right next to the Finns. The city, which has retained its Tsarist splendor, pampers art and culture tourists in particular.
Architecture, culture and canals
Situated on the shores of the Baltic Sea in western Russia, the atmospheric city of St. Petersburg is known for its beautiful architecture and interesting cultural sites. St. Petersburg is a city of islands, canals and bridges, which creates a unique atmosphere in the city founded by Peter the Great in 1703. St. Petersburg, which is also called the Venice of the North, is full of world-famous attractions.
St. Petersburg is the northernmost city in the world and the center of cultural life in Russia as a whole . The center of the former capital, also known as Petrograd and Leningrad, deteriorated during the Soviet era, but extensive restoration work has restored St. Petersburg to its former glory.
The city’s historic center is like a giant open-air museum. Combining classicism and baroque, its architecture with its palaces and bullet-shaped boulevards is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful urban areas in Europe.
Among other architecture, the center is dazzling with spectacular churches, which, along with the Winter Palace, are the hallmarks of St. Petersburg. The huge Church of St. Isaac with its golden domes is visible from afar, and the Church of the Blood resembles St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg is the heart of the famous four-kilometer-long Nevsky Prospekt.
The Winter Palace is the most magnificent palace in St. Petersburg, but there are also numerous other beautiful buildings in the city.
Travel in the summer – experience gorgeous white nights
The climate of St. Petersburg corresponds to the coastal areas of Southern Finland. The city is at its best during the summer, from May to September. Especially in midsummer, we enjoy white nights, when the night light of the northern sun blends spectacularly with the splendor of the illuminated downtown buildings.
During the white nights, the edges of the Neva River will be filled with locals and tourists coming to celebrate the lifting bridges that will be opened to shipping at night. It’s easy to join the festive hills of the city center or walk a little further away and simply enjoy the spectacular night views on the banks of the Neva.
In winter, frosts blow in St. Petersburg, because in the winter months the thermometer can sink briskly below ten degrees. The drift brought by the canals further strengthens the degrees of frost, so it is advisable to equip a winter trip with warm clothes.
Culture and shopping
St. Petersburg is typically traveled on a traditional city trip, for which the destination is a great fit. Short distances, an atmospheric center, endless cultural opportunities, good restaurants and great cafes guarantee a successful city break in St. Petersburg.
In addition to spectacular downtown monuments, the holiday progresses in St. Petersburg with more than 300 museums in the city, with plenty to see from the world-famous Hermitage Art Museum to the Vodka Museum. A must-visit for art lovers are the Hermitage and the Russian Museum, which features a wealth of Russian art.
In addition to museum visits, a classic activity is a performance by the traditional ballet and opera theater Mariinsky. Other theater and concert offerings are also extensive. Classical music can be listened to, for example, at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, located right next to the Grand Hotel Europa. St. Petersburg’s famous circus, on the other hand, hosts performances several evenings a week in a building near the Castle of the Engineers.
Tickets for operas, concerts and ballets are sold by the theaters’ own ticket offices and stalls around the city. You can also buy a ticket for the performances online in advance to secure your place in popular shows.
In addition to cultural experiences, the City Holiday is spent shopping, as the center of St. Petersburg is full of more sophisticated shops and department stores, but expensive price levels may limit shopping. You can also find cheap shopping when you are a little off the main streets.
The best shopping and gifts are often local produce not found elsewhere. Good discoveries can be made at the souvenir market next to the Blood Church, where prices can be compromised.
Day trips and a glimpse of Leningrad
Tsarist splendor is not limited to the center. There are numerous spectacular palaces around the city, which rulers and nobles once built as their summer residences, for example.
Today, these Palaces are the best day trip destinations. Explore, for example, Catherine’s Palace, known for its reopened amber room, or St. Petersburg, which is considered the Nordic equivalent of Versailles in France.
Those looking for more special tourist experiences can spend their time exploring socialist architecture. During socialism, a new main street Moskosvki Prospekt, as long as nine kilometers, was built in St. Petersburg. The Moskovskaya Square that starts on the street is impressive, for example, for the pomp and sociality of socialist architecture.
Russian delicacies and celebrations
St. Petersburg is also known for its high-quality restaurant offerings. Traditional Russian food tastes best, offered by many restaurants of different levels, from small folk canteens to Michelin-starred restaurants.
In the downtown area, menus and services are often also available in English, but in other areas, Russian proficiency is required. You can find affordable restaurants on the numerous side streets of Nevsky Prospekt. There are also many Russian fast food restaurants along the street, the affordable dishes of which are worth checking out during your trip to St. Petersburg.
There is also supply from night to side in nightlife. The venue can be chosen from folk pubs to luxury nightclubs where prices are up to standard.