Although I have never been to the country of Russia, my sister lived there for four years. The second-biggest city in Russia is St. Petersburg. Full of rich history, beautiful architecture, luscious gardens, Russian art, and stunning views overlooking the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg is a strong contender for most travelers’ bucket lists.
Many travelers visit St. Petersburg on a Baltic Sea cruise, but you can also visit on a land-based vacation. My kids love the movie (and now the Broadway musical) Anastasia, so I’m sure they would love to visit St. Petersburg and other Russian cities.
There isn’t a shortage of things to do and see. Take a look at these ten unforgettable experiences in the city of St. Petersburg:
1. Hermitage Museum
As one of the oldest museums in the world, you must visit the Hermitage Museum. Situated in the Winter Palace of Empress Catherine, this museum contains more than 1,500 breathtaking rooms. Wandering around, you will see the works of some of the most magnificent artists of all time, including Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet, Thomas Couture, and more.
2. Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
This is the site where Alexander II of Russia was assassinated on March 13, 1881. It is one of St. Petersburg’s most quintessential places to visit. With unbelievable multi-colored mosaics and a vibrantly colored, palace-like design, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to visit this beautiful museum.
3. Peterhof Palace
Constructed by Tsar Peter, this palace was an attempt to exceed the Palace of Versailles created by Louis XIV of France. Outside of the Peterhof Palace, you will get to walk through alluring water gardens filled with luscious greenery and gold statues. Inside the palace, you will find gold detailing, chandeliers, and sightly artworks.
4. Peter and Paul Fortress
Playing a significant role in the Russian revolution and being the very spot that St. Petersburg was founded, make sure you visit the Peter and Paul Fortress. Take a tour of the fortress for some incredible views of the Winter Palace and River Neva.
5. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral
This sanctuary is the most prominent orthodox basilica on the planet. This cathedral no longer serves solely as a place of worship but rather a museum. Visit the top of the temple for some of the most magnificent views of St. Petersburg.
6. Mariinsky Theater
The ballets and operas put on in Russia are some of the most notable. If you can manage the time, purchase tickets to a show while you’re in St. Petersburg.
7. Take a Canal Tour
There are many canals and around 800 bridges throughout the city. At one point, these waterways were the main form of transportation. Nowadays, the canals are a famous tourist attraction. You can even take a canal tour as transportation from one attraction to another.
8. Catherine Palace
Right outside of St. Petersburg is the Catherine Palace in Pushkin. While you are there, visit the Amber room and take a stroll through the gardens.
9. Fabergé Museum
Opened in 2013, this newer museum holds beautiful, exciting works of art. Check out the Imperial Easter Eggs and other jeweled art pieces. This museum holds old and new artifacts for all to behold. Consider a private evening tour.
10. Nevsky Prospect
Over 2.5 miles long, the Nevsky Prospect serves as a royal pathway and the main street in St. Petersburg. This is where you will get to enjoy the best restaurants, palaces, boutiques, shops, hotels, and more. Much of the architecture on this street is very distinguished.
Isn’t St. Petersburg an absolutely stunning city? It’s definitely on my bucket list. Is it on yours?
When you’re ready to plan a trip to St. Petersburg, I would love to help you, whether you wish to travel by land or by sea. Please read more about how my planning services work here.