St. Petersburg Attractions
St. Petersburg itself is a incomparable work of art. Possessing an incredible amount of historical masterpieces, the city attracts inspired guests from all the corners of the planet. Amongst the huge variety of mesmerizing sites it is not always easy to choose the most significant ones. Therefore, we are presenting this guide-article to help our visitors make a time-bounded visit to St. Petersburg truly unforgettable.
Palace-and-park ensembles of Saint Petersburg
A palace-and-park ensemble is a breathtaking partnership of magnificent architecture and wonderful manmade nature. If you are planning to admire St. Petersburg highlights out of town, all the beautiful park-and-palace collaborations mentioned below should definitely be first in your must-visit list.
The Catherine Palace and Park
30 km south of St. Petersburg, in a cosy town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), you will find a true marvel of Russian architecture. The impressing white and blue rococo palace was founded in 1717 by empress Catherine I. Being a former residence of Russian tzars, the palace is surrounded by a breathtaking park. Statues, picture galleries and a great range of historically precious pavilions make the ensemble incredibly rich and memorable.
Peterhof Park and Palace
Stretching across five hundred hectares of territory lays one of the most famous park-palace ensembles in the world - the well-known Peterhof Museum Complex. It consists of a great range of museums, historical monuments, pavilions, the outstanding Grand Palace, beautiful gardens and, of course, a lot of ornate fountains, peppered around the Complex. The Peterhof is a true historical gem and perhaps the most breathtaking site ever.
Those, who head to Peterhof from St. Petersburg, have a chance to take boat tours in the warm time of the year. Check out our article on transportation in St. Petersburg and find out how to use the meteor vessel to reach the spectacular museum complex.
Peterhof Park and Palace can be easily visited with us on Peterhof Palace tour!
The Pavlovsk Palace and Park
Another history guardian, the charming Pavlovsk palace and garden ensemble meets guests all year round and demonstrates its inevitable significance for the country's memory. The magnificent 18th century building with the stunning English garden surrounding it, were built by Catherine the Great as a residence for her son, Grand Duke Paul. Picturesque pieces of classical architecture were designed to please every viewer and continue surprising visitors nowadays.
Visitors can have a boat ride in the warm time of the year in the Vokzhalniye Ponds on the territory of the Pavlovsk park.
St. Petersburg Museums
Museums in St. Petersburg are all different in their origins and contents but are equally entertaining and attractive to every curious mind. You can either take a private guide or head to one of the mentioned museums trusting your own knowledge and experience - you will find any museum in St. Petersburg truly spectacular in both ways!
Saint Isaac Cathedral
The grey and pink stone Saint Isaac Cathedral is proud to be the largest Orthodox Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Built for up to 14 000 standing worshippers, it now functions as a museum, holding church services only on major religious occasions. The Facade is decorated with sculptures and massive single-piece granite columns. The interior is just as fascinating! Detailed mosaic icons, paintings and architectural wonders make the Cathedral a very heartfelt, historical and curious traditional site.
The State Hermitage Museum
One of the largest and significant museums, the Hermitage museum is a true guardian of the worlds culture and history. Being a whole museum complex, the soul of the worlds history possesses over 3 million priceless items of the past. Paintings of famous artists, sculptures and many other precious works of art are presented in this number one must-visit place in St. Petersburg. Your Hermitage Museum tour will most probably become one of the most incredible cultural tours of a whole lifetime.
The Museum provides a free entrance to tourists every first Thursday of each month.
The State Russian Museum
The State Russian museum owns the finest collection of Russian art. This is the very place, where you can absorb real Russian culture and history. Including over 400000 artworks, the museum covers all the experience of Russian art. A rich collection of folk and applied arts, that includes fabrics, embroideries, national costumes, fragments of the Russian log huts and other traditional exhibits, reveals all the incredible mysteries of the country's past.
The Kazan Cathedral St. Petersburg
One of the most impressive views along the Nevsky Prospect, the majestic Kazan Cathedral serves not only for museum purposes, but is now used for regular religious services.
Being also a monument to glory of Russian arms, the Cathedral is a place where the famous Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov was buried. The Cathedral owns numerous pieces of religious art with the copy of Our Lady of Kazan being the main one. Worshippers and tourist visit the Cathedral to pray to Our Lady of Kazan and to admire its architecture and precious exhibits. The Kazan Square in front of the Cathedral is a beloved place for all citizen and guest, especially in the warm time of the year. Open-air performances and a delightful view attract people of all ages!
St. Petersburg is also rich with historical military museums, including the Peter and Paul Fortress, Kronstadt and the Aurora Cruiser. Check out our top 8 military attractions in Saint Petersburg and find out more about the pearls of Russian war history.
All of the St. Petersburg highlights mentioned in this post can be visited on our tours of St. Petersburg!
Theatres and St. Petersburg Cultural tours
A heaven for theatregoers, St. Petersburg is a place of brilliant acting, opera singing and ballet dancing.
One of the biggest theatres in Russia, the Mariinsky theatre has remained the heart of ballet and opera in St. Petersburg since 1860. It has raised brilliant ballet dancers and worldwide known opera singers. Indeed, the theatre has given the world names of true geniuses. The splendid architecture of the theatre is the epitome of imperial grandeur, which will turn any evening here into a exciting experience.
A spectacular venue for drama is the Aleksandrinsky theatre. Only the building itself is an architectural jewel of the city, considered as a UNESCO heritage site. Brilliant plays are to be accompanied by a rich historical atmosphere. Being the second most popular theatre in St. Petersburg, the drama temple is a beloved place for both citizens and tourists and is surely a must-visit for our every guest.
About the author
Diana Zalenskaya, a travel professional and destination expert for Moscow, Russia.