WHY VISIT SAINT PETERSBURG
A city built on water in 1703 by Peter the Great as a “window on the West”, St. Petersburg is Russia‘s second-largest city, after its capital, Moscow. Despite being a rather young city, the Russian tsars’ residence boasts a rich history of events, an extraordinary architectural heritage, and one of the most important museums in the world.
Imperial city, theater of two revolutions, protagonist of a long siege, marked by Communist domination, inspiring muse for writers of the standing of Pushkin and Dostoevsky, St. Petersburg is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. Cultured and refined with its prestigious art collections and theaters; romantic, especially on summer nights when everything “lights up with a special light”; impressive with its magnificent palaces and cathedrals with bulbous domes; interesting in its wide and varied offer of attractions.
The oldest part of the city is represented by the Peter and Paul Fortress on the island of Petrograd. The historic center – declared a World Heritage Site in 1990 – contains the most famous monuments and buildings. Classical works such as the of St. Isaac Cathedral, complex architectural constructions such as the historic Winter Palace whose rooms house the Hermitage Museum, statues – symbols like the Bronze Horseman, a celebratory monument of Peter the Great, grand streets like the long Nevsky Prospekt, the heart of the city, on which the elegant facades of the buildings alternate with cinema, shops, and clubs. For those who love beauty, history, and culture, St. Petersburg is an unmissable destination.
WHAT TO SEE IN SAINT PETERSBURG
Top attractions not to be missed are:
- Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
- The complex of Peterhof
- The Catherine Palace and Park
- St. Isaac’s Cathedral
- The Fortress of Saints Peter and Paul
- Nevsky Prospekt
- The Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum
- Summer Garden (Letny Sad)
- Senate Square and the Bronze Horseman
- The Metro stations
Following instead some hidden spots of the city that only locals know!
- White Nights
- Cabin of Peter the Great
- Statue of Chizhik-Pyzhik
- Egyptian Sphinxes
- Monument To Heroic Defenders of Leningrad
- House of Soviets and the Statue of Lenin
- Statue of Lenin at Finland Station
- Smolny Cathedral
- New Holland Island
- Cruiser Aurora
- Trinity Cathedral
- Bank Bridge
- Lion`s Bridge
- Lomonosov Bridge
- Egyptian Bridge
WHEN TO GO TO SAINT PETERSBURG
The best period to visit St. Petersburg is from June to August.
Following a list of main events and typical festivals and celebrations of St. Petersburg.
- White Nights Festival
HOW TO REACH AND MOVE IN SAINT PETERSBURG
the main airport is Pulkovo
download the transportation map
WHAT TO DO IN SAINT PETERSBURG
typical dishes of St. Petersburg:
- Beef Stroganoff: pieces of sautéed beef in sauce, with smetana (sour cream)
- Bliny: large pancakes
- Borscht: soup made of broth, beetroot, and tomatoes with vegetables (onions, cabbage, tomato, carrots, and celery).
- Shchi: cabbage soup that can be based on sauerkraut
- Solyanka: thick, piquant soup that combines components from shchi (cabbage, smetana) and rassolnik (pickle water and cucumbers), spices such as olives, capers, tomatoes, lemons, lemon juice, kvass, salted and pickled mushrooms
- Dressed herring: diced, salted herring covered with layers of grated, boiled vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beetroots), chopped onions, and mayonnaise
- Golubtsy: cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings
- Pelmeni: dumplings filled with meat wrapped in thin, pasta dough
- Pirozhki: small stuffed buns made of either yeast dough or short pastry, filled with different fillings
- Kvas: a fermented non-alcoholic beverage made from black or regular rye bread or dough
typical souvenirs of St. Petersburg are:
- Matryoshka nesting dolls
- Khohloma-style wooden spoons
- Faberge egg replica
- Budenovka, is a hat used as the uniform of the Soviet troops from 1918 until 1940
- Ushanka, a traditional Russian fur hat that has ear flaps that might be tied at the chin to protect ears and neck from the cold or fixed at the back of the head
- Orthodox icons
- Samovar, the heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water for tea
- Gzhel porcelain
- Telnyashka, striped blue, and white underskirt
- Cheburashka plush
- red or black caviar and Vodka
The main theatres of St. Petersburg are the Mariinsky Theatre and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.