Whether you’re making a quick trip to explore Russia’s rich history or visiting for a vacation, St. Petersburg has something for everyone. St. Petersburg is the country’s second-largest city and served as Russia’s capital for more than two centuries. The city is regarded as the most European and forward-looking city in Russia. With over two hundred museums, about eighty theaters, and two thousand libraries, St. Petersburg is one of the most wonderful destinations in Russia.
The city has a well-established cultural landscape, eye-catching architectural styles, a network of canals, edgy art galleries, and a UNESCO-listed historic center which make it a must-visit destination. Here are top five things you can do in Russia’s second largest and most European city.
The State Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace
It’s time you visited one of the world’s richest museums. The Hermitage Museum can be found inside the magnificent Winter Palace where you can explore over 3 million works of art on different cultures and representing every style and age. Of course, your time there won’t be enough to explore all of it. You might need the entire year to do that. However, having a guide to help you navigate through the different works of art will help you make the most of your trip. Just remember that you’ll be absorbed by the treasures at the museum for days or weeks and come out wanting to experience and explore more.
The Peter and Paul Fortress
Located on Zaiachii Island in the heart of Saint Petersburg city, the Peter and Paul Fortress contains the Mint, the Peter and Paul Cathedral, and the City History Museum. For history lovers, a trip to this site would be rewarding since there’s much to learn about Peter the Great as well as other czars. The fortress was built by Peter I in 1703 and served as a political prison and a religious site. It has since become a tourist complex which attracts visitors from across Europe and around the world.
The Mariinsky Theatre
Also referred to as the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Mariinsky Theatre is not only a must-see attraction but one of the greatest musical theatres in the world. The interior decorations here will leave you wanting more. It’s one of the country’s most respected and loved attractions and cultural institution. If you want to see and explore one of the World’s and Russia’s great ballet and opera stages, this is the place to be.
After spending some time at the Russian Museum and dealing with the huge crowds at the Hermitage, you need someplace where you can relax and unwind. You also want somewhere you won’t have to spend a fortune. Right? The Summer Garden is that place. The luxurious garden features lovely fountains, Italian statues, and classical gardens. There’s the Coffee House, the Summer Palace, and the Tea House. Well, that doesn’t mean you’ll find tea and coffee at this spots. Your time at the Summer Garden should be about soaking in the atmosphere.
The Catherine Palace and Park in Tsarskoye Selo
Why not spend some time at one of the famous imperial villages in St. Petersburg? Here you’ll find the Catherine Palace which features large parks, unusual monuments, artworks, sculptures, and other structures. No matter the time or season of the year, you’ll always find plenty of sightseeing opportunities here.