If we had to pick a place with a majestic and splendorous past, St. Petersburg would be a very obvious choice. However, there is much more than Russian history, classicism and art to discover, as St Petersburg is becoming one of the most vibrant and modern cities in Russia. If you want to know what to see in St Petersburg, one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, this article is for you.

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What to see in St. Petersburg: The majestic St. Petersburg

These are the most important landmarks that should be in your St. Petersburg to-do list:

  • Grand Palace: Popularly known as the ‘Russian Versailles’, the Peterhof Grand Palace is one of St. Petersburg’s main landmarks, albeit, with its more than 30 rooms, it is relatively small for a tsarist palace. Most of what you will see is a reconstruction, as it was almost destroyed in WWII and under Stalin’s rule.
  • Hermitage Museum: You can’t leave this wonderful Russian city without visiting one of the most important museums in the entire world, the Hermitage Museum.
  • Yusupov Palace: By the Mokya River you will find the main residence in St Petersburg of the Yusupov family, built in the 18th century, and the place where legendary Rasputin was murdered in the early 20th century.
  • Mariinsky Theatre: One of the main cultural activities to do in St Petersburg is seeing its prestigious ballet or an opera in the Mariinsky Theatre. If that’s not your cup of tea, the interior of the building is still worth visiting.
  • The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood: This colourful fairy-tale-like church is a must if you visit this fantastic city. Its classic Orthodox and Russian design is truly unforgettable, even more picturesque than its name.

 

 

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  • St Isaac’s Cathedral: Surely you can recognise a golden dome in St Petersburg skyline – that is St Isaac’s Cathedral, one of the most impressive Orthodox cathedrals in the country. Its splendorous interior will amaze you.
  • Peter & Paul Fortress: This impressive defensive citadel will make the delights of history aficionados. It has several important buildings, such as the cathedral, where lie the remains of all tsars from Peter I The Great to Nicholas II. There you will be able to learn a lot about Russian history, including some interesting facts about the fortress. For instance, did you know that it never actually participated in battle?
  • Aleksander Nevsky Monastery: The city’s oldest, most important Orthodox monastery, still active today. You can enter to most of it for free.
  • Catherine Palace: If you feel like going on an excursion, the tsar’s summer residence, the rococo style Catherine Palace, is a wonderful option. This beautiful, elegant palace is located 30 km south of the city.
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What to see in St. Petersburg: A modern city

If you still have the time after visiting all the Russian splendour listed before, St Petersburg has other wonders of a more modern nature waiting for you. This is what to see in St Petersburg if you want to experience some of its most contemporary feel:

  • Street Art Museum: It’s a 20-minute bus trip away, but this industrial complex is well worth the effort. Here you will see all sorts of street art forms by both Russian and international artists. Unforgettable.
  • Kupetz Eliseevs: A grocery store in a list of what to see in St. Petersburg? Well, truth is shops can’t get much more beautiful than this. It is also a great place to eat, at least a yummy piece of cake.
  • Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art: Russia is much more than a splendorous, golden past, and the almost 2500 pieces of Russian contemporary art located in this museum are proof of that.
  • Udelka: A flea market doesn’t get much better than this. In Udelka you can find absolutely everything, from old furniture and items from communist times to vintage clothes and costumes. A must-visit for market lovers.
  • Kanonerskiy island: A wonderful place to see the industrial part of this majestic and golden city. This small island used to be an artillery range, and ships are being built here still today. That, with the bridge that links it to the city makes for an unforgettable industrial landscape. A must-visit for those who enjoy the grey landscapes that are a sign of our times.
  • Slam city: Any good trip needs to save some time for entertainment, and this club may just be the best and most unique option. Put American garage rock in 90’s Russia… and you get a pretty interesting mix of neon lights, weird outfits and grunge design. Music’s not too shabby either!
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What did you think of this list of what to see in St. Petersburg? Which of these important attractions will you be visiting first? There is so much to see and do in Russian’s second most important city, so don’t hesitate to tell us what landmark was your favourite, even if it’s not in our list!

Author
At GowithOh, we are an enthusiastic team of self-confessed Europhiles who are passionate about travel. We especially love the variety of city breaks possible in Europe, from the historic UNESCO heritage cities like Prague, to the more cosmopolitan beachside destinations like Barcelona. We love discovering the hidden gems in different cities and sharing them with our fans so everyone can benefit and enjoy the perfect city break in Europe.