Top Attractions in St. Petersburg
Top Attractions in St. Petersburg
One of the most picturesque cities in Russia and Eastern Europe, Saint Petersburg is a tourist’s paradise that opens its arms to every type of traveler. Though this city is more westernized than any of its other Russian counterparts, its cultural heritage remains undisturbed and history dominates in a manner that makes it one of the most visited destinations. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city has a unique charm that originates from the chronicles of its past which is depicted in its historic sites and edifices. Art and architecture are an integral part of the city which is evident from the number of museums, galleries, buildings and structures that proclaim their glorious legacies. The cultural scene in the city is a matchless realm with its ballets, operas, theatrical performances, concerts, film shows, festivals, and various events that happen all around the year. The nightlife in St. Petersburg is a zesty mix of traditional as well contemporary music and dance that further add to the high-spirited experience of the night.
A major attraction in the city, the State Hermitage is one of the oldest and largest museums of art and culture across the world and a definite must-see for the people. An abode to over 3 million objects in its collection, you can browse through impressionist masterpieces to enthralling oriental valuables and get a taste of the riches offered here. If you are an art aficionado, you may find it honoring to seek out the works by yourself that you are interested in.
Also renowned as Russian Versialles, the Peterhof Palace which is a series of palaces and gardens are one of the most famed and visited attractions of the city. Boasting of Neoclassical style with minimal decoration, the beige and white palace look stunning without being overwhelming and serve as a perfect backdrop to the distinguished Upper Garden as well as to the Grand Cascade. Visitors stepping inside the palace get awestruck by Rastrelli’s astonishing Ceremonial staircase, richly glided Ballroom, Felten’s magnificent Throne Room, and an alluring Chinese tea-set. Head to this UNESCO World Heritage Site and marvel at the remarkable style or the beautiful natural surroundings.
Peter and Paul Fortress:
A unique fortification dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, this fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg and was a former prison in the early 20th century. Standing as the most popular tourist attraction across the entire city, it is a major historic landmark and its curtain walls and bastions are now an abode to the State Museum. With plenty of attractions within the walls, it has something for everyone and also turns into a center for urban traditions comprising of the daily firing of the cannon from the Naryshkin Bastion at noon as well as spotting walruses on the beach in front of the edifice either sunbathing or swimming in the ice-holes in winter. Don’t miss out on the beach that turns into a popular picnic site and host numerous events, festivals and concerts including the Petrojazz annual festival.
Church of the Saviour on Split Blood:
An architectural landmark right in the heart of St. Petersburg, this spiritual abode stands as a unique memorial to Alexander II the Liberator and is thronged by thousands of visitors every year. Admire the stunning Russian-style church where both the exterior as well as interior are adorned with intricate mosaics and attracts people thanks to its 5 onion-domes exuberantly adorned and coated in jeweler’s enamel. The exterior boasts of peculiar multicolor tiles and the 20 granite plates showcase the prominent events of Alexander II’s rule whereas the cathedral is decorated with Italian limestone and other semiprecious stones like topaz, jasper, crystal and others.
St. Issac’s Cathedral:
Commanding the skyline of St. Petersburg, St. Issac’s cathedral stands as the largest orthodox cathedral in Russia and 4th largest across the globe boasting of beautiful fades and interiors. Marvel at the exteriors embellished with statues as well as enormous columns made up of granite while the interiors entice you with its exquisitely detailed mosaic portraits, paintings, and columns built of malachite and lapis lazuli. Don’t miss out on the huge, colored stained glass window of “Resurrected Christ” which is a major highlight inside the main altar.
One of the most alluring and congruous combinations, Palace Square is renowned as the main public space in this city and turned into a beautiful setting for all major events from the Russian history. Encircled by architectural marvels, this forms the heart of Saint Petersburg and has the Alexander column right in the center making the square a prime tourist attraction. Head here to see how Bloody Sunday must have been or get clicked at the beautiful edifices for your Instagram feed.
Labeled as city's oldest park, the Summer Garden occupies an island between the Fontanka, Moika and the Swan Canal and remains one of the most romantic and evocative places in the city. Feel the atmosphere as it was during Peter's time and gaze at marble statues acquired from Europe as well as fountains, rare flowers, and plants. Head to this verdant shade card of green to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Facing the Neva river, the Bronze Horseman statue is an equestrian statue of Peter the Great depicting the most notable reformer of Russia. The statue's pedestal is the enormous Thunder Stone, the largest stone ever moved by humans, and is made from a single piece of granite molded into the shape of a cliff.
A remarkable edifice in the Russian-baroque style, the Catherine Palace is meant to be the summer palace for the Russian Tsars and is the historical and structural center of the palace-park combination. The Museum housed here spans the 300-year history of this stunning edifice and displays the works of the designers entangled in its construction and decoration. Don’t miss out on the Amber Room, famed as the jewel of the place, which was restored by the Tercentenary of the city in 2003. Appreciate the splendor and variation of interior embellishments and unique furnishings, traditional interiors of an elegant delicacy and the impressive incarnations of Rastrelli.