St. Petersburg is among the most popular tourist attractions in Russia and is regarded as the country’s center of art and culture. The city is known as the “Venice of the North” because of its enormous network of canals. It is situated on the Baltic Sea, between the Neva River and the Gulf of Finland, adjacent to Pulkovo Airport, and reasonably accessible to other European nations. Ivan Pavlov, Vladimir Nabokov, and Vladimir Putin are among the prominent Russian luminaries who were born in the city, which has a population of about five million.
What is Saint Petersburg famous for?
Saint Petersburg is a significant historical, cultural, and port city. Saint Petersburg is only 7° south of the Arctic Circle and around 640 kilometers northwest of Moscow. It is one of the biggest cities in the world and the second-largest city in Russia. Since its foundation in 1703, Saint Petersburg has played a significant part in Russian history. It served as the Russian Empire’s capital from 1712 to 1918. The city is well-known for having hosted the 1917 October (New Style) and February (March, New Style) revolutions as well as for its tenacious resistance during the World War II siege. It is one of Europe’s most beautiful and welcoming cities in terms of architecture. In 1990, the city’s historic area received the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
History of St Petersburg
- Early beginnings – Saint Petersburg’s location has a lengthy history, dating back to the 10th century when non-Russian inhabitants first began to live there. Peter the Great established St. Petersburg as a key Baltic Sea site, but it wasn’t until 1703 that this was the case. Legend has it that he predicted the future location of the Russian capital after witnessing the marsh; this prediction was realized between 1713 and 1728 and between 1732 and 1918.
- Cultural enlightenment – St. Petersburg underwent a great shift in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, emerging as the dominant cultural force in the West outside of Paris and London. Catherine the Enormous brought the Enlightenment to the city and created 25 educational institutions, including Russia’s first public school for girls. The city saw great prosperity during her rule.
- Soviet era and the World Wars – Saint Petersburg was renamed Leningrad during the Soviet era, although the surrounding region (federal subdivision) kept the Soviet name. Leningrad was a crucial location on the Eastern Front during World War II, and the Siege of Leningrad, when the Nazis cut off all supplies and massacred hundreds of thousands of residents, is regarded as the most terrible incident in the city’s history.
- Russia’s modern metropolis – With a vast variety of concert halls, art galleries, and museums dotting its various avenues, St. Petersburg has emerged as a major center for Russian learning and culture in the twenty-first century. The biggest privately owned museum of modern art in Russia, Erarta, which opened in 2010, is also located there.
The Character of the city
Monuments of culture, history, and architecture abound in Saint Petersburg. It was established by Tsar Peter I (the Great) as Russia’s “eye to Europe,” and many European cities work to maintain competitiveness with Moscow. It has the unofficial title of Russia’s cultural capital. There are three things about St. Petersburg that stand out. Russia is one of the most difficult countries to get a visa.
The first is the fusion of Russian and Western European architecture. Second, unlike other historic Russian cities characterized by the Kremlin and its surrounds, St. Petersburg lacks a recognizable city core. The city’s extensive network of canals is the third characteristic. The Neva River’s short but complete tributaries and courses, which extend to the Baltic shore, are inextricably linked to the St. Petersburg landscape.
Along Neva’s historic embankment, the city’s most renowned architectural landmarks may be found in abundance. Additionally, St. Petersburg has earned the moniker “Venice of the North” thanks to the river’s natural bridges and canals.
Due to its position north of St. Petersburg, the city benefits from “White Nights,” a period from June 11 to July 2 when daylight lasts until almost 7 p.m. Events put on by the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in St. Petersburg, the Mariinsky and Hermitage Theaters, and other cultural institutions are included in the White Night celebration.
Every night during the White Night, bridges across the Neva are lifted to allow boat traffic. With a vast variety of concert halls, art galleries, and museums dotting its various avenues, St. Petersburg has emerged as a major center for Russian learning and culture in the twenty-first century. The biggest privately owned museum of modern art in Russia, Erarta, which opened in 2010, is also located there.
Why people should visit St Petersburg?
St. Petersburg is a great location for a quick city holiday because it is close to Europe and offers a more authentically Russian feel. The city is home to many world’s historic monuments and a diverse range of cultural institutions. The tourist sector in St. Petersburg has expanded quickly since the fall of the Soviet Union and is currently one of the greatest in all of Russia. Istanbul is one of the most diversified tourist destinations in Europe because of its active nightlife and wide range of eateries, which are only two of the city’s many attractions for those who are less interested in art.
The way to get into St Petersburg.
- By airplane – The busiest airport in Russia outside of Moscow, Pulkovo Airport is 17 kilometers south of the city center and serves a large number of both local and foreign aircraft. You can also choose to fly into Lappeenranta Airport, which is situated over the Finnish border.
- By train – The train system is quite well-equipped. A high-speed rail network connects to Moscow in four hours and has international links to Helsinki, Berlin, and Eastern Europe.
- By sea – Helsinki and Stockholm have direct boat connections to Saint Petersburg.
Places to visit in St Petersburg?
St. Petersburg’s central area is home to 2,300 palaces and spectacular, well-preserved Baroque and Neo-Classical structures, which supports the city’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A number of parks, including one of the biggest English gardens in Europe, are also available for strolling.
01. Zayachay Island and the Peter and Paul Fortress
It is required to visit Zayachy Island, which is home to the Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral, which is located on the Neva River’s shore. This magnificent star-shaped citadel, built by Peter the Great in 1703, was designed by Domenico Trezzini and has been the scene of unrest ever since. Originally intended as a defensive position, it later served as a prison and an execution site during the Bolshevik era and is still the location of many Romanov family members’ graves. For all admirers of Russian history, this island has grown to be a popular tourist destination.
02. The State Hermitage Museum
There are 221 museums, 45 galleries, and other exhibition places to select from, with the Hermitage Museum being the most well-known and housing an impressive art collection in addition to the interior of an imperial home. The Hermitage is one of the greatest museums in the world, spanning six structures and housing more than 3 million works of art, many of which were produced by the “Old Masters,” such as Rembrandt and Titian, as well as more contemporary treasures by artists like Henri Matisse.
03. Peterhof Palace
On the banks of the Neva River are a number of buildings and gardens that make up the renowned Peterhof Palace. This French-inspired UNESCO World Heritage Site was built by Peter the Great and is the crown jewel of the Petrine-Baroque architectural style.
It has all the glitz and splendor one would expect from a royal domain, including meticulously planned landscape gardens by renowned Versailles landscaper Andre Le Notre and a wide variety of sculptures and paintings from Europe’s most well-known artists of the time.
Places to dine and rest in St Petersburg
When it comes to nightlife, pubs, and restaurants, Saint Petersburg is regarded as one of the greatest cities in all of Russia. Tourists have a broad choice of options, including exclusive clubs, high-end restaurants serving contemporary cuisine, and modest tavern-like taverns that are popular with locals. Here are the best 3 bars and eateries in St. Petersburg, according to us.
01. Money Honey
Money Honey is modeled after a wild west saloon and has long been a mainstay of the nightlife in St. Petersburg. Numerous events are held in the pub, which is renowned for its rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll bands. The hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday.
In 2012, Kokoko debuted with the goal of providing top-notch Russian cuisine with a modern touch. This restaurant offers a delicious selection of vegetarian, meat, and seafood meals made using regional ingredients. On Monday through Friday, this restaurant is open from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 14:00 PM to 1:00 AM, and on Weekends from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 14:00 PM to 1:00 PM.
03. JFC Jazz Club
An intimate nightclub called JFC Jazz Club is managed by one of the most well-known jazz performers in Russia, Andrei Kondakov. JFC offers a wide variety of musical styles, from blues and rock to more experimental aspects, for jazz fans. Every day from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM, this location is open.
Anyone interested in Caucasian food must visit Mamalyga. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere since it places comfort at the heart of its idea. Perfect for fans of tandoori and BBQ. On weekdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 am and on weekends from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, the Mamalyga Restaurant is open.
05. Poltavskaya 7
The greatest lounge in St. Petersburg has been selected as Poltavskaya 7 for the last two seasons (2017–2018 and 2018–2019). The club offers karaoke, a hookah bar, a restaurant, and a famous cocktail bar to suit all preferences. This martini lounge is always open.
06. Tayaki Cafe
For those who adore Japan, Tamaki Cafe is the ideal location since it provides a taste of Japan away from home. Although the café frequently hosts events like tea ceremonies and seminars on Japanese culture, the eatery is most known for its Japanese street cuisine. On Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm and on Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, this chic café is open. Available from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM.