Cram packed with one of the world’s best collections of art you’ll be able to spend hours wandering around the sprawling Hermitage, which includes the Winter Palace and a cavernous Palace Square.
There’s a lot of works from the 15th to 17th century including works by Leonardo da Vinci. But a highlight is definitely the extensive number of Picasso paintings in the modern art sections.
The long main street that stretches through the centre of Saint Petersburg will take you a while to traverse, but you’ll see plenty of sights along the way. The 4.5 kilometre stretch of shops and history has been the social hub of the city since the 18th century.
Make sure you take time to admire the Stroganov Palace, in between browsing the shops along the busy road.
Church on Spilled Blood
The iconic coloured domes that are the roof of this church are instantly recognisable as you approach the Church on Spilled Blood. It was built as a memorial to Tsar Alexander II, on the site of his assassination in 1881.
There are several stunning colourful mosaics through out the church.
If you have more than a couple of days in St Petersburg head to the countryside to see Catherine’s Palace. Situated in the town of Pushkin (named after the famous Russian poet) it’s about 25km south of St Petersburg.
The palace was the summer residence of the Russian tsars from 1756 and it’s grand design is mighty impressive.
The palace was extensively damaged by the Nazis following their withdrawal from the area in World War II. Throughout the palace, there are photos of the destruction wrought and clearly demonstrate the wonderful work which has been done restoring the building. You must join a tour of the palace to see it, which is a bit of a problem because they’re all in Russian, unless otherwise arranged. But it’s a popular attraction with more than 5000 people passing through per day, making it easy to drop off the back of your group and explore by yourself.
St Isaac’s Cathedral
With a huge dome, you can climb the cathedral to take in the views of St Petersburg. The inside of the cathedral is similarly impressive, however, admission for the climb or the inside can be purchased separately.
One of the city’s prettiest green spots, St Petersburg’s Summer Garden is a wonderful spot to spend a few hours.
Peter and Paul Fortress
It was here that St Petersburg was initially founded back in 1703. It is still home to the Peter and Paul Cathedral as well as the 122m high bell tower.
Better-known to some as the Kirov, the world-class ballet is almost as much fun as promenading around the levels, drinking champagne and eating caviar on toast in the interval. Tickets can be hard to come by, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience in an absolutely stunning setting.