It is rather difficult to make your choice as to what to visit in Saint Petersburg in just a few days. Saint Petersburg is an imperial city with over 300 museums, 70 theaters, numerous cathedrals and monuments. Saint Petersburg truly is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is said that the best period to visit Peter (the locals call Saint Petersburg simply Peter) is during summer when visitors can witness an incredible phenomenon called “the white nights”.
Here our visitors can see the list of most beautiful sights and museums in Saint Petersburg:
Sights in Saint Petersburg
Sights to see there are plentiful in the city of “white nights”. This is the reason why visitors often feel bewildered; What should they actually visit in Saint Petersburg?! We have created a list of a must-see attractions that will allow our visitors to get to know Saint Petersburg.
The Cathedral of the Savior on the Spilled Blood
The Cathedral of the Savior on the Spilled Blood is one of the most beautiful Orthodox Christian cathedrals in the world. It was built, in 1883, in the place where Tsar Alexander II was deadly wounded by the members of the revolutionary movement ‘the People’s Will’. The architecture of the cathedral is unique and interior decorations, mosaics, mainly made in Byzantine style will make a very strong impression on any visitor.
Nevsky Prospect in Saint Petersburg
Nevsky Prospect is the main street in St. Petersburg; about 4.5 km long this street stretches from the Admiralty to the Monastery of St. Alexander Nevsky. If our visitors take a stroll along the Nevsky Prospect, they will see monuments that represent unavoidable tourist destinations such as: The Winter Palace, Stroganov Palace (Russian national museum), The Kazan Cathedral, The Cathedral of the Savior on the Spilled Blood, Anickov bridge (famous for its horse sculptures made in bronze), one of the oldest shopping centers in Europe, the Gostiny Dvor and many more.
Originally designed as the royal palace of Peter the Great, Peterhof is actually a complex of a number of buildings, amazing fountains and one awe inspiring church . This is one of the most potent symbols of Saint Petersburg (it is located 20 km from the city). Normally referred to as the Russian Versailles, this complex, with its picture perfect gardens and fountains, is part of the UNESCO world heritage. A must see.
The Petropavlovsk Fortress
The Petropavlovsk fortress is the first building ever built in this city. The very first stone of the fortress-to-be was laid on May 27th 1970 and this date is regarded as an anniversary date of Saint Petersburg. The fortress is of a pentagonal shape spanning the entire island. The purpose of the fortress was to defend the city from the Swedish invasion. Today, the fortress is hosting several different museums and picture perfect Peter and Paul Cathedral – the first one ever built in Saint Petersburg.
Tsarskoye selo was created in the 18th century and it is located approximately 20 km away from Saint Petersburg. Here one may find the summer residence of Russian Royal family. The first castle was built during the rule of Elisabeth, the daughter of Tsar Peter the Great, only to be converted later on into a summer residence of Empress Catherine. The lavishly ornate palace, dining room dripping in pure gold, gilded mirrors, the glorious Amber Room where the walls are literally smothered with amber, shall leave every visitor at a loss for words
Mariinsky Theatre is the name of the famous theatre, opera house and ballet house in Saint Petersburg. The theatre was opened in 1860 only to become the most important opera and ballet theatre in Russia shortly afterwards. Numerous ballets and operas of the 19th century were performed here for the first time. Masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Roman Korsakov and Mussorgsky have been performed here for centuries. Unique experience is surely guaranteed.
Cathedral of Saint Isaac
The cathedral of Saint Isaac is decorated with 350 sculptures of angels, Christ’s disciples and evangelists, and 62 mosaics. Inside one can find three awe inspiring altars. The central one is dedicated to the Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, the right-hand side altar is dedicated to the Saint Ekaterina, and the left-hand side altar is dedicated to the Saint Alexander Nevsky. With the height of 101.5m and the weight of 300.000 tons, this cathedral is the second tallest monument in Saint Petersburg. Even though this cathedral is comparatively smaller than the Church of Christ Savior in Moscow, its interior decorations are far more impressive.
Museums in Saint Petersburg
Museums abound in Saint Petersburg, which is around 300. It could easily be inferred that it would take more than two months in order to visit all museums. We have made a list of must-see museums in order to help our visitors especially if they are pushed for time in Saint Peterasburg.
Museum Hermitage is situated in Winter Palace, the former residence of Russian Tsar and his family. Here visitors can get to see over 3 million works of art; 1,013,653 paintings, 1,125,623 numismatics, 784,395 archeological artefacts, 13,982 weapons and armors and 212,775 other works of art among which are the sculputures of world acclaimed sculptors. It is believed that visitors normally come twice to visit Hermitage, the first time to see the art collection and the second time to plunge into picture perfect chambers where Russian emperors used to live back in the day. Do not miss out on visiting the Gold and Diamond collections.
Museums of the Petropavlovsk Fortress
Petropavlovsk fortress was the first group of buildings ever constructed in Saint Petersburg. It was meant to represent the city defense from the Swedish invasion. Today, the fortess houses several museums dedicated to the history of the fortress, the history of the Saint Petersburg, the cosmonautic and rocket science and Trubetskoy prison.
The State Russian Museum
The State Russian Museum is the world’s largest collection of Russian art, housed in a unique architectural complex in the historical center of St Petersburg. It was the first museum of Russian art, commissioned by Tsar Alexander III. The museum collection contains over 400 000 exhibits covering all major periods in the history of Russian art for more than a thousand years: from the X to the XXI century.
The General Staff Building
The General Staff Building is one of the most famous symbols of Saint Petersburg. An idea of a famous Italian architect F. Rossi was to unite two separate buildings with a triumphal arch. The triumphal arch was made to extoll the Russian victory in the war against the Turks from 1812. In the General Staff Building rich collections of Russian and European art from 19th and 20th century are exhibited (including paintings of Picasso and Matisse). The exhibition includes the renovated interiors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire and the private chambers of the Chancellor Count Karl Nesselrode.
Military Historical Museum
In Military Historical Museum an comprehensive collection of arms, artillery, engineers and signals from the Middle ages to date are exhibited. Here visitors can find different pieces of artillery, rifles, military engineering equipment, military uniforms and numerous military memorabilia. Over 850.000 items are displayed in this museum. The Museum also holds impressive collections of military related paintings, drawings and sculptures. Outside visitors can see big tanks, rocket-launchers and ballistic rockets from the times of the USSR.