St. Petersburg Sights

Palace Square

Palace Square

St Petersburg’s largest and most magnificent square is undoubtedly Palace Square. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the heart of Russian culture and history, and home to some of the city’s most famous attractions, no trip to St Petersburg would complete without a visit.

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Peter and Paul Fortress

Peter and Paul Fortress

The laying of the first stone of the Peter and Paul Fortress in 1703 marked the birth of St Petersburg. Over the next centuries, the fortress became the nucleus around which Russia’s northern capital took shape. Today, the Peter and Paul Fortress is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Steeped in history, both glorious and tragic, it is a must-visit for anyone taking a trip to St Petersburg.

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The State Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage Museum is the biggest and most popular museum in Russia, and the second largest art museum in the world. What is the story behind this magnificent institution of cultural heritage, and what can you find there today?

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The Admiralty

The Admiralty

One of St Petersburg’s oldest and most important buildings, the Admiralty Shipyard was the nucleus of Tsar Peter the Great’s fleet. It remains today one of the most recognisable structures in the city, visible from miles around, its golden spire a testament to Russian maritime glory.

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Summer Gardens

Summer Gardens

The Summer Gardens are one of the most romantic spots in St Petersburg, a green island of tranquillity in the busy city. Inspired by Western European parks, Peter the Great chose to recreate their style in his new capital, reflecting the role of St Petersburg as a ‘window onto Europe’. They are a must-see for anyone visiting the city today.

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St Isaac’s Cathedral

St Isaac’s Cathedral

The largest church in St Petersburg, St Isaac’s Cathedral dominates the skyline and is characterised by grandeur and opulence both inside and out. No trip to St Petersburg would be complete without visiting this monumental achievement of architecture and engineering, admiring its breathtakingly lavish interior, and enjoying the panoramic view from its colonnade over the cityscape.

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The Vasilievsky Island Spit and Rostral Columns

The Vasilievsky Island Spit and Rostral Columns

Vasilievsky Island is situated just north of the historic heart of St Petersburg, and at its far eastern corner lies the ‘spit’. Once an important economic and trading site, visitors to the Vasilievsky Spit today can enjoy beautiful views over the Neva River and visit a wealth of cultural and historical landmarks nearby.

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The Alexander Nevsky Monastery

The Alexander Nevsky Monastery

The oldest and largest monastery in St Petersburg, the Alexander Nevsky Monastery survived religious persecution in the Soviet Union and remains today a working monastery and important religious site. Admire its beautiful architecture and leafy surroundings, explore its surviving churches, and visit the graves of Russia’s greatest intellectuals and influential figures.

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Peterhof

Peterhof

Peterhof is a jewel of Russian architecture and landscape design which perfectly encapsulated Peter the Great’s ideals of maritime glory and a ‘window onto Europe’. With palaces and parks rivaling those of European royalty and a seafront location laying claim to the Baltic Sea, Peterhof’s magnificent ensemble is one of St Petersburg’s most famous landmarks.

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Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood

Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood

The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood is a treasure of historic, artistic and architectural value, unique amongst all other buildings in St Petersburg. Its elaborate and distinctive beauty, predominantly the masterfully executed mosaics adorning its walls, draws visitors from throughout the world. Yet tragic history lies behind the Church on Spilled Blood - events which came to shape the future of Russia.

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Nevsky Prospekt

Nevsky Prospekt

What began as a simple dirt track through swampy forest has grown into St Petersburg’s most famous thoroughfare, steeped in history and lined from top to bottom with architectural wonders and cultural institutions.

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Pavlovsk

Pavlovsk

The imperial residence of Pavlovsk is nestled in thick forest in the suburbs of St Petersburg. Its beautiful Neoclassical palace and landscape gardens with lush riverbanks and winding paths are waiting to be explored, and visitors can enjoy festivals, concerts and outdoor sports. Popular among local people and tourists in all seasons, we highly recommend a visit to Pavlovsk!

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Pushkin

Pushkin

Russians know the town of Pushkin, not by postcards or tour excursions, but rather by the intimate poems of its namesake—Alexander Pushkin. Thanks to Alexander I, who founded an elite school (Russian: lyceum) close to his palace, Pushkin was trained in the art of verse. Along with the workbooks and dormitory of a young Pushkin, poignant traces of the school’s other famous students like Anna Akhmatova, Mihail Glinka and Vasily Zhukovsky can be seen in its grand lecture halls and dingy dormitories.

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St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, St. Petersburg

St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, St. Petersburg

The St Nicholas Naval Cathedral is dedicated to the glory of the Russian fleet, and recognisable for the golden cupolas crowning its sky-blue walls. Tucked away in a quieter area of the city and encircled by waterways and historic streets, the cathedral is not only a historical and religious monument, but one of the most beautiful and romantic spots in St Petersburg.

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The Bronze Horseman, St. Petersburg

The Bronze Horseman, St. Petersburg

The Bronze Horseman (Mednyi Vsyadnik) is a monument to Peter the Great on the banks of the River Neva. It is one of the key symbols of St Petersburg, immortalising the glory and power of the Russian state. The monument’s name makes reference to Alexander Pushkin’s eponymous poem, which embodies the mythical image of Peter the Great and St Petersburg through a tragic story of the great flood of 1824.

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The Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg

The Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg

For centuries, the Mariinsky Theatre has presented the world with masterpieces of Russian ballet and opera and premiered the works of countless household names. Enjoying a ballet in the opulent Mariinsky Theatre, an opera in the modern Mariinsky-II, or a symphony concert in the Mariinsky Concert Hall is an unforgettable experience and the perfect way to acquaint yourself with the magic of Russian music and dance.

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The Fontanka River, St. Petersburg

The Fontanka River, St. Petersburg

For more than two centuries, the river Fontanka has been second only to the Neva as the main waterway of St Petersburg. In Imperial times, it acted as the bulwark that encircled the palaces of the bourgeois safely in the central district: away from the pauperdom of the south and filthy docks of the north.

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Yelagin Island and the Central Park of Culture and Leisure

Yelagin Island and the Central Park of Culture and Leisure

Untouched for centuries, Yelagin Island harks back to St Petersburg’s Finnish past. Reindeer still roam its 94 hectares of woodland. Wooden sailboats glide through its ponds in summer which later in the year freeze into ice skating rinks. And while the bears which gave the island its Finn-ish name Mistulansaari (literally bear island) may be long gone, the sense of other-worldly wil-derness still permeates the pathways and picnic spots of this enchanting island.

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Dom Knigi and the Singer Building, St Petersburg

Dom Knigi and the Singer Building, St Petersburg

Dom Knigi, which means ‘House of Books’ in Russian, is the oldest, largest and most famous bookshop in St Petersburg. It has long been a focal point of cultural and intellectual life in the city, and is housed in the Singer Building, a masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture located in the heart of St Petersburg. For lovers of architecture and literature alike, a visit to Dom Knigi and the Singer Building should not be missed.

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Sevkabel Port, St. Petersburg

Sevkabel Port, St. Petersburg

Only in St Petersburg would you find a heavy industry factory di-versifying out into culture and creativity. In other places, the dy-namics between gruff builders and melodramatic artists would be impossible.

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Petrogradskaya Side, St. Petersburg

Petrogradskaya Side, St. Petersburg

The Petrogradskaya Side is located on the north side of the River Neva. It is a rich historical district with countless architectural, historical, and cultural landmarks spread over its 7 islands.

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 Lakhta Center, St. Petersburg

Lakhta Center, St. Petersburg

The Lakhta Center is perched on the shore of the Gulf of Finland like a futuristic spaceship. It was commissioned by Gazprom, the richest company in Russia, to house its headquarters. Yet the Lakhta Center is intended not just as an office block, but as a cultural and scientific center of St Petersburg. The pioneering architecture...

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New Holland Island, St. Petersburg

New Holland Island, St. Petersburg

In five, neon-blue words and two ingenious brackets, the Coney-Island-esque sign shining over Labor Square says it all. Firstly, New Holland re-ally is an island. In a city compromising of 42 islands that may not seem significant, but it is unique in being the only man-made one. And, like most of St Petersburg’s impressive sights, its existence is thanks to the revolutionary vision of one man— Peter the Great.

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