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Saint Petersburg

Culture of Saint Petersburg. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

St Petersburg - Kunstkamera A starting point in the exploration of the great city of Saint Petersburg is considered to be the Palace Square being the heart of the city. The square is crowded at any time of day and night. This spot of tourist attraction is turned into established place of holding of various folk fests, parades, the greatest fairs meanwhile during winter the square is turned into a huge skating rink. In the heart of the square tourists will find the Alexander Column being one of the main symbols of the city. In close vicinity to the square tourists will discover several remarkable historical sites.
White Nights, drawbridges, many attractions, unique museums, and its special culture – you will find all these and more in the northern capital of Russia - Saint Petersburg. The city is … Open
The Alexander Column reminds local residents and city guests about a significant event in the life of the city being the victory of the Russian army over the army led by Napoleon Bonaparte. The magnificent Winter Palace is among the most beautiful architectural construction of Saint Petersburg. The same impressive building being the General Staff stands opposite to the Winter Palace on the other side of the Palace Square. Both of the scale constructions are interconnected with each other with a system of underpasses.
The Winter Palace hosts the most known museum of the country being the Hermitage. This cultural establishment is among of the top outstanding cultural establishments of the world. The museum features not only plenty of unique artifacts of Russian art and culture but a splendid breath taking decoration of the building and its inner halls. Each element of the design of the Hermitage is a genuine art masterpiece. The pride of the museum is a huge collection of works of pictorial art by prominent European artists. The collection was started by the Emperor as far back as in 1764. Copyright
Saint Petersburg impresses its visitors with a vast choice of gastronomy establishments being of great attraction for tourists. Many restaurants and city cafes features centuries-long … Open
The collection of the hermitage was constantly added and by the end of the 18th century it counted about one and a half thousands of works of pictorial art. At present the collection counts dozens of thousands of showpieces. A part of the exposition of the museum is kept in the halls of the General Staff building. An architectural landmark of the same breathtaking scale and beauty is the Catherine palace. A luxurious imperial residence is embraced with a landscaped garden of ultimate beauty.
The next important destination of the city of Saint Petersburg is the Saint Isaac’s Square and the same name cathedral located near the square. Apart from the remarkable religious site the square sides with another significant landmark being the Lobanov-Rostovsky Residence and a small garden spreading around. This is a place of location of known white marble Medici Lions which are imaged on various souvenirs and memorable gifts. A trip to the State Open Air Museum Pavlovsk Palace will turn to an unforgettable adventure. In general the city of Saint Petersburg counts about three hundred museums meanwhile an exact number of historical landmarks is still unknown.
The city of Saint Petersburg has been for many years the most in demand tourist destination of global scale. The Capital of Culture of the country attracts foreign guests with plenty of … Open
It is of course, impossible to visit all the iconic places of St. Petersburg in one day — unless of course, you have a time machine. Walking along the historical streets of the city, tourists will come across surprises in the form of ravishing sculptures. During your promenade along Malaya Sadovaya Street, for example, on one of the buildings, you can notice the composition with “Cat Elisha and cat Vasilisa”. The Fontanka Embankment is decorated with a beautiful bird Chizhik-Pyzhik that is perfectly observed during the boat trip. You cannot miss the famous sculpture “The Bronze Horseman”, as well as monuments dedicated to famous people such as Tsars Peter I and Nicholas I, writers like Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol and Fyodor Dostoevsky, actor Georgy Vitsin and the artist Ivan Aivazovsky. The Monument to heroic defenders of Leningrad glorifying the courage of the Russian people is also an interesting place. One more attraction of St. Petersburg is a memorial in honor of victims of Stalin’s repressions.
Peters palace The square in front of Great Peterhof Palace is decorated with the stunning fountain “Samson tearing apart the lion’s mouth”. Unfortunately, the original composition was damaged during the Second World War, despite how carefully it was guarded. The same fate befell many parts of the majestic Peterhof, but all the structures that were affected by the conflict were immediately restored to the fullest possible extent. The palace was built in the year 1725 according to the project of Johann Braunstein and Jean-Baptiste Leblond and rebuilt in 1752 by order of Elizabeth, who admired the Palace of Versailles. Francesco Rastrelli was invited as an architect. The “Petrine Baroque” had been the original style of the building and it was changed to “mature baroque” after remodeling. In its halls, you can find not only the majestic apartments where noble persons lived but also the museum collection which is displayed there nowadays.
A number of entertainment establishments presented in Saint Petersburg equals the number of its landmarks and cultural sites. Tourists will find in the city various entertainments fitting … Open
Generally, the Peterhof palace and park ensemble is entirely one big attraction. Every building, street, and pathway there have witnessed historical events that were turned to legends by poets and writers. Peterhof is known for its incredibly beautiful fountains (by the way, one of the halls in the palace is dedicated to them), as well as historical buildings, ponds, bridges, and picturesque embankments. It is worth emphasizing several remarkable structures of the area: “The Petrodvorets Watch Factory” and the museum dedicated to him, Marly Palace, as well as Farmer Palace. Certainly, it is very attractive to spend an enormous amount of time walking around parks and gardens of Peterhof, but, unfortunately, there is not much time reserved for tourists.
Cruiser Aurora Drawbridges of the northern capital of Russia deserve special attention. The most famous among them is monumental Palace Bridge, which is one of the symbols of the city (in a pulled up version). It owes its name to the Palace Embankment and the Winter Palace which are located nearby. No less interesting is Trinity Bridge which was considered as the longest one before the erection of another beautiful structure – the Alexander Nevsky Bridge. Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge is also worth taking a walk on and it is notable for being the first drawbridge of the cultural capital. Among fixed bridges of the city on the Neva are Bank Bridge (named for its proximity to the Assignation Bank), Egyptian Bridge, and Marble Bridge.
1. A heat of the tourist season on Saint Petersburg falls within a period from the middle of may till the end of September as this period features the most favorable weather for trips and … Open
Kisses Bridge is especially popular among romantic visitors of St. Petersburg. Despite the fact that the building received its name because of the merchant Nikifor Kiseuyev who was the owner of “Kiss” Foundry house, the bridge is overgrown with legends and lovers exchange vows here. According to one of them, this was the place of farewell for those who had to leave the city for a long time, including prisoners separated from their relatives and friends. The fact that there was once a prison nearby confirms this theory. It is also believed that the bridge was a meeting place for lovers whose feelings were prohibited by public norms. Today, it is a must-visit point for newlyweds. They have to kiss here, starting a kiss on one side and finishing it on the other.
Saint Petersburg Church Another meeting place for many lovers is Nevsky Prospect, which is the main street of the city on the Neva. This is a place where “something is constantly happening”: actors in old-fashioned costumes are greeting guests of the city, tourists are examining sights and locals are meeting each other. During the national holidays, the avenue becomes even more lively because the most interesting and popular events are always held here. The city is famous for its magnificent theatrical performances. Every visitor should certainly estimate the repertoire of the most famous theaters of the northern capital of Russia such as Mariinsky Theater and Alexandrinsky Theater. It is worth noting that cultural sites are located in beautiful old buildings. You should definitely listen to the history of these iconic places before visiting. Wonderful performances for children are held in the Theater of Young Spectators named after Bryantsev.
Discovering the architecture of Saint Petersburg from bird's eye view! Church of the Savior on Blood, Catherine Palace, Peter and Paul Cathedral, Saint Michael Castle, Alexander Palace, Kunstkamera, all those monuments are defining the image of Saint Petersburg … Open
Another symbol of the city which must be mentioned is the cruiser “Aurora”, which today is the main decoration of the Petrograd embankment. The vessel was a member of the Second Pacific Squadron during the First World War. A volley from the cruiser cannon gave a start to the story of the storming of the Winter Palace in 1905 (the so-called “Bloody Sunday”). It ended up with the defeat of monarchy and the beginning of the October revolution. The cruiser bears the same name as the frigate, which became famous in the Crimean War. Directly in front of the ship is situated the famous Nakhimov Naval School, where the best sailors of the country are being taught since 1944. Nearby you can find the House of political prisoners built in 1933. It is one of the first communal houses in the city. On the other side of the embankment is the Aurora concert hall.
Palace Square, Saint Petersburg, Russia The building of the Main Admiralty, which is located next to the picturesque Alexander Garden, is another must-visit place in the city, and the ship, which crowns the spire of the building, is another symbol of the northern capital of Russia. The complex was built in 1706 in the Empire style that was popular in that era. Today the main command of the Navy of the country is located here. Two iconic sculptures of St. Petersburg depicting Peter I is situated nearby – “The Tsar Carpenter Monument” and “The Bronze Horseman”. On the right side, you can find the already mentioned Winter Palace. Passing in the other direction, the majestic Nicholas Palace can be seen by tourists. The building was erected in 1861 as the residence of Grand Duke Nicholas the Elder.
Saint Isaac Cathedral, Winter Palace, Kazan Cathedral, Alexandrinsky Theatre, Smolny Cathedral, Trinity Cathedral, as well as many others, they all become the world's cultural heritage objects and remain as iconic monuments for Saint Petersburg … Open
St. Petersburg can boast that even its railway stations are majestic monuments of architecture. There are several of them in the city, but the most beautiful is the railway station “New Peterhof” which concurrently is one of the first stations in the country (it was built in 1857). The same title was awarded to Vitebsk Railway Station which was erected even earlier, in 1837, in the Art Nouveau style. The Moscow railway station boasts of an elegant classical architecture, and Ladozhsky railway station received the status of “the most modern one”. The building was erected in 1933 and rebuilt in 2003 by an architect Nikita Yavein. Besides, it has received several international architectural awards.
Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns “Singer Company House” should be included in the tourist route for visiting of the iconic places of Saint Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia. The building, which nowadays is called “House of the Book”, was erected at the beginning of the 20th century. Pavel Suzor, who was the architect, combined elements of the modernist style (which you can see here) with the Neo-Baroque ones. It is noteworthy that it was on the basis of House of the Book, that the Singer Building in New York was created. Back then it was the tallest one in the city (the St. Petersburg building was never planned to be built like a skyscraper). Elegant arches of the Narva Triumphal Gate and the Moscow Triumphal Gate are among other iconic places of the city that should be highlighted. Both structures are excellent examples of the Empire style, which were built in 1834.
White Nights, drawbridges, many attractions, unique museums, and its special culture – you will find all these and more in the northern capital of Russia - Saint Petersburg. The city is … Open
The Vladimir Palace, the residence of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, is a gorgeous monument of neo-Renaissance architectural style. The building was erected in 1862 and immediately received the title of “the most beautiful palace”. In the Soviet era and at the present time here is situated the House of Scientists. In 1703 the residence of the founder of the city was built – the summer palace of Peter the Great, which is situated in the Summer Garden. It is a valuable sample of Petrine baroque. The facade of the masterpiece is remarkable for the allegorical images of the events of the Northern War. Peter I has spent every summer here from the end of the building’s construction until the death of the Emperor. The summer garden attracts visitors with its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful sculptures.
Spilled Blood Kronstadt Island is a good destination for fans of fortification buildings. It worthy visiting no matter which of the aims is: to see the Kronstadt fortress (or rather, what is left of the magnificent building), learn about building a base in the Kronstadt Maritime Museum, wander around Yakornaya Square, or enjoy the magnificent sculptural compositions and also make a wish at the unusual sight of the city (the Tree of Desires). Visiting the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker is also on the option. This seaside town is famous for its admirable forts which have repeatedly defended the city for centuries. Some of the best-preserved defensive structures are “Prince Menshikov battery”, “Totleben fortification”, “Peter the first Citadel”, as well as “Konstantin” and “Reef” forts.
Saint Petersburg impresses its visitors with a vast choice of gastronomy establishments being of great attraction for tourists. Many restaurants and city cafes features centuries-long … Open
Houses where (in the opinion of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s researchers) the heroes of his immortal novel “Crime and Punishment” lived, remain the unique landmark places of St. Petersburg: Raskolnikov’s House is located on Grazhdanskaya Street, and the House of the old money-lender can be found while walking along the embankment of the Griboyedov Canal. If we are to go by the words of Alexander Griboyedov’s contemporaries, the initial episodes of the comedy play “Woe from Wit” were written in this exact place. Moviegoers can enjoy the excursion that takes place at “Lenfilm” – the country’s oldest film studio (it was founded in 1914). It was here that the famous Soviet films “The Twelfth Night”, “The Wedding in Malinovka”, and “Cinderella” were shot.
Hermitage and Palace square Saint Petersburg Russia An unusual construction is the so-called “Gingerbread House”, which stands out sharply against the rest of the buildings. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century in the Art Nouveau style. Nowadays it still evokes in people’s minds associations with a fairytale house. The beautiful Nikonov Hotel is also located here. The Brusnitsky mansion, which was built in 1884, is another remarkable building in St. Petersburg. The first owner was a peasant, Nikolai Brusnitsyn, who established a leather workshop here in 1847. Later in 1882, the building was rebuilt according to the design of Anatoly Kovsharov, who created a beautiful example of eclectic architecture. During the October Revolution, the last owner of the mansion, Nikolai’s son, Alexander Brusnitsyn, was imprisoned by the Bolsheviks. Back then it was decided to use the building as a state tannery.
The city of Saint Petersburg has been for many years the most in demand tourist destination of global scale. The Capital of Culture of the country attracts foreign guests with plenty of … Open
Buildings erected during the Soviet era when the city was called Leningrad can still be found in St. Petersburg. The House of Soviets is one of them. This masterpiece of Stalin’s Empire style was built in 1941. Its main decoration is a singing fountain, installed in 2006. The building of the Twelve Collegiums, which was erected in 1742, is also worth mentioning. Today it is considered as the largest sample of Peter the Great’s Baroque. In St. Petersburg, you can find beautiful modern buildings too. The stadium “Gazprom Arena” (sometimes known as “Zenit Arena”), which was opened at the end of 2016, is a good example. The architect of this large-scale structure is Kisho Kurokawa, who gave his project the symbolic name “Spaceship”.
St Petersburg - Kunstkamera It might be interesting for tourists to walk through the historical prisons of the city. The most famous of them is the prison “Kresty”, and next to it you can find the Prison Museum of the same name. It began to function in 1893, and many famous personalities have been imprisoned there since then. Lev Trotsky, Nikolai, and Lev Gumilyov were among them. After the murder of Kirov and the beginning of “Stalin’s terror”, many victims of repression were brought here. Today all this is told in the memorial which is dedicated to those events. It is significant that on the copper plates near the monument you can see the lines from the priceless works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky, Nikolai Gumilyov, and his wife Anna Akhmatova. During the entire history of “Investigation Isolator No. 1”, there were only three attempts to escape. Another prison of the Soviet era, which is situated in the Trubetskoy bastion, can be well appreciated by lovers of excursions in prisons.
A number of entertainment establishments presented in Saint Petersburg equals the number of its landmarks and cultural sites. Tourists will find in the city various entertainments fitting … Open
St. Petersburg is rich in religious landmarks, and not only the famous St. Isaac’s Cathedral is worthy of a visit. A unique attraction is Saint Blessed Xenia of Petersburg Chapel, erected in 1902. It is located at the Smolensky cemetery. This is a true masterpiece of the so-called “pseudo-Russian style”. St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral is one of the magnificent examples of the Baroque era of the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna. The building is beautiful from the outside and, at the same time, is dazzling in its interiors. St. Petersburg has not only Orthodox churches. You can also find here a synagogue (Great Choral Synagogue), as well as a Buddhist temple (Datsan Gunzechoyney).
A few words should definitely be said about The Holy Trinity Alexander Nevsky Lavra which is a magnificent monastery complex. On its territory, there are several necropolises where tourists can take a walk. A special decoration of Tikhvin cemetery is the Necropolis of Art Masters. It is a huge collection of sculptural compositions created by famous artists. Those who like to walk around the graves of famous people should go to Nikolskoe cemetery, which is located in the same complex. Walking along the picturesque embankments of the city on the Neva River has a special romance to it, and it is hard to identify which of them is the best. However, the same applies to the magnificent park areas of the city. In the historical part of the cultural capital of Russia, there are so many interesting parks and gardens that their quantity is comparable to the amount of breweries in Munich.
1. A heat of the tourist season on Saint Petersburg falls within a period from the middle of may till the end of September as this period features the most favorable weather for trips and … Open
Although, the same can be said about the museums of the city. The most unique cultural sites which are mandatory to be visited are described below. Nowadays, in the building of the majestic Sheremetev Palace is located the Museum of Music. A lot of interesting information about Russian composers could be learned here. Faberge Museum is no less impressive with its significant collection and brilliant interiors. There are two open-air cultural attractions which are obligatory for visiting. It is, of course, the State Museum-Reserve “Tsarskoye Selo” and the Museum-Reserve “Gatchina”. Many famous people lived and worked in the city (Alexander Pushkin, Ilya Repin, Anna Akhmatova, and Nikolai Gumilyov, as well as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Fyodor Chaliapin). Today their houses have been turned to museums.
Peters palace “Grand Market Russia”, “Saint-Petersburg in Miniature” and the Russian Railway Museum are interesting for visitors with children. There are several museums that should be recommended for those who want to learn more about the life of local residents at different times. First, the Russian Museum of Ethnography is the best for this. Secondly, there are two cultural sites where you can learn about life in the Soviet era: the Museum of Soviet Lifestyle and the Museum of Soviet Arcade machines. There are sights that will attract the attention of lovers of everything unusual. The Museum of Russian Vodka, MuzEros and the Coffee Museum could be mentioned among them. Fans of art will be welcome in such cultural sites as Shadow museum and the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory. Furthermore, numerous art galleries of the city, as well as the unique Museum of street art open their doors to visitors.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Saint Petersburg and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Saint Petersburg and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Saint Petersburg: churches, museums and castles

Saint Isaac Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

» The Saint Isaac Cathedral is the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg and the unique architectural structure dominating in the downtown.
» The height of the cathedral is 101.5 m, the length and width is about 100 meters.
» The building of the cathedral is decorated with 112 monolithic granite columns of different size; statues representing 12 of the Holy Apostles are located on the corners and the tops of the gables.
» The Saint Isaac Cathedral has the unique collection of monumental painting of the first half of the 19th century, 150 panels and pictures.
» Construction of the cathedral lasted as much as 40 years. This was due to the fact that a soothsayer predicted to architect Auguste Montferrand his death immediately after the completion of the Saint Isaac Cathedral. Therefore, the architect didn’t rush with construction; he really lived a little less than a month after consecration of the cathedral.

Church of the Savior on Blood, Saint Petersburg

» The Church of the Savior on Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg, which is the museum and a monument of Russian architecture.
» The temple was erected on the site, where in 1881 Alexander II was killed. The temple was built as a memorial to the King Martyr.
» The height of the central dome of the temple is 81 m; the temple accommodates up to 1,600 persons.
» The building represents a congregated image of the Russian Orthodox church. The architecture of the temple is an example of the late stage in evolution of the Russian style.
» The Church of the Savior on Blood is a veritable museum of mosaic, covering an area of 7,065 square meters. Mosaic was created in the workshop of Russian artist Vladimir Frolov on sketches by more than 30 artists

Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg

» The Winter Palace is the former grand residence of Russian emperors.
» Currently, the Winter Palace is part of the State Hermitage Museum and is the largest building of the museum complex.
» The building of the Winter Palace consists of 1,084 rooms, 1,945 windows and 117 stairs (including secret ones).
» The most important events related to the history of Russia are associated with the Winter Palace, as private life of Russian monarchs took place there.
» Surviving palace interiors have not only artistic, but also historical value.

Catherine Palace, Saint Petersburg

» The Catherine Palace is one of the largest palaces in the vicinity of St. Petersburg; that’s former imperial palace.
» The building was laid in 1717 by the order of Russian Empress Catherine I.
» The Catherine Palace was built in Late Baroque style.
» One of the most famous rooms in the Catherine Palace is the Amber room, which was decorated mainly with amber.
» During World War II, German invaders stole the Amber Room decoration and put it in the Amber Museum in Konigsberg. That was the last place where it was shown.

Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

» The Kazan Cathedral is the outstanding monument of architecture and fine art in Russia.
» The cathedral was built in the first half of the 19th century in the Empire style imitating the temples of the Roman Empire.
» The Kazan Cathedral is richly decorated outside and inside with sculptures created by Russia's best sculptors.
» An integral part of the interior of the cathedral is painting of the iconostasis of, the walls, and dome poles.
» The main treasure of the temple is a revered copy of the Our Lady of Kazan.
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Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Saint Petersburg
♥   Palace 'Vorontsov Palace' , 1.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Anichkov Palace' , 2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Shuvalov Palace' , 2.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Marie Palace' , 2.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Stroganov Palace' , 2.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Yusupov Palace' , 2.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'St Michael’s Castle' , 2.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Saint Petersburg and around
♥   Art museum 'Russian Museum' St. Petersburg, 2.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Hermitage' St. Petersburg, 3.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on Rentals in Saint Petersburg

Preferred to Open 9 New Hotels in 2022

In September 2022, the Sommerro hotel in Oslo will start operating in a carefully restored 1930s Art Deco building. This building is a true landmark of Frogner, a historic neighborhood of the Norwegian capital. A multi-million-dollar renovation carefully turned the largest preservation project in Norway into a modern hotel with 231 rooms, including 56 residences. Preferred will open five more hotels in 2022, namely, The Wall Street Hotel in New York, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences on Singer Island (Florida, the US), TOA Hotel & Spa in Zanzibar, Pendry hotel in Washington, and Pendry Park City hotel in Utah. Read this


Photogallery of cultural heritage of Saint Petersburg

Landmarks of culture on Saint Petersburg map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Saint Petersburg

Culture guide to Saint Petersburg. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Saint Petersburg: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Saint Petersburg. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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