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St. Petersburg-A Russian Jewel

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St. Petersburg has earned its reputation as a travel gem. With sparkling canals intersecting the city, architecture straight from the pages of a Russian fairy tale, monasteries and incredible palace gardens to stroll. It makes even Parisians' jaws drop. A mid-May visit means blooms to treat the eye and much smaller crowds and congestion at The Hermitage and the architectural wonders.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Thrifty Traveller

19 Places

5 City Tips

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19 Places

Day 1

Anabel at Nevsky 88

Hotels

The Menshikov Palace

Art Museums

Peterhof

Destinations

Yolki-Palki

Restaurants

Day 2

The State Hermitage Museum

Art Museums

Mikhailovsky Garden

Gardens

The State Museum St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Churches & Cathedrals, Speciality Museums

Neva Embankments

Bodies of Water, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Lion`s Bridge

Bridges

The Kunstkamera

Speciality Museums

Peter and Paul Fortress

Architectural Buildings, History Museums

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Churches & Cathedrals

Peter and Paul Cathedral

Churches & Cathedrals

Kazan Cathedral

History Museums, Churches & Cathedrals

Nevsky Prospekt

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Day 3

Pavlovsk State Museum

History Museums

Podvorye

Restaurants

Catherine Palace and Park

Speciality Museums, Architectural Buildings, History Museums, Parks

Holy Trinity Alexander Nevskiy Lavra

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Churches & Cathedrals, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Cemeteries

culturevulture94's City Tips

  • Visit the ethnographic museum and Peter & Paul Fortress Church west of The Hermitage. And visit Alexander Nevsky Monastery to see the tombs of Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Glinka, etc.
  • We liked MIR Corporation's customized tour to Catherine's summer palace and Paul's palace. Make sure your tour includes the Russia lunch at Podvorye restaurant in Pavlovsk.
  • Take an organized tour to The Hermitage; it saves you hours standing in lines. Also, your guided group gets priority over individual visitors and they share important history.
  • Use electric trains to visit Peterhof & Oranienbaum palaces; buses take 2+ hours. Don't miss Oranienbaum (near Peterhof)--it's the only palace that the Nazis did not destroy.
  • Stay in town; walk everywhere--The Hermitage, those wedding cake churches, the museums. Hotels just past the 3rd bridge east of The Hermitage are quite a bit cheaper.
    Day 1
  • Anabel at Nevsky 88
    Hotels
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    This hotel has a quiet off-street location, an elevator, nice, varied breakfasts and good rooms. They don't do full disclosure on the rooms; the charge listed on line is per person. We had to pay $20 per day extra for the second person and then they skimped on towels and bed linens.

    Good for
    • Couples
    From the community
    Ranked #53 of 530 Hotels in St. Petersburg
    • Fantastic location on Nevsky Prospect 14/10/2019
    • Lovely stay 15/06/2019
    • Anabel at Nevsky 88
    Address:
    Nevskiy Av., 88
    St. Petersburg 191025
    Russia
  • The Menshikov Palace
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    This palace rates as the only one not destroyed by the Nazi's. So you see it in its original splendor. It's not far from Peterhof and well worth the visit.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Take the electric train here in the morning. Then walk or taxi to Peterhof. I recall that they even have a little bus that runs between the two palaces.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #67 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • If you have time 19/10/2019
    • Don; waste time 05/10/2019
    • The Menshikov Palace
    Address:
    Universitetskaya Emb., 15
    Vasiliostrovskaya Metro Station
    St. Petersburg 199034
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 323-11-12
    Other:
  • Peterhof
    Destinations
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    No visit to St. Petersburg is complete without seeing Peterhof. It rivals (maybe surpasses) Versailles with its architectural grandeur, its amazing fountains and extensive gardens. You want gilding--it's here in profusion.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Visit here in mid-May before the hoards of tourists arrive. The weather can be fine then and they have the garden beds planted.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Peterhof
  • Yolki-Palki
    Restaurants
    culturevulture94 Says:

    This restaurant chain delivers. They have an extensive fresh salad bar, all sorts of classic Russian dishes from fish to kabobs, and beer in a very interesting chilled keg. All this in the atmosphere of a Russian peasant house. And it's all very reasonably priced.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • Stay at least 1 hour so that you can take in the short dance program. Two waitresses, dressed in modern "traditional" Russian garb, perform a set of spirited Russian style dances.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    • Russian Food & Atmosphere at Good Prices 05/06/2014
    • Дёшево и вкусно. 29/10/2014
    • Yolki-Palki
    Address:
    Nevskiy Ave., 88
    St. Petersburg 191025
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 273-15-94
  • Day 2
  • The State Hermitage Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    Ready for a whole room full of Rubens; a whole floor of impressionists with rooms full of Monet and Picasso? How about that amazing gold peacock clock, a marvelous combination of metal artistry and science? And then you have the tiny mosaics and the silver collection. The art is absolutely endless and truly amazing. This the THE museum of all museums.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Go with a guide. They get you in quickly (no interminable waits), have priority in the major rooms, and offer knowledgeable historical information.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    • Too crowded! 14/12/2019
    • Amazing!! 11/12/2019
    • The State Hermitage Museum
    Address:
    Palace Emb., 30-38
    St. Petersburg 191055
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 710-90-79
    Hours:
    Tue
    10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    Wed
    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Thu
    10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    Fri - Sun
    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Other:
  • Mikhailovsky Garden
    Gardens
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    Makes you feel like a Czarina walking through the peaceful gardens inside the city itself.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Couples
    • Nature Lover
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #84 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    • Large Basic Park Next to Church 31/07/2019
    • Lovely clean gardens 21/07/2019
    • Mikhailovsky Garden
    Address:
    Sadovaya street, 1
    Mikhailovsky Palace
    St. Petersburg 191186
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 595-42-48
    Other:
  • The State Museum St. Isaac’s Cathedral
    Churches & Cathedrals, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    This cathedral is a marvelous piece of architecture, inside and out. And it's huge. They spared nothing on the interior--check out the amazing malachite columns and the lapis lazuli columns as well. The mosaics along the altar wall just cannot be real, can they?

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Avoid the huge line to climb the stairs and view the city from the dome. It's not worth the wait.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    • Isaac’s Cathedral 11/12/2019
    • Great Cathedral 10/12/2019
    • The State Museum St. Isaac’s Cathedral
    Address:
    St Isaac_s Square, 4
    Nevskiy Prospekt metro station
    St. Petersburg 190000
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 315-97-32
    Hours:
    Thu - Tue
    10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Neva Embankments
    Bodies of Water, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    Much of the area along the river has a promenade that you can stroll along. Or they offer boat rides too. It's impressive. But take a Russian boat; they're much cheaper and your guidebook tells you what's along the banks.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Couples
    Tips
    • View the places and buildings from the bridge by the south end of The Hermitage; then walk through St. Peter & Paul Fortress and check out the views from the north bridge.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #62 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best Way To See The City 09/11/2019
    • History along the river 15/10/2019
    • Neva Embankments
  • Lion`s Bridge
    Bridges
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    Not only are the lions impressive, but the gorgeous buildings that line the canal on either side cannot fail to impress with their colorful, grand facades.

    Good for
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • This bridge is not far from the Mariinsky Theatre.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #152 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    • Nothing Like This Where I’m From 05/06/2019
    • Nice bridge 25/05/2019
    • Lion`s Bridge
    Address:
    Kanala Griboyedova Emb.
    St. Petersburg
    Russia
  • The Kunstkamera
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    Wonderful look at Russian dress through the centuries. The jeweled headpieces and necklaces those nobles wore will make your eyes pop. And the heavy, heavy earrings and the furs will make you sweat. The museum also contains a marvelous collections of unusual Russian musical instruments. It's well worth at least a 2-hour visit.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Hidden Gems
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #147 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    • Freak and anthropological museum 23/09/2019
    • Worth a visit 19/09/2019
    • The Kunstkamera
    Address:
    Universitetskaya Emb., 3
    Entrance from Tamozhenny Lane
    St. Petersburg 199034
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 328-14-12
    Price range:
    US$0 - US$0
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Peter and Paul Fortress
    Architectural Buildings, History Museums
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    This resembles a Kremlin, was used as a jail and a mint. Locals come here to enjoy picnics, swim in the moat, sit on the moat's banks and visit the cathedral. We saw an unusual Russian ball game underway outside the walls.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Entry to the courtyard is free, but visiting the mint or the jails requires admission. out the Czarevich's little boat in the boathouse/ticket office.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #75 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Huge Complex! 01/12/2019
    • Review of Peter and Paul fortress 30/11/2019
    • Peter and Paul Fortress
    Address:
    Petropavlovskaya Fortress, 3
    St. Petersburg 197022
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 230-64-31
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:30 AM - 9:00 PM
    Other:
  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
    Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    The exterior of this relatively new church is a photographer's dream. Better yet, this church boasts the finest mosaics I have ever seen--absolutely awesome. It's not to be missed on a walking tour of the city.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Best photo is from the south side of the church.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    • Incredibly beautiful and worth a visit. 11/12/2019
    • Extraordinary and beautiful church 09/12/2019
    • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
    Address:
    Griboyedova Kanala Emb., 2B/A
    St. Petersburg 191186
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 964 339-55-93
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Peter and Paul Cathedral
    Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    The interior of this cathedral is luscious. Pay particular interest to the tombs of the Romanov ancestors. We especially enjoyed the Romanov lineage chart posted in the hallway at the west side of the altar area. The opposite wall included sketches of the "staged" funeral pyres of the Romanovs designed by theater set designers.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • They have art displays beyond the Romanov dynasty hall to the west.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #65 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The history... 26/10/2019
    • Tombs of the Tsars 13/10/2019
    • Peter and Paul Cathedral
    Address:
    Sobornaya Sq., 1
    Petropavlovskaya Fortress
    St. Petersburg 197046
    Russia
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:00 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Kazan Cathedral
    History Museums, Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    This cathedral seems rather gloomy inside and outside. But it often hosts weddings. We attended a Russian wedding while we visited the church and got to see beyond the iconostasis because part of the ceremony takes place beyond those mystic gates.

    Good for
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • A small park across from the church makes a great place to eat lunch and people watch.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #57 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful building. 11/12/2019
    • Main Cathedral in Saint Petersburg 06/12/2019
    • Kazan Cathedral
    Address:
    Kazanskaya Sq., 2
    Metro Nevskiy Prospect
    St. Petersburg 191186
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 981 930-08-01
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:30 AM - 7:45 PM
    Other:
  • Nevsky Prospekt
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    Wonder-street. After visiting the Amber Room in The Hermitage, what a treat you'll have looking in the windows at the intriguing amber constructions. Nearby enjoy window shopping at the fur boutique. Further up the street, visit the "Chocolate Museum" to see jewelry boxes made of chocolate, all sorts of animal statues in chocolate and gorgeous chocolate boxes decorated like wedding cakes.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Walk from The Hermitage east on the south (right) side of the street.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #53 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nevsky 28/11/2019
    • Excellent Location 26/11/2019
    • Nevsky Prospekt
    Address:
    Nevsky Avenue
    St. Petersburg 191025
    Russia
  • Day 3
  • Pavlovsk State Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    This palace a regular person could live in--so homey and just a tad quaint compared to the splendor of Catherin's Summer Palace or Peterhof. The furnishings, the views from the various rooms, the "men's rooms" and the "women's side" just charmed.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Take in Pavlovsk Palace and Catherine's Palace the same day and enjoy lunch at Podvorye Restaurant.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in Pavlovsk
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful palace 04/11/2019
    • Great place 29/10/2019
    • Pavlovsk State Museum
    Address:
    Sadovaya St 20
    Pavlovsk, St. Petersburg 196621
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 452-15-36
    Price range:
    US$500 - US$500
    Hours:
    Sat - Thu
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Podvorye
    Restaurants (Russian, Eastern European, Central European)
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    You'll feel like an honored guest at a Russian noble's fancy country home. They ply you with vodka, specialty Russian traditional dishes from soups to salads to main courses to desserts. To make the atmosphere even more special they have a 5-piece band that plays during your luncheon. Marvelous experience.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Go for the big spread, not the little menu items.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #193 of 7,680 restaurants in St. Petersburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Dinner Experience 08/10/2019
    • Place is worth going! 20/09/2019
    • Podvorye
    Address:
    Filtrovskoye Hwy., 16
    St. Petersburg 196625
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 454-54-64
    Price range:
    US$1 - US$3
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Catherine Palace and Park
    Speciality Museums, Architectural Buildings, History Museums, Parks
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    Awesome--would you believe a castle whose exterior walls cover a whole mile? And the gilding--you cannot imagine it. Not-to-be-missed, the Amber Room; and the furnishings are simply gorgeous. Often the wallpaper matches the upholstery.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Go with a guided tour; you get better service that way; and do not touch--the guards are watching.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 85 things to do in Pushkin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fantastic 06/12/2019
    • Summer Palace of the tsars! 01/12/2019
    • Catherine Palace and Park
    Address:
    Sadovaya St., 7
    Tsarskoye Selo
    Pushkin, St. Petersburg 196601
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 415-76-67
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Holy Trinity Alexander Nevskiy Lavra
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Churches & Cathedrals, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Cemeteries
    See more photos
    culturevulture94 Says:

    Beautiful structure and grounds; but the best part is the cemetery on the right. It contains the tombs of some of the greatest Russian musicians: Borodin, Glinka, Tchaikovsky and others. Not be be missed and worth the small admission fee. The cemetery on the left has famous mathematicians, scientists, architects, etc.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Open the place about 9:00am to avoid the crowds. It's an easy subway ride.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #41 of 2,118 things to do in St. Petersburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Working monastery 19/10/2019
    • City keeper 15/10/2019
    • Holy Trinity Alexander Nevskiy Lavra
    Address:
    Reki Monastyrki Emb., 1
    St. Petersburg 191167
    Russia
    Phone:
    +7 812 274-17-02
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Other:
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