St. Petersburg Official City Guide

Visit Petersburg

Welcome to Saint Petersburg!

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About Saint Petersburg

St. Petersburg is recognized as one of the largest economic, cultural and scientific centers of Russia, Europe and the whole world. Magnificent architectural ensembles, beautiful courtyards, splendid parks, unique museums – all of this constantly arouses considerable interest among tourists. They come from all corners of the world to grasp and appreciate the subtle atmosphere of the Venice of the North, to breathe in the air of this mysterious land of Neva fogs. The city of Saint Peter was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and was set to be the “window to Europe”. Nowadays the city combines Russian and European cultures and traditions in the most extraordinary way. St. Petersburg has several informal names. The Northern Capital, the Venice of the North, the Northern Palmyra, Peter’s City, the City of White Nights, the City on the Neva, and the oldest - Piter - all this is said about the brilliant Petersburg. However, one of the most common names for the city is, perhaps, “the cultural capital”. Despite the fact that St. Petersburg is relatively young, it has managed to become a real treasury of the global culture. Here, the first public museum in the country was opened, as well as the first monument. There are more than 250 museums in the city. St. Petersburg is a city where a number of important events in the history of the country have happened over three centuries: governmental reforms, coups, intrigues, twists and turns of ordinary people’s fates, the most important scientific discoveries and inventions. Undoubtedly, St. Petersburg is a city with a special fate and unique atmosphere that won’t leave anyone indifferent. You still have not managed to get to know this city? You will definitely discover your own, intimate Petersburg, and we are going to help you get acquainted with it better.

Winter Palace
Spit of Vasilievsky Island
Trinity Cathedral
Blagoveschensky bridge
Peter and Paul Fortress
Kazan Cathedral

The beauty of Saint Petersburg

St. Petersburg is like an amazing, mysterious, striking painting, rich in bright colors, especially in the evening. One may talk about St. Petersburg for ages, but there is nothing better than to come and enjoy the magical views of the city live! In the meantime, we suggest you admire its beauty on the video. You can find more fascinating videos about the city, as well as many vivid pictures of St. Petersburg on our website Visit-Petersburg.ru.

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Places to visit in Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is called “the cultural capital” for a reason:  the best museums of the city have gathered true masterpieces of painting, graphics, sculpture, jewellery. However, while visiting this wonderful city, you definitely should not limit yourself only to the most popular sights. St. Petersburg is not just the Hermitage. There are a lot of unusual, informative museums of all kinds in the Northern Capital – from the museums dedicated to one subject to interactive projects that capture one’s imagination, such as “Petrovskaya Akvatoria”, “Grand Maket Russia”, “Horrors of Petersburg.” Loft projects and creative spaces have gained great popularity recently. Here, meetings with famous people, useful lectures, unconventional exhibitions and exciting concerts take place. For those who prefer to spend evenings with a jolly crowd in a relaxed atmosphere, the suitable areas are Rubinshteina street, Kazanskaya street, Konyushennaya square. Countless bars, restaurants and nightclubs to suit all tastes are concentrated there. We are confident that everyone will find entertainment to their liking in this stunning city.

 

Touristic routes around St. Petersburg. Audio-guides

Walks through St. Petersburg may be different, to each their own. Some prefer romantic strolls along the embankments and open bridges. Others – informative excursions in the museums. Someone loves to have fun, and someone enjoys quiet and peaceful time instead. Whatever you have planned for your vacation in St. Petersburg, you will certainly save some time for walks through the beautiful city on the Neva. Of course, it is impossible to create a route that will be suitable for everyone, because we all have different tastes and interests. However, in this section we are going to look into the most preferable, in our view, order of excursions and routes around the city. It’s up to you, whether to plan your visit according to our suggestions, or to come up with your own ideas, but in any case, we hope that our tips will be helpful to you. On the website Visit-Petersburg.ru you can find numerous thematic tourist routes that you can download to your mobile device or print out. In addition, you can use the audio-guides provided.

 

The most interesting city events

Witness the unforgettable events, when fireworks paint the sky with vivid colors, when lots of familiar characters stroll through the decorated streets and squares, creating festive mood. The city annually hosts more than 300 events, both outdoors and onstage. Let’s celebrate Maslenitsa, welcome the ship with scarlet sails, ride the legendary Harley Davidsons on the August motofestival and watch our favorite movies on the film festival. St. Petersburg offers events to fit every taste!

 

Where to eat. Gastronomy

What could be more inspiring than observing the amazing masterpieces of St. Petersburg architecture while enjoying delicious food? Panoramic views, diversified menu, exquisite desserts, attentive staff - all this guarantees a lovely time on a night out! Some restaurants of Russian traditional cuisine offer typical dishes like borshch, shchi, solyanka, Russian salad (Olivier), vareniki, etc. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised by the great number of restaurants with a variety of European and Asian cuisine. Here, we have gathered the best restaurants of the city for you.

 

Where to stay in the city

St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Tourists from all over the world come to the Northern Capital to see its famous monuments with their own eyes, stroll through the streets of the city and admire its rich cultural and historical heritage. The charm of the city is complemented by the hospitality of accommodation facilities. St. Petersburg hotels are available in different categories, from inexpensive mini-hotels and hostels to luxury hotels. Such a wide range allows each visitor to find a suitable place of residence according to their needs and means.

 

Transport in St. Petersburg

As befits a major tourist city, St. Petersburg has a highly developed transport infrastructure. There are 5 railway stations and one international bus station, an international airport “Pulkovo” and a sea passenger port “Marine Façade”. The city also has an extensive network of urban public transport (underground, trams, trolleybuses and buses), as well as a lot of commercial mini-buses and taxis.

 

Day trips from St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a unique city with a special atmosphere and magnificent architecture, and also the place where the most memorable tourist routes begin. Some of the tourists prefer to come to St. Petersburg to start on their great journey in one of the directions - from the Extreme North to the central regions of Russia. In St. Petersburg 12 railways and 11 highways cross. The main river of the city - Neva - is the largest transport hub; during the navigation period large passenger and cargo ships ply here. Five railway stations, as well as the biggest airport in the northwest region, connect the city with all the regions of Russia, the Baltics and the CIS. St. Petersburg is the administrative center of the Leningrad region, which borders on Estonia, Finland, Karelia, Pskov, Vologda and Novgorod regions. Therefore, getting to all these places is neither difficult, nor time-consuming. Spend your time in one of the stunningly beautiful places near St. Petersburg! In the section “One day trips from St. Petersburg” you will find some ideas on where you can go for a short trip from St. Petersburg.

 

Useful information

Saint Petersburg is one of Russia’s most hospitable cities. It’s where the first tourist information centers in the country appeared. If you are new to this city, you will certainly have many questions. You can inquire about any necessary information concerning St. Petersburg and its museums, sights, suburbs and current events at the Tourist Information Bureau. For the convenience of the tourists, 12 information pavilions are located in different parts of St. Petersburg: at the airport, at the passenger sea port, near the main sightseeing attractions. Here you can get advice, take free reference materials about Petersburg, tourist maps, postcards with city views as a gift to your loved ones, etc. What is more, St. Petersburg provides foreign guests with a unique opportunity to spend 3 days here without a visa. Read more: 72 visa free hours in St. Petersburg There are a few simple rules for the foreign visitors to follow that will ensure their pleasant and safe stay in St. Petersburg. We advise you to pay attention to these recommendations.Download the tourist safety guide.

 

Сity’s main attractions

St. Petersburg is famous for its unique architectural style, wide embankments, elegant bridges and, of course, an abundance of sights. No guest of the city can remain indifferent to the splendor of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the magnificence of Peterhof, as well as the masterpieces of art, so widely represented in the Hermitage. The rich history of St. Petersburg literally emanates from every stone and every building of this extraordinary city. We have picked out 10 most popular places of interest that are regarded as the city’s ‘brands’. These sights are the true treasures of St. Petersburg and you’ve probably seen them many times on photographs, postcards, souvenirs, or have heard about them from friends. We believe that a traveller who has visited Petersburg once, will be sure to come back in search of new experiences and discoveries.

 

Museums
The major museums of St. Petersburg that everyone should visit!