St. Petersburg

River Neva and Buildings

St. Petersburg (Санкт-Петерб́ург) or the “Venice of the North” has always been a place I have wanted to visit and despite the difficulty in getting there, it is very much worth the trip. In particular I have always wanted to see the greatest museum in the world, The State Hermitage.

Things to See

Rostral'naya Kolonna (Ростральная колонна)

The city is full of amazing museums, cathedrals and other historic sites which can keep a visitor busy for a very long time. I was lucky enough to have a rather intensive two day tour of the city (and surroundings) when I visited in summer 2019.

Souvenir Shop

Palace Square

Palace Square from the Windows of the Hermitage

The largest public square in St. Petersburg is “Palace Square” (Дворцовая площадь) with the central Albert the Great monument (celebrating the defeat of Napoleon). The square is dominated by the huge The State Hermitage buildings to the north and the “General Staff Building” (Арка Главного штаба) to the south.

Fabergé Museum

Fabergé Museum

The “Fabergé Museum” (Музей Фаберже; official web site https://fabergemuseum.ru/) housed in the Shuvalov Palace is small and privately owned but I am told is worth a visit. It features nine of the fantastic jewellery eggs created by the “House of Fabergé” for the last two Russian emperors.

An entrance fee is charged.

The Peter and Paul Fortress

Peter and Paul Fortress

The tall, slender gold spire of the “Peter and Paul Cathedral” (Петропавловский собор) is easy to spot from anywhere along the Neva. This is located in the middle of the walled “Peter and Paul Fortress” (Петропавловская крепость; official web site https://www.spbmuseum.ru/) which is the original site of the city.

The simple (by St. Petersburg standards) cathedral is most known for being the burial site for Peter the Great and his family.

Peter and Paul Fortress

Most come to visit the cathedral though a number of the buildings in the fortress are open to visitors. Access to the site is from the north side of the river along narrow city streets then over a single track bridge. The streets are often busy with tour buses accessing the site.

An entrance fee is charged to the cathedral.

Kazan Cathedral

Kazan Cathedral

The Kazan Cathedral (Казанский кафедральный собор; official web site http://kazansky-spb.ru/ ) is located right on Newsky Street (Не́вский проспе́кт), a busy shopping street. It is hard to miss.

St. Isaac's Cathedral

St. Isaac's Cathedral

St. Isaac's Cathedral (Исаакиевский собор; official web site http://eng.cathedral.ru/) is a magnificent cathedral visible from most parts of the city. It features a large park between the cathedral and the Neva including a magnificent bronze statue of horseman commissioned by Catherine the Great.

An entrance fee is charged.

Savior on the Spilled Blood

An iconic image of the city the stunning “Savior on the Spilled Blood” (Спас на Крови “Church on the Spilled Blood”/“Church of the Resurrection”) looks just as great on the inside as the outside. Being Russian orthodox there are no pews and the church is often wall-to-wall with tourists taking pictures of it's amazing interior which is completely covered by painting.

Interior

Interior

An entrance fee is charged.

Nearby Attractions

There are some absolutely incredible palaces located a short distance from St. Petersburg including Peterhof and Catherine Palace. It is worth making an effort to get out of the city to visit though they can often be very busy with tourists.

Arriving by Cruise Ship

Cruise Terminal

Located on the Baltic and having a large port, St. Petersburg is a destination for many cruise ships with an extensive cruise ship terminal on the west of the city.

Souvenir Stalls in Cruise Terminal

Getting Around

Getting around the city is not too difficult with a metro (underground) system as well as buses and taxis. In tourist areas you can hire horse drawn buggies and, of course, walking is a good way to experience the city.

There are also tour boat tours to take you through the many canals of the city and into the Neva river near the Peter and Paul fortress. The boats are quite short to allow them to get under the many bridges.

Pictures

Further pictures from my visit to St Petersburg:

 

Further Information