Showcasing the art and culture of the Imperial Era, Saint Petersburg is one of the most beautiful places to explore in Russia. The city boasts of great Soviet architecture as well as intriguing historical sites. Visit it and treat yourself with artistic sights. From well-designed places to monumental museums, savor innumerable attractions within the city. Learn about the history of the Russian emperors at the Winter Palace. Take a leisurely walk through the royal gardens. Visit centuries-old churches and scrutinize their lavish designs. Get charmed by beautiful canals, statue-lined lanes and grassy lawns at Lower Park. St Petersburg is all about ancient beauty. So, plan a trip now and have a wonderful vacation.
USEFUL INFO. ABOUT Saint Petersburg
OFFICIAL NAME: Saint Petersburg
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Semi-presidential Constitutional Republic
: Imperial Era History | Soviet Architecture | Centuries-old Art And Culture | Hermitage Museum | Royal Palaces And Gardens | Beautiful Cathedrals | Neva River | The Grand Palace Square
THE NATIONAL SYMBOL: Coat Of Arms | Double-headed Eagle | Flag Of Soviet Union | Hammer And Sickle | Victory Banner | Russian Bear | National Anthem | Red Star
TIME ZONE: St Petersburg GMT +3
DRIVING SIDE: Right
Pulkovo International Airport
Country Calling Code: +7
Medical emergencies: 103
Medical emergencies: 112
Russian Rouble is the legal currency in Saint Petersburg and is used extensively across the city for exchanging goods and services. You can use it to pay your bills for accommodation and more. However, United States dollars and Euros are also accepted at numerous places.
1 Russian Rouble = 100 kopeks 1 Russian Rouble RUB = 0.057 United Arab Emirates Dirham (As of 24th February 2020)
Russian Rouble bank coins are available in the denomination of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 50 kon.
Russian Rouble banknotes are available in the denomination of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000.
Saint Petersburg is known across the world for its beautiful history. Though the city is believed to have been founded by Peter the Great in the year 1703, it has a past that stretches back to the early 17th century.
In 1611, Saint Petersburg was all confined to a fortress named Nyenskans, which was built by the Swedish colonists. It was in the early 18th century when Peter the Great conquered the fortress and laid the foundation of a beautiful port city by constructing Peter and Paul Fortress.
He changed the capital of Russia from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in the year 1712. Since then, the city never looked back and developed at a fast pace. It became an important trade and political center in subsequent years.
The imperial era in the city lasted for about two centuries until the Russian revolution of 1917 took place. It was during this year when the city witnessed numerous revolutions and eventually, welcomed the Soviet Era. This period lasted for decades until World War II happened in the year 1941 when the German forces captured the city.
Later on by the end of the 1940s, Saint Petersburg signed a peace treaty and became a part of the USSR. Today, the city is popular across the world for its rich history and culture. Millions of tourists visit the historical beauty every year. From its palaces to museums, gardens to riversides and cathedrals to statues, everything is loved by travelers.
Flourishing on the beautiful sides of the Neva River and set on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Saint Petersburg has an amazing topography. The city has riverbanks, greenery, and coastal regions. It also has numerous gorgeous lakes that dominate the natural expanse of the city. That's one of the prominent reasons why Saint Petersburg has become a popular tourist attraction amongst nature lovers too.
The historical city has an area of about 1,439 sq km and has its beauty spread across numerous small islands. The major islands include Vasilyevsky Island, Aptekarsky Island, New Holland Island, Zayachy Island, Spassky Island, Artillery Island, and Kanonersky Island.
The lowest point and the highest point are the Baltic Sea at 0 m and Orekhova Hill at 175.9 m respectively. Saint Petersburg has Finland, Estonia, and Latvia as neighboring countries. All these places are well connected to the city via road and air routes.
As Saint Petersburg has a culture that is a mix of values from different countries, it is often referred to as the cultural capital of Russia. Hence, art and music are quite rich and interesting. The city's immense love for art & music can be figured out from the number of theatres and museums it hosts.
Yes! There are more than 50 theatres and about 200 museums in Saint Petersburg with some of them being the most popular and oldest houses in the country. The Mariinsky Theatre is popular beyond boundaries and across different nations. The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest museums in the world with millions of artifacts on display.
Food and Drink
St. Petersburg is popular amongst foodies too as the city offers a wide variety of cuisines from across the globe. Here, you would find lip-smacking dishes in the form of dumplings, pancakes, soups, stews and more. However, you would find most of the population relishing traditional Russian dishes such as Borscht. Visit the city and satisfy the food lover in you as you devour a wholesome meal.
People in Saint Petersburg also love to savor drinks. Locally prepared alcohol, as well as international brands, are enjoyed across the city. From Kvas to Russian Beer and Bread Wine to vodka, everything is popular here. So, plan a tour to Saint Petersburg now!
People in Saint Petersburg are quite hospitable. They perfectly know how to treat their guests and how to cater to their needs and desires. Come to the city and you would find locals greeting you with a grand smile. You would feel comfortable around them for they are very helpful and understanding.
Take a leap into the Imperial Era and explore its rich history and culture.
Clap your eyes on the unbelievable collection of the world's largest Hermitage Museum.
Spend hours exploring the liveliness of the bustling and the historic Palace Square.
Step into the early 18th century at the ancient Peter and Paul Fortress, the oldest building of the Imperial Era.
Bow down to the great architecture of gorgeous cathedrals and feel the presence of God.
Sail down the charming Neva River and explore the city from a different angle.
Learn about the history of Russian Emperors, ranging from their lifestyle to interests, at the striking Winter Palace.
Take a selfie at the sky touching Lakhta Centre, the tallest building in Europe.
Have a memorable moment exploring the markets and shopping for your favorite styles at Nevsky Prospect.
Catch the beautiful sights of drawbridges at night.
Stroll along the riverside and capture the beautiful horizon of Saint Petersburg at the time of dawn and dusk.
Saint Petersburg has a humid continental climate and hence, the city experiences warm and humid summers and cold and wet winters. The daily mean temperature ranges between -5.8 Degree Celsius and 18.8 Degree Celsius, which is quite favorable. That's the reason why the city remains a year-round destination for tourists.
July, July and August are the hottest months with daily mean temperatures ranging in between 15.7 Degree Celsius and 18.8 Degree Celsius.
December, January, and February are the coldest months with daily mean temperatures ranging in between -5.8 Degree Celsius and -3.7 Degree Celsius.
May to September
This is the best time to visit Saint Petersburg, Russia. During this period, the city gets optimum climatic conditions and hence, one can roam around and explore the places comfortably. However, this is also the time when the city witnesses a great influx of tourists.
Visit Saint Petersburg with Family
Take a boat ride in the beautiful waters of the Neva River
Visit the historic Hermitage Museum and explore its wondrous collection
Capture the iconic sight of the beautiful Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood
Shop for your desires and interest at the malls and local markets
Visit Saint Petersburg as a Couple
Explore cafes and restaurants and relish traditional delicacies
Sail through the wonderful canals of Saint Petersburg
Visit the Saint Isaac Cathedral and enjoy the extensive views of the city from its top
Visit Saint Petersburg with Friends
Spend an evening enjoying world-class performances at a theatre
Explore the rich history of Saint Petersburg at its ancient sites
Explore the skyline of the city from above the ground in a helicopter
Visit the pubs and bars of Saint Petersburg and savor your favorite drinks
Visit Saint Petersburg with Kids
Have a wonderful time with your kids in the colorful gardens of the city
Enjoy a show at Bolshoi Puppet Theatre
Let your kids enjoy different species of animals at Leningrad Zoo
Explore the Railway Museum of Russia and the Planetarium
What to Buy?
Replica Faberge Eggs
Russian Fur Hat
Locally prepared chocolate
Traditional Music Instruments
Russian Folk Music CD
Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood
An epitome of Soviet architecture, Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood is a beauty that describes the history, culture, and the art of Saint Petersburg. It was constructed in the late 19th century and has been a significant landmark ever since. Visit it and get hypnotized by its artistic interior. Marvel at beautiful mosaics or capture the beautiful details on the domes and the walls of the cathedral. Timings:
10:30 am to 06:00 pm
(Closed on Wednesdays) Entrance Fee:
$3.88 for adults
$0.8 for visitors between the age of 7 and 18 years
No traveler must miss visiting the delightful Palace Square for the place holds a significant part of Saint Petersburg's history and culture. It is in the center of the city and is surrounded by numerous magnificent buildings such as the Winter Palace. The place is exceptional for those who love framing panoramas. Come here and witness St. Petersburg riding high on liveliness. Capture the street culture of the city. Timings: Anytime Entrance Fee: No Entrance Fee
One of the largest museums in the world, the Hermitage Museum is located inside Winter Palace and is no less than a wonder. As it houses an amazing collection of artifacts counting in millions, it is every art lover's destination in Saint Petersburg. It has Egyptian antiquities, prehistoric art collection and objects from the Italian Renaissance. It boasts of wonderful paintings, statues, sculptures, books, furniture and a lot more. Timings:
10:30 am to 06:00 pm
(Closed on Mondays) Entrance Fee: $10.8 per person
Enhancing the charm of Saint Petersburg, Neva River dissects the city into two parts. Get on a boat and sail the blue waters of the river. Spend hours relaxing by its banks and get lost in its tranquil environment. Book a cruise and explore the city while staying afloat. There is a lot to do at this wondrous beauty. The place is also an amazing getaway for nature photographers. Timings: Anytime Entrance Fee: No Entrance Fee
$50 - $120 (For private boat tours and cruises)
Painted in Turquoise white colors and set very well on the bank of the Neva River, Smolny Convent is one of the most visited places in Saint Petersburg. It is a popular cathedral in the city and visited by tourists of all ages and kinds. Explore the neoclassical interior of this prepossessing building and roam around peacefully in its serene compound. Timings: 07:00 am to 08:00 pm Entrance Fee:
$2.33 for the Exhibition Hall
$1.55 for the Bell Tower
($3.10 for both)
Peter and Paul Fortress
Far-famed for being one of the oldest places in Saint Petersburg, Peter and Paul Fortress dates back to the early 18th century when it was constructed by Peter the Great, the founder of the city. However, it has also been used as a prison in the early 20th century during the period of the Bolshevik government. Today, the fortress is a primary tourist attraction and makes for a great site to learn in detail about the history of the city.
10:00 am to 04:00 pm
(Closed on Wednesdays)
Entrance Fee: No Entrance Fee
$8.54 for Peter Paul Cathedral
$3.10 for Museum of Architectural Ceramics
$3.88 for Trubetskoy Bastion Prison
$1.55 for History of the Peter and Paul Fortress
The neoclassical architecture of the ravishing Mariinsky Palace is exemplary. Built in the early 19th century, Mariinsky Palace serves as the Legislative Assembly of the city. Hence, one cannot enter it without prior notice. You also need to have a certified guide with you to get a tour of this majestic building. However, you can certainly capture its beautiful frames from outside. Timings:
10:00 am to 06:00 pm Entrance Fee:
$200 - $250 for a private tour
St. Isaac's Cathedral
Another Russian Orthodox Church in Saint Petersburg that would steal your heart away is the stunning St. Isaac's Cathedral. Alluring tourists with its beguiling architecture and interesting history, St. Isaac's Cathedral has been a priority for numerous tourists. It was built in the year 1858 and is one of the oldest churches in the city. Hence, do not miss out on exploring its richness. Timings:
10:30 am to 06:00 pm
(Closed on Wednesdays)
Entrance Fee : $3.88 per person
Other places of importance in Saint Petersburg
State Russian Museum
One of the major festivals in Saint Petersburg, Easter is observed to commemorate the resurrection of Lord Jesus from the dead. The occasion brings happiness and joy all around. On this day, the entire city witnesses' restaurants offering traditional as well as international cuisine. People come from different places to join the celebration and relish sumptuous meals.
Location: Across the city
White Nights Festival
Characterized by beautiful exhibitions, the White Nights Festival in Saint Petersburg is all about the social gatherings of art lovers. During the festival, the Mariinsky Theatre gets decorated with gorgeous lanterns and colorful lights. People come to gain artistic pleasure as they savor outdoor exhibits. It is one of the most popular and prominent festivals in the city.
Location: Mariinsky Theatre
Date: Between May and July
Palaces of St. Petersburg Music Festival
Attend soothing music shows and listen to the melodies of a live orchestra at the palaces of St. Petersburg during the St. Petersburg Music Festival. The celebration provides an insight into the cultural tastes of the city. Numerous programs based on the architecture and history of Saint Petersburg are organized. Visit the city during the festival and learn about its royal buildings as you enjoy soulful music.
Location: Saint Petersburg Palaces
Yelagin Park International Street Theatre Festival
Relish the theatre world and witness world-class performances at Yelagin Park International Street Theatre Festival. Get entertained by open-air shows. Watch local as well as international artists perform. The festival lasts for 3 days and is celebrated with great zeal and zest, especially by theatre lovers.
Location: Yelagin Park
Royal Gardens of Russia Festival
Royal Gardens of Russia Festival grabs the attention of all kinds of tourists. The beautiful flower shows are attended by children as well as adults. Come here and capture numerous colorful species of flowers and enjoy the scenic decorations of the Royal gardens of Saint Petersburg. The festival is quite a hit amongst nature photographers too.
Location: Mikhailovsky Garden
Every tourist who is looking forward to entering the boundaries of Saint Petersburg must obtain a valid Russia visa unless they belong to one of the visa-exempt countries.
Below given is the list of all the countries that do not need any prior visa to enter Saint Petersburg or any other place in Russia.
Belarus and South Ossetia (can stay for an unlimited period)
Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Estonia (holders of an alien passport), Latvia (holders of a non-citizen passport), Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan
(Citizens from these countries can stay for a period up to 90 days)
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Maldives, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Suriname, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Venezuela
(Citizens from these countries can also stay up to 90 days but only for non-commercial purposes)
Mauritius, Samoa and South Korea (Citizens from these countries can stay for a maximum period of 60 days)
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Laos, Macao, Mongolia, Montenegro, Palau, Serbia, Seychelles, and Thailand (Citizens from these countries can stay up to 30 days for non-commercial purposes)
Citizens from North Macedonia can also stay up to 30 days only if they hold a letter of invitation or a tourist voucher
Brunei, Hong Kong, and Nauru (Citizens from these countries can stay up to 14 days for non-commercial purposes)
Russia also allows several nationals to enter the country with an e-visa. Below listed are all those countries:
All EU Citizens, Andorra, Bahrain, China, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, North Korea, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, and Vatican City.
E-visa is issued free of cost.
With a single-entry e-visa, one can stay for a maximum period of 30 days.
To obtain a visa, one needs to have a valid passport that doesn't expire within 6 months from the date of travel.
One of the cheapest means of transport in Saint Petersburg, Bus/Minibus is available at all the major locations in and around the city. A single trip would cost you nothing more than $0.8 per person. Hence, it is a preferred means for most of the budget travelers visiting the city.
If you desire to have ultimate comfort while exploring around, then the cab is the best option you can go for. Cabs are also available at all the tourist places, hotels and other significant sites in Saint Petersburg. However, make sure you decide the fare before getting inside to avoid paying extra.
A metro ride in Saint Petersburg is cheap, convenient, and efficient. A single trip to the metro wouldn't cost you more than $1. Hence, it is preferred by most of the tourists visiting the city.
Saint Petersburg has one of the largest tram networks in the world. With about 41 routes, it connects all the localities of the city. Here, a single tram ride wouldn't cost you more than $0.65.
Via Air Route
Pulkovo International Airport has amazing connectivity. Hence, it has numerous flights connecting to all the major cities of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. From the airport, you can use bus or taxi services to reach your destination in the city.
Via Rail Route
The neighboring countries like Finland and Estonia are well connected to Saint Petersburg via the rail route. The city is known for being the railway hub of Russia and has 5 significant stations that connect the city to nearby stations.
Via Road Route
If you desire to be your guide, then you can hit the road to reach Saint Petersburg. The city boasts of an amazing road network that is well connected to all the major places of the neighboring countries.
Via Water Route
Being a port city, Saint Petersburg is accessible via boats, ships, and ferries. However, there is no specific cruise that connects the city to other parts of the world.
Saint Petersburg is known for its Imperial history and hence, no traveler who is into history and architecture must miss visiting the Russian city.
Saint Petersburg has variable weather and it changes within a day. So, keep a few warm clothes as well while visiting the city during the summer season.
Visit popular tourist places such as the Hermitage Museum early in the morning to avoid encountering a heavy crowd.
Rubinstein Street is the best place in the city to enjoy authentic Russian meals. The place also has several bars and pubs.
The weather in Saint Petersburg is variable and hence, it can rain anytime. So, buy an umbrella first before going out on an excursion in the city.
Use the rapid transit metro system of Saint Petersburg for getting around as it is fast, convenient and economical.
Always keep a city map handy to reach your destinations easily.
Visit the draw bridges of Saint Petersburg at night as this is the time when their beauty is at its best.
Avoid traveling in the metro during the rush hours, i.e. between 07:00 am to 09:00 am and 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm.
Always keep your valuables in a fanny bag and avoid flaunting them in public, especially at crowded tourist attractions
Though Saint Petersburg is quite safe for tourists, pickpocketing is common at most of the tourist places.
Keep a copy of your passport while exploring around to save yourself in case of emergencies
Do not get inside any unregistered vehicle. Always check whether the taxi you are getting into is registered or not.
Keep an eye on your purse or other important possessions while visiting clubs and bars
Stay away from participating in protests or rallies.
Do not travel alone at night, especially to the remote regions of the city.
Get travel insurance before flying to cover all your medical bills in case of an emergency
Stay away from stalls and restaurants that look untidy and unhygienic
Tap water in Saint Petersburg isn't safe at all. Hence, do rely on bottled water whenever necessary
No specific vaccination is required before flying.
WHAT TO PACK?
Health Insurance documents
Clothes (as per the weather)
Flip-flops and sandals
DRESS CODE & ETIQUETTE
Cover your head and shoulders before entering the premises of churches and other religious buildings.
Bring presents with you while visiting someone's house on an invitation.
Do not speak ill of Russian culture and traditions.
While drinking, make sure you do not put the emptied bottle back on the table. It is considered a sign of bad luck.
Remove your shoes and coat while entering a local's house.
The capital city of Russia, Moscow is a significant center of trade, culture, education, and politics in the country. Hence, it has been serving as a great tourist getaway for decades now. Visit it and explore the history of the country at the ancient wonders of Moscow Kremlin and Red Square. Measure the greatness of Saint Basil's Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Cruise the Moskva river or climb up the Ostankino Tower.
A beautiful country setting on the Baltic Sea, Estonia is popular for its millennium-old history as it has been in existence since the Prehistoric Period and the Viking age. Here, you would also find Bronze Age graves and marvelous castles from the Medieval Period. The country is also home to some of the most beautiful churches. Visit it and explore the unknown culture of Europe.
Another country on the Baltic Sea that would make for a great excursion, Latvia should be on your bucket list if you desire to savor a beautiful mix of history and nature. The country has castles, historical sites, forests, lakes, waterfalls, national parks, sandstone cliffs and more to look forward to.
One of the least-explored destinations in Europe, Belarus deserves to be admired for the country houses innumerable delights to offer. It has uncountable sites that would leave you in awe. Be it the 16th-century Nesvizh Radziwill Castle or the historic monument of Victory Square, everything has an interesting story to share. Visit the country and listen to their age-old legends.
Located in Saint Petersburg, Hermitage Museum is the oldest and the second-largest museum in the world. It has a surprising collection of more than 3 million artifacts.
Between 1914 and 1992, the city changed its name twice. From 1914 to 1924, it was known as Petrograd and from 1924 to 1992, it was called Leningrad.
Back in the early 18th century when the city was founded, Saint Petersburg served as the capital of Russia.
Saint Petersburg is popular for its coffee culture and hence, it is often referred to as the coffee capital of Russia. One would find coffee shops at every corner in the city.
One can enjoy several works of the greats like Leonardo Da Vinci and Picasso in the museums of Saint Petersburg.
Saint Petersburg holds the record for being the Russian city that has the greatest number of songs to its name.
An important part of Saint Petersburg tourism, Smolny Cathedral took about 87 years to complete. It holds the record for being the longest construction in the city.
The rapid transit metro in Saint Petersburg is one of the world's deepest subways.
Saint Petersburg also holds the distinction of having more than 300 bars and pubs, thereby, becoming the gastronomic capital of Russia.
Russian Ballet in Saint Petersburg is believed to be one of the oldest in the world as the city houses Vaganova Academy, the world's oldest ballet school.
The Hermitage Museum hires cats as employees to keep the building safe from rodents. You can also adopt one.
Saint Petersburg is generally believed to be named in the honor of its first emperor, Peter the Great. However, it is untrue as the city is named after Saint Peter.
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St Petersburg Short Break
Catch a glimpse of the life of the Tzar's in the imperial city of Russia famous for its compelling beauty, cultural identity, historic landmarks, and royal gardens.