Russia’s second largest city, St. Petersburg, is undoubtedly the cultural capital of this country. Founded 300 years ago, St. Petersburg is still a young city by European standards. Despite this fact, many important historical events took place there. Just remember that the Russian Revolution started here at the beginning of the 20th century.
That being said, “Soviet” is a word that few people would dare to use to describe the city. As the capital of the Russian Empire for 200 years, the city is punctuated by grandiose buildings and palaces, making it one of the most majestic cities in Europe.
However, Russia is not very popular with tourists. Old and new prejudices are probably the reason. But the Russians are some of the friendliest people you can meet. In addition, Russia has a very low crime rate. So, we recommend you forget about the preconceived ideas and visit this country, because you will have an amazing trip!
In the following lines you will discover some of the most important tourist attractions in the most beautiful city of Russia, Saint Petersburg:
The Church of the Blessed Savior. It is the most popular tourist attraction in the city, being erected on the site of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II on March 13, 1881. The most popular images of the city certainly include this imposing and elegant church, made in the purest Russian style, with sumptuous ornaments and a plethora of plaques commemorating the facts of this country leader.
Alexander III began the construction of the church as a memorial to his late father. Like many other churches in Russia, the Church of the Blessed Savior is now a museum, having not only a spectacular exterior image, but also a grandiose interior, with incredibly beautiful colored mosaics.
The Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is not only one of the oldest museums in the world, but it is also one of the largest. It is located inside the Winter Palace of Empress Catherine the Great and has more than 1500 rooms. Leonardo da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Rubens, Picasso and Paul Gauguin are just a few of the sound names you will find signed on the great works of the museum. In total, the museum exhibits over 60,000 works of art, with about 3 million pieces in reserve.
We highly recommend you visit the Hermitage Museum, especially as it is included in the list of the most visited and appreciated 20 art museums in the world.
Peterhof Palace. Nicknamed the “Russian Versailles”, this complex of palaces and gardens located in Peterhof, Saint Petersburg, was built at the request of Peter the Great in direct response to the famous Palace of Versailles near Paris, made by Louis XIV- leagues of France. With breathtaking views of the Gulf of Finland, Peterhof Palace used to be the main summer residence of Russian countries. The interiors are magnificent, with classic furniture and rich decorations.
But visitors are attracted, especially, to the outside of the palace. With lots of golden domes and dozens of fountains, Peterhof is one of the most photographed places in St. Petersburg.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Considered to be a true architectural wonder, St. Isaac’s Cathedral is the largest Orthodox Basilica in the world and the fourth largest cathedral in the world. Basically, it is no longer just a church, but rather a museum, like the Church of the Blessed Savior. The cathedral also hosts services only during the most important holidays and only a small part of it is devoted to ordinary worship activities.
We suggest you climb to the top of the cathedral, because there you will find by far the best view of the city!
Mariinsky Theater. Russian opera and ballet are among the best in the world. We all know that. But not many know that of all the great opera houses in Russia, the Mariinsky Theater is the best. Opened in 1860, it hosted many of the premieres of Tchaikovsky’s masterpieces, Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky.
With opulent interiors of indescribable beauty, the theater can be visited during the tour. However, we recommend you to enjoy all its splendor by attending a show that takes place there. Just make sure you buy the tickets a few weeks before the show. The five tourist attractions mentioned in the above lines are just a few of the beauties of St. Petersburg. The city abounds in historical and cultural objectives that deserve the attention of tourists.