St. Petersburg, Russia was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great. The former capital of the Russian Empire, today it is the most important Russia’s cultural center, with outstanding architecture, world-famous Mariinsky Theatre, the State Museum of Hermitage showcasing Russian art as well as masterpieces of Rembrandt, da Vinci, Michelangelo and Picasso and ancient art from Greece, Italy, and China.
On our St Petersburg Russia tours and day excursions, you will plunge into the world of luxury, outstanding art and history.
Tours in St Petersburg will introduce you to the lives of the Romanov dynasty and the city created by the Tzars revealing their stunning legacy.
Churches, palaces, and museums of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg has a true wealth of churches, palaces, and museums offering stunning experiences to the visitors. You can explore spectacular Imperial palaces, spend days in world-class museums, or walk in the footsteps of the cities literary and artistic greats.
There is more than enough to see and do in St. Petersburg to keep travelers entertained for weeks or even months. One of the biggest challenges is to work out what you will have time to fit into the itinerary. Whatever time you have for St Petersburg a few objects cannot be missed.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral
The skyline of St. Petersburg’s historic center is dominated by the grand gold dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. It is a life’s work of French architect Auguste de Montferrand and the city’s largest and most spectacular religious building. It took St. Isaac’s over forty years to build and decorate and was completed in 1858. Its European Empire-style facades and colonnades are made unique of red Karelian granite, while the interiors amaze with the extravagance in the materials used: semiprecious stones from all over Russia form the interior walls and columns. After visiting the Cathedral interiors, travelers can climb the 300 steps up to the colonnade and get some of the best views of St. Petersburg.
The magnificent Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace is unmissable on any walk down Nevsky Prospek. It looks like an imposter. Despite its grand rococo facades, it dates from the 1840s and seems to have been built to ape the opulence of the Stroganov Palace at the other end of Nevsky Prospekt.
The Catherine Garden with the monument to Catherine II is an informal name of the park located in front of the Alexandrinskiy Theatre. It was made under the project of architect K. Rossi and is a part of the Ostrovskiy Square complex.
John Lennon Street
In a bright and colorful archway in the courtyard of a contemporary art complex, there is a sign with a big blue arrow pointing to the sky: “John Lennon Street”. This unique little place was started by a Beatles fan Nikolai Vasin who wanted to name one of Saint Petersburg’s already established streets under the beloved band, but city authorities refused his idea. Then Vasin got creative and designed a street sign, placed it over the archway, and added an arrow pointing up which means that the street isn’t on the ground and thus does not fall under the jurisdiction of officials.
This massive cathedral was built in the 19th century to the glory of Russian arms and resembles St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
The Bronze Horseman. This monument was built by the Empress Catherine the Great as a tribute to her famous predecessor on the Russian throne, Peter the Great.
The Column was erected to the Russian military victory in the war with Napoleon’s France. Named after Emperor Alexander I, the column is a stunning piece of architecture and engineering.
There is no garden more famous and poetic than the Summer Garden. It was designed personally by Peter the Great in 1704. The garden shares its name with the adjacent Summer Palace. Many 18th century foreign masters helped to shape and develop the park into something truly special. Apart from its statues and fountains, the Summer Garden plays an important role in Russian literature as well. Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s most beloved poet, chose the garden as the setting for walks of his character Evgeny Onegin. The iron-cast railing, separating the park from the public walk of the Palace Embankment, designed by Georg von Veldten was considered by the poet Anna Akhmatova and other artists to be one of the symbols of St. Petersburg.
St Petersburg is one of Europe’s great cultural cities, and it offers visitors endless opportunities to discover its treasures.