St. Petersburg

Travel Guide
St. Petersburg featuring a park, night scenes and a fountain
Cruise along canals, tour architectural masterpieces and enjoy festivals under a midnight sun in Russia’s second-largest city.

See grand buildings, stately boulevards, golden spires, windings canals and opulent art in St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s most impressive cities. The former capital of the Russian Empire was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 to show off the country’s imperial might. Today, it is Russia's cultural capital and a burgeoning tourist center of galleries, museums, palaces and cathedrals.

In the historic center, visit the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, built on the exact spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. Beneath its multicolored domes is a richly decorated building with thousands of square feet of mosaics. Explore St. Isaac’s Cathedral, one of Russia’s largest churches. At the Peter and Paul Fortress, see the tombs of the Romanovs, the imperial dynasty that ruled Russia for 300 years.

St. Petersburg has much to offer art lovers. Inside the colossal baroque Winter Palace, find the Hermitage. One of Russia's largest museums, it holds more than 3 million works of art and historic artifacts. For more art and culture, examine paintings by native artists at the Russian Museum. Learn about folklore and traditions by visiting the Russian Ethnography Museum.

Also known as "Venice of the North," St. Petersburg is built on a number of islands and crisscrossed by canals and rivers. For a different city perspective, cruise the waterways on a boat.

Enjoy a unique experience with a visit to St. Petersburg in June for the White Nights. During these midsummer evenings the sun barely sets and the city hosts several festivals. See opera, ballet and musical performances at the White Nights Festival. Revel in the Scarlet Sails, a huge celebration with fireworks, concerts and a water show.

Reach St. Petersburg by flying into Pulkovo Airport. Get around by public transportation or rental car. Enjoy the city’s history, culture and attractions, and save some time to venture farther afield. St. Petersburg is within easy reach of the sumptuous estates of the Romanov Tsars including Peterhof Palace and Pavlovsk Palace.

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