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28 Best things to see & do in St Petersburg

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

State Hermitage Museum

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Green and white museum with horse and carriage outside

Experience

Vast complex housing a jaw-dropping collection of Egyptian antiquities, European Renaissance Art, treasure galleries and Russian military history. Second largest art museum in the world.

Adult price 5

Good for age: 18+

Catherine Palace

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Grand exterior of palace in daytime

Experience

A summer palace that’s a showcase for the grandeur of Imperial Russia, and a fascinating insight into the gilded lives of the Tsars.

Adult price 10

Good for age: 13+

Russia’s Tsars & their legacy

  • St Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Statue of tsar in boulevard

Experience

Visiting St. Petersburg is a chance to discover the larger-than-life personalities who ruled the city: the powerful Romanov dynasty aka the Tsars.

Good for age: 18+

Tsar’s Village

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Blue pavilion building in woods

Experience

The extraordinary summer retreat of the Russian tsars, home to exquisitely restored Baroque palaces and formal gardens, including the Catherine Palace.

Adult price 6

Good for age: 18+

Peterhof Palace

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Palace seen from fountain in gardens

Experience

Revel in the expansive grandeur of Imperial Russia at Peterhof, a staggering complex of palaces, gardens and follies, half an hour from central St. Petersburg.

Adult price 6

Good for age: 13+

St Petersburg’s extraordinary cathedrals & churches

  • St Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Blue and white painted cathedral rises between city buildings in square

Experience

Ornate onion-bulb domes, glittering mosaics and buildings on a vast scale make St Petersburg’s churches and cathedrals some of the most impressive in the world.

Good for age: 18+

Faberge Museum

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Faberge Museum

Experience

Discover the art of Peter Carl Faberge, creator of the Imperial Easter Eggs, in the museum dedicated to his craft.

Adult price 5

Good for age: 8+

Smolny Cathedral

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Blue and white painted cathedral rises between city buildings in square

Experience

An exquisite Baroque cathedral designed by St. Petersburg’s favourite architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

Adult price 3

Good for age: 18+

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on the Spilled Blood

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Large cathedral with domed towers by the canal

Experience

One of the city’s only traditional Russian churches, built on the spot of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II  1881, it is also the most beautiful, with jaw-dropping gold-leaf interiors.

Adult price 5

Good for age: 13+

Ballet & Opera at the Mariinsky Theatre

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Colourful frontage of theatre

Experience

Enjoy an unforgettable evening of classical ballet or opera at the world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre. It was here that Tchaikovsky’s famous ballets, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake were first performed.

Adult price 40

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2+ hours

Russian Museum

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Grand museum seen from exterior

Experience

Russia’s rich tradition of visual arts is celebrated in the network of buildings and gardens of the State Russian Museum, housing 400,000 exhibits dating back to the 10th century.

Adult price 5

Good for age: 18+

Peter & Paul Cathedral

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

Interior of cathedral with ornate pillars rising up to ceiling

Experience

The burial place of Russia’s Romanov tsars from Peter the Great to Nicholas II, the Cathedral was the first landmark to be built in the city, and is thus the oldest – dating back to 1733.

Adult price 7

Good for age: 18+

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Walk Nevsky Prospekt

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Busy street with tram lines

Experience

Wander through history as you traverse St Petersburg’s main thoroughfare – a grand, 3-mile boulevard of elegant facades, imposing buildings, basilicas, monuments and theatres.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2

Boat tours of St Petersburg’s canals

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Canal between city buildings with boats

Experience

Discover St Petersburg’s spectacular architecture from the water, with a slow-paced cruise through the city’s rivers, waterways and canals.

Adult price 7

Good for age: 4+

Duration: 1-2 hours

St Isaac’s Cathedral

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

  • Bucket List Experience

Gold domed cathedral by day

Experience

Dominating the city’s skyline, St Isaacs is magnificently decorated with Orthodox icons and frescoes, and offers panoramic views from the alfresco colonnade.

Adult price 3

Good for age: 18+

Yusupov Mansion

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

Yellow painted mansion on canal front

Experience

Visit the elegant mansion of the wealthy and colorful Yussupov family, the notorious site of the grisly murder of Grigory Rasputin in 1916.

Adult price 8

Good for age: 18+

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Dostoevsky Museum

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

Single bed in small room

Experience

Dostoyevsky’s apartment/house museum, located in the Haymarket, is where much of ‘Crime and Punishment’ is set and offers fascinating insights into the writer’s life and work.

Adult price 3

Good for age: 18+

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Kuntskamera

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

Kuntskamera

Experience

Founded by Peter the Great to house his collection of physical oddities and preserved ‘freaks’, this museum has a ghoulish lure; not for the faint-hearted, or children.

Adult price 6

Good for age: 13+

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House of Academics

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

Wide yellow villa

Experience

One of the city’s oldest and most famous apartment blocks, home to scores of Russian Scientists since 1708; the facade of the building has nearly 30 memorial plaques honoring its past residents. You can g inside and visit the house-museum of its most famous resident, the great physiologist Ivan Pavlov.

Good for age: 18+

Museum of Political History

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

Museum of Political History

Experience

This museum dedicated to Russia’s political history is housed in the exquisite art nouveau mansion gifted by Nicholas II to his mistress, a prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Adult price 6

Good for age: 18+

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Alexander Palace

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

Sweeping yellow palace in front of pond

Experience

Built on the orders of Catherine the Great for her grandson, the future Alexander I, this extraordinary, neoclassical palace in the Tsars’ Village was also home to the last tsar, Nicholas II, and his family and is considered one of the greatest creations by the renowned architect Giacomo Quarenghi.

Adult price 6

Good for age: 13+

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Kazan Cathedral

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

Cathedral with pillars and fountain

Experience

Looming over Nevsky Prospekt, the scale of Kazan is breathtaking. Modelled on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the church took ten years to build between 1801-11 and is famous for its impressive stone colonnade.

Good for age: 18+

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Kuznechny Food Market

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

Stall with dried fruit in baskets

Experience

Kuznechny Market offers a chance to step off the sightseeing trail and visit the city’s largest farmers’ market, with fresh produce, meat and fish. Open daily except Monday.

Good for age: 18+

Chesme Church

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

Chesme Church

Experience

Considered by some to be St. Petersburg’s most impressive single church, Chesme has a unique candystripe frontage, in pink and white, and an elegant, rose-hued interior.

Good for age: 18+

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Kronstadt Naval Cathedral

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

Gold domed white cathedral

Experience

A huge, Baroque confection, Kronstadt served as the main shrine for the Russian navy until the revolution in 1919. The Cathedral is actually two churches on separate floors, with opulent, gilded interiors.

Good for age: 18+

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Trinity Cathedral

  • St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia

blue domed cathedral in city centre

Experience

Instantly recognisable by its bright blue domes, Trinity was a former regimental church of the Russian Imperial Army, and is famous for its icons, dating back to the 18th century.

Good for age: 18+

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Literary Cafe

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

Pale yellow building on corner of street

Experience

St Petersburg’s oldest eatery is a favourite of Russia’s famous writers and an excellent place to sample traditional Russian food.

Good for age: 18+

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Philharmonic Hall

  • St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia

Large chandeliers in theatre

Experience

Enjoy a night of Russia’s outstanding classical music at the elegant Philharmonic Hall, right in the center of the city.

Adult price 30

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2+ hours

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