Things to Do in Saint Petersburg

The State Hermitage Museum


Catherine the Great furnished this vast six-building complex with masterworks, starting with the smallest. El Greco’s “Peter and Paul”, Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son” and the kooky “Peacock Clock” rank high in this cultural treasure trove, as do the rooms. Seek out the unassailable “Diamond Room” for Fabergé jewels and the “Golden Room” for Scythian artefacts.

Accommodations near The State Hermitage Museum
  • Dvortsovaya Ploshchad 2
  • Open Tuesday 10:30–18:00, Wednesday 10.30-21.00, Thursday 10:30–18:00, Friday 10.30-21.00, Saturday-Sunday 10.30-18.00
Saint Isaac's Cathedral


Saint Petersburgians call it “Isaky”. In fact, this 19th century cathedral is so beloved that it’s like visiting a local home. From holy space to museum, it’s the scene for brushes with all walks of life – blushing brides posing for wedding snaps, tourists traipsing the 562-step stairway to heavenly views, and folks admiring awe-inspiring devotional images and gold-leaf lustre.

Accommodations near Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood


Tsar Alexander II’s royal carriage was bombed here in 1881, killing him later that day. A congregation of artists sprang to action, erecting this poignantly named Orthodox church on the spot of his assassination. Mosaics line the marble walls and onion dome, formed into devotional images of Christ. This church is both a memorial and paean to the past.

Accommodations near Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood
  • Naberezhnaya Kanala Griboyedova 2, litera B
  • Open Monday & Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm, Thursday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm; changes seasonally (check website for details)
Kazansky Cathedral


Veer off Nevsky Prospekt and enter another world. Completed in 1818, this cathedral is a shining example of Empirical style. Dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, it's a beacon of peace and quietness, where the Orthodox pray and visitors stand awe-struck at its magnificence. The semi-circular colonnades, like the pathways, envelop the congregation.

Accommodations near Kazansky Cathedral
The Strelka (Spit of Vasilievsky Island)

Popular Areas

The story of the Rostral Columns is one of triumph and glory. Built in front of the old Stock Exchange in celebration of naval victory over the Swedes, they’re prowed with statues representing Russia’s four rivers – the Volga, Dnieper, Neva and Volkhov. While the building behind it is its own cabinet of curiosities, your eye will be drawn to the dramatic views – among the best in the city.

Accommodations near The Strelka (Spit of Vasilievsky Island)
  • Birzhevaya Ploshchad 4
State Russian Museum


A revered repository of Russian art. Built in the heyday of empire, this neoclassical complex is a suitably grand venue for the riches found within. Step inside and trace the history of Russia on canvas. Take in the 13th-century Byzantine-style icon of “The Angel with Golden Hair”, Bryullov’s Romantic epic “The Last Day of Pompeii” and Chagall’s colourful, modernist “The Walk”.

Accommodations near State Russian Museum
  • Ulitsa Inzhenernaya 4
  • Open Monday 10:00-20:00, Wednesday 10:00-18:00, Thursday 13:00-21:00, Friday-Sunday 10:00-18:00.
Peter and Paul Fortress


It all began here. Peter the Great broke ground on this fortress on Zayachy Island in 1703, hoping to protect his new city from the Swedes. A cultural cache lies within. The entire Romanov dynasty rests beneath the Cathedral’s spires and Trubetskoy Bastion was used to imprison Tsarist transgressors. Oddly, the beaches that run alongside are the city’s prime spots for sunbathing.

Accommodations near Peter and Paul Fortress
Summer Garden


Peter the Great had a great idea. Take a massive heath; add marble statues, ponds, grottoes and fountains; plant bright honeysuckle bushes and hawthorn trees and voilà – paradise on earth. Founded in 1704, this park is both opulent in the imperial mould, and startlingly modest. For proof, see “Letny Dvorets”, Peter's two-level summer house at the northern end.

Accommodations near Summer Garden
  • Naberezhnaya Reki Moyki 1A
  • Changes seasonally.
Nevsky Prospekt

Popular Areas

Hit the city’s commercial nerve. Assailed with smart-suited eight-to-fivers and blithe browsers all the live-long day, come here to shop, dine or assess your “prospects”: Anichkov Palace, a baroque message-in-a-bottle from Russia’s long-lost imperial family; traverse a triumvirate of beautiful bridges (Anichkov, Kazansky, Zelyony) or take the kids to picnic-friendly Tavrichesky Garden.

Accommodations near Nevsky Prospekt
  • Nevsky Prospekt
Mariinsky Theatre


Chassé the night away at the ballet! Since the curtains rose on Tchaikovsky's "Queen of Spades" in the winter of 1890, virtually every major ballet (and opera) has been performed here for the city's cultivated classes. Pavlova and Nizhinsky have both danced here. Its ceiling is occupied by a huge mural of angels holding hands, possibly in celebration of the heavenly acoustics!

Accommodations near Mariinsky Theatre

Accommodations and Hotels in Saint Petersburg

Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg

8.7 Excellent

Score from 2439 reviews


Average price per night
  • Nevsky Prospekt 57, Tsentralny, Saint Petersburg
Angleterre Hotel

8.7 Excellent

Score from 1594 reviews


Average price per night
  • Bolshaya Morskaya Str.39, Admiralteyskiy, Saint Petersburg
Park Inn by Radisson Pulkovskaya

7.5 Good

Score from 2126 reviews


Average price per night
  • Pl.Pobedy 1, Moskovskiy, Saint Petersburg
Petr Hotel

9 Wonderful

Score from 1882 reviews


Average price per night
  • Admiralteysky Prospekt, 8, Admiralteyskiy, Saint Petersburg
Petro Palace Hotel

8.8 Excellent

Score from 2765 reviews


Average price per night
  • Ulitsa Malaya Morskaya 14, Admiralteyskiy, Saint Petersburg
Taleon Imperial Hotel

9 Wonderful

Score from 1317 reviews


Average price per night
  • Nab.Reki Moyki 59, Tsentralny, Saint Petersburg
Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky

8.1 Very good

Score from 2246 reviews


Average price per night
  • Goncharnaya Street 4A, Tsentralny, Saint Petersburg
Solo Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge

8.3 Very good

Score from 2878 reviews


Average price per night
  • Birzhevoy Pereulok 2-4, Vasileostrovskiy, Saint Petersburg
Original Sokos Hotel Olympia Garden

8.4 Very good

Score from 1680 reviews


Average price per night
  • Bataysky Pereulok 3A, Admiralteyskiy, Saint Petersburg
Discover Saint Petersburg

Popular Neighborhoods in Saint Petersburg


1584 properties

A cluster of inner-city areas. Culture meets commerce on Nevsky Prospekt, a rolling strip of neon-lit storefronts, church edifices and non-stop people-movement. Veer off for the best bits: the Hermitage for boundless paintings and bejewelled Tsarist trinkets, Tavrichesky Garden for solitude under the oak trees, and cappuccinos at Schastye Café.


447 properties

A nod to the neoclassical. The Admiralty Building (a naval academy) and Saint Isaac’s Cathedral represent the style at its finest. This is an affluent area, where Saint Petersburg’s elite live lives of pomp and privilege in the city’s oldest district, with canals reminiscent of Amsterdam. Stroll in Yusupovsky Garden, then take tea at Teplo (an inviting little restaurant).


356 properties

Gateway to Saint Petersburg. Most journeys along Moskovsky Prospekt pass the Moscow Triumphal Gate, a cast-iron neoclassical construction. The entire area bears an air of incompleteness because development was halted after Stalin’s death. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find Moskovsky Victory Park, awash with cafés and wholesome family entertainment.


205 properties

Romantic and affluent. These seven islands, the largest of which is Petrogradsky, are all linked by bridges. See the stunning environs of the Peter and Paul Fortress and Aleksandrovsky Park. Founded in 1842 during the reign of Tsar Nicholas I, the park holds small-scale bronze reproductions of iconic Russian buildings, and an impressive Planetarium.


150 properties

Scholars, hipsters and urbanites. This slightly secluded area teems with students from the State University. Industrial leftovers, colonised by students, dovetail between hole-in-the-wall cafes and quirky local bars. For the area’s prime picks, see mixed media exhibitions at the Erarta Museum of Modern Art, or views from the “Spit”.


135 properties

A concrete rose. Awash with forsaken steel-and-brick factories, scorned buildings and uncherished old churches, this quiet outer-city district is celebrated for one rare bloom. Unsung Shuvalovsky Park is wild and verdant, a mere taste of Russia’s incredible wildlife – come here with good walking shoes.

Local Tips for Saint Petersburg

Loft Project Etagi
Anastasia by Anastasia

Anastasia is in love with travelling, and is most inspired by globetrotting adventures in Asia.

Housed in a former bakery, this 5-storey art cluster lets you admire modern art galleries, dine at the café or shop for books on design and architecture. Head to the rooftop if you want to capture beautiful historical shots of the city on film.

Ekaterina by Ekaterina

Ekaterina believes that the secret to happiness is good company and the right attitude!

If you’re in Saint Petersburg on a beautiful summer’s day, take a one-day trip to the town of Pavlovsk to “ooh” and “ahh” at the sight of the majestic 18th-century neoclassical Russian palace, the Russian state museum and surrounding public park.

Galina by Galina

At the tender age of seven, Galina watched a theatre performance and fell in love – with ballet.

The Chizhik-Pyzhik statue might be one of the smallest in Saint Petersburg, but the fact that it was stolen on more than one occasion tells you its worth. People say your wish will come true if the coin you throw stays on the monument, so bring some change to find out how lucky you are!

  • Fontanki, Pantelejmonov Bridge
Kirov Central Park
Rafael by Rafael

Rafael loves to find nature in large cities: in Saint Petersburg, that means Kirov Central Park.

Kirov Central Park on Elagin Island is the perfect summer place to enjoy some fresh air, go on a boat trip, ride a bike or just say hello to the cheeky squirrels. In the colder season, you can also indulge in some skiing, sledging or ice-skating fun!

  • Yelagin Island 4
  • Open Monday-Sunday 06:00-23:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Ekaterininsky Park
Stanislav by Stanislav

Stanislav is not kidding when he says Saint Petersburg is the most beautiful city in the world.

Take a short trip to Pushkin, to the peace and quiet of Ekaterininsky Park. You can find various sculptures amid the beautiful landscaped greenery. While you’re here, hop over to Catherine Palace to see where famous Russian poet and author Alexander Pushkin studied.

  • Ulitsa Sadovaya 7, Pushkin
  • Open Monday-Sunday 07:00-21:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Café Singer
Alla by Alla

Adventure-seeker Alla believes that everyone is a tourist, even in the city in which they live!

Located on the 2nd floor of bookworm heaven House of Books, Café Singer is where you can indulge in a slice of cake or a pastry and a cup of coffee (accompanied by a good book of course). Choose a window seat to delight in views over the Kazansky Cathedral.

  • Nevsky Prospekt 28
  • Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-23:00
See what other visitors said

Best of Saint Petersburg

Just go to the shows, there is something for everybody: museums, churches, theaters, opera, balet, books and I can keep going like this.....

The Winter Palace. The Hermitage. The Russian Museum. Visit in the winter! No crowds, no waiting, no rushing. Pure bliss.

We downloaded an app for the Hermitage that worked great for a free tour.

Consider taking the night trip on the hired boat. Channels are beautiful

Hermitage, fine dining, shopping, nice neighbourhoods and more!

great architecture, spirit of barocco, royal family

Walk the city center, everything is close by.

The architecture and atmosphere.


Saint Petersburg Transportation

Air – Pulkovo International Airport

Pukovo is Saint Petersburg’s main airport. A 30-minute taxi ride to the city centre costs RUB 600-900 – book at the counter in Arrivals. Alternatively, you can take the K39 marshrutka (minibus) to Moskovskaya Metro Station. It runs every 5 minutes from 07:00–23:30 and the 15-minute journey costs RUB 40. You can also get there on the non-stop 39Э bus, which takes around 20 minutes and costs RUB 30. From Moskovskaya, it’s another 20 minutes by metro to the centre.


Moskovsky is the city's central train station, but there are 4 other stations so check carefully to ensure you’re at the one your train departs from. Both high-tech Sapsan trains (tickets from RUB 1040-19448) and older Nevsky Express trains (tickets from RUB 850-1860) make the 4-hour journey to Moscow. There are also direct routes to other parts of Russia, Europe and Asia, including China, Mongolia and North Korea! Tickets can be bought online or at stations.


The metro is the fastest and most convenient way to get around the city, and many of the stations are also stunningly beautiful. Trains operate between around 05:45–00:30 and arrive every 2-3 minutes during the day – check timetables for services early in the morning and late at night. A RUB 35 zheton (token) can be bought from a ticket desk or machine at most stations. Some stations provide multilingual information for non-Russian speakers, but don’t rely on this.


The upside is that Saint Petersburg has an extensive bus network, but the downside is that it can be confusing and your journey might take longer depending on traffic. Buses operate from 05:30–00:30 and routes are indicated at most bus stops, but only in Cyrillic! Bus stops can be identified by the letter ‘A’ (Avtobus) or ‘T’. Tickets cost about RUB 30 and can be bought directly from the bus conductor.


Trams are a slow but cheap way to check out the city if you don’t want to walk. Stops have a letter ‘T’ sign above the tracks and trams arrive every 20-30 minutes, usually running between 06:00-00:00. On board, conductors wearing uniforms or red armbands will sell you tickets at RUB 30 (have small change ready!). The kontrolyor (inspector) comes around at times to make sure no one’s getting a free ride. Don’t expect anyone to speak anything other than Russian.


There are many unlicensed taxis in Saint Petersburg (including some that look like official ones), so avoid flagging taxis in the street. Though pricier, it’s safer to book a taxi by calling a reputable company. An approximate amount will be quoted for your journey and a car will be dispensed to you within around 20 minutes. English speaking operators are not guaranteed. Try to avoid travelling in rush hour traffic (08:00–10:00 and 18:00–20:00).


Driving in Saint Petersburg is not everyone’s cup of tea. Traffic can be daunting, roads may be bumpy, and both parking spaces and signs in English are rare. Adding to that, your fellow drivers may not be the friendliest or most courteous in the world. If you decide to rent a car, note that the eagle-eyed local traffic police are constantly on the prowl, demanding Russian-translated proof that you are at least 18 and have an international driving licence.

Food in Saint Petersburg

Top Restaurants in Saint Petersburg

Mid-Range Fare
Mid-Range Fare
Bar Bites
  • Bolshaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa 14
  • Open Monday–Thursday 12:00–01:00, Friday–Saturday 12:00–03:00, Sunday 12:00–01:00
  • 007 8129648040
Upscale Dining
Da Vinci
  • Malaya Morskaya Ulitsa 15
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:00–02:00
  • 007 8123159334
Upscale Dining
Cheap Eats
Obshestvo Chistykh Tarelok
Cheap Eats
Cheap Eats
  • Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa 36
  • Open Monday–Sunday 10:00–22:00
Upscale Dining
Staraya Tamozhnya
Mid-Range Fare
Casa Del Myaso
Mid-Range Fare
  • Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa 45
  • Open Monday–Thursday 09:00–00:00, Friday 09:00–01:00, Saturday 11:00–01:00, Sunday 11:00–00:00
  • 007 8125701974
Cheap Eats
Check Point Cafe
  • Pereulok Antonenko 5
  • Open Monday–Friday 08:00–21:00, Saturday–Sunday 11:00–21:00
  • 007 8129415433
Mid-Range Fare
  • Galernaya Ulitsa 11
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:00–23:00
  • 007 8125706661
Upscale Dining
  • Konnogvardeysky Bulvar 4
  • Open Monday–Thursday 10:00–00:00, Friday 10:00–04:00, Saturday 11:00–04:00, Sunday 11:00–00:00
  • 007 8126010160
Upscale Dining
Letuchiy Gollandets
Upscale Dining
Upscale Dining
Cheap Eats
Mid-Range Fare
Denisov & Nikolayev
Upscale Dining
Dans Le Noir?
Cheap Eats
Testo Mesto
Upscale Dining
Dvoryanskoye Gnezdo
Mid-Range Fare
Ustrichny Bar
Mid-Range Fare
Bar Bites
Calcio Trattoria
Mid-Range Fare
Cheap Eats
  • Naberezhnaya Makarova 16
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:00–23:00
  • 007 8129222606
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