Top things to do in Saint Petersburg

Attractions, tours and activities in Saint Petersburg

Recommended museums in Saint Petersburg

Where to discover culture and the arts in Saint Petersburg

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About Saint Petersburg

Including tips for the best time to visit Saint Petersburg

Blending Russian culture with a variety of Western influences, Saint Petersburg is a curious creation. It was Russia’s imperial capital for two centuries after being founded by Peter the Great, whose legacy is preserved in the city’s iconic Bronze Horseman statue. He and his successors invited Europe’s leading architects to fill the city with spectacular palaces, baroque cathedrals and Renaissance-style buildings – all of which remain perfectly intact today.

Cruise along the city’s historic Neva River on a canal boat tour and take in the neoclassical facades of sights like the Mariinsky Theatre, Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum. The latter is the world’s largest art museum, housing everything from ancient Greek sculptures to masterpieces by Michelangelo in its staggering three million-strong collection. You’ll need at least a couple of days to properly appreciate this major tourist attraction.

Other landmarks not to be missed include the Peter and Paul Fortress, Church of the Savior of Spilled Blood, and Peterhof Palace – a vast complex of extravagant palaces, gardens and fountains.

But there’s much more to Saint Petersburg than elegant architecture. On Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s main street, you’ll find countless bars, restaurants and shops to keep you occupied when you’re not sightseeing.

Direct flights to Pulkovo Airport, which serves Saint Petersburg, are common throughout Europe.


From £12 per night

This weekend

From £24 per night

Next weekend

From £26 per night

Most popular time to visit June–August
Cheapest time to visit November–January
Local currency RUB 100 = £1.02
Language Russian
Average weekend price £39 per night
Average weekday price £40 per night
Typical stay 2 nights

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Saint Petersburg reviews

What other travellers say about Saint Petersburg


Marvelous and lovely!

12 October 2021

Marvelous and lovely!!! And I discovered VeganGo cafe right opposite the Nekrasov museum on Ligovskij prospect! Everybody interested in things Vegan must visit it. Beautiful menu. 24/7. Gorgeous variety of traditional and creative Vegan extravaganzas! The prices... Of course, they always can be better, but these are the best Vegan eatery prices in the Russian Federation of nowadays. Go Saint Petersburg! Go Nekrasov! Go "Sovremennik"! Go Vegan! 24/7. The city never sleeps! Most likely the best Vegan fast food cafeteria in the former USSR...

Petr Russia

It is a nice, well lit, beautifully maintained city.

6 October 2021

It is a nice, well lit, beautifully maintained city. The drawback is the people generally don't speak English. Secondly, the people don't give the correct advice to tourists regarding the best route and mode of transport to reach a tourist place . The staff at the metro station, taxi drivers, policemen, hotel front desk people, are not able to converse in English. How can Russia in general expect a boost to tourism? The metro network is not that great as in Moscow. It is better to travel by cab. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT buy the city sight seeing pass. It is a waste of money.

Sanjeevani Nene
Sanjeevani Nene India

One of the most beautiful cities in the world!

3 October 2021

One of the most beautiful cities in the world! My second trip and I will be back. You must do the DRAWBRIDGES tour with ASTRA MARINA as well as their dinner trip. The food is good and prices are reasonable. The boat is amazing and the trip is just magnificent. Another must see is the Hermitage and the Impressionists at the General Staff Building. Pop into Catherine Palace and make sure to take the Hydrofoil to Peterhof on a sunny day. And last but not least, go to see the opera or ballet at the Marinsky!


In St.

31 August 2021

In St. Petersburg people are used to tourists and service in English is more widely available than elsewhere in Russia. Good cuisine easy to find, I recommend Georgian and Armenian. You never run out of places to visit.

Mikko Finland

This was by far not the first trip to the city for me, so I...

28 August 2021

This was by far not the first trip to the city for me, so I mostly went to the out-of-the-way locations, ones that require prior booking, etc. Sadly, I only got the dates for the trip a short time before it, so a few of the sights fell through because the tickets were all gone by the time I tried to book. Still had a great time, particularly during yet another visit to the Hermitage. The site (and the signs) say that you can only get there for two hours at a time, and must stick to a marked route, but factually, no one cares if you overstay, and you can walk around the "No Entry" through other rooms. Furthermore, I greatly enjoyed my visit to the House of Scientists - a building just a couple houses down Dvortsovaya embankment from Hermitage's Winter Palace, one that used to be a Great Knyaz palace. It appears to be the most well-preserved of the palaces in St.Petersburg, and the interior certainly looks impressive. Finally, out at the far end of Vasilyevsky island, the D-2 Narodovolets submarine is a great museum ship; our visit was made much better by us going in the morning of a workday, so we were all but alone it its still bowels. Don't believe the online map data, though, it opens 10am, not 11. On the other hand, there were also disappointments. Say, the winter palace of Peter I is essentially a single wall surviving from the building, a single basement (into which they won't even let you), and three tiny reconstructed rooms with the Emperor's personal details which you have to view through the windows. I felt it a waste of time and money, frankly. Furthermore, the S-189 sub is supposed to be a museum ship, but the visits are so aggravatingly badly organized ("wait here for the next group to exit; we'll let the next group in, but we won't say when and won't say how many people, just chill here in the cold") that I chose to leave rather than wait for who knows what and how long.

danvolodar Russia

Great city, lots of history, plenty of activities to enjoy,...

25 August 2021

Great city, lots of history, plenty of activities to enjoy, very tourist friendly. Everyone will find something to do here: museums, art galleries, multiple venues featuring contemporary art exhibits, shopping, live music, roof tops, boat excursions, taking you down the canals, under the multiple unique bridges and, of course, theatre, ballet, fun bars and restaurants. Getting around is pretty easy: the metro, rentals, taxis, bikes, scooters and (seasonal) water taxis. Depending on the duration of your trip, visiting the picturesque suburbs is a must! Stunning palaces, gardens and fountains attract thousands of people to these historic areas. If you get a taste of Saint-Petersburg once, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this northern gem, granted the weather is merciful and you’re properly accessorized (an umbrella, comfy shoes, a raincoat/a coat are highly recommended). If you’re not sure what to start with, while planning your trip, ask a local! The people love their city and will be happy to come up with a piece of advice or a helpful phone number.

Anastasia United States

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