What to do and see in St. Petersburg, Russia: The Best Places and Tips

September 2, 2017 Marlin Saiz

The second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural heart. View splendid architectural gems like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and give yourself plenty of time to browse the world-renowned art collection of the Hermitage. Sprawling across the Neva River delta, St. Petersburg offers enough art, nightlife, fine dining and cultural destinations for many repeat visits.
Restaurants in St. Petersburg

1. Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Griboyedov Canal Emb., 2A, St. Petersburg 191011, Russia +7 812 315-16-36
Excellent
84%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 17 reviews

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Built to memorialize Alexander II following his assassination in 1881, this magnificent church with Italian pink marble floors and numerous mosaics was modeled after 16th and 17th century churches, contrasting sharply with the prevailing architectural styles.

Reviewed By Mozgolosky - Toronto, Canada

You've got to see this beautiful church in person. It's on par with the one in Red Square and just screams "Russia" when you see it. I never went inside but some friends did and they said that it wasn't really worth it. Just look at it from the outside and take some photos. Truly iconic church in St. P

2. Peterhof Grand Palace

Razvodnaya St., 2, Peterhof, St. Petersburg 198516, Russia +7 812 450-52-87
Excellent
79%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Peterhof Grand Palace

Once a formal garden built for Peter the Great, this popular park still has more than 80 of the original marble statues and sculptures and houses Peter's Summer Palace, a simply designed two-story building that now displays many of the ruler's own artifacts.

Reviewed By Allkuans - Singapore, Singapore

We traveled to Peterhof Grand Palace by commuter train from Baltiisky Railway Station (Baltic Railway Station) to Novly Peterhof (New Peterhof) Station. From here, we took UberX to the Palace gate.
The entrance was poorly signposted but we walked in the general direction of the palace and reached the palace park. During winter season, there is no charge to enter Lower Park The entrance to the Grand Peterhof Palace is located in the centre of the building flanked by the Special Treasury Exhibition and the Church Wing, at the further end.
We had earlier done online booking for all 3 attractions. The Special Treasury was worth visiting and Grand Peterhof Palace was not to be missed. The Church Wing ... well, in my opinion only if you have the time.
The exchange of the online booking voucher for the entry ticket was straightforward. Audio guide was available only for the Grand Peterhof Palace. One tip is to bring your own earphones to plug into the audio guide. Tour of Special Treasury was conducted only in Russian.
Grand Peterhof Palace has been masterfully restored and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Peterhof is comparable to Versailles Palace in almost every aspects. The Lower Park was very beautiful in winter and the Cascade was stunning even though the water Fountain was not functional in winter. One advantage of visiting during winter is the smaller crowd.

3. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace

Dvortsovaya Square, 2, St. Petersburg, Russia +7 812 710-90-79
Excellent
83%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 20 reviews

State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace

One of the most famous art museums in the world, this museum is housed in the Winter Palace, and contains over 2.7 million exhibits including some of the world's greatest works of art.

Reviewed By opelikatravels - opelika alabama

I had a private tour with Marina tours and was stunned by the opulence of the palace. This is something that must be experienced to believe. I am just sorry that I did not plan to spend more time in St. Petersburg as 4 hours at the museum wets ones desire to linger for days in order to be able to truly appreciate all the art and gilded architecture. I added a tour of the treasures rooms and would recommend this if you have time. Thank you Irina for bringing history alive

4. The Museum Complex The State Museum St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Isaakiyevskaya Sq., 4 | Nevskiy Prospekt metro station, St. Petersburg 190000, Russia +7 812 315-97-32
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 8 reviews

The Museum Complex The State Museum St. Isaac’s Cathedral

This gold-domed, ornate, 19th-century Cathedral is the third largest domed Cathedral in the world, and offers visitors a 300-step climb to a spectacular view of the city.

Reviewed By fab55 - West Lothian

For 400 roubles you get access to the beautiful interior and to the viewing deck at the dome. I would definitely advise the 300 or so steps to the dome (assuming you are fit enough) to get a great view of the city. The internal artwork is simply amazing, among the best I have ever seen. The place wasn't too busy when I was there, however it was snowing on and off! Easily walkable from the Hermitage area.

5. The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt

Yakornaya sq, 1, Kronshtadt, St. Petersburg 197762, Russia 601-09-94
Excellent
87%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
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5 based on 2 reviews

The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt

Reviewed By ronvoyage - Sequim, Washington

Just an hour drive from St. Petersburg is the Naval Cathedral in Kronstadt which is an active Russian Naval Base. The town was once closed to foreigners, but now everyone is allowed to visit. The Cathedral is a beautiful building that honors Russian sailors who perished at sea. There is no cost, so the drive is worthwhile. Public transportation is also available.

6. Chapel of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg

Kamskaya, 24V, St. Petersburg 199178, Russia
Excellent
92%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
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Terrible
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5 based on 310 reviews

Chapel of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg

Reviewed By ExpatriateInGermany - Stuttgart, Germany

Even if you are not Orthodox, you will like the little chapel, serene yet beautiful, and the surrounding cemetery. There are two other churches, the one in the cemetery is a typical St. Petersburg 19th century church, while the one just outside, currently under renovation, is really beautiful.
There are crowds on weekends, so you might have to wait in line if you want to get inside.

7. Park And Gardens of Peterhof

Razvodnaya st., 2, Peterhof, St. Petersburg, Russia +7 812 450-52-87
Excellent
86%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 676 reviews

Park And Gardens of Peterhof

Reviewed By BobandJosie - Reading, United Kingdom

With snow still very much around, and crunching underfoot, we looked down from the main Terrace overlooking the Fountains (not working) and the sumptuous gilded statuary surrounding the cascades. Peter the Great truly created his own grand version of Versailles!

8. Grand Maket Russia Interactive Museum

Tsvetochnaya St., 16, St. Petersburg 196084, Russia +7 812 495-54-65
Excellent
84%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Grand Maket Russia Interactive Museum

On the 8th of June in 2012 the national show-museum «Grand Maket Rossiya» opened its doors hospitably for the wide auditory. By this time, thousands of citizens and quests of our city watched this unique exhibition. On the layout area of 800 square meters you will see the generalized images of cities and regions of Russia. Hundreds of moving trains and cars, sound and light effects add dynamics to the exposition and thousands of tiny figures make the genre scenes. Add the astonishing effect of day and night changing doesn`t leave a single visitors indifferent.

Reviewed By JCG806 - Dundee, United Kingdom

My adult daughter and I spent a great full day here. Entrance is R480. The models are so intricately done. Every now and then the lighting changes to indicate sundown and also there are lightning and thunderstorms effects. There are buttons you can press to high light some of the places on display. Amazing exhibition. Would highly recommend it both for the young an the old. They have a restaurant there. Food is reasonably priced.

9. Kirov Central Park of Culture and Recreation

Elagin Island, 4, St. Petersburg 197110, Russia +7 812 430-09-11
Excellent
89%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
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5 based on 119 reviews

Kirov Central Park of Culture and Recreation

Reviewed By Oleg Y - Belgrade, Serbia

Here, on Elagin Island we liked to be during our stay in St Petersburg. Not only because of some historic buildings such as Elagin Palace, but above all for the beautiful park, called Kirov Central Park of Culture and Recreation. We made some pleasant walks here, in the park's real forest. You can practise here during the year, the different sports, as in the winter the skating,skiing and sledging and in the summer badminton, taking the boat riding or simply rambling along the numerous park's paths. Beautiful are also a number of lakes, here on the island, among the park's groves.
Not to miss when in St Petersburg.

10. The Bath Block

Nizhny park | Peterhof State Museum Preserve, Peterhof, St. Petersburg 198516, Russia +7 812 450-56-52
Excellent
85%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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5 based on 850 reviews

The Bath Block

Reviewed By Uladzimir P

Brilliant attraction) we spent a lot time enjoying there! All my family liked it so much! Souvenirs there are not overpriced.

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