If you are planning a holiday in Russia, it is odds-on that you are taking the iconic Trans-Siberian railway, which is by far the best way to experience this magical country. St. Petersburg will obviously be on your list and with that in mind, here are the best places to visit when in St. Petersburg.
THE WINTER PALACE
Also known as The Hermitage Museum, this is the number one tourist attraction in St. Petersburg, and for good reason. We recommend you spend a whole day here, as there is so much to see, with European art that spans several centuries, and sample the opulent lifestyle of Russian aristocracy by entering the State Rooms. If you have yet to book the trip, there are online tour operators that offer Trans-Siberian railroad tours, and with their help, you can prepare for what will be the train trip of a lifetime.
THE MARIINSKY THEATRE
Lovers of fine arts and ballet will surely have to visit this amazing venue, where you can experience world class orchestra music and traditional Russian ballet. You should see at least one evening performance, and more if time allows, as it really is an amazing performance that reflects the classic Russian culture.
EXPORE ST. PETERSBURG BY BOAT
The canals of the amazing city hold so much for the foreign tourist, and these trips are available from May to October. There are large boats that offer tours with English speaking narration (highly recommended), which helps you to understand their history.
You can’t visit St. Petersburg without seeing the Peterhof, which was Peter The Great’s summer residence. The palace was modelled on Versailles, which you would notice if you have ever been to Louis XVI’s glorious palace. You can spend days and still not see everything, so at least one day is advised, which will allow to explore this amazing palace.
ST. ISAAC’S CATHEDRAL
This stunning cathedral took 40 years to complete, and made with a special red granite, giving it a unique red tinge. There are group tours that last about 3 hours, with English speaking guides, and if you have a free day, this is a great way to spend it.
THE PETER + PAUL FORTRESS
You simply must visit this fortress, which is steeped in history, and was built at the very beginning of the city’s construction. Aside from being a burial site for Russian nobility, the fortress was mainly used as a prison, where political dissidents were kept. This place was greatly feared by the people, as stories of torture and execution were rife, yet in reality, it seems that the prisoners were actually treated well. There are also tours with English speaking guides that you should definitely check out.
Of course, there are many more interesting places to visit in St. Petersburg and with some online research, you can decide which are of the most interest to you. Once you have booked your berth on the Trans-Siberian railway, you can prepare yourself for what will be the train ride of a lifetime, and by joining the train in Moscow, you can go all the way to Vladivostok, which is on the east coast.