St. Petersburg is a place like no other. The distinctly regal feeling, the glamour, the imperial history and its long summer nights make this city an unforgettable destination. There is so much to see and do, you will probably need a few weeks there. I will list the highlights of our trip so you don’t get lost.
Let’s start with the Hermitage museum. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764. Originally, there was only one building housing the collection, but nowadays the museum encompasses many buildings on the Palace Embankment and its neighbourhoods. The Hermitage has three million pieces of art in several buildings across St. Petersburg.
29 kilometers away from St. Petersburg, the imperial estate of Peterhof is one of the most popular day trips from the city. The Grand Palace is opulent and extravagant, but the highlight of Peterhof is the Grand Cascade – a series of about 150 fountains and canals behind the Grand Palace. Beyond the Grand Cascade, there are impeccably maintained gardens with fountains, gazebos and some smaller palaces.
The view of the Grand Cascade with the Grand Palace behind is truly breathtaking.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one the most famous sights in St. Petersburg. It is located where Tsar Alexander II was killed in 1881 and it features 7000 square meters of mosaics on the interior. The church was built between 1883 and 1907, funded by the imperial family.
Two of the best performances I have seen in my entire life were in St. Petersburg. Inside the Nickolayevsky Palace we saw an unforgettable folkshow performance. Two hours of a dynamic and colorful show, with folk songs and dance.
The other grand performance was the russian ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. The Swan Lake has become a symbol of Russian art itself. A trip to St. Petersburg is not complete without seeing at least one of those performances.
And…if you are lucky enough…you will stumble upon a bear cub around the city 🙂