If you’ve visited Russia, it’s likely you visited St. Petersburg. This city is no doubt one of the best places to visit in Russia for a wonderful experience. However, you aren’t guaranteed anything if your visit isn’t carefully planned out. There are beautiful and exciting locations to behold in St. Petersburg and a carefully planned tour and location guide will ensure you see them. You haven’t got the most from your experience if you haven’t visited these hot spots.
1. The Hermitage
A day wasn’t enough for me to see The Hermitage and it certainly won’t be enough for anyone who really wants to explore. This broad collection of the world’s most beautiful art galleries, especially by greats like Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Picasso makes The Hermitage an unforgettable place to visit. Studies revealed it would take approximately 11 years to study all the exhibitions in entirety.
I enjoyed the view of the Imperial states room and the apartments, the Raphael Loggias gallery duplicate of the Vatican Museum. Also, you can find the War Gallery of 1812 here with all the portrait collections of Russian Military Leaders who defended Russia and defeated Napoleon in the 1812 patriotic war. Another wonderful place to visit in The Hermitage is the Treasure Gallery Room with the Gold and Diamond collection of the 2nd-century origin.
2. Church on Spilled Blood
Following the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, Church on Spilled Blood was constructed and still stands in the very spot of his assassination. The exuberant onion domes and Gaudy Mosaics make this magnificent building an extraordinary site. This building served its highest value during World War II where it was used to store Potatoes by the soviets while on siege by Nazi forces. In 1997, the church was finally reopened for public use. If you’ve visited St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, you will likely recognize the architecture this church is built with. I no doubt believe it’s one of the most exciting places to behold in the entire city.
3. Peter and Paul Fortress
As one of the first buildings ever constructed in the whole city, it holds much history. This fortress features the Baroque Peter and Paul Cathedral which by historical revelation was the final relaxation point of all Russia’s ancient leaders. One of the great exhibits of this fortress is the controversial and odd Statue of Peter the great and cells where the ancient revolutionaries were held. Also, make the most of your time and visit the beach.
While at the fortress, make sure to see Trubetskoy Bastion Prison where political prisoners like Maxim Gorky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Leon Trotsky were held in 1917. Taking a short stroll at the top of the fortress walls, you will have the most wonderful view of the Neva River. You also have the opportunity to see the highest tower in the city, Bell Tower, and the cathedral which has served as the burial home of most of the Russians Tsars since Peter the Great.
4. St Isaac’s Cathedral
The gilded viewing locations of St Isaac’s Cathedral make it one of the most famous landmarks in the city of St Petersburg. From this location, you have the most exciting views of the city. The beautiful statue of the apostles stands tall on the Cathedrals’ top and all of its doors ornately crafted in biblical scenes. Formally used as a museum of atheism in the soviet times, it retains it’s museum function even today and features various 19th-century art.
St Isaac’s Cathedral remains one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the whole world measuring over 300feet with Gold-Plated dome. You’ll sure be amazed by the magnificence of the building and the wonderfully decorated interior. The bronze entrance doors, the iconostasis flanked by Malachite and Lazulite columns, the colorful frescoes, the gold trim, the gold lettering and statues are sure to entrance you.
Peterhof (Petergof) is home to elegant palaces, fountains, and gardens. In front of the Hermitage, you can get a ferry leaving for Peterhof from the Jetty with just a 30-minute trip. If you prefer to bus, you can get one from Avtovo Metro Station to Peterhof with approximately a 45-minute trip.
Take one of the popular day trips to the Imperial Estate from the central city. If you’ve visited the grand palace, you can’t miss a visit to the Grand Cascade. The Grand Cascade features over 140 fountains and Canals.
6. Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Prospekt is the center of St. Petersburg cultural and social life, with countless cafes, bars, and restaurants.
Also, the center of St Petersburg (Nevsky Prospekt) is Russia’s most famous boulevard extending about 4 Kilometers from Alexander Nevsky Monastery and leading directly to the Admiralty near the Neva River which buzzes with life all the time. If you haven’t visited, then there isn’t a lot you can say about St Peterburg yet. The best Bookstore in the city “Dom Knigi” is located in here. A short walk through what used to be the best boulevard in all of Europe will help you see the beauty and life in this great city.
7. Tsarskoe Selo
Taking an electric train from Vitebsk Station will land you in Detskoe Selo and a bus should cover the rest of the trip to Tsarskoe Selo. If you have been to St Petersburg and haven’t visited Tsarskoe Selo, you have to visit again. The most magnificent estates in the whole country of Russia are located here, featuring the Amber Room, and that makes it a must-see destination. The glory of this location was lost for many years after the loot by Nazi Soldiers and has now been restored.
8. Russian Museum
If you ever desired to see Russia’s most beautiful homemade masterpieces, the Russian Museum is a great place to visit. The Russian Museum stands apart from the State Hermitage with its own appeal. You hardly can find any art here apart from Russian homemade masterpieces. Including the best religious icons and wonderful works by Kandinsky.
Featured photo credit: www.dongdui.com via cnn.com