Visit St Petersburg
St Petersburg rivals Venice and Paris as one of the world's most romantic cities. Built to order by Peter the Great it is home to grand palaces, galleries and theatres including the magnificent Hermitage.
St Petersburg, Russia
Located at the eastern tip of the Baltic Sea and constructed across the delta of the beautiful Neva River, St Petersburg rivals Venice and Paris as one of the world’s most romantic cities.
The city, built to order by Peter the Great in 1703, boasts a profusion of grand palaces, galleries and theatres including the magnificent Hermitage, once a winter palace to the Tsars and now home to one of the world’s finest art collections.
St Petersburg's history
This was the heart of the Russian Empire at its most glorious and extravagant, a period of wealth and sophistication that bequeathed the city such a fine cultural legacy.
Great writers and composers including Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky Korsakov produced their finest works here, and today the Mariinsky (formerly the Kirov) Ballet continues to rival Moscow’s more celebrated Bolshoi.
When to visit
Thanks to its northerly latitudes the city throngs with life during the famous White Nights of midsummer, when the locals strip off the greys of winter and are joined by visitors from across the globe in a celebration of life and light.
For those who prefer a quieter experience, spring and autumn offer magnificent colours, and in the depths of winter the snow-covered landscapes transform St Petersburg into its Dr Zhivago best.
Places & hotels on the map
Accommodation in St Petersburg
The Rossi is a classic boutique hotel with beautifully decorated rooms that are situated off winding corridors with wooden beams and brick walls, which add to its unique and characterful feel.
Hotel Ibis St Petersburg Centre
Helvetia Mini Hotel
A small, intimate hotel, the Helvetia Mini is arranged around a pleasant courtyard that provides a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Dostoevsky is a simple and clean hotel within easy reach of the centre of St Petersburg.
Centrally located next to the Hermitage and St. Isaac's Cathedral, Casa Leto's rooms are larger and often twice the size of other hotels, with high ceilings, plasterwork and antiques.
The Astoria is a delightful meeting of new and classic design. The clean understated lines of its interiors give way to the stately gildings on the domes of St Isaac's Cathedral.
Facing onto St Isaac's Square and close to the Hermitage, the Neva Embankment, and Nevsky Prospect, the Angleterre has one of the most enviable and elegant locations in St Petersburg.
Grand Hotel Europe
Russia's oldest hotel, the Grand Hotel Europe is something of a legend and its level of excellence has made it one of the 'Leading Hotels of the World'.
Activities in St Petersburg
Pushkin Village Excursion
Visit the sumptuous Tsars' Village, which was the summer residence of the Russian Emperors. Tsars' Village is a unique ensemble, comprising a number of palaces, pavilions, and the dwellings of lesser nobles and servants, in harmony with lakes and landscaped gardens.
Museum of Political History
The Museum of Political History is housed in the mansion of Kshesinskaya, who was a famous ballet dancer and Tsar Nicholas II's lover.
Theatre or Ballet Performance
St Petersburg is the home of ballet - the dance was first developed here from the 18th century onwards, with all of the most famous ballets being premiered here. As well as ballet, the city has a thriving musical scene, with many fine orchestras and performers.
St Petersburg City Tour
The city tour takes you to the main streets and squares of the city - names that stir the Russian heart - Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square, the Bronze Horseman, the Fontanka Embankment, The Neva River, and Vassilevsky Island.