Traditional Russian dolls, St Petersburg

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.

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