Beginning in St. Petersburg along the western edge of Russia on the Baltic Sea delta, we are greeted with world-renowned architecture designed by Peter the Great more than 300 years ago. The city’s uniquely planned layout is optimal for walking tours or cycling along the Neva River and it’s numerous canals. Start in Palace Square at the Alexander Column and walk north to marvel the Winter Palace and as you continue take in the great curved façade of the General Staff building. If you are lucky enough to visit during late June, you can witness one of St. Petersburg’s largest events. The White Nights are a two-week celebration of the longest days of the year where the sun doesn’t set. Have a midnight stroll through the city streets or join the locals for a picnic or game of football in the courtyards.
St Petersburg’s surroundings are spectacular and there are a huge amount of sights you have to visit. Peterhof (Grand) Palace is an absolutely stunning masterpiece located 10 min outside St Petersburg. It has been renovated as it was destroyed by Hitler’s troops after the Siege of Leningrad but the restoration job is fantastically perfect. Take a lovely stroll around the palace, enjoy the gardens, and see the Great Cascade that goes into the Sea Channel which goes into the Gulf of Finland.
Catherine Palace was named after Peter the Great’s wife Catherine I which was enlarged by Rastrelli once her second daughter Elizabeth was born. Elizabeth hosted many balls and used her spacious rooms for her large collections of dresses, hats and shoes. Be overwhelmed by white marble staircase that takes you to the splendid throne room with its gold work around the windows, doors, mirrors and ceiling. Let Amber room, the most expensive room in the palace, mesmerize you with its different color. The outside is equally beautiful as azure façade with snow white columns and golden ornaments and the gold onion shaped domes on steeples. The last main museum we would recommend is Pavlovsk Palace is a beautiful neoclassic mansion that was the residence of the Russian Imperators in the 18th century build by Paul I of Russia. It’s a beautiful place to visit if you want to get away from crowds and hordes of people. Since the palace was destroyed by the Germans in WWII, it has been reconstructed but the palace has still the Russian touch to it with its silk walls and beautiful objects d’art. Explore the gardens and enjoy cycling around the palace for a broader view of the area. If you would do more cycling we would recommend to go to Lomonosov Park.
The Hermitage Museum is five buildings that used to be the homes of tsars and is today the home of some of the finest art collections in the world. Definitely one of the places you cannot miss once you visit St Petersburg, especially if you are an art and history enthusiast. For an evening or two, get ready to be entertained in the Marinsky Theatre that has been providing the world with an overabundance of great artists and set ups. This is an extraordinary place to see the Russian Ballet.