Yes, we admit. St Petersburg beats Moscow in many things: be it culture, bridges, palaces, coffee or art.
While Moscow has much more history to tell, St Petersburg has all the rest.
30 things we admire in St Petersburg
*** The continuation of our Moscow vs St Petersburg conversation.
- White nights. If you plan your tour of St Petersburg in June or July you will get a great opportunity to enjoy this spectacular scene. St.Petersburg is definitely the best place to see white nights.
- Water channels. Like Venice or Amsterdam, St.Petersburg is Russian city located on water. There are more than 80 rivers and channels. Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the city view from boat. Take a boat tour in St.Petersburg and you will be impressed by breathtaking views of the city. Such tours are great during the day and very spectacular at nights.
- St. Petersburg Hermitage. It’s one of the most famous and largest museums in the world. It was founded in 18th century and now has one of the best world collections of artworks including pictures, sculptures, interior items. There are also exhibitions of modern artists. It is said that the whole life is not enough to see all collection of Hermitage. It is exactly a place that everybody must visit.
- Bridges. Did you know that St.Petersburg is one of the cities with the highest number of bridges? And every bridge here is not just a construction which helps to get to another bank of channel; every bridge is a real piece of art, each having its own history. Moreover, St.Petersburg is unique due to lots of drawbridges located here. It’s one of the most famous St.Petersburg attractions for tourists.
- Church of the Savior on Blood. One of the most significant Petersburg sights. It was built on a memorable place where Russian Emperor Alexander II was killed. You will be amazed by the nice view of the church, but the most interesting views are waiting for you inside: the church has one of the best collections of mosaic art in the world.
- Nevsky prospect. The main street of the city. One of the most famous streets in Russia. There are many shops, restaurants, cafes and historical monuments. Lively at any time of day and night. Just enjoy walking along this magnificent street and feel its cheery atmosphere.
- Coffee. The most popular drink in the city enjoyed by residents and by tourists. Absolutely everywhere in St.Petersburg you will see a great variety of coffee houses to satisfy all tastes. Coffee house with cozy homely atmosphere, a stylish and contemporary or vintage café – there are lots of places to enjoy a cup of coffee. There is also Coffee Museum where you can see different exhibits which introduce you history of coffee and of course to taste it.
- St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The highest cathedral in the city. Built in classicism style it is considered one of the most beautiful monuments. The interior is decorated with paintings, sculptures, mosaic, stained glass and gems. But the highlight of this cathedral is its colonnade with observation deck from where you can see a breathtaking view of the city.
- Metro. St.Petersburg Metro is unique because it is the deepest in the world. Moreover, all stations have a nice design and station “Autovo” is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. There is also a St. Petersburg Metro Museum where you can explore the history of city underground.
- Weather. Many people would think that it’s a joke because Petersburg climate can be called anything but perfect. The weather here is very changeable, mostly rainy and windy. And must-have things for St.Petersburg Russia tours are umbrellas and raincoats. However, we can’t imagine St Petersburg otherwise. Weather is a very local thing in St Petersburg, its own charm.
- History. During your St.Petersburg trip you can see that this city has its own history which is inseparably connected to history of the whole country. While walking along the city streets you can feel like you are now in 18th century with palaces and balls and some places will take you to the times of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless St.Petersburg is a contemporary city but its history is felt in every place. If you want to know Russian history better take a Moscow to St.Petersburg tours to feel the difference between two main Russian cities.
- Shopping. In St.Petersburg there are shops to satisfy all tastes. If you want to buy clothes or shoes of world famous brands (from cheap to exclusive and luxury) you can go shopping to Nevsky Prospect and Sadovaya Street or to one of the shopping centres, for example “The Gallery”, “Nevsky Centre”, “Sennaya” and “Gostiniy Dvor” – not only a shopping centre but also a historical monument. You should remember that St. Petersburg is the best place to buy antiques, art objects and vintage items. There are a lot of shops to offer these things. St.Petersburg is also famous by great variety of bookshops. And don’t forget to buy Russian souvenirs.
- Music. The city is saturated with music. There are lots of philharmonic halls to enjoy classic music, there are also many places to listen to different music styles, for example jazz bars (JFC Jazz Club, Hat Bar etc.), rock bars. Every day St Petersburg hosts lots of concerts of Russian and foreign celebrities. By the way. St.Petersburg is considered the capital of Russian rock music. Many Russian songs are dedicated to this city. Here you can also see many street musicians. There is even John Lennon street in St.Petersburg which is a meeting point for street-art lovers.
- Peterhof. Located outside the city Peterhof is not a part of St.Petersburg but it is in list of must-see places during your must see St Petersburg experience Here you can see palaces, museum, beautiful gardens and magnificent fountain complex which will amaze you with its splendor.
- Palaces. St.Petersburg is exactly the city of palaces. Visit the Yusupov palace – one of the most beautiful in the city. Or choose Mikhailovsky, Tavrichesky, Elagin or Menshikov palaces – the list is almost endless but whatever you choose you will be impressed with beauty, majesty and luxury of these places.
- Tsarskoe Selo. Like Peterhof it’s a countryside area of St.Petersburg. A huge area of gardens with two palaces and museums. You will enjoy this beauty in every season.
- Culture. St.Petersburg is called the “Cultural Capital” of Russia. All the time it was a favourite city for artists, musicians, poets and writers who were inspired by this place. Now the situation doesn’t change: Russian bohemia still prefers St.Petersburg. The most interesting Russian and international cultural events take place here.
- Russian Museum. Another famous museum of great importance located in St.Petersburg. Has the richest collection of fine arts. If you are not indifferent to art and want to see essential paintings made by the most talented Russian artists it is surely a place to keep in mind.
- Theatres. It is impossible to imagine St.Petersburg without theatres. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit legendary Mariinsky opera and ballet theatre which is considered one of the best in the world or famous Alexandriisky drama theatre. You will enjoy not only a great performance but also a fascinating architecture and interiors. You can also visit a popular music theatre “Music Hall”.
- People. Everybody in Russia says that St.Petersburg residents are different from other Russians. They even have some words in their vocabulary which other Russians don’t use. St.Petersburg residents are very calm and polite and always will help tourists if necessary.
- Style. Like every megapolis St.Petersburg has a great mix of styles and cultures. It can be seen in everything – from architecture to people’s clothes. Petersburg residents have their own style with chic and originality. And it makes the city unique.
- Festivals. No matter what time of the year you have you St.Petersburg travel you will exactly find an interesting event to visit. Festivals taking place here are different: dance and music festivals, cinema, culinary, photography, art, foreign culture festivals to name just a few.
- Gardens and parks. Almost 30% of St.Petersburg territory consists of gardens and parks. And most of them are not just a collection of plants, trees and flowers. They are real historical sights, which are objects of Russian cultural heritage and monuments of landscape and gardening art. Visit Summer Garden – one of the most famous in Russia and St Petersburg and you will surely enjoy it.
- Food. Local restaurants and cafes offer you an enormous amount of dishes from all over the world. But don’t miss a chance to combine your St.Petersburg adventure and gastronomic tour and taste original Russian cuisine. There are lots of restaurants (for example “РЕСТОРАНЪ”, “Chekhov Restaurant”, “Troyka” etc.) where you can taste typical national Russian dishes. Or visit a stylish place “Terrassa” which is an open restaurant with amazing view in warm weather and in winter here is an ice rink. In summer you can also visit restaurant on the boat “River Lounge”.
- Museums. Most museums in St.Petersburg have the richest collection of different pieces of art. But at the same time there are many unusual museums for example Doll museum, museum of money, Freud’s dream museum, toy museum, transport museum, museum of modern art “Erarta”, science museum, museum of vodka, museum of bread and many other specific museums.
- Grand Maquette Russia. You want to travel around Russia and see many cities but don’t have time or opportunity? Now you can see the whole Russia in one place. Just visit Grand Maquette Russia – the largest country maquette in the world. Here you can see all Russian regions with its main sights. Moreover, you can see landscapes, Russian transport in movement and people living their everyday life. This Maquette quickly became one of the most popular St.Petersburg attractions.
- Literature. St. Petersburg is the city of literature. Most of famous Russian poets and writers lived and live here. They were inspired by Petersburg. The city is mentioned in many books. Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Brodsky… Here you can find houses where these talented people lived and places which were described in their books. One of the most interesting places for tourist is the house of Raskolnikov – the main character of “Crime and punishment” written by Dostoyevsky.
- Nightlife. St.Petersburg doesn’t sleep at any time. You can find many things to do at nights. You can just walk around the city and enjoy the views or take a night walk around St.Petersburg. Or you can visit some of numerous bars and clubs and have fun till morning.
- Courtyards. If you are tired of typical touristic destinations and want to see Petersburg from the other side just turn from the main roads to see city courtyards. You can see well-shaped courtyards, courtyards with inscriptions, sculptures, graffiti and many interesting things. The courtyard of Academy of Arts is famous by its amazing mosaic decoration.
- Atmosphere. The main thing to feel in St. Petersburg. Weather, architecture, people – the city has its own atmosphere which can’t be explained. It can only be felt. This atmosphere makes the city unique and make you fall in love with it.
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