The Russian city of St Petersburg is regarded around the world as a major cultural centre. Founded in 1703, when Tsar Peter the Great took over a small settlement next to the Neva River, St Petersburg is now home to some five million people, making it Russia's second largest city. It is an elegant place, with much for visitors to see and enjoy. Landmarks of note include St Isaac's Cathedral, the Historic Centre of St Petersburg and the Winter Palace, while the city also boasts one of the largest art museums in the world.
St Petersburg is located on the Neva River, in the far west of Russia. It held the title of capital city for more than two centuries before the government was moved to Moscow. Many of St Petersburg's baroque and neoclassical buildings have been preserved, with the oldest structure dating right back to the city's beginnings in 1703. The historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with several related monuments.
Thanks to its network of canals and waterways, St Petersburg is often described as the Venice of the North. The city also boasts elegant fountains, several parks and gardens, along with majestic palaces and more than 200 museums. When combined with the city's fantastic architecture and arts heritage, it's hardly surprising that St Petersburg has become a popular city break destination among lovers of culture.
There's plenty for tourists to see, regardless of whether they stay in a hotel or holiday apartment in St Petersburg for a couple of nights or a couple of weeks. Here are some of the city's key landmarks and tourist sites:
The Historic Centre - The Historic Centre of St Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the early 1990s. The site represents the original core of the city and combines Baroque, neoclassical and traditional architecture.
The Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum - The vast baroque Winter Palace overlooks St Petersburg's main square and was once the official residence of the Russian monarchs. The green and white structure consists of approximately 1,500 rooms and is visited by some 3.5 million visitors each year. It houses part of the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums of art and culture in the world.
St Isaac's Cathedral - Construction started on St Petersburg's largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in 1818 and was completed in 1858. The grey and pink structure features a large gold-plated dome and an impressive interior.
St Petersburg's main airport is Pulkovo Airport, which is located 11-12 miles outside the city centre. The easiest way to get to the city is via one of the several minibuses that operate from the airport.
St Petersburg is known for its short summers and long, cold winters, with the river freezing between November and April and the ground typically covered in snow during these months. For this reason, the city can get very busy in the summer months. For those seeking less crowded streets and mild weather - albeit with some rain - September might be the best bet.
If you're planning a trip to Russia, why not take a look at our holiday apartments in St Petersburg? We offer high quality accommodation in key central locations that is often much more affordable than staying in a hotel.
All St. Petersburg apartments are available for online booking for the convenience of the travelers and direct reservation. The accommodation St.