St Petersburg is considered as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is also the second largest city in Russia, after Moscow, the official capital city since 1991. The city of St Petersburg, previously called Petrograd and Leningrad, is laden with history, which explains its richness.
Located in the northwest of the country, the city is nestled at the head of the Gulf of Finland, on the delta of the Neva River, in the Baltic Sea. As a water city of a majestic beauty, St Petersburg is nicknamed ‘the Venice of the North’.
St Petersburg, capital city of the Russian empire for more than 200 years, was erected to demonstrate the power and wealth of the Tsars. Thus, the city still counts numerous monuments, which always seem to surpass each other in beauty, interspaced by wide straight boulevards giving it an authoritarian aspect.
St Petersburg is all about spaces and volumes, parks and gardens, and not far from 350 bridges crossing the Neva River and all the canals that are located around the city.
As a cultural and artistic capital, the city also presents more than 4000 monuments, whose a large number is already listed as UNESCO World Heritage. This is without counting the 250 museums that houses the city.
What to absolutely do when having a trip to St Petersburg?
The Perspective Nevski: this is the main artery of the city where is located, pell-mell, palaces, religious monuments and shops.
The Ermitage Museum, one of the biggest museums in the world with more than 400 exhibition rooms, where paintings from all over the world are displayed.
The St Isaac and St Peter and Paul Cathedrals. The first one, created during the nineteenth century by Auguste de Montferrand, a French architect, is the third largest cathedral in Europe. About the second one, this is an orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul fortress, built in order to let the imperial family’s bodies rest.
The Troïtsky Bridge or Trinity Bridge is a bridge built in 1897, crossing the Neva River in the centre of the city.
The Russian Museum, housed in several different palaces, is the biggest Art Gallery of the country. There, one can discover paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures.
The Summer Garden, located within the city centre and surrounded by the Neva River, was the first garden created in St Petersburg and is now a friendly place, very appreciated by all the inhabitants of the city.
The Mariinski Theatre, built in 1860, is a concert hall as well as an opera and ballet room. It was one of the theatres used by the St Petersburg imperial company.
White nights in St Petersburg, Russia
The white nights are a period of time during which the sun never sets. It takes place from mid-may to mid-july and is actually at its best during june. The city holds, for the occasion, the White Nights Festival: celebrations and events of all kinds are organised in the different districts of the Russian city. This is a very popular period to have a trip to St Petersburg.