Russia is so much more then the cold, the polar bears, Siberia and Moscow. Spend (at least!) two days to get to know this truly Russian city! Why?
We give you three reasons:
1) It's accesible by ferry, plane and even bus, as it is close to the Russian border with several countries;
2) Saint Petersburg goes beyond the modernity and luxury of Moscow, getting together tradition, youth and simplicity;
3) And financially, you won't have surprises with unexpected high costs.
These are the top 5 attractions you can't miss in Saint Petersburg:
1. Church of the Savior on Blood
Impossible to think about Russia and not thinking about its orthodox cathedrals with its colorful domes and all the architectonic details which fulfill our senses.
Not as famous as Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, but certainly as special and with even more details to see, the Church of the Savior on Blood is a must go in Saint Petersburg.
And did you know the cathedral is officially called Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ because the czar Alexander II was murdered there?
In case you have time, go inside and visit the mausoleum and the incredible details of the construction, if not, seeing it from the outside is already pretty incredible!
The entries are not expensive: about 4 euros without discount and 1 euro for students.
2. Winter Palace
Russian architecture makes us feel like we got back in time... this palace in particular! It is one of the most visited attractions in the city and it is considered one of the biggest treasures in the world. Worth your visit but plan it well: visiting the palace and the museum will take you at least 2 hours.
3. Peter and Paul Fortress
This fortress is where Saint Petersburg was born. It was built to protect Russia from the Swedish attacks during the Great Northern War in 1700 and afterwards was turned into a political prison.
Today, for the locals is a place to relax and enjoy the "beach" Saint Petersburg style and for us, tourists, an interesting place where you can have a fantastic view of the city. Inside that fortress you can also find the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, where there are buried of the Russian czars.
The entrance to the fortress is free but some attractions, such as the cathedral are charged. You can reach it by tram, subway or bus. To know how to arrive check the website: http://www.spbmuseum.ru/themuseum/visitors/location_map.php
4. Vasilievski Island
Far from overcrowded attractions, in this privileged place you'll get a view of Saint Petersburg, its domes and even the Peter and Paul Fortress.
There you'll also find the Building of the Stock Exchange, which illustrates the note of the 50 Russian Rubles. During special occasions, in the evenings, the Rostral Columns throw fire and it's a beautiful show that can reach up to 7 meters.
There's also museums with Egyptian sphinxes, bridges that rise, palaces, but the most charming attraction of island are the channels: welcome to the Russian Venice!
How to reach? There are bus lines until Vasilievsky Island, close to the center of Saint Petersburg. Another option is to catch the subway until Sportivnaya station, which is located near by.
5. The channels of Saint Petersbourg
Going to Saint Petersburg and not walking around it's like you haven't visited it. Avoid the subway for a while and walk, get a little lost and a lot charmed. Walking along the city you will understand Saint Petersburg is so much more then the touristic spots, it's its architecture, people and its channels!
The channels of Saint Petersburg are the mark where this city were born. The first Russian capital, discovered by Peter the Great and built by local workers, totaling more than 100 thousand deaths caused by the hard work. If you have some time, enjoy a boat trip in the channels, you won't regret!
With its history and culture, Saint Petersburg is a mix of beauty and pain, modernity and classicism. Definitely unique place!
Are you already checking how to get there? We help with the accommodation!
Curious about other Russian cities? What about Moscow? Take a look in this article.