Visit St Petersburg
St. Petersburg stands on the mouth of the Neva River and overlooks the Gulf of Finland, in the Baltic Sea.
The river and the numerous canals pass through the historic center, giving a touch of romantic atmosphere. You will walk through the historic center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; you will walk on long and triumphal avenues and enormous parks; you will visit churches and museums that preserve world-famous paintings.
St. Petersburg has nothing to envy, in terms of history and culture, the oldest cities in Europe.
Visiting St. Petersburg is not at all difficult; the iron transport network allows you to get to all the strategic points of the city safely and quickly. Here are some of the must-see places during your vacation.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg
It was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II of Russia was killed (from this tragic episode, the nomenclature “on spilled blood” derives); the works began in 1883 and ended in 1907.
Unlike other churches in the city, here it is possible to admire a strong influence of medieval Russian architecture; the church is adorned with five domes and has a bell tower decorated with the coats of arms of cities and regions of the Russian Empire. It is about 81 meters high.
Resting on the bank of the Gribaedova canal, this church is beautiful; the variety of colors of the mosaics and the particular pinnacles amaze. If the exterior can be defined as charming, even more so is the interior of the building!
In fact, the church is famous for the beautiful collection of mosaics that complete its interior. The rich decoration was made by important Russian artists (Vasnetsov, Nesterov, Ryabushkin) between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s; covers an area of nearly 7000 square meters.
Address: Griboyedov Canal Embankment
Metro: Metro Nevskij prospekt
Days and times: From Thursday to Tuesday from 10 to 20 from 1/5 to 1/10; from 11 to 19 from 2/10 to 30/04.
Price: Adults 320 Rubie (about 5 €).
Official Website: www.cathedral.ru
The Winter Palace
One of the symbols of the city. The square in front of the main entrance of this spectacular and majestic building was the scene of the winning battle led by Alexander I against Napoleon
Built between 1754 and 1762, designed by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli as the winter residence of the tsars, this magnificent palace stands between the banks of the Neva river and the Palace square.
The interiors are a gorgeous masterpiece; were redesigned with the restructuring of 1837, under the reign of Catherine the Great. They represent an authentic masterpiece of Baroque art.
Also thanks to Catherine the Great, we owe the construction of the Petit Hermitage, the first of the five buildings near the winter palace. Here the imperial collection of works of art is kept and proudly displayed.
The interior of the building offers pleasant surprises. Do not miss some of the 1057 rooms and rooms; many are open to the public.
Address: Just outside the center, 20 minutes walk from the center.
Metro: Admiralteyskaya, Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor
Hours: Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 10.30am-6pm; Merc 10.30 to 21.00.
Closed on Monday, 1 January and 9 May.
The ticket office closes an hour before.
Official Website: www.HermitageMuseum.org
The Peterhof Complex in St. Petersburg
Peterhof is an incredible complex of palaces, gardens, fountains, waterfalls and water games. It was designed by Pietro I, desiring a residence outside the city to access by sea; the curiosity is that these buildings are very similar to the palace of Versailles. Unlike the latter, it presents magnificent fountains with natural water jets! During the summer months, from 11 to 18 the fountains are in operation, recreating the scenario that the designers had really been inspired by.
Kanoa recommends admiring the decorative Fountains, adorned with Carrara marble statues and gilt bronze statues; and the Prankish Fountains, widespread at the time of the Emperor Peter the Great.
At the center is the famous Samson Fountain that fights with the lion. From the big mouth, a 21 m water jet emerges, an allegory of the Russian victory (Samson) against the Swedes (lion) in Poltava in 1709.
This complex has almost record numbers. It covers over 100 hectares and hosts around 150 fountains; really amazing. We are certain that you will be amazed by this beauty and majesty.
Inside, between the 27 rooms, one more beautiful than the other, do not miss the golden Sala da Ballo and the turquoise Sala del Trono. On their own, the visit of the entire complex is worthwhile. In the Tsar’s Oak Studio where some objects belonging to Peter the Great are exhibited.
The fountains and their operation are inaugurated every year in May, with a show of sounds, fires and dances. If you are planning a trip to St. Petersburg, this is the ideal time.
Address: About 40 km from the center of St. Petersburg,
How to get: The complex can be reached by bus from the Leninsky Prosekt metro or by hydrofoil from the St. Petersburg pier near the Hermitage.
Timetables: Grand Palace: Tue – Sun 10.30am to 5pm – Closed every Tuesday; Monplaisir: Thu – Mar, from June to September, 10: 30-17: 00. Marly: Tue-Sun from May to September, from 10.30 to 17.00. Hermitage: Tue – Sun, from May to September, 10: 30-18.
Fountains: from late May to October from 11am to 5pm.
For info on the Costs and the purchase we refer to the official website: www.peterhofmuseum.ru
St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg
Monumental and opulent. This is how it is presented to all those who visit it for the first time. Built by the French Montferrand at the behest of Tsar Alexander, it was later embellished at the behest of Nicholas I.
In 1710, precisely in St. Isaac (May 30th), this church was born, initially small; later, with various architectural interventions, it became majestic.
The church is a gigantic work, measuring 111.2 meters in length and 97.6 in width. 112 monolithic columns in red granite weighing about 100 t. each, support the 4 arcades; 350 statues populate the roof; 100 kg of gold plates cover the sparkling dome which, at 21, 8 m. tall, is the pride of the city.
Inside you can admire gold, marbles, bronzes, malachite and lapis lazuli; the church occupies an area of 4,000 square meters and can accommodate 14,000 people.
The most fascinating fresco is represented by the Virgin among angels and saints, the work of the painters Brjullov and Bruni; has a size of 816 square meters.
Kanoa recommends, to enjoy the splendid view that St. Petersburg offers, to climb the 262 steps of the colonnade.
Address: St Isaac Square
How to get there: Metro Sadovaja
Opening Hours: Thursday to Tuesday from 11am to 6pm.
Price: Church, 320 Rubie. Colonnade, 160 Rubie
Official Website: www.Cathedral.ru
Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg
With over three million works of art and artifacts of world culture made between the Stone Age and the twentieth century, the Hermitage (or Ermitage) is one of the largest and most important museums in the world.
If you are fond of the genre, to be able to visit it properly, you could take more than half a day.
Immerse yourself in this internationally renowned museum hub, including paintings, sculptures, coins, and archaeological finds … it’s almost a maze!
The Winter Palace is of extraordinary beauty; a magnificent Baroque style building with a green façade and large white columns. It was the residence of the tsars for over two hundred years; with the October Revolution, the palace became the seat of the museum, now owned by the State.
Inside you will find eight compartments: Primitive Cultures from the Paleolithic to the Slavs; Oriental art; Near and Middle East art; Classical Antiquities; Russian Culture and Art; Western European art.
The history of the museum began in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great bought a considerable collection of Western European paintings; today St. Petersburg, thanks to the presence of the Hermitage, is a favorite destination for art lovers from all over the world.
The Hermitage boasts works of global appeal, including masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso.
Address: Palace Square
How to get there: Metro Admiralteyskaya, Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor.
Opening Hours: Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 10.30am-6pm; at 10.30am-9.00pm.
Closing: Monday, 1 January and 9 May.
Price: Adults 400 Rubies; 150 children and students rubies.
Free admission every first Thursday of the month.
Official Website: www.hermitagemuseum.org
Fortress of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg
Peter the Great built this unique fortress, which stands on the islet of the delta of the Neva river, to defend the outlet to the Baltic from Swedish power.
The fortress was almost never used for defense, indeed, it was the place where opponents of the regime were locked up.
Here were imprisoned Alksei, the only son of Peter I, accused of conspiracy and sentenced to death; and also Dostoevsky, the elder brother of Lenin, Aleksandr, Gorky, Bakunin and Trotsky.
Built by Domenico Trezzini in 1712, the oldest church in the city, it has a very tall bell tower (122 m.) Whose golden spire is surmounted by an angel holding the cross.
Inside you can admire a Baroque style; moreover, there are the tombs of the Romanov family, from Peter the Great to Nicholas II.
Today, however, the entire area hosts several museums on the history of St. Petersburg.
In the summer months, on the beach that is outside the walls, you can see many St. Petersburgers intent on sunbathing.
Address: Fortress of San Pietro e Paolo.
How to get there: Metro station Gorkovskaya.
Timetables: Cathedral: Mon – Fri 10am – 7pm; Sat 10 – 5:15 pm; Sun 11 – 19.
Fortress: every day from 6 to 21.
Trubetskoy bastion prison: daily 10 – 19.
Prices: Cathedral + fortress + Trubetskoy bastion prison, adults 300 Rubie; 160 Rubie students; retired 120 Rubie.
Official Website: www.SpbMuseum.ru
Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg
Nevsky Prospekt is the great avenue that runs through the city of St. Petersburg from west to east, joining the Admiralty to the Monastery of Alexander Nevsky.
The main artery of the city, and the most famous street in Russia, measures 4.5 km. in length, with a width ranging from 25 to 60 m.
We are certain that in visiting St. Petersburg, you will travel several times on Nevsky, as it is the center of the city; you will walk among splendid palaces, churches, theaters, suggestive bridges and fascinating squares. And then, historic shops, such as the luxurious Art Nouveau grocery Eliseevskij. You will hardly forget this incredible route!
Walking on the Prospect you can admire small and large masterpieces. The Stroganov palace, first of all, is a beautiful example of Russian baroque; the Russian National Library. Stop for a drink in a literary café where you can breathe an atmosphere of times gone by and where time seems to have stopped at the XIX.
Don’t miss Ostrovskij Square, one of the most beautiful squares in the city, with the monument to Catherine II; the Aničkov bridge with the statues of horses and tamers; the sumptuous Beloselskij-Belozerskij palace with the richly sculpted dark red facade; the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, a majestic building inspired by St. Peter of Rome which preserves the miraculous image of the Madonna of Kazan. We can say that you will witness one of the largest and most fascinating open-air museums in the world!