St Petersburg Russia is the second-largest city in Russia and one of the leading cosmopolitan areas, offering travelers abundant history, a great variety of attractions and things to do, and countless accommodations. Founded by Peter the Great I 1703, the city has also been known as Petrograd, then Leningrad, before returning to its original name of Saint Petersburg Russia; today, many Russians call it simply Piter. Getting in and around the city is fairly easy, as there are plenty of transportation options through the train station, cruise ships, and the city airport. Travel to St Petersburg Russia is an absolute must for visitors to the country; you are sure to leave with lasting memories of your stay in this lovely city.
During the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured an area of land from Sweden and built the Peter and Paul Fortress, which later became the founding building of St Petersburg Russia. Once the city was complete, Peter moved the capital of Russia from Moscow to his favorite city. As the city began to grow, a scheme was drawn up by Domenico Trezzini, an architect, whereby the city would be located on an island and planned according to a grid of canals, giving rise to its nickname, the Venice of the North. After the death of Peter the Great in 1725, his son Peter II moved the capital back to Moscow for a short time, until Empress Anna moved it once again to St Petersburg where it would remain for the next 186 years. Following its promising beginnings was an onslaught of a tumultuous history, involving revolutions, fires, wars, and ultimately decades of rebuilding, which in the end created one of Russia’s most beautiful cities; St Petersburg Russia vacations will be filled with lovely sights.
Travel to St Petersburg Russia is fairly convenient, as it is one of the country’s largest centers for transportation. Pulkovo Airport serves a number of international and domestic flights, and once in the airport, coming or going, visitors will find an assortment of facilities and transportation services into the city. A number of trains travel to St Petersburg Russia from elsewhere in Europe, including the Baltic states, and inland from Russia through five stations. Visitors can purchase tickets at the stations as well as from travel agencies, the conductor if you are late, and the Moscow Railway Agency. Be aware that conductors offer tickets at double rate, so your best option is to purchase tickets in advance; Moscow Railway Agency typically offers the best prices.
The city’s location at the edge of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea means that St Petersburg Russia vacations can also begin on a cruise, which take place on major cruise lines, including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Princess. These cruises can also include other destinations in Europe, and some even continue onto Moscow via a system of rivers and canals. Getting around in the city can be done in a number of different ways, including the tram, the trolleybus, and the subway, each offering a unique experience for travelers.
Museums, palaces, cathedrals, castles, and memorial sites are among the most popular attractions in St. Petersburg. For instance, the Menshikov Palace, built in 1721, was Peter the Great’s residence. There are also exhibits on other famous sites; the Russian Museum supervises exhibitions at the Stroganov, Mikhailovsky, and Marble Palaces. The Winter Palace is now part of the State Hermitage Museum, and travelers interested in even more Russia history, can visit the village of Pushkin, just outside the city and home to Tsarskoe Selo, which boasts the Alexander and Catherine palaces and is known for its beautiful fountains and gardens.
The Ethnographic Museum houses traditional costumes and exhibitions on Russian culture, or visitors can tour the Zoological Museum, which features 5,000 fossilized and stuffed animals representing more than 17 million species, including a blue whale skeleton and the world’s only stuffed mammoth. Other historic attractions for St Petersburg Russia vacations include the Theban Sphinxes purchased by the Tsar from Thebes, Peter the Great’s Cabin, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the first bricks of the city, theaters, and boat tours through the canals.
Vasilievsky Island is the central location of St Petersburg Russia, and it’s the heart of one of the most historic and romantically beautiful cities in Russia. No matter how long you stay in St Petersburg or which hotels you choose, you’re sure to leave with delightful memories of this unique place and will be planning a return trip in short order to see more of the endless variety of attractions.