Things to do in St Petersburg Russia

There are numerous things to do in St. Petersburg; though the city is not quite as lively as Moscow, it offers another variety of attractions, including historic sites to visit. Vasilievsky Island is the center of the city, and it is home to a great deal of St Petersburg Russia attractions. Among the variety of things to do in St Petersburg Russia are river cruises down the Neva and tours of historic sites, so whatever your choice of activities includes, your vacation will certainly be enjoyable.

Vasilievsky Island

This is the most common starting point for visitors to St Petersburg. A number of cathedrals, historic buildings, palaces, museums, monuments, and statues span the territory of Vasilievsky Island. Andreyevsky Cathedral was built in 1720 and is known as the most beautiful on the island. The Church of the Assumption of Mary, built in 1897, was converted into a warehouse during the Soviet period and then reopened for services in 1993 alongside renovation efforts. Among the largest and oldest geological museums in the world is the Mining Institute Museum. Narodovolets Submarine D-2 offers an onboard tour for visitors. Another one of the most interesting museums is the Zoological Museum, a taxidermy paradise; this museum contains more than 17 million species in its collection of fossils, skeletons, and stuffed animals. The Theban Sphinxes are a unique addition to St Petersburg Russia attractions, brought to the country in 1834.


The grand palaces of Russia are quite numerous in this historic city. Many of the palaces have been converted into museums, including the Hermitage Museum, which was once the Winter Palace, and The Russian Museum, overseeing activities at the former Mikhailovsky Palace, Stroganov Palace, and Marble Palace. The Menshikov Palace is managed by the Hermitage Museum; some things to look for are the grand staircase, the Walnut Room, the Naval Room, and the Chinese Room. Each palace houses various pieces of art from all over the world, including work from Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as exhibits of palace life. Tsarskoe Selo, home to the Catherine and Alexander palaces, is about sixteen miles away in the town of Pushkin and also worth a visit.


While many of the museums are former palaces, there are several more dedicated to science, history, and the Russian military. The Ethnographic Museum has exhibits about traditional Russian life and displays costumes. The Museum of Artillery, Combat Engineers and Signal Troops can be found near the Peter and Paul Fortress. The Research Museum of the Academy of Arts has an enormous collection of pieces from all over the world; many of the models of buildings in St. Petersburg are on display here.

White Nights

The White Nights festival and events are among the most popular things to do in St Petersburg Russia. Many travelers come to the city during the early summer months, May and June, for this reason specifically. The city is so far north that at this time of year the sun never drops below the horizon, so this part of the world enjoys sunlight for 24 hours every day. During the St Petersburg White Nights, a host of festivals and carnivals take place filled with music, dancing, and celebrations.

Peter and Paul Fortress

The Peter and Paul Fortress is one of the oldest St Petersburg Russia attractions. It was the first construction of Peter the Great when he captured the land from Sweden in the early eighteenth century, and it was the original citadel of the city. To get into the fortress is free of charge; however, visitors must pay an entrance fee to be admitted to the church within the walls.

From St Petersburg White Nights to the various palaces and museums, visitors can choose from any number of things to do in St Petersburg Russia and enjoy a splendid vacation in this historic city. There are plenty of hotels in St Petersburg, as well as apartment rentals and hostels, so there should be little trouble finding a place to stay, provided you plan ahead.

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