Russia’s second largest city, St. Petersburg was once the center of imperial Russian culture. The “Venice of the North” is filled to the brim with gorgeously ornate décor, lavish architecture, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. With several world-class museums and art galleries to explore, St. Petersburg is a treat for the curious and cultured traveler.
Here are some of the best historical attractions to visit in the city:
The Hermitage Museum
The amazing State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest and oldest museums in the entire world, as it was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764. Don’t try to take in the entire collection in one day, as there are three millions items! The impressive collection is housed within six historic buildings which are all spread along the Palace Embankment. Don’t miss the fascinating collection of Prehistoric Art which dates back all the way to artifacts from the Paleolithic Age which were excavated from all over Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Peter and Paul Fortress
This was the original citadel of the city, and was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. The church here is where nearly all of the Romanov Czars of Russia from Peter I to Alexander III have been buried, with the exception of Peter II. After you have viewed the historical buildings, in the summer you can relax on the sandy beaches underneath the fortress walls.
The Russian Museum
This is the largest collection of Russian fine art in St. Petersburg, and many of the halls retain the same Italianate décor that they had when it was an imperial residence. Strolling through these opulent interior palace halls is an experience that you will never forget. Be sure to also check out Saint Michael’s Castle which is a former royal residence also assigned to the Russian Museum and located in the historic centre of the city.
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Saint Issac’s Cathedral
This impressive cathedral took nearly 40 years to construct, and when it was completed in 1858 it was the tallest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world. As you enter inside this impressive building, look up at the 101.5 meter dome which is plated with pure gold. It is decorated by beautifully delicate angel sculptures, carved by the Austrian artist Josef Hermann Tautenhayn. This amazing building is extravagant, excessive, and truly a must-see during your stay in St. Petersburg.
If you are planning a city break to soak up the atmosphere of St. Petersburg, why not stay at the Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya? It is located in a prime position on the Gulf of Finland and places you right within walking distance of many of St. Petersburg’s most historical attractions. With so many beautiful buildings within such close proximity, the Park Inn Pribaltyskaya is the ideal located for a culture-soaked weekend getaway filled with museums, galleries, and strolls through historic St. Petersburg.