The Russian port city of St. Petersburg was once the imperial capital and was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Although the capital is now Moscow, Saint Petersburg still retains the title of being Russia’s cultural center. It is a beautiful city with so much to see and do. Many visitors fall in love with St Petersburg and return again and again.
The best time to visit St. Petersburg is from mid-June to the end of September, this way you can enjoy the wonderful summer weather. You can expect nearly 24 hours of sunlight during the summer! This phenomenon is called White Nights. There are many festivals and celebrations to make the most of the time. It is the most expensive time of the year to visit too. As wonderful as their summers are, their winters are harsh, with temperatures dropping to well below zero.
Keep this in mind when you book your Toronto to St. Petersburg Sunwing flights or Air Canada flights.
Admiralteysky or Nevsky are centrally located for sightseeing, shopping and nightlife. Smolny is quieter and great for romantic getaways. For budget stays, head to Nevsky or Liteyny.
Photo of Nevsky Prospekt
Here are some recommended places to stay in the city where there are endless great options to suit every budget and taste:
Step back in time when you visit The Hermitage Museum, which includes the famous Winter Palace. Allow at least half a day because this is one of the biggest museums in the world. You can see works by famous artists including Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Matisse, to name just a few. There are many museums in the city, but obviously, this one is the highlight.
Nevsky Prospekt is a street in Saint Petersburg that runs through the city’s historical part from the Admiralty to Moscow Railway Station. There is great shopping, entertainment and raging nightlife. Also, you can see the Kazan Cathedral, a monument to Catherine the Great, and the iconic Art Nouveau Singer Building.
For an interesting day trip, Catherine Palace is about 30 km out of the main city area. The Rococo palace was the summer residence of the Russian tsars.
While you have probably seen many museums on your travels this one is special because it is on a boat. It was all aboard for a unique experience on this huge training ship that belonged to the Baltic Fleet and played an important role in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
For foodies, St Petersburg’s experience is outstanding, with endless options from bars and grills to restaurants to food tours and fine dining. There are many ways to sample the local food and drink and international food places are abundant too. You will never go hungry in St Petersburg! To indulge in one special meal, make a reservation at Imperial Restaurant in Nevsky Prospect. The master chef serves up traditional classics like borsch and beef stroganoff and the elegant setting makes the whole experience just wonderful.
Another very special place for a decadent dinner or luxurious lunch is Stroganoff Palace. You are treated like royalty with gold plates, crystal glassware, and the finest linens with divine Baroque surroundings. Then the caviar, Russian gourmet dumplings and decadent game dishes arrive. It is a meal to be savoured and enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
Peterhof is a seafront place with parks and museums to explore. You would easily spend a whole day roaming around the flower gardens, fountains, and buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage Site commissioned by Peter the Great. The regal gold statues are impressive, and the interiors are even more amazing.
Duncan McClellan Gallery has a beautiful orchid and sculpture garden and often has glass blowing demonstrations. The contemporary glass art gallery and working hot-shop (glass blowing facility) features over 100 artists from Russia and abroad.
More Highlights Of St. Petersburg
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