It took 40 years to build St. Isaac’s Church, which is also rooted in the Finnish saying.
Palace Square and Winter Palace
The heart of St. Petersburg is Palace Square, built to express the power of tsarist rule. The square is dominated by the Winter Palace, completed in 1762, which served as the official residence of the Russian tsarist family until the 1917 revolution. Today, the Winter Palace is part of the Hermitage Art Museum, which is a must-visit for every visitor to St. Petersburg.
Opposite the Winter Palace are two yellow-and-white buildings, the General Staff and the Ministries, between which is the Arc de Triomphe celebrating Russia’s victory over Napoleon. In the center of the square, on the other hand, rises the 47-meter Alexander’s Column, which is also dedicated to Russia’s victory over Napoleon.
The Church of St. Isaac is named after St. Peter the Great. The golden-domed giants were built for as much as 40 years, and over the church a hundred-meter tower can be seen from afar.
Today, the church, completed in 1858, serves as a museum, and the tower offers admirable panoramic views over the city center. Isaac’s Square in front of the church has many spectacular buildings.
St. Peter’s colorful Church of the Blood
The Church of the Blood, or the Church on Blood, is one of St. Petersburg’s most popular attractions. The church, located along the Griboedova Canal, was built exactly on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.
The church, reminiscent of St. Vasilevsky Cathedral in Moscow, is like a tasteful style break in a neoclassical setting. Today, the building serves as a museum, and the ornate interiors of the church are worth seeing.
Peter and Paul Fortress
On the opposite shore of the Winter Palace is the Peter and Paul Fortress on its own island. The fortress is the oldest part of St. Petersburg, as the city dates back to the construction of this fortress in 1703. There is a lot to see in the area of the fortress: in addition to different parts of the fortress, there are museums in the area. Every day at noon a cannon shot is fired from the fort.
Admiralty and Brass Rider
Next to the Winter Palace, on the banks of the Neva, is the naval administration building Admiralty, which was originally the site of a shipyard. The current building was designed in 1823 and is the largest in the center of St. Petersburg with a length of 406 meters. The tower of the building is one of the tallest in the city and can be seen from afar.
Next to the Admiralty is the most famous statue of Peter, depicting Peter the Great on his hind legs on a horse. The statue, named after Alexander Pushkin’s poem and completed in 1782, was commissioned by Catherine the Great .
THE BEST OF ST. PETERSBURG
Catherine’s Palace is located outside the center of St. Petersburg and is a good day trip destination for a longer holiday.
The best museums in St. Petersburg
- Russian Museum
- Enter the Akhmatova Museum
- Dostoevsky Home Museum
- Toy Museum
The most interesting sights in the center of St. Petersburg
- Palace Square and Winter Palace
- Isaac’s Church and St. Isaac’s Square
- Peter and Paul Fortress
- Nevsky Prospekt and Kazan Cathedral
- Blood Church
Experience these in St. Petersburg
- Panoramic view from the tower of Isaac’s Church
- River cruise on the Neva
- Opening of bridges on summer evenings
- Ballet or opera at the Mariinsky Theater
- Limousine ride in the night of Petersburg
The most magnificent Palaces of St. Petersburg
- Winter Palace
- Catherine’s Palace
- Yusopov Palace
- Engineering City
Observe local customs
St. Petersburg is an international city, but above all it is a Russian city with the opportunity to get to know the local culture as well. Russian men, for example, almost never shake hands with women, but that doesn’t stop women tourists from trying to shake hands with local men.
St. Petersburg is as safe a destination as other popular tourist cities. From the tourist’s point of view, the biggest security risks are traffic and pickpockets, and it is worth taking care of your own property, especially in the metro crowded with pickpockets.
Tourists should learn basic phrases in Russian before traveling. Learning Cyrillic letters is also helpful, as most of the signs in St. Petersburg are written only in the local alphabet. The younger population in particular has some knowledge of English, and thanks to its international history, it can also be understood with French or German.