Top 10 Things To Do In St. Petersburg, Russia - Updated 2021

things to do in st. petersburg russia
Irina
Irina
Updated

St. Petersburg is one of those places where it’s really difficult to get bored, no matter how long you stay there. There are so many museums to see, so many places to go, and so many things happening all the time. It makes it very difficult to choose how to pass the time. Hopefully this article will be a helpful resource to decide what to do, based on the amount of time you’ll spend in the city.

1. Savior on the Spilled Blood

Храм Спаса на крови 7
Source: Photo by user NoPlayerUfa used under CC BY-SA 3.0

St. Petersburg’s “ice-cream” church is a must-visit, especially if you haven’t been to Moscow, and not only for the church, but also for the area and the surroundings. Located right by the channel, it is the perfect place for a walk. Not to mention, the general atmosphere is so lively with people performing and artists selling their creations all around.

Savior on the Spilled Blood

Address: Griboyedov Channel Embankment, 2Б, St. Petersburg, Russia

Opening times: 10.30 am - 6 pm

Website: Savior on the Spilled Blood

2. Peter and Paul Fortress

RUS-2016-Aerial-SPB-Peter and Paul Fortress 02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Godot13 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Peter and Paul Fortress is spread over a rather wide area. It has free entrance (except if you want to enter Peter and Paul Cathedral) and is the perfect place for an afternoon walk. The fortress is imposing and provides a good history lesson. In case you get tired of walking, there’s a riverside sandy beach close by, where you can enjoy the sun.

Peter and Paul Fortress

Address: Petropavlovskaya Fortress 3, St. Petersburg, Russia

Website: Peter and Paul Fortress

3. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace

Hermitage Museum by Night
Source: Photo by user kuhnmi used under CC BY 2.0

The State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace should be on the list for anyone who’s passionate about art. Be advised though: the collection is so big, you’ll have to choose wisely where to go and what to see.

State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace

Address: 2 Dvortsovaya Square, St. Petersburg, Russia

Website: State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace

4. Watch the bridge opening ceremony

Saint Petersburg. View to Palace Bridge at night (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bestalex used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The most famous bridge in the city is Dvortsovy (Palace) Bridge. A great activity is watching the bridge opening ceremony on one of St. Petersburg’s famous white nights. If you’ve already seen loads of bridges open, it might not be a big deal for you. Otherwise, take some snacks, maybe some beers and find a good spot to watch the magic of the bridge while interacting with the other people around you who are doing the same thing.

Bridge opening ceremony

Address: Dvortsovy (Palace) Bridge

Website: Timetable for bridge opening

5. The State Museum of Political History of Russia

Санкт-Петербург - St Petersburg - Музей политической истории России - State Museum of Political History of Russia 104
Source: Photo by user Txllxt TxllxT used under CC BY-SA 4.0

You probably need around two hours to not rush through the exhibition put together by the State Museum of Political History of Russia. The exhibition is very well organized. It takes you through all the events chronologically, stopping in the current days. It provides a lot of background information for people who are not familiar with Russian history. It is a great way to learn more about Russia in general and St. Petersburg in particular.

The State Museum of Political History of Russia

Address: Kuibysheva st., 2/4 | Metro: Gorkovskaya, St. Petersburg, Russia

Opening times: 10 am - 6 pm

Website: The State Museum of Political History of Russia

6. Grand Palace (Peterhof Museum)

RUS-2016-Aerial-SPB-Peterhof Palace
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Godot13 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Don’t miss the Russian Versailles in Peterhof with its magnificent gardens and palaces. One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it should definitely make it on your list.

Grand Palace (Peterhof Museum)

Address: 2 Razvodnaya Street, Peterhof, St. Petersburg, Russia

Website: Grand Palace (Peterhof Museum)

7. St. Isaac's Cathedral State Museum

Saint Isaac's Cathedral in SPB
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Florstein used under CC BY-SA 4.0

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is unique not only due to the fact that it’s the largest Orthodox church in the world, but also because of its colorful interior and inside columns. It also provides an amazing view over the city if you climb up the colonnade. It’s definitely one of the most impressive churches (if not the most impressive one) in St. Petersburg.

St. Isaac's Cathedral State Museum

Address: 4 Isaakiyevskaya Sq., St. Petersburg, Russia

Website: St. Isaac’s Cathedral State Museum

8. The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt

Kronstadt Naval Cathedral
Source: Photo by user [Unknown] used under CC BY 2.5

This is the place to learn about history of the Russian Navy. The architecture of The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas is outstanding both on the outside and on the inside. Since you will have to get to Kronstadt Island, make sure you also visit the surroundings while in the area.

The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt

Address: 1 Yakornaya Ploshchad, Kronstadt, St. Petersburg, Russia

Website: The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas

9. Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad)

Palace Square2, St. Petersburg, Russia
Source: Photo by user JasonRogers used under CC BY 2.0

The central square - the heart of historic St. Petersburg - Palace Square, gathers the most important monuments and landmarks in the city. It is a great meeting spot. Although it’s a huge area, it can get rather crowded in the evenings, creating a lively atmosphere.

Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad)

Address: Dvortsovaya Ploshchad, St. Petersburg, Russia

Website: Palace Square

10. Faberge Museum

Renaissance egg

Small, but very informative, the privately owned Faberge Museum provides a great opportunity to see a collection of Faberge eggs up close. Apart from the famous Faberge eggs, there is also jewelry and icons on display.

Faberge Museum

Address: 21 Fontanka River Emb., St. Petersburg, Russia

Opening times: Sat - Thu, 10 am - 9 pm

Website: Faberge Museum

Experience white nights in St. Petersburg

Summers in St. Petersburg are amazing - long days, late sunsets, people partying all around. Even if you don’t have time to visit all the museums, you definitely won’t regret having chosen St. Petersburg as a travel destination. The city is bursting with culture. The history, the architecture, and the many islands all contribute to the mystical atmosphere in Russia’s cultural capital.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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