St Petersburg offers a wealth of attractions for every type of tourism

Following awards for 2020 and 2019, and as the top cultural destination in the world, the World Travel Awards has again recognized St Petersburg as Leading Heritage Destination in 2021.

The city of St Petersburg is a captivating place that evokes images of majestic baroque palaces and gilded candy-striped domes. It also has graceful fountains. This attraction has been attracting tourists for centuries.

It is known as the cultural capital of Russia and its large collection of art is well-known around the globe. The White Knights celebrations in the city attracts the best local and international performers in classical music, ballet, and opera.

Winter months also have their fair share, with the New Year celebrations and decorated streets. The ‘Wonder of Light’ is a Russian festival that was created in 2016. It is one of the most anticipated Russian festivals. When the walls of iconic buildings become the canvas for a light- and sound show, it has been a hit.

It’s easier than ever to visit.

St Petersburg is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination, whether it’s a stopover on the way to other Russian cities or an individual destination. It is a transport hub for high-speed trains, boats, and flights. This city was the first to be certified by the WTTC as complying with all safety and health standards.

This initiative ensures that tourist spots complying with UNWTO or World Health Organization recommendations are given a Safe Travels SPB sign. It is a guarantee that services in the city meet international standards.

An e-visa program, which allows citizens from 52 countries (including most European countries) to enter Russia and stay up to 16 days without any hassles, is another way to increase tourism.

Another new initiative in tourism is ‘Two Cities-A Million Impressions’. This unified plan sees St Petersburg & Moscow work together to promote a variety of events and activities. It focuses on the city’s main attractions, museums, theatres and theatres and emphasizes the gastronomic possibilities.

“Piter”, as it is known by locals, can also be found on the Silver Necklace. This tourist route takes you through 11 great cities and beautiful regions in northwest Russia. It includes historical and cultural monuments and many are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Mixture of influences

This was Tsar Peter The Great’s great project. Many of his ideas were based on his travels and work experience elsewhere on the continent.

There are many names that St Petersburg is known by, including ‘Venice of the North,’ which refers to its network of canals, as well as ‘Paris of the north,’ which refers to its wide boulevards with graceful Western-style architecture.

The Admiralty shipyards are at its geographic heart, as well as the canals radiating out from them. This area was inspired by the urban design of Amsterdam, where Peter the Great spent his youth working in shipyards. The iconic colonnaded Admiralty building can be instantly identified by its thin spire and a golden ship resting at its tip – it is one of the symbols of the city.

Nearby is New Holland Island. It was built on swampland in 1719, and became the city’s first military port. The island is a symbol of modern St Petersburg. An ambitious development plan transformed it into a vibrant meeting place of shops, restaurants, elegantly-planned gardens, and a hub for creative studios and galleries.

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© St Petersburgeuronews
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© St Petersburg

Highlights of the arts and ecclesiastical

However, most visitors to St Petersburg are attracted by its architecture and artworks. The Hermitage is the world’s largest art museum. According to estimates, it would take fifteen years to see every exhibit properly if you spent eight hours per day at the Hermitage.

The Winter Palace is the main location of the collection. This vast, baroque-style complex has been home to many emperors throughout history. It is located on the Palace Square across from the equally impressive General Staff Building, where you will find more of the Hermitage collection.

It’s worth making the journey out of the centre towards the Erarta museum, Vasilyevsky Island for a fascinating view of contemporary art. Here you will find an overview of Russian art over the past 50 years.

If you have ever wondered where to find the fantastical Disneyesque turrets which have become synonymous with St Petersburg, then head to the charmingly named Church of the Saviour in Spilled Blood. It was built in medieval Russian romantic style at the beginning of the 20th Century. The church’s grisly name is a tribute to Alexander II.

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Tourism in specialised areas

It is possible to spend as much time in St Petersburg as you like without getting bored. The city’s infrastructure adapts to new trends and visitors. Ecotourism has seen a rise in popularity, making it easier than ever to see the nature reserves and wildlife of St Petersburg.

It is also a major business and networking center, and has great facilities for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions). The St Petersburg International Economic Forum is one of the most important events throughout the year.

These treatments are rarely offered in the home country or prohibitively costly at home. However, these reasons are often secondary to the unique appeal of St Petersburg’s vibrant and relaxed backdrop.