A Russian jewel on the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great, but named after the Saint. But what’s in a name? This imperial city has also been called the “Venice of the North” thanks to its canals and grand architecture.
There’s plenty to fascinate visitors to this most cultured and European of Russian destinations, from the expansive Hermitage Museum to spectacular palaces and cathedrals.
A recommended time to visit St. Petersburg is mid-June to September, when there is practically 24 hours of sunlight, and White Nights celebrations are held.
Learn more about St. Petersburg
ST. ISAAC'S CATHEDRAL
Now serving as a museum, this cathedral was built for Saint Isaac, a patron saint of Peter the Great.
SAVIOR ON THE SPILLED BLOOD
One of the city's major attractions, Savior on the Spilled Blood was once a Russian Orthodox church, but has been repurposed as a museum. The "Spilled Blood" in the name refers to the assassinated Emperor Alexander II in 1881.
STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM
Founded by Catherine the Great, this complex of several buildings comprises the world's second-largest art museum (after the Louvre).
Held during the White Nights Festival each summer, this extravaganza features free entertainment like fireworks, water shows on the Neva River, and live music.
The primary event on Victory Day, which celebrates the end of WWII, is a massive military parade on Palace Square. In the evening, fireworks are displayed over the Neva River.