Take a trip to Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg, which was built on marshes, symbolizes the imperial past of Russia and contains many of its artistic treasures. The most famous of all is the Winter Palace with the Hermitage museum in its center. The Neva River crosses the city and flows into the Baltic Sea. It is spanned by magnificent bridges that are raised at night to let the boats pass. You can walk along the canals that connect the different islands to each other and discover the architectural richness of its many baroque buildings. In summer, the longer the days get, the more festive the evenings become, especially since the sun hardly ever sets. For the most impressive view, climb to the top of Europe’s tallest skyscraper, the 462-meter Lakhta Center, which overlooks the Gulf of Finland.
Tour guides in Saint Petersburg
Five ideas for guided tours in Saint Petersburg
Cathedral of the Holy Savior on the Bloodstream
The Orthodox Cathedral is located right on the Griboedov Canal. Its name refers to the assassination of Tsar Alexander II which took place in March 1881 on the very spot where it is located. Its construction was completed in 1907 under the reign of the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, but it was left abandoned and during the Second World War it was even used as a warehouse. Fortunately, after a meticulous restoration that was completed in 1997, the monument reopened and regained its former splendor. The Church of the Holy Savior on the Blood-Verse, also known as the Resurrection of the Savior, is decorated with sparkling colors, making it one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg. With five domes, two domes, one blue and the other golden, and more than 7,500 square meters of mosaics that cover almost all of its walls, the church is a must-see for any traveler. So take advantage of the knowledge of a Saint Petersburg private guide to lead you through its history.
Just 25 kilometers from St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea, you can reach the town of Peterhof. Peter the Great had a monumental palace built there from 1714 to 1723 that he wanted to rival the Palace of Versailles and that some consider even more beautiful. This reserved domain of the Tsars extends over a facade of nearly 270 meters with inside numerous rooms decorated with splendid decorations and paintings. The great splendor of the place lies in its French gardens with its green alleys, its sculptures and especially its fantastic fountains such as the Great Waterfall and the Samson Fountain. It should be noted that the Peterhof estate was rebuilt in 1964, as the Nazis had burned it down and blown it up during the Second World War.
The Nevsky perspective
To start your visit to Saint Petersburg and to have the best impression right away, there is nothing better than to go to the main artery that is the Nevsky Prospect (Nevsky Prospekt). This avenue of more than 4 kilometers, which starts at the Admiralty building and ends at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, represents the heart of the city with its numerous monuments, buildings in neo-classical, baroque and Art Nouveau styles. Almost all of the houses along the Mokka River and its green bridge were built from the end of the 18th to the very beginning of the 20th century and have remained practically unchanged since. The former building of the Singer company has become a large bookstore, the Eliseyev grocery store is a gourmet’s paradise, and Count Stroganov’s palace is a beautiful example of Russian baroque construction. On the lively Avenue, you will find all the luxury stores, the most famous restaurants and bars as well as the most important shopping mall of the city; Gostiny Dvor.
The Hermitage Museum
The largest museum in the world in terms of the number of works it exhibits is located in Saint Petersburg. It is a complex of 5 buildings including the imposing Winter Palace and its fascinating facade overlooking the Neva River. The Hermitage is spread over 400 rooms and 3 levels, so it is impossible to visit in one day. You will either have to make a program for yourself or come back many times.
Here is a small, non-exhaustive summary of the exhibitions you should not miss.
– Antiquities: Located on the first floor, the different rooms group together works from prehistory, the arts of the Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations up to the Middle Ages.
– Jewelry Gallery: Also on the first floor, a large collection of precious stones, necklaces, bracelets, crowns but also emerald sculptures or decorated weapons of war.
– Italian Arts: On the first floor, masterly works of painters from the time of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael with works of his masters.
– Flemish Arts: On the first floor, masterpieces of Flemish painters from the 17th and 18th centuries, including a large collection of Rubbens.
– French Arts : On the 1st floor of the Winter Palace, the largest collection after the Louvre of French painters from Le Nain, Poussin to Renoir or Van Gogh. And Gauguin.
– Modern art: On the second floor are exposed a multitude of works of Western and American painting of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
The city of St. Petersburg was built on a marshy area and that’s why around the Neva River there are many islands. Today there are only 42 of them left because many canals have been closed. Among them you can go for a walk on the Vasilievsky island, also called “Basil’s island”, which is the biggest of the Delta. We will pass the Dvortsovy Most bridge to admire the perspective of the left bank and the Peter and Paul Fortress. To do this, go to the eastern tip of the island, the “Strelka”, where you will discover the rostral columns, which are the old lighthouses decorated in homage to the Russian Navy. The island has houses and buildings dating back to the 18th century with the beautiful Menchkikov Palace known for its large collection of furniture and objects belonging to the aristocracy of that time. The tour ends at the tip of the island on the Palace quay where you will have one of the most beautiful perspectives of the beauties of the ancient Russian capital.