Those looking for the perfect European city break destination might not need to look any further than St Petersburg – this dynamic city is bursting with sights, attractions and activities and is one of the main cultural centres of Europe, despite being one of the continent’s youngest large metropolises.
Originally conceived as a tourism centre in the 18th century, St Petersburg is the largest non-capital city in Europe and boasts some of the region’s most interesting architectural and historical sights.
One of the main attractions in the city is the Hermitage, a sprawling museum that is among the biggest in the world and is made up of the Winter Palace, the Maly Hermitage, the New Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre, which feature artefacts dating from the Stone Age right up until the present day.
A few other tourist hotspots in St Petersburg include the main part of the Winter Palace, the Alexandro-Nevskaya monastery and St Isaac’s Cathedral, as well as the Peter and Paul Fortress.
If wandering around the city’s streets in admiration of its architecture is more your thing, you might want to take a stroll around Palace Square, St Isaac’s Square, Novaya Gollandiya island – known as New Holland – and the Decemberists’ Square (Ploshad Dekabristov).
Notable monuments and sculptures around St Petersburg include the Bronze Horseman and a number of representations of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Alexander Pushkin, a famous Russian poet.
You could stop off at one of St Petersburg’s many bars, cafes and restaurants – about six or seven new ones are opened weekly – for a bite to eat and a drink or perhaps plan your stay to coincide with one of the city’s 100 annual festivals and take in their varied events and performances in between sightseeing activities.
When it comes to nightlife, St Petersburg is home to numerous late-night bars, luxury nightclubs and live music venues, meaning that there is usually something on for everyone at the end of the day – even during the working week.
Whatever you choose to do during your time in St Petersburg, it is likely to leave a lasting impression and give you only good memories of an unforgettable city