Originally built it 1703 by Peter the Great to symbolise Russia’s status on the world map and reduce the threat of Swedish attack, St Petersburg is a city steeped in luxury and splendour.
Following the completion of the Peter and Paul fortress in 1712, the Tsar relocated Russia’s capital here and threw a bottomless pit of cash at it, adding sumptuous palaces and cathedrals to the city’s layout to transform it into Russia’s first great modern city.
From your first glance on the city, it’s safe to say they succeeded.
Stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage site and you will come across endless cultural attractions dotted along the main thoroughfare, Nevsky Prospect, which illustrate the city’s imperial past and provide an insight into the tastes of the Tsars.
Take in Stroganov Palace, Kazan Cathedral, the monument of Catherine the Great and the Anichkov Bridge, all sprinkled amongst the designer boutiques.
Marvel at the gilded cupola of St. Isaac's Cathedral and be awestruck by the elaborate onion domes of the Church on Spilled Blood. Be sure to peek inside.
Don’t leave St Petersburg without visiting the pretty Baroque Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum on the waterfront, where you can tour the 1500 lavish gold and crystal State Rooms and see over three million pieces of art, including works by grand masters Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, Van Dyck, El Greco and Rembrandt. Keep an eye out for the incredible gilded Peacock Clock.
Meanwhile, the best examples of Russian artwork can be found at the Russian Museum.
During your coach trip to St Petersburg, you’re never far away from water. Soak up the city’s atmosphere on a boat trip or spend time simply taking in the views from the 342 bridges that cross the canals.
Despite its grand manmade appearance, one of St Petersburg’s biggest attractions is a natural phenomenon, the White Nights, when during the summer months the sun never drops below the horizon.
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