Top 5 Things to Do in St Petersburg, Russia

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Hermitage State Museum
The Three Graces by Canova. Hermitage State Museum | Picture Flickr Leon Yaakov

While there are many worthy places to visit and things to do in Russia, there is a splendor unlike any other in St Petersburg. Founded by Peter the Great, this was the country’s imperial capital.

It also follows that many of Russia’s cultural attractions are found in the city, and there are loads of them to enjoy. But it’s not just culture that can be savored in St Petersburg, it’s also packed with cafes, restaurants, and parks. Plus, the nightlife isn’t too shabby either.

But with lots to do and see with so little time, how can one manage to get a taste of the city? Here are top 5 things to do in St Petersburg:

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Saint Petersburg, Russia - Things to Do in St Petersburg
Saint Petersburg, Russia Picture : Flickr | Ninara

 

Top 5 things to do in St Petersburg, Russia

 

 

Hermitage Square - Things to Do in St Petersburg
Hermitage Square | Picture Flickr David Orban

 

Go for a walk

Joseph Brodsky once wrote, “In his youth, at least, a man born in this city spends as much time on foot as any good Bedouin.” The reason is not for lack of transportation or fare price; it’s that St Petersburg demands to be seen on foot.

There are different ways to approach a St Petersburg walking tour. You can either start your stroll at the magnificent St Isaac’s Cathedral or go on a themed tour. For instance, lovers of literature can follow the footsteps of Fyodor Dostoyevsky by exploring the downtown area.

 

Saint-Petersburg, Russia Nevsky Prospect - Things to Do in St Petersburg
Saint-Petersburg, Russia Nevsky Prospect | Picture Flickr Ninara

 

Dedicate a day to culture

So much has happened in St Petersburg and remnants of a glorious past still remain. One of the best ways to get a cultural appreciation for Russia as well as the rest of the world is to visit the State Hermitage Museum.

Since it would be impossible to see everything that is there in just a few hours (there are around 400 rooms covering over three floors across five buildings), here are a few tips to make the most of it:

Buy a ticket through the website ( Sightseeing and activities in St Petersburg). It will be so much more expensive but you’ll also avoid the queue. If you can spare the time, get the two-day ticket for maximum viewing pleasure.

View the collections by floor. You are bound to get lost, but that’s part of the fun and frustration of visiting such a large building. Antiquities are on the ground floor while the other two are dedicated to European paintings.

Accept that you will miss out on some collections. Unless you have a week or a month to spare, you won’t see everything that’s housed in the Hermitage. But if you have specific works of art you want to see, you can make a list of that and check the maps to head there directly.

 

Hermitage Museum by Night - Things to Do in St Petersburg
The State Hermitage Museum is one of the oldest and biggest museums in the world. | Picture Flickr Kuhnmi

 

Drink like a local

Head to the Dead Poets Bar to take a sip of more than 80 whiskeys from different countries. Food is also an offer as are occasional cultural events. You may also try Vodka after all, when you think of Russia you think of Vodka.

 

Vodka toast - Things to Do in St Petersburg
Vodka toast | Picture Flickr Conor Lawless

 

Visit a church or two

St Isaac’s Cathedral is not only a stunning structure; you can also climb the colonnade to get a view of the city.

 

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg
Interior of Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg, Russia | Picture Flickr Tim Adams

 

Don’t be afraid to go the unusual route

Churches, parks, and museum visits are pretty common tourist-y things to do. Why not try something different for a change? A visit to the Russian Vodka Museum might be fun. You might also want to see the place where Rasputin was murdered. Or, you can check out a museum dedicated to hygiene.

 

Hermitage State Museum
The Three Graces by Canova. Hermitage State Museum | Picture Flickr Leon Yaakov

 

St Petersburg has a lot to offer, and it sadly can’t be experienced in just a short time. But with the ideas listed above, you can get a taste of what the city is like.

(See : St Petersburg Holiday Packages)

 

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