The center of St. Petersburg is an open-air museum with its array of 18th and 19th century palaces and mansions, culminating in the extraordinary Winter Palace. It houses the famous Hermitage, the world's greatest art gallery next to the Neva River. But the city was always much more than the architectural dream of a tsar. It became home to Russia's greatest artists, was the birthplace of the Russian ballet, and there is not a city in the world where you can walk past the homes of so many great literary and artistic figures in such a small area. Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, and many more lived within just a few minutes walk of each other. One of the great pleasures of a visit to the city, for anyone remotely interested in literature, is to wander around Pushkin's beautiful flat alongside the Moyka canal.
The one must-see site in St. Petersburg is Catherine the Great's Winter Palace with the adjoining Hermitage Art Gallery, but this city holds a plethora of sites that will take your breath away just as easily. There is the gloriously extravagant Church of the Spilled Blood, with its colorful onion domes, or the vast gold-domed St. Isaac's Cathedral. Or you could visit the Russian Art Gallery, with its stunning paintings by Repin and Levitan. If you are in the city during the summer, you can cruise the canals and take a boat trip to Petrodvorets to see the symphony of fountains at Peter's summer palace.
Follow this link to view our Cruises to St Petersburg, Russia.