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St. Petersburg

4.3 /5 27 votes

Weather:

Best Time: June-August Read More

Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Nearest Airport: St. Petersburg Check Flights

"Home of the Tsar legacy"

St. Petersburg Tourism

While St. Petersburg today is Russia's second most important and populated city, it was once the centre of political power in the country. The Tsarist capital of Russia, St. Petersburg is still home to the glorious heritage of the dynasty, reflected in it's museums, gardens and many stunning palaces.

The city of St. Petersburg captures the imperial history of Russia to perfection. A few days spent here and you will come to realise the grandeur with which the Tsars rules the vast land for two long centuries. There are tons of museums throughout the city, most of them set in imperial buildings, displaying various facets of Russian history. The Hermitage Museum, for example, is one of the world's finest art collections, occupying a total of 6 major buildings. The main building of the Hermitage Museum, the Winter Palace, was actually the residence of the Tsars and is an absolutely overwhelming structure on Palace Square, St. Petersburg's equivalent of the Red Square. There are also several stunning churches and cathedrals throughout the city, the most popular of which are St. Isaac's Cathedral and the historic Cathedral of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, which also serves as museums today. Catherine Palace on the outskirts of the city is another hugely famous attraction, and the detail and the magnificence of this palace are sure to blow you away! And the same can also be said for Peterhof Palace, an entire estate of stunning works of architecture. During the summers, the city literally never sleeps. The world-famous White Nights mean that the sun sets for barely an hour at night before rising again. St. Petersburg is truly quite the place to visit during these months, absolutely buzzing with energy! After all that, you can well imagine what a trip to this city holds! Truly, a trip into the grand history of Imperial Russia.

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Language of St. Petersburg

Russian is the first language spoken in St. Petersburg. English is also spoken, but mostly among the youngsters, since it is taught in schools and colleges.

History of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is one of Russia's most historic cities. It was captured by Peter the Great from the Swedes, and was made capital of the kingdom in 1912. The city was built along the Neva rivers in the years to come. Except for a small period of 4 years (1928 - 1932) under Peter II when the capital was shifted back to Moscow, St. Petersburg remained the capital of Russia till the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. All of the stunning structures that you see today in the city were built during this period. The Winter Palace, for example, was built in the 1760s. The city has also seen the assassination of three emperors, Peter III, Paul I, and Alexander II. In 1905, the Palace Square was the place of the infamous Bloody Sunday Massacre, where thousands of protestors were killed and injured while moving towards the Winter Palace. It was one of the many immediate reasons for the Revolution of 1905. After the beginning of WW I, the city was renamed to Petrograd to remove the German elements from the name. It was again renamed to Leningrad after the death of Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution. During World War II, Leningrad was captured and besieged by German forces. It stayed under siege for almost two and a half years, and almost a million people died. After the war, Stalin conferred the title of 'Hero City to Leningrad, along with only 3 other cities of Stalingrad, Sevastopol, and Odessa. Also, several new areas around the city were added to the Leningrad Oblast. After the fall of USSR, the first mayoral elections were held in the city, which were won by Anotaly Sobchak. The city was also renamed to St. Petersburg, as all symbols of the communist era were being removed. Since then, the city has had many economic and political ups and downs. However in the last decade, the city of St. Petersburg has once again become an important Russian city.

Nightlife in St. Petersburg

Nightlife in St. Petersburg is amazing. The city really doesn't sleep and parties go on till sunrise! Whatever you have on your mind, you'll find a club or a bar in St. Petersburg that will easily fit your plans. Clubs like Mod and Achtung Baby are popular clubs where tourist and local crowds mix up to create a vibrant atmosphere. Soul Kitchen Bar is 3 floors of pure madness, with each floor dedicated to a different genre. Rossi Club near the Nevsky Prospekt is another favourite among tourists.

Shopping in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg has various popular shopping areas. You'll find several international brands, souvenir shops, handicraft stores and departmental stores. Some of the most popular stores are located along the Nevsky Prospekt, which is a shopping hotspot. There are many malls as well, Galleria Shopping Mall being one of the most visited. Bolshoi Prospekt is another place which attracts many shoppers from all over the city.

Currency in St. Petersburg

The Ruble is the only currency accepted in St. Petersburg. Most major cards are accepted throughout the city. It is always better to carry cash though, since not all places have card payments.

Exchanging Money in St. Petersburg

Currency exchange booths are located conveniently throughout the city at all the commercial areas, and also the airport. It is not very easy to convert currency in the city actually, and its always better to carry USD and Euros, since other currencies are not easily accepted. Also, carry your passport whenever you're going to exchange currency.

Daily Budget for St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a fairly expensive city. A low end budget will lie around RUB 2000 - 2500 per person. A mid range budget will lie somewhere in the region RUB 5000 - 7000, and a high end budget should be around RUB 13000 - 15000 per person.

Religion of St. Petersburg

Christianity

St. Petersburg Customs

People in St. Petersburg in general are not overly polite or delightful. Saying thank you or sorry too often, such as at a restaurant, might attract a stare or two. When it comes to dressing, as always it's best to be dressed up smartly whenever you're out. Greetings with new people are sufficed by handshakes. Don't shake hands over thresholds, as it is believed to incite an argument in the future. Tips can be left in the region of 5 - 10% at hotels and restaurants. For porters or housekeep, RUB 50 - 100 are considered enough. For taxis and bars, it's usually enough to round your the bill up while paying.

Restaurants and Local Food in St. Petersburg

Food in St. Petersburg is of all types. Many cuisines and fast food joints are scattered all over the city, along with many places for some street food. However, there are a few local dishes that you should try if you're here. Borsch is a soup that is considered staple all over Russia, blini is a Russian adaptation of the pancake and is a favourite breakfast food, Solyanka is another hugely popular soup, Beef Stroganoff is famous world over, and has it's roots here in Russia, and of course Pelmeni is a famous dish, with minced meat wrapped in dough.
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