Most popular things to do in St. Petersburg
Most popular Shore Excursions in St. Petersburg
Welcome to Saint Petersburg City Tours!
St. Petersburg Russia is the most beautiful and interesting city in Russia. From the Peter and Paul fortress to the retreats of the Tsars, we'll show you all the highlights of St. Petersburg. Book your tour or shore excursion today!
Explore Historic St. Petersburg
Russia is filled with beautiful buildings and spectacular landscapes, each unique and breathtaking in its own way. But none can quite compare to Saint Petersburg. Founded by Peter the Great and named in his honor, the city has seen many functions throughout the years. It was a retreat of the Tsar and his family during Russia's imperial years, and all grand imperial residences are still available to tour.
On our guided tours, we will show you the best of what St. Petersburg has to offer. You will understand the full significance of every landmark we see, and you'll learn about the city's past and present. We can also help you find everything you'll need to make your vacation as pleasant as possible. From information on lodging to airfare and more, we are your resource.
Enjoying Historic St. Petersburg
Saint Petersburg has become the center of learning and culture in Russia. There are many museums here, focusing both on (military) history, art and anthropology. You'll also be able to look into the past with a tour of the Cruiser Aurora, built around 1900 and famous for the start of the October Revolution. It is still available to see today. If you're less interested in military history and lean more toward culture instead, you will want to look into the many gardens that bloom in St. Petersburg. In addition to the grounds around the palaces, there are many beautiful sights everywhere around the city.
When Peter the Great first reclaimed the land that would become St. Petersburg, his first action was to build a magnificent fort to protect the area from invasion. This fort, The Peter and Paul Fortress, still stands today, and parts of it are open to the public. The Fortress never needed to defend the city, as all military challenges to St. Petersburg were eliminated before it was even completed. Instead, it became a political prison and city landmark, housing well known authors and political figures like Dostoevsky and Trotsky. There is also a museum and a beautiful cathedral that no historical traveler should pass up. After seeing the first building in the city, you can see the first residence: the Cabin of Peter the Great himself. Known to some as Peter's Cottage, this small home is nonetheless magnificent. Peter's original belongings are still on display within the cabin.
You might also want to explore the museum founded by Peter the Great, one of the oldest museums in the world. Officially known as the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography but also called the Kunstkammer, this magnificent building is dedicated to tracking the development and history of many different peoples worldwide.
Art and Architecture
St. Petersburg is filled with beautiful and historical treasures, both inside museums and out. The State Hermitage Museum and State Russian Museum both boast impressive collections, the Hermitage museum filled with over three million artifacts from around the world, and the Russian museum with one of the best collections of Russian art on display. The Mikhailovsky Castle Collections focus on 18th and 19th century art with a focus on Russian sculpture.
If you enjoy architecture, you can't miss the religious buildings throughout St. Petersburg. St. Issac's Cathedral, built in the mid-19th century, was once the largest cathedral in all of Russia. Although it is now surpassed by the mammoth Church of Christ our Savior in Moscow, St. Isaac's is still a wealth of beautiful mosaics, sculpture, and artwork. Another major architectural feature of the city, the Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a wonderful example of traditional Russian architecture, built in a completely different style from St. Isaac's.
Finally, you'll want to visit the three major imperial estates in and around St. Petersburg. Peterhof palace was built first, by Peter the Great himself, and continued to serve as a retreat for many generations of Tsars to come. It was expanded to include beautiful gardens and is now a park in addition to a tourist attraction. The next estate to be built was Tsarskoe Selo, or Pushkin, which actually houses two separate palaces. In addition to the beautiful grounds and architecture, Tsarskoe Selo was also the estate to which the last Tsar was exiled after the revolution. The final estate outside of St. Petersburg is Pavlovsk, a magnificent architectural contrast to the other two estates with English style landscaping and design.
Military, Engineering, and More
In addition to the general history available in museums, St. Petersburg is a great place for a military historian to visit. From the Cruiser Aurora to the Museum of Artillery, Engineers, and Signals, you'll love learning firsthand about Russian military history and technology. And whether you're a more casual tourist or very historically focused, you'll want to see the beautiful gardens and monuments throughout St. Petersburg. The Bronze Horseman and The Alexander Column commemorate the founder of St. Petersburg and the Russian victory against Napoleon respectively. But perhaps the most impressive monument is the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, a strong piece of architecture that is much more than a collection of statues and is entirely dedicated to Russia's efforts in World War II.
Finally, you'll want to explore the gardens and bridges that can be found throughout the city. The Alexander Garden and Summer Garden both feature beautiful plantings in addition to wonderful statues in the Alexander Garden, and the first Summer Palace of St. Petersburg in the Summer Garden. More functional and less decorative are St. Petersburg's two most marvelous bridges: the Trinity and Anichkov bridges. Both are used today, although the Anitchkov is a more traditional stone design dating back to the first days of the city while the Trinity is modern and longer, designed by the man who built the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Enjoying St. Petersburg
Whether you are a casual traveler or looking to delve deeply into Russian history, St. Petersburg has just what you are looking for. We are happy to help you plan your visit here, and give you more information about any of the sites you read about on this page. Please call us at our international number +31-299-411111, or toll free: 1-900-348-7902 in the US/Canada, 0-800-007-5385 from the UK.