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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Russia > St Petersburg

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Things to see in St Petersburg

Tourist Offices

City Tourism Information Centre

Address: , Sadovaya ulitsa 14/52, St Petersburg, 191023
Telephone: +7 812 242 3909.
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 1000-1900

Website: http://www.ispb.info

The St Petersburg Tourist Information Bureau on Sadovaya ulitsa is a good first port of call for local information. They maintain several information kiosks around the city.

Tourist passes

The St Petersburg Card (www.petersburgcard.com/en) gives free entrance to 50 local museums and attractions and it includes a rechargeable ‘e-purse’, which can be used to pay for tickets on the metro, buses, trolleybuses and trams. Passes last from two to seven days.

Attractions

Khram Spas-na-Krovi (Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood)

Modelled on St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, this church was built on the spot where socialist radicals assassinated Emperor Alexander II on 1 March 1881. It’s crowned by a fantasy collection of tiled onion domes and has a stunningly restored interior of gleaming marble and glittering mosaics. The best views of the exterior are from across the canal, on naberezhnaya Kanala Griboedova.

Address: , naberezhnaya Kanala Griboedova 2, St Petersburg, 191186
Telephone: +7 812 315 1636.
Opening times:

Tue-Mon 1030-1800 (Oct-Apr); Tue-Mon 1030-2230 (May-Sep).

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Russkiy Muzyei (Russian Museum)

Often overshadowed by the splendour of the Hermitage, these sprawling galleries contain the world's finest collection of Russian paintings, from 1,000-year-old icons to old masters and modern legends like Malevich, Kandinsky and Chagall. There is an additional charge for the galleries outside the Mikhailovsky Palace and Benois Wing, which open Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Sunday 1000-1800, plus Thursday 1300-2100.

Address: , Inzhenernaya ulitsa 4/2, St Petersburg, 191186
Telephone: +7 812 595 4248.
Opening times:

Wed-Sun 1000-1800, Thu 1300-2100, Mon 1000-2000.

Website: http://www.rusmuseum.ru/eng
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Hermitazh (Hermitage)

Designed by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the glorious baroque Winter Palace of Empress Elizabeth is the setting for Russia's finest collection of art and antiquities. Over three million works are lavishly displayed here and the linked Small Hermitage and Large Hermitage. Highlights include works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt and Rubens. It would take around 10 years to tour the Hermitage, spending just one minute at each exhibit.

Address: , 2 Dvortsovaya ploschad, St Petersburg, 190000
Telephone: +7 812 710 9079
Opening times:

Tue, Thurs, Sat-Sus 1030-1800; Wed, Fri 1030-2100.

Website: http://www.hermitagemuseum.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Fabergé Museum

Housed in the beautiful Shuvalovsky Palace, this auspicious museum is dedicated to the work of preeminent jeweller Carl Fabergé, famed for his intricate bejewelled eggs. It has the largest collection of pieces by the designer in the world with more than 4,000 works of decorative Russian art. Tours must be booked at least five days in advance.

Address: , nab reki Fontanki 21, St Petersburg,
Telephone: +7 812 333 2655.
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 1000-2100.

Website: http://fabergemuseum.ru
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Muzyei Antropologiy i Etnografii imena Petra Velikovo (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology)

Russia’s oldest state museum is centred on the cabinet of curiosities assembled by Peter the Great during his grand tour of Europe, though it’s the collection of physically abnormal foetuses preserved in alcohol that draws the crowds. It’s fascinating stuff, best reserved for visitors with strong stomachs and a scientific curiosity.

Address: , naberezhnaya Universitetskaya 3, St Petersburg, 199034
Telephone: +7 812 328 1412.
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 1100-1800; closed last Tues of the month.

Website: http://www.kunstkamera.ru
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Isaakievsky sobor (St Isaac's Cathedral)

This spectacular imperial cathedral, commissioned by Tsar Alexander I, is a engineering masterpiece on marshy ground west of Nevsky prospekt. Crowned by a gilded dome that rivals St Peter’s in the Vatican, the cathedral was completed in 1858 and it still dominates the St Petersburg skyline. The interiors are dazzling and the climb to the colonnade of the dome (accessible on a separate ticket) is rewarded by marvellous panoramic views.

Address: , Isaakievskaya ploshchad 1, St Petersburg, 19000
Telephone: +7 812 315 9732.
Opening times:

Thu-Tues1030-2230 (May-Sept); Thu-Tue 1030-1800 (Oct-Apr) (Cathedral); Mon-Sun 1030-2230 (May-Oct), Thu-Tue 1030-1800 (Nov-Apr) (Colonnade).

Website: http://eng.cathedral.ru
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Petropavlovskaya krepost (Peter and Paul Fortress)

Built by Peter the Great in 1703 to defend the area from the Swedes, this fortress soon became a political prison. Famous inmates included Dostoevsky, Gorky and Trotsky, plus Peter's own son, Alexei. The bleak cells are now a museum, along with the Commandant's House where prisoners were tried. The highlight though is the soaring gold spire of the cathedral.

Address: , Petropavlovskaya krepost, St Petersburg, 197046
Telephone: +7 812 230 6431.
Opening times:

Thu-Tue 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.spbmuseum.ru
Admission Fees:

No (admission fee for the cathedral, bell tower, museum and wall walk)

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Muzyei-domik Petra I (Cabin of Peter the Great)

The first house built in St Petersburg was not a grand palace but a humble wooden cabin, from where Peter the Great supervised the construction of his grand imperial city. Now encased in a protective brick enclosure and furnished with period furniture, its spartan simplicity is a strange contrast to the grand cathedrals and palaces all around.

Address: , naberezhnaya Petrovskaya 6, St Petersburg, 197046
Telephone: +7 812 595 4248
Opening times:

Mon, Wed, Fri-Sun 1000-1800; Thurs 1300-2100

 

Website: http://en.rusmuseum.ru/cabin-of-peter-1/
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Piskariovskoye Memorialnoe Kladbishche (Piskarivskoye Memorial Cemetery)

This is a place of pilgrimage for the dwindling survivors of the 1941-44 siege of Leningrad, one Russia’s darkest hours. Under the gaze of a massive bronze of Mother Russia lie the mass graves of 500,000 St Petersburg citizens who starved to death in the Nazi blockade. The story of the suffering and endurance of the city is powerfully told in the Memorial Halls.

Address: , Nepokorennykh prospekt 72, St Petersburg, 195273
Telephone: +7 812 297 5716
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1800 (Oct-Apr), 0900-2100 (May-Sep).

Website: http://pmemorial.ru/eng-memorial
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Kreyser Avrora (Cruiser Aurora)

Launched in St Petersburg in 1900, the Cruiser Aurora served as a battleship in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, before firing the shot that signalled the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917 and the beginning of Bolshevik rule. Refitted as a museum, you can see the crew's quarters and the gun that fired the historic shot.

Address: , naberezhnaya Petrovskaya, St Petersburg, 197046
Telephone: +7 812 230 8440.
Opening times:

Tue-Thu, Sat and Sun 1030-1600.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No