How our Bliss Filters work

Your custom results ({[{ results.meta.total }]}) Return to previous page

  • Peterhof-Palace-cascade.jpg - The famed Grand Cascade at Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia. Peterhof is the world's largest palace and park complex.
  • Hermitage-Museum-in-St-Petersburg - A view from the Neva River of the magnificent Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-statues.jpg - More than 200 statues and 144 fountains dot the 500-acre gardens of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-inside.jpg - The Ball Room was used for formal receptions, dinners and balls in Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • toulouse-lautrec-woman-with-umbrella.jpg -  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, “Woman With an Umbrella,” 1889, watercolor, gouache and tempera on cardboard, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Spilled-Blood3-Russia.jpg - The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Russia-St-Petersburg-Palace-Sculpture - Book passage to St. Petersburg, Russia, on Norwegian Star and  explore magnificent Peterhof Palace.
  • Azamara-Hermitage1-Russia.jpg - A gallery in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Catherine-Palace1-Pushkin-Russia.jpg - Catherine Palace in Pushkin, just south of St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-statues2.jpg - More than 200 statues and 144 fountains dot the 500-acre gardens of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Royal-Caribbean-Grand-Cascade-Peterhof-Palace - Visit the Grand Cascade at the magnificent 18th-century Peterhof Palace when your cruise ship calls on St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Uniworld-River-Victoria-Catherine-Palace - Guests of the River Victoria will discover the grand Catherine Palace on a shore excursion of St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-terrace.jpg - The terrace overlooking the stunning grounds of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Aerial-SPB-Peter_and_Paul_Fortress.jpg -  Aerial view of Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia, the oldest area of the city.
  • Azamara-Spilled-Blood5-Russia.jpg - Inside the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Uniworld-River-Victoria-Peterhof-Palace - Wander the grand Peterhof Palace and its elaborate interiors and gardens — often called the "Russian Versailles"— during your river cruise to St. Petersburg, Russia, aboard Uniworld's River Victoria.
  • Peterhof-Palace-and-Grand-Cascade-St-Petersburg - Grand Peterhof Palace and the Grand Cascade in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Uniworld-River-Victoria-Moscow-Kremlin - Cruise the imperial waterways of Russia, from Moscow to St. Petersburg — including closeup views of the Kremlin — aboard Uniworld's ship the River Victoria.
  • Canova-The-Hermitage-St-Petersburg-Russia - Neoclassical marble sculptures by Antonio Canova at the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Royal-Caribbean-Hermitage-Museum-3 - The grand Hermitage Museum, included on Royal Caribbean's shore excursions in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Royal-Caribbean-Moscow - Arrange a Royal Caribbean shore excursion in Moscow and see the historic Red Square and Kremlin.
  • Royal-Caribbean-Hermitage-Museum-2 - Royal Caribbean's shore excursions in St.Petersburg, Russia, include tours of the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world.
  • Royal-Caribbean-Hermitage-Museum-4 - Arrange a Royal Caribbean shore excursion in St. Petersburg, Russia, for a tour of the magnificent Hermitage Museum.
  • Azamara-Catherine-Palace5-Pushkin-Russia.jpg - The golden domes of Catherine Palace in Pushkin, outside of St.Petersburg, Russian.
  • Azamara-Hermitage2-Russia.jpg - A statue in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Hermitage3-Russia.jpg - Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova, in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Hermitage4-Russia.jpg - The Hermitage Museum (or Госуда́рственный Эрмита́ж if you prefer Russian) in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Spilled-Blood4-Russia.jpg - The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-St-Isaacs2-Russia.jpg - View of the ceiling in Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St.Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-decorative.jpg - The view from the terrace in the front of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-fountain.jpg - One of the pretty fountains at Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-fountain3.jpg - The 500-acre gardens of Peterhof Palace boast 144 fountains, just outside St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-gardens.jpg - The well-manicured gardens of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-Small-Passage-Room-French-made-Commode-Clock.jpg - A French-made Commode Clock in the Small Passage Room in Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-rear-gardens.jpg - The Upper Garden of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-Standard-Room.jpg - The Standard Room in Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-Throne-Room.jpg - The east wall of Peterhof Palace’s Throne Room displays the chair of state placed on a dais beneath the portrait “Catherine II on Her Horse Brilliant.”
  • Peterhof-Palace-visitor.jpg - A visitor to Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia. Expect crowds. Lots of them.
  • Peterhof-Palace-1.jpg - Part of the sprawling Peterhof Palace complex just outside St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-peter-and-paul-steeple-on-st-petersburg-canal-cruise.jpg - The steeple of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral seen during a canal cruise  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-yellow-building-on-canal-cruise.jpg - A striking building along a canal cruise  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • van-gogh-white-house-at-night.jpg -  Vincent van Gogh, “The White House at Night” (no, not that White House), 1890, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • matisse-standing-moroccan-in-green.jpg -  Henri Matisse, “Standing Moroccan in Green (Standing Riffian),” 1913, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • double-golden-eagle-Winter-Palace-St-Petersburg-Russia - A double golden eagle at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Picasso-in-The-Hermitage-St-Petersburg-Russia -  The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, has two entire rooms filled with Picasso paintings.
  • Peterhof-Palace-horizontal.jpg - Peterhof Palace, largely destroyed during WWII, has been restored to its former glory. See it on a cruise of St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • peterhof-palace-golden-dome.jpg - The golden dome of Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-grounds-and-statue.jpg - The fountain gardens of Peterhof. 500 acres, 200+ statues, 144 fountains and a whole lot of decadence. Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • La-Toilette-Degas-Hermitage-St-Petersburg - "La Toilette (Woman Combing Her Hair)" (c. 1884–1886), pastel on paper by Edgar Degas, can be viewed at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-Throne-Room2.jpg - Detail of the Throne Room, originally designed in the late 1700s, at Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Catherine-Palace6-Pushkin-Russia.jpg - Inside Catherine Palace in Pushkin, Russia.
  • paul-cezanne-banks-of-the-marne.jpg -  Paul Cezanne, “Banks of the Marne,” 1888, oil on canvas.
  • paul-cezanne-smoker.jpg -  Paul Cezanne, “Smoker,” 1890-92, oil on canvas.
  • paul-cezanne-still-life-with-drapery.jpg -  Paul Cezanne, “Still Life With Drapery,” 1894-85, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • paul-gaughin-les-parau-parau.jpg -  Paul Gaughin, “Les Parau Parau (Conversation),” 1891, oil on canvas.
  • paul-gaughin-pastoral-tahitiennes.jpg -  Paul Gaughin, “Pastorales tahitienes,” 1892, oil on canvas.
  • picasso-bathing.jpg -  Pablo Picasso, “Bathing,” 1908, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • picasso-bust-of-a-nude2.jpg -  Pablo Picasso, “Bust of a Nude,” 1907, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • picasso-friendship.jpg -  Pablo Picasso, “Friendship,” 1908, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • picasso-tenora-and-violin.jpg -  Pablo Picasso, “Tenora and Violin,” 1913, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • picasso-violin-guitar.jpg -  Pablo Picasso, “Violin and Guitar,” 1913, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • picasso-woman-playing-mandolin.jpg -  Pablo Picasso, “Woman Playing a Mandolin,” 1909, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • van-gogh-landscape-with-house-and-ploughman.jpg -  Vincent van Gogh, “Landscape With House and Ploughman,” 1889, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • van-gogh-memory-of-the-garden-at-etten.jpg -  Vincent van Gogh, “Memory of the Garden at Etten (Ladies of Arles),” 1888, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • van-gogh-morning-going-out-to-work.jpg -  Vincent van Gogh, “Morning: Going Out to Work (After Millet),” 1890, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Catherine-Palace3-Pushkin-Russia.jpg - Catherine Palace,  near St. Petersburg, was the summer residence of Russian czars.
  • church-seen-on-st-petersburg-canal-cruise.jpg - Church seen on a canal cruise  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • russian-directions-st-petersburg.jpg - JD Lasica: “I love directions in other languages. This one was spotted on a canal cruise in St. Petersburg, Russia.”
  • russian-warship-neva-river.jpg - A warship in the Neva River of St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • russian-warship-neva-river2.jpg - A warship in the Neva River of St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • speedboat-on-neva-river.jpg - A speedboat on the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-architecture-on-canal-cruise.jpg - A balcony overlooking a canal  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-architecture-seen-on-canal-cruise-2.jpg - Some of the scenic buildings lining a canal  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-architecture-seen-on-canal-cruise.jpg - An apartment building seen during a canal cruise  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-boarding-canal-cruise.jpg - Visitors board a canal cruise  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-building-canal-cruise.jpg - One of the captivating buildings seen along the waterway during a canal cruise  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-building-canal-cruise-1.jpg - A classic building in St. Petersburg, Russia, seen during a canal cruise.
  • st-petersburg-building-canal-cruise-2.jpg - A government building with colonnades in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-canal-cruise.jpg - Here’s what you’d see from the front seat of a canal cruise  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-locals-seen-on-canal-cruise.jpg - Local women look out from an overpass along the edges of a canal  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-ornamental-statue.jpg - An ornamental statue topping a cupola along the banks of the Neva River  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • submarine-in-neva-river.jpg - A submarine, No. 487 in the Russian Navy’s fleet, moored in the Neva River of St. Petersburg.
  • woman-crosses-Peter-and-Paul-fortress-footbridge.jpg - A local woman crosses the footbridge leading to Peter and Paul Fortress  in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • imperial-tombs.jpg - Imperial graves containing the bodies of the royal family killed during the Russian Revolution in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhoff-gift-shop.jpg - Replicas of Faberge eggs in the gift shop at the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-cathedral-altar-2.jpg - The golden-colored iconostasis, completed by a group of 40 Moscow architects in 1727, at the front of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-cathedral-altar.jpg - The iconostasis and chandelier at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-cathedral-ceiling.jpg - The ceiling of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, which dates to 1733 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-cathedral-spire.jpg - The needle of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral is topped off by the figure of a flying angel bearing a cross.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-cathedral.jpg - The Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul is home to the graves of nearly all the rulers of Russia since Peter the Great.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-coffins.jpg - Coffins containing the bodies of the imperial family killed during the Russian Revolution in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-fortress-Commandants-House.jpg - The Commandant's House, built in the 1740s, houses the main collection of the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-interior.jpg - The interior of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-sanctuary-2.jpg - The Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul boasts a golden iconostasis that dates to 1727.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-cathedral-sanctuary-2.jpg - Crowds gather in front of the sanctuary at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-cathedral-sanctuary-detail.jpg - Detail of the iconostasis in Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-fortress-entrance-from-Ioannovsky-Bridge.jpg - The entrance of Saints Peter and Paul Fortress leading from Ioannovsky Bridge.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-fortress-the-mint.jpg - The Mint building inside Sts. Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • saints-peter-and-paul-spire.jpg - The spire of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. At 400 feet, it’s the tallest building in the city.
  • st-petersburg-demetropole.jpg - The colorful entrance to Demetropole, a restaurant that dates to 1847 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-stocks.jpg - A tourist volunteers for the stocks at Saints Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • top-of-basilica.jpg - The cupola of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, a popular tourist attraction in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • viking-sun-tour-guide.jpg - A Viking Sun tour guide leads a group at Saints Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-gift-shop-collectibles.jpg - Detail of the Throne Room, originally designed in the late 1700s, at Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-banquet-table.jpg - Banquet table at Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-Blue-Drawing-Room.jpg - Restoration work has returned the Blue Drawing Room to its 1783 glory at Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-ceiling.jpg - The restored ceiling of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-chest.jpg - An antique chest, saved from the bombing raids in World War II, in Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-Crown-Room.jpg - The Crown Room, one of the State Bedrooms in Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-Divan-Room-State-Bedroom.jpg - The Divan Room, one of the State Bedrooms in Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-fountain-best.jpg - The cascade at Peterhof Palace begins mornings at 11 a.m. near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-fountain4.jpg - The 500-acre gardens of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia, boast more than 200 fountains.
  • Peterhof-Palace-fountain5.jpg - One of the 144 fountains at Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-front.jpg - Peterhof Palace is the world's largest palace and park complex. It’s just outside St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-Oak-Study-Peter-I.jpg - The Oak Study created for Peter I in Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Peterhof-Palace-tour-group.jpg - A tour leader takes her group through the grounds of Peterhof Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • st-petersburg-russia-seadream.jpg - SeaDream I is small enough to dock right in the heart of St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-St-Isaacs3-Russia.jpg - Stained glass window in Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St.Petersburg, Russia.
  • peterhof-palace-russia.jpg - The opulent exterior of Peterhof Palace in Russia, named after Peter the Great.
  • peterhof-palace-from-above.jpg - View of the grounds from the steps of Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • peterhof-palace-chandlelier.jpg - A ceiling detail from Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-St-Isaacs1-Russia.jpg - Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St.Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-St-Isaacs4-Russia.jpg - Sculpture in Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St.Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-St-Petersburg-Russia.jpg - The Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia, at daybreak.
  • Cezanne_Still_Life_with_a_Curtain - "Still Life with a Curtain" (1895), by Paul Cézanne at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Spilled-Blood2-Russia.jpg - The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Azamara-Catherine-Palace4-Pushkin-Russia.jpg - A statue outside of Catherine Palace in Pushkin, Russia.
  • Azamara-Catherine-Palace2-Pushkin-Russia.jpg - Fillagree lights in Catherine Palace in Pushkin, outside of St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • auguste-renoir-child-with-whip.jpg -  Auguste Renoir, “Child With a Whip,” 1885, oil on canvas.
  • auguste-renoir-young-woman-with-fan.jpg -  Auguste Renoir, “Young Woman With a Fan,” 1880, oil on canvas.
  • henri-matisse-dance.jpg -  Henri Matisse’s iconic “Dance,” an oil on canvas he completed in 1910, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • claude-monet-meadow-at-giverny.jpg -  Claude Monet, “Meadows at Giverny,” 1888, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • henri-matisse-pink-statuette.jpg -  Henri Matisse, “Pink Statuette and Pitcher on a Red Chest of Drawers,” 1910, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • henri-matisse-spanish-still-life.jpg -  Henri Matisse, “Spanish Still Life,” 1910, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • henri-matisse-the-red-room.jpg -  Henri Matisse, “The Red Room (Harmony in Red),” 1908, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • kandinsky-composition-vi.jpg -  Wassily Kandinsky, “Composition VI,” 1913, oil on canvas. The Russian painter is credited with painting the first modern abstract works.
  • kandinsky-winter-landscape.jpg -  Wassily Kandinsky, “Winter Landscape,” 1909, oil on cardboard, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • matisse-family-portrait.jpg -  Henri Matisse, “Family Portrait,” 1911, oil on canvas, at the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • matisse-fruit-flowers-and-the-dance.jpg -  Henri Matisse, “Fruit, Flowers and the Dance,” 1909, oil on canvas, one of several variations he created with his “Dance” in the background.

St. Petersburg port guide: What to see in Russia's most beautiful city

our guide

The vibe

Fashioned by Peter the Great as Russia’s window on the West, St. Petersburg recalls the heyday of the tsars, yet is cosmopolitan and up-to-the-minute. Whether you're visiting for just a few hours on a cruise stopover or spending a couple days in St. Petersburg, this Russian port on the Baltic Sea has turned into a major European cultural center.

Perched on the banks of the Neva, the city is crisscrossed by canals. In the course of a single day, a visitor will come across Imperial palaces, superb art museums, historic churches and inspiring architecture. Russia's second largest city awaits visitors with a breathtaking cityscape that you'll long remember. This is Russia's most beautiful and Western city, and even when crazy stuff is happening elsewhere, business and art go on as usual in St. Petersburg, the longtime cultural soul of Russia. 

Cruise ships that call on St. Petersburg, Russia

River cruise ships that call on St. Petersburg

Top reasons to go

  • Fabulous art museums, including the world-famous Hermitage, with its collections from Imperial Russia.
  • A stunning cityscape of bridges and canals, lined with magnificent churches and palaces with gilded domes and golden spires.
  • The White Nights, midsummer evenings where the sun never seems to set.
Take a tour of the magnificent Hermitage Museum during your shore excursion in St. Petersburg.
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean InternationalTake a tour of the magnificent Hermitage Museum during your shore excursion in St. Petersburg.

Top things to do & see in St. Petersburg

The Hermitage

After the Louvre, The Hermitage is the second largest art museum in the world and is a treasure trove with whole rooms of works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, El Greco, Goya, the Impressionists and many more. It’s also the former winter palace of the tsars, so the rooms themselves are sights to behold. Among them is the Malachite Room, with its personal items from the Romanov family.

St. Issac's Cathedral

The huge gold dome of the immense 19th-century St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the largest in the city, is a landmark that took over 40 years to build. Inside, you’ll see magnificent mosaics and splendid city views form the top of the colonnade.

Church of the Resurrection of the Christ

Church of the Resurrection of the Christ was modeled after St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow and is a marvel of onion-shaped domes, mosaics and an altar studded with semi-precious gems.

Peter and Paul Fortress

Many of the Russian czars are buried in the Peter and Paul Fortress, built in 1703 by Peter the Great to protect the city against Sweden and other Western powers. It served as a prison up until 1917, with inmates that included Peter the Great’s son, Alexei, who was charged with treason. The complex includes the Baroque-style Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

 The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, has two entire rooms filled with Picasso paintings.
My Past / Creative Commons BY The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, has two entire rooms filled with Picasso paintings.

Russian Museum

Great artworks, religious icons and other artifacts pertaining to the history of Russia from the 12th century onward are displayed in the Russian Museum. It is housed in a former palace with lovely adjacent gardens to stroll around in.

Peterhof and Pushkin Palaces

Both of the Peterhof and Pushkin Palaces are located outside of the city and can be toured together or separately. Peterhof, built by Peter the Great, is often called the Russian Versailles because of its magnificent interiors, including the tsar’s original Oak Study Room and gardens. Catherine the Great’s palace in Pushkin is equally sumptuous, especially notable for its Amber Room, which took 20 years to recreate after it was plundered by the Nazis during World War II.

Shopping

Brightly colored nesting dolls, which come in designs from traditional to contemporary, and lacquer boxes are among the most popular local souvenirs. St. Petersburg is also a good place to find amber jewelry and religious icons. The Hermitage gift shop is an especially good place to browse for quality items. The many street vendors throughout the city, most prevalent along Nevsky Prospekt, the main commercial thoroughfare, are good sources for inexpensive souvenirs. The Galeria is the city’s main shopping mall, offering 290 shops as well as cafes and restaurants.

Nightlife

Fans of the opera or ballet will not want to miss the chance to see a performance of the Opera or Kirov Ballet companies at the famous Mariinsky Theater, a green and white confection dating back to the 19th century. Many cruises also offer excursions to see Russian folkloric dance and music performances.

Don’t miss

The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory is not only the best place to shop for the hand-painted cobalt blue china sold throughout the city, but it offers a museum filled with porcelain treasures that are part of the Hermitage collection.

Best bets for dining

  • Casual lunch: For a quick bite, try Russian blini, crepes with various fillings, sold at stands throughout the city. Café Singer, located on the second floor of the Dom Knigi (House of Books) bookstores, is a good place for people watching and for Russian specialties like pelemi (meat dumplings) and borscht. The Idiot Café, named for the Dostoyevsky novel, serves vegetarian fare in a cozy, Bohemian setting.
  • Fine dining: For an elegant Russian evening with caviar and cognac, Taleon, an opulent mansion connected to the Taleon Imperial Hotel, is the place to go. With art nouveau details and private balconies, another splendid choice is L’Europe at the Grand Hotel.
The grand Hermitage Museum, included on Royal Caribbean's shore excursions in St. Petersburg.
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean InternationalThe grand Hermitage Museum, included on Royal Caribbean's shore excursions in St. Petersburg.

Best time to go

High season: June to August

Shoulder seasons: April to May; September to October

Low season: November to March

Fun facts

  • St. Petersburg, including the suburban areas, has more bridges (about 800) than any other city in Europe.
  • The city was commissioned by Tsar Peter the Great (1672–1725) as "a window looking into Europe."
  • St. Petersburg, which has about 4.88 million people, is the world’s northernmost city with the largest population.
  • St. Petersburg hosts more than 100 arts-related festivals each year.

When you arrive

Docking information

Cruise ships dock at the Sea Façade located at the mouth of the Nevis River, about a 15-minute taxi ride to the city center. The terminal offers an information center, café, ATMs and other services.

Getting around

Taxis are available at the major hotels and attractions; it’s a good idea to negotiate the fare beforehand, and do not close the door until it's agreed. Drivers may not speak English, so it’s wise to have the name of the ship’s berth location written down in Russian. You can also sometimes negotiate with a taxi driver at the pier to give you a city tour. St. Petersburg also has an efficient metro system, worth checking out to see the elegant stations with chandeliers and Soviet-era artwork.

Need to know

A double golden eagle at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.
My Past / Creative Commons BYA double golden eagle at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

Documents: U.S. citizens will need a valid passport. If you are visiting St. Petersburg on a shore excursion through a licensed operator, you will not need a visa. If you are visiting on your own, you will need to apply to a Russian consulate or a visa service for a visa.

Language: Russian is the official language. English is not widely spoken.

Currency: The ruble, but many shops and street vendors accept dollars or euros.

Safety: It is not recommended that you drink the tap water in St. Petersburg; however, bottled water can be purchased cheaply from any store, and there are vending machines with mineral water, but you need to supply your own cup.

Your take

Have you been to St. Petersburg? Please share a story, tip or discovery. And photos, if you have some in sharp focus. What was the highlight for you? Did you bring home a notable souvenir?

See anything wrong? What did we overlook? Be a co-creator!

miles to go!

click map for travelers' photos

Maria Lenhart
I am a veteran travel writer who has enjoyed reporting on destinations far and near for many publications. My favorite way to travel is on board a ship, no matter where it's going. 

User images

Overheard

“Feel like lounging on the beach with a fruity cocktail, catching some rays or playing some badminton? Then visit Dunes, St. Petersburg’s first beach bar, complete with sand, hammocks and beach chairs. That this outdoor café is located in a crumbling courtyard (with no sea in sight) only adds to the charm.”

Lonely Planet

“The Hermitage is a museum on an impossible scale, much of it housed in the Winter Palace (there are four more buildings along Palace Embankment). This was the formal  home of the Russian czars, the absolute center of power, its physical expression in gold, marble, and malachite.”

Travel + Leisure magazine

“If time allows, attend a concert, opera, or ballet at the Hermitage Theatre. Built in 1783 for Catherine II, this cozy and impressive theater is one of the oldest in Russia.”

Porthole magazine

Your take: share your experience


Shore excursions

 
 
 
 

Comments