St Petersburg Travel Guide

Explore St Petersburg Russia

St Petersburg Russia Travel Guide A Vagabond Life

St Petersburg Russia Travel Guide

The St Petersburg Travel Guide will help you plan your trip to St Petersburg with hints, tips and ideas for travelling in this wonderful city.

St Petersburg is perhaps the most beautiful city I have ever been and so very sophisticated. The city was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and served as the Russian capital from 1713 to 1918.

Leading architects and designers were bought from all over the world to build the city which it has a feeling of both French and Italian renaissance.

Travel Tips St Petersburg

St Petersburg has an exceptional public transport system.

The metro in Saint Petersburg’s  is the second largest in Russia after Moscow. It is a cheap and effective way to get around the city, and is also a major tourist attraction due to the beautiful decorations of the stations. A single ticket costs RUB45 or multiple trip tickets are available.

If possible avoid travelling at peak hour when the metro is packed to the gills.

Trams, buses and trolley cars cover most of St Petersburg and cost about RUB30 per trip, tickets can be bought on board from the conductor.

If you are staying a few days it is a good idea to buy a metro card called a Podorozhnik which you can top up as you go. Podorozhnik can be used on both the metro and buses and cost RUB to buy which is refundable.

May to July is the most popular time to visit St Petersburg – and the busiest. The weather is warm to hot and the city celebrates White Nights when the sun never sets.

Early May & September sees mild weather and less crowds.

March and April: The snow is melting and the roads are full of dirty slush – no the best time to visit.

Nov & December: Snow blankets the city to produce a magical winter experience

Weather

The weather is extreme in St Petersburg – from hot in the summer to below freezing in the winter. Daylight times also varies greatly with as little as 6 houirs daylight in the winter and never getting darker than twilight during the White Nights season in June.

ClimateJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Daily highs (°C)-3.6-3.31.88.515.620.222.220.214.48.11.8-1.7
Nightly lows (°C)-8.8-8.8-4.21.06.611.814.413.08.13.4-2.1-6.4

St Petersburg is a very sophisticated city as as such the residents dress up to go out so it is a good idea to pack something that works for a nice night out at a restaurant or show.

Clothing

  • 2 pants, include one black pair that can double as ‘good’
  • 1  shorts
  • 1 x singlets – good for layering and sleeping in
  • 4 short sleeve tee shirts or shirts.
  • 1 x long sleeve sloppy joe or similar
  • 1 x polar fleece jumper
  • 1 x zip-up shell jacket
  • 1 x lightweight windproof raincoat
  • 3 x socks
  • 5 x underpants
  • 2 x bra
  • 1 x  Northface Dipsea 
  • I x warm hat (if there in winter)
  • 1 x sun hat (if there in summer
  • 1 x warm gloves (if there in winter

Shoes

  • 1 x pair walking shoes
  • 1 x pair flip flops (great for showers)

Toiletries

  • Travel Towel
  • Lush Bar Shampoo
  • Bar of Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Brush / Comb
  • Hair Ties

Electronics

  • 1 x Earbud headphones. Light and small,
  • 1 x 6S iPhone loaded with music and podcasts
  • 1 x power bank

Photography

  • 1 x GoPro Hero 5
  • 2 x Spare GoPro Batteries
  • 1 x LUMIX TZ80
  • Spare micro SD Card

Other Stuff

  • 1 x headlight or torch **essential
  • 1 x Swiss knife
  • 1 x medical kit
  • Refillable water bottle

You can get some great high-quality authentic Russian dishes food while in St Petersburg.

We also found fantastic:

  1. Central Asian (Uzbek/Tajik) food due to the large Uzbek community in St Petersburg.
  2. Delicious Georgian food which is a unique  cuisine. Georgian restaurants are scattered all over St Petersburg. It’s more expensive (600RUB/meal) than Uzbek. But worth trying.

If self-catering we also found excellent pre prepared food available in the supermarkets.

Things To See & Do In St Petersburg

The State Hermitage Museum

St Petersburg Travel Guid

St Petersburg Travel Guide

The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is the second largest art museum in the world and one could spend days wandering around its numerous buildings.

Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 the museum in housed in the Winter Palace and the surrounding buildings.

My favourite was the General Staff Building with its impressive staircase and interesting exhibits.

Tickets: Buy tickets on line here Hermitage Tickets

You can purchase 1 day (US$17.95) per adult or 2 day tickets ($US23.95). Both these tickets get you special access through a separate entrance from Millionnaya Street through Shuvalovsky Passage. When we went we did not have to queue at all.

I recommend to buy the 2 day pass which gives you access to more and allows you time to look at everything at a bit more of a leisurely pace.

Tickets can either be printed or saved to an electronic device.

Address: Palace Square, 2, St Petersburg

Open: 10.30AM – 6PM Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Monday

The General Staff Quarters

St Petersburg Travel Guid

St Petersburg Travel Guide

The General Staff Building is a building that stands opposite the winter palace in Palace square. It has a 580 m long bow-shaped facade. The monumental Neoclassical building was designed by Carlo Rossi in the Empire style and built in 1819–1829.

Today the western wing is the headquarters of the Western Military District and the eastern wing is part of the Hermitage Museum. There is a triumphal arch separating the two wings.

Address: Palace Square, St Petersburg

Open: 10.30AM – 6PM Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Monday

Peter & Paul Fortress

St Petersburg Travel Guid

St Petersburg Travel Guide

Across the Neva river from the Winter Palace is the St Peter and Paul Fortress the original citadel of St Petersburg built in 1703 by Peter the Great  to Domenico Trezzini’s designs as a star fortress

The Bolshevik government used it as a prison and execution site in the 1920’s.

Today’s it is a fairly interesting historical site heaving with tourists with a few river beaches that the locals sunbath on.

Open: 10AM – 4PM Thursday to Tuesday. Closed on Wednesday.

Winter Gardens

St Petersburg Travel Guid

St Petersburg Travel Guide

The Winter Palace was not designed to have gardens. however the last two empresses of Russia each created gardens from previously paved areas in 1885 and 1896.

Today it is a pretty area to sit and relax in after visiting the Hermitage Museum.

Address: Palace Square, д. 2, St Petersburg

Open: 24 Hours

Summer Gardens

St Petersburg Travel Guid

St Petersburg Travel Guide

The Summer gardens are beautiful public gardens is on an island between theFontanka, Moika and the Swan Canal.

Designed by Peter the Great in 1704 planting started in 1912 and was largely completed by 1919. The gardens are dotted with walkways, lacy pavilions and sculptures.

It is a beautiful place to walk around and spend time in, especially on a warm summers day.

Address: Naberezhnaya Lebyazh’yey Kanavki, St Petersburg,

Open: 24 Hours

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

St Petersburg Travel Guide

St Petersburg Travel Guide

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, is the one you see in many photos of St Petersburg. it’s real name is the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, but it gets called the Church of the Spilled Blood as it is where an assassination attempt was made on Tsar Alexander II in 1881. The church took 24 years to build and has over 7000 sq metres of mosaic inside and out. During Soviet times is fell into ruin and has recently been painstakingly restored.

Get there early as crowds are huge.

Address: Griboyedov channel embankment, 2Б, St Petersburg, Russia, 191186

Hours: 10.30Am – 6PM Thursday – Tuesday, closed on Wednesday.

Winter Palace of Peter I

St Petersburg Travel Guide

St Petersburg Travel Guide

Beneath the Hermitage excavations have revealed remains of the palace of Peter the Great. This includes a formal state courtyard and several suites of rooms, some of which have been restored to show what they would have looked like during the times of Peter the Great. Its a bit of fun and we were the only ones there when we visited

Address: Dvortsovaya nab 32 (Its an obscure small door easy to miss)

Open: 10.30am-5pm Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm Sunday

Explore The Streets Of St Petersburg

St Petersburg Travel Guide

St Petersburg Travel Guide

St Petersburg is beautiful and a great pedestrian city easy to navigate and get around. The centre is architecturally stunning and it is a joy just to wander in the city and explore.

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