Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg
One of the world's most beautiful cities, St. Petersburg has all the ingredients for an unforgettable travel experience: high art, Lavish architecture, wild nightlife, an extraordinary history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired and nurtured some of the modern world's greatest literature, music, and visual art.
From the mysterious twilight of the White Nights to world Beating opera and ballet productions on magical winter evenings, St. Petersburg charms and entices in every season.
A city of palaces and museums, broad avenues and winding canals, St. Petersburg's short history has endowed the city with a wealth of architectural and artistic treasures. Alongside world
famous attractions such as the Hermitage, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Mariinsky Theatre, the city has scores of lesser known but equally fascinating sights that reveal both the pomp and
extravagance of St. Petersburg's political and Imperial past, and also the mysterious, tragic genius that has touched so many of the city's great artists and writers.
Still considered Russia's cultural capital, St. Petersburg reflects the country's extraordinary fate like no other city, and its uniquely rich atmosphere exerts a powerful grip on even the most jaded traveler.

St. Petersburg, Russia is known as the "Venice of the North" for very good reason and the city's many rivers and canals are decorated with some of the most beautiful bridges in the world. In fact, St. Petersburg is also sometimes known as the "City of 300 Bridges," though there are actually 342.
It's hard to move more than a few hundred meters in the centre of St. Petersburg without crossing a bridge. The network of rivers and canals that comprises the Neva Delta has made bridges and bridge-building a vital part of St. Petersburg's infrastructure since the founding of the city, and many of Russia's greatest architects and engineers have taken up the challenge over the last three centuries.
Some of these bridges can create quite an inconvenience for travellers if you're not careful. They are raised at night (a spectacle well worth staying up for) when the Neva River isn't frozen over to let ships pass through and if you get stuck on one side of the bridge, well, you may have a long wait if you need to get to the other. Generally, they stay up for about three hours, from about 2 AM to about 5 AM (though a few go down for about half an hour in the middle), and during that period your only other alternative is a long, complicated and expensive taxi ride. The metro closes around midnight and doesn't reopen until 5.

St. Petersburg is often described by locals as the "Gorod Muzei" - the museum city - and not without reason. Peter the Great himself founded the city's first museum, the extraordinary Kunstkammer, for the edification his subjects, and the city now boasts over 100 museums, ranging from the vast Hermitage, one of the world's most famous galleries, to small apartment museums honoring some of Russia's greatest writers.
While St. Petersburg itself has more than enough to keep visitors entertained and absorbed for countless days of sightseeing, the city's surroundings are also rich in places of interest, from spectacular Imperial Estates that showcase the extravagance and opulent tastes of the Romanov Tsars to relics of Northern Russia's medieval principalities, which provide a charming contrast to the more ornate treasures of St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg's most famous suburban attractions are the fabulous parks and palaces built as summer residences by generations of Romanov Tsars. Explore two centuries of history and architectural grandeur at St. Petersburg's magnificent Imperial estates.
No visit to St. Petersburg is complete without a trip to at least one of the world-famous Imperial palaces in the city's suburbs. A showcase for the wealth and tastes of the Emperors of Russia from Peter the Great onwards, these extraordinary estates boast sumptuous palaces, extensive landscape gardens, and a treasury of art and history. It is debatable which estate takes preeminence - Tsarskoe Selo or Peterhof - but all of them have unique attractions and charms, so its well worth trying to fit as many as you can into your trip.

The first factor most travellers consider when planning a trip to St. Petersburg is, of course, the weather. St. Petersburg's climate gets a pretty bad press, not least in the works of Russia's literary greats. Those of us who live here and love the city believe that the weather gives it, and us, just that little bit more character. Nonetheless, it pays to come prepared.
The good news is that, as a maritime city, St. Petersburg is never really cold - at least by Russian standards - with temperatures rarely dropping much below -10 ºC even in the depths of winter. And, despite Dostoevsky's descriptions of the sweltering slums, summer temperatures higher than 30 ºC are almost unheard of. It is the year-round high humidity that most visitors, and residents, find hard to bear at times and, winter or summer, waterproof clothing is essential.

It's not just the weather that needs to be taken into account. Depending on the main purpose of your trip, you'll also want to consider the calendars of the city's top attractions - the Mariisnky Theatre, for example, takes two months off in the summer, while the fountains at Peterhof are only open from June to October. St. Petersburg also has an ever increasing number of festivals and holidays spread throughout the year.



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