There has been a centuries-old rivalry between Moscow and St Petersburg, and the latter is known as the 'Northern Capital of Russia'. St Petersburg calls itself an open-air museum. It well deserves the name, so rich is it in beautiful architecture and museums bursting with artefacts and works of art. The Neva splits the city into northern, eastern and southern sectors, and the area spreading back from the Winter Palace and the Admiralty on the south bank is the city's heart. It is best seen on foot to appreciate the waterside walkways and elegant streetscapes.
To the east of the north side is Vasilevsky Island, with its fine early buildings. In the middle is Petrograd Side, a cluster of islands marked by the tall gold spire of the St Peter and Paul Cathedral. The third eastern area is Vyborg, stretching along the northern bank of the Neva.
At the hotel we can help you arrange a full itinerary and provide you with a guide in your chosen language. There is plenty to see in the city but we recommend you visit:
One of Europe's greatest squares and for 200 years the centre of Russian government. Dominated by the green, white and gold rococo Winter Palace, residence of the tsars from 1762 until 1917, the Admiralty and the Hermitage Museum, for many the main reason for a visit to St Petersburg. The size of a small town, the museum is packed with treasures, including paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and some of the greatest French Impressionists, as well as the finest examples of Russian art and culture.
The Peter and Paul Fortress
The oldest building in the city, built in 1703 and used as a political prison whose inmates included Dostoevsky, Gorky and Trotsky. Most of Russia's Romanov rulers are also buried here. It is considered good luck to rub the right forefinger of the statue of Peter the Great.
The Russian Museum
A must for those wanting to discover Russian art and learn more about the country's culture.
Houses many of the city's museums, including the Central Naval Museum and Academy of Arts.
The 'Champs Élysées' of St Petersburg, lined with fine buildings and shops and thronged with people during the midsummer 'white nights'. Famous Russians who have lived along the boulevard include Tchaikovsky, Turgenev, Nijinsky and Dostoevsky. Here you will see the Kazan Cathedral, the statue of Catherine the Great and the Historical Museum of Wax Figures in the Beloselksy-Belozersky Palace.
St Isaac's Cathedral
With its golden dome which dominates the city skyline and which sits opposite Angleterre Hotel. The interior is decorated lavishly with marble and mosaic, and you can climb the 43-metre colonnade for breathtaking views of the city.