While Russia is not often on peoples list of must-visit places, it should be on yours! St. Petersburg, a former capital of Russia, is a beautiful city full of history, architectural wonders, rich culture, and lovely art. You will also find an amazing and rich food scene that will keep you satisfied your entire trip. Don’t miss your next opportunity to visit this gorgeous and historical epicenter.
When to Visit
Unlike other destinations that can have on-seasons and off-seasons, you are likely to only find one time of year that is really suitable for having a proper holiday is St. Petersburg. The winter months, as is expected, are very cold and not particularly pleasant.
The best time of year to visit would be between mid-June and September. While it is not always cold in Russia, like folklore depicts – it will be a bit chillier than other summer destinations, landing in the 50s. The summer does have benefits though, with specific days boasting up to 24 hours of sunshine!
A must-see in the cultural epicenter of St. Petersburg is the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. This magnificent church is one of the most beautiful architectural delights of the town. Built by Alexander III in honor of his father who was assassinated on the very spot in 1881, this church-turned-museum is a must-visit!
You will need to set aside a whole day of your trip for this next site. The Hermitage Museum just might be the oldest museums in the world and it definitely is one of the most beautiful and dense ones in the world. Over 1,500 rooms are filled to the brim with incredible pieces from artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh, and other ancient wonders.
Located just a couple of miles outside of St. Petersburg, you will find the wonder that is Peterhof Palace. This beautiful palace was built by Tsar Peter in an effort to make something better than Versailles.
It would be a shame to travel all the way to Russia and not experience their theater or ballet productions. The Mariinsky Theater will not disappoint you. If you are able to book far in advance, you definitely should and you will love the performances!
You have probably heard of the famed Fabergé eggs of Russia. Well, as of 2013, there is a museum that you can visit to see nine of these beautiful eggs and thousands of other jewelry pieces from the time period.
Foods to Try
Being the epitome of comfort food, a dish that you must try in St. Petersburg is their Beef Stroganoff. This decadent dish originated in the 19th century and is named after one of the wealthiest families of Russia. The small pieces of beef float in a rich, cream sauce and is complemented by various vegetables and often served alongside noodles or other side dishes.
Since most days in St. Petersburg are on the chilly side, soup is in season all year round. Shchi is a cabbage soup that originated in the 9th century and is still a favorite today. The cabbage floats in a meat broth and is graced with vegetables and various condiments. You will often find it served with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh rye bread.
Russia even has its own iteration of a dumpling! The pelmeni is a dumpling filled with a meat mixture and is a dish inspired by their Asain counterparts.