St Petersburg City Guide overview
Founded by Emperor Peter the First in 1703 and was for more than 200 years the capital city of Russia
Population more than 5 million people.
Like its neighbouring Helsinki, St Petersburg enjoys all 4 seasons from warm continental Summers to very cold winters. Most popular months for travel are April through until September and also increasing popular times to visit is through December and into the New Year. Alot of cultural events are always on the agenda in St Petersburg.
The basis of St Petersburg's attraction for tourists is its historical and architectural appearance, which adds to its cultural importance. The ensembles of St Petersburg embankments, avenues and squares are among the masterpieces of world architecture.
There are more than 150 museums and 100 theatres in the city. Including the famous Marinsky Theatre and Ballet
Just slightly more than 3 hours long time lays between London and the historic imperial capital of the old Tsarist Russia’s. For the past several years more and more people come to explorer St. Petersburg and admire its sights and historical places. Hence the city is rapidly becoming one of the most important cultural capitals in Europe. Nearly 100 years of communist regime lead to most of sights being destroyed and requiring serious care which changed in 21st century. In 2003 the cities 300th anniversary was celebrated and several billion US dollars upgrading and renovating most of the historic monuments and buildings was spent by the Federal Government on this occasion.
St Petersburg has been nominated as one of the top ten travel destinations of the year and latest government figures show a huge increase in tourism to the city. It is now the best time to visit Russia and St Petersburg.
On the furthest most western point of Russia, the city of St Petersburg is situated. The border of Finland is just 4-5 hours driving time and there is easy access to Helsinki via train, bus and boat. The city of St Petersburg boasts to have more canals and bridges than Venice and has been named the Venice of North.
Originally St Petersburg was founded by Petr the Great to become a capital of new Russia and was aimed to inspire everyone with its glory and luxury. Peter I made numerous attempts to westernise Russia showing himself a perfect example in all shperes. Russian Navy was built according to European standards on the bank of Gulf of Funland. Russian Imperor first opened new Russia for the Europe.
Over two centuries later Russia was opened once again when the communist regime fell, and first tourists dared to step on the Russian land despite of rumours of rampant crime and prostitution, of relentless drug-trafficking, of long queues for nonexistent food and of a general end-of-the world aura.
But despite all the ups and downs in the history, Russia with its numerous historical and cultural sights remains to stay on top of any lists of MUST-see destinations. From the west to the east border the country treasures so many places of interest that it's barely possible to see them all during one visit. But of course the first places which you have to visit in Russia are its two capitals, Moscow and St Petersburg.
St. Petersburg, Russia’s most European city has been dubbed the North Venice due to its beauty, elegance and palace-lined waterways. A trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway is almost a mythic experience. It is the longest rail line on earth stretching for over one third of the globe. A great part of such trip is simply sitting back and watching the land go by. The route takes you past Siberia’s Lake Baikal, a waterway as Belgium and home to the world’s only freshwater seal, and multicultural Irkutsk, a most appealing city. Ulan-Ude is home to the country’s seat of Buddism. Once you have gotten into the rhythm of the stops and starts, you will rejoice at the opportunity to stop and see life in provincial Russian towns.
The solemn river Volga, being the longest in Europe, flows 3700km from Yaroslavl all the way down to Volgograd, meeting numerous magnificent Russian cities on its way: one of the oldest Tatar cities on the territory of Russia, Kazan, Ulyanovsk which is famous for being Lenin's home town, Volgograd (ex-Stalingrad) known for the courage of its citizens during World War II and much more.
Russia isn't always cold. The resort town Sochi, host of winter Olimpic games, 2014 lies behind the Kavkazus mountains, is one of the best resorts of the country - a lot of Russians enjoy its beaches along the Black Sea. Since long time ago this resort has been attracting heads of Government, Russian and foreign tourists. Off the Beaten Track are Vladivostok, Murmansk, Vyborg.
Vladivostok was a thriving multicultural commercial centre before Second World War, but from 1958 to 1990 it was entirely closed to foreigners. The town is often compared to San Francisco, because of sits picturesque hills and heaps of sea views. The city is surrounded by the far east Maritime Reserve boars, Ussuri tigers, the rear Amur leopard and hundreds of local and migratory birds. Murmansk can be found halfway between Moscow and the North Pole, 200km Arctic Circle. It is surrounded by tundra, pitch black for al of December and most of January, home to Russia’s nuclear-powered ice-breakers and surrounded by municipal housing blocks. The town coes alive when visitors from the northern islands flock in during the Festival of the North, held in last week of March and featuring reindeer races and a ski marathon. Finally, Viborg, a port on the gulf of Finland, and is the main Helsinki-St.Petersburg route.It’s one of the Europe’s oldest cities and has a striking medieval castle built on a rock in the bay. There are even some early 20th century Art Nouveau beauties. Viborg is most populated by fishermen , shipbuilders and timber- haulers. Besides the traditional historical sights of Russia to visit, there are endless activities to participate in while visiting. Among them are trekking or mountaineering in the Kola Peninsular; hiking or kayaking on Europe’s highest peak, Mt Elbrus, fishing at Kamchaka, or even a leisurely expedition to the North Pole.
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