Things to do in St. Petersburg

Things to do in St. Petersburg to make your trip unforgettable

Millions of tourists come to St. Petersburg every year because there are so many things to do in St. Petersburg! There are about 300 museums, dozens of parks, theatres, restaurants, palaces and cathedrals! It doesn’t matter if you come just for a day or two or for a few weeks, there are some things in St. Petersburg that everyone wants to see and some activities everyone wants to do. Here’s a to-do list for the guests of our marvelous city designed by a local who is also a tour guide who knows and loves St. Petersburg:

1 If you book your tour in May-June, then you are lucky to witness a natural phenomenon called “the white nights”. From the middle of May till the end of June it is light outside even at night. It is possible to read a book in the street without any artificial light. It is easy to get confused as early morning and late evening seem the same.  It is a very romantic time, people walk at night when it is light but very quiet and peaceful. Many locals have a tradition: at least once a year they come to the embankment of Neva around midnight or 1 am to see the Palace bridge drawn. It is mesmerizing!

petersburg sunset

2 Another thing to do in St. Petersburg is to see the city from the bird’s eye view. If you are fit, you can climb up the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. 300 steps up the spiral staircase will make your feet sore but the view will be worth it. If you don’t want a challenge, then you can relax in one of the restaurants with panoramic view (like Moscow or Terrassa) and enjoy well-cooked meal along with the breathtaking view.

3 Have a meal at local café/restaurant with traditional Russian cuisine. Don’t miss your chance to try real Russian borscht, solyanka, Russian salad, pies with various fillings, crapes, dumplings, pyshky (similar to donuts but not quite)…and discover a little Russian in you. Russia is a multinational country, that is why traditional dishes of all the nationalities that live here form “Russian cuisine” so you will certainly find something you’ll love here.

4 Do a rivers and canals boat ride. It will show you St. Petersburg from a completely different angle. You’ll understand why they call it “The Venice of the North”. Hundreds of bridges with ornate railings, embankments that are faced with stone or marble, dozens of rivers and canals running around 42 islands of St. Petersburg form a unique atmosphere and add to the tourist experience.

5 One more thing you should do in St. Petersburg is use subway. I’m not joking! Local subway is not only the deepest in the world but also the most beautiful in the world. Crystal glass, marble, precious stones, mosaics, sculpture are widely used in the interior decoration. Personally, I think Ploschad Vosstania and  Avtovo are the most beautiful stations. Do you agree?


6 Explore one of the royal palaces either in Peterhof or in Pushkin. I bet you’ve never seen so much gold in one place (unless you work at the treasury)! Walk through an endless chain of gala rooms designed for the official receptions and ball parties. Back in the 18th century people used to dream of coming here, just to take a peek at the lifestyle of the royal family. Aren’t you curious to know how one lives in a palace?

7 Visit the Hermitage museum. It won’t be easy as it is the most popular museum in St. Petersburg and is always crowded but it is simply a must-see while you are here. There are so many things to see! The Hermitage collection totally numbers about 3 million items. You’ll see masterpieces by Da Vinci, Rafael, Tizian, Tiepolo, Rembrandt, Renoir …the list of artists goes on forever. If you are not very fond of art, that is fine too. Focus on the Winter palace and its vast gala rooms, faced with marble, and decorated with gilded bronze chandeliers, stone vases, inlaid floors, tapestries, crystal glass etc

8 Attend a ballet performance. Russian ballet is considered one of the best in the world and St. Petersburg offers a great choice of theatres, starting with the world-famous Mariinsky (Kirov), Alexandrinsky, Mikhailivsky, Hermitage theatre and others.

9 Walk in one of the parks (I especially love the Summer gardens and Peterhof park), then sit on a bench and listen. And feel. Just let yourself enjoy this moment. May be just for a minute. With so many things that you have planned to do in St. Petersburg, don’t forget to do the main thing: fall in love with St. Petersburg!

I hope this information helps you choose the things that you would like to do in St. Petersburg. Some of these activities may not be easy to arrange on your own (especially in summer) so I will be happy to help you during your trip and make sure your visit to St. Petersburg will be hustle-free and unforgettable!

Here's a little sneak peek for you: