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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
            Back to Open Skies

Travel to St Petersburg


St Petersburg - Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and Galleries

1 December 2014

Russia’s second city is also its cultural capital. Explore the city’s stylish bars and clubs, where the young set stay out late; dine in world-class restaurants; and set aside time to wander its neoclassical streets. St Petersburg is a living monument to Russia’s glorious past – and its creative present.


Corinthia Hotel
Overlooking central Nevsky Prospekt, the Corinthia Hotel is truly palatial in scale. Occupying a 19th century heritage building, the venue exudes elegance. If you’ve got some downtime, relax at the on-site spa, or even register for a Russian cooking masterclass.

Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
 A 130 year-old grande dame, the Belmond is an icon of St Petersburg luxury. With a caviar bar, a salon and designer boutiques, there’s no shortage of indulgences here. Dine at the hotel’s historic restaurant, L’Europe, where art nouveau and haute cuisine come together.

Taleon Imperial Hotel
The Taleon Imperial Hotel doesn’t just look like a palace – it is actually housed within the former Eliseev Palace. As such, humility isn’t the order of the day: once host to Catherine The Great, the hotel drips with Versailles-style gilt, chandeliers, and damask.

Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria
Stay at the hotel that Rasputin was once known to frequent? But of course. Since 1912, the Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria has drawn guests (some more savoury than others) with its art nouveau interiors, well-appointed rooms, and, these days, its pampering spa.


Founded in 1785, Palkin is officially St Petersburg’s oldest restaurant. Come to soak up its traditions: in seats where Chekhov and Dostoyevsky dined, guests sup on smoked sturgeon, drink the finest wine and listen to the tinkling keys of the grand piano.

Arkady Novikov is Russia’s most prolific restaurateur, and yet most of his efforts are focused on Moscow. Head to Francesco, his lone St Petersburg outpost, for refined Italian cooking among the city’s stylish elite.

Top-floor Mansarda is all glass and sleek furnishings, its sweeping windows giving way to extraordinary views of the adjacent St Isaac’s Cathedral. Inside, chef Dmitry Bogachev leads the kitchen in fine dining staples, like truffle risotto crowned with beef tartare.

Don’t let the knowledge that Kokoko was founded by the frontman of a Russian ska-punk band sway you: although its paper menus and black chandeliers lend informality, Kokoko is an elegant operation. Inside, you’ll find a menu that glorifies modern Russian cuisine.


Russian Vodka Room No 1
A trip to Russia without vodka is like going to the Caribbean and skipping the beaches. Head to Russian Vodka Room No 1 for a taste of the city’s best; you’ll find a menu of 213 bottles, many unheard of outside Russia. Caviar is served alongside.

Stackenschneider is as close as St Petersburg comes to hipster. The third-floor club is named for a famed Russian architect; its neon-lit bar looks like it was designed by Mondrian and its late night parties attract international house and trance DJs.

Bar 812
If it’s serious cocktails you seek, Bar 812 is a favourite local staple. Belly up to the copper bar and ask for something custom. Odds are your drink will come with a side of fireworks (expect smoke, torches and other spectacles).

Bar And Terrace miXup may well proffer the city’s best rooftop drinking. There are cabanas in which to lounge and sparkling cocktails served up alongside splendid views of St Isaac’s. If all that works up an appetite, it’s worth remembering that Alain Ducasse is behind the bar snacks.


The Hermitage
One of the largest museums in the world, and also one of the oldest and most opulent, the Hermitage makes for spellbinding viewing. Galleries of glittering gold, artefacts from Antiquity and millions more works would take days to explore in full.

The Russian Museum
With more than 400,000 artworks, the Russian Museum, founded by a decree from Czar Nicolas II, has among the world’s best collections of Russian art. Within the Mikhailovsky Palace, browse masterworks by artists such as Ilya Repin and Kasimir Malevich.

Erarta Museum
Fatigued of gilded splendour? The Erarta Museum, Russia’s largest contemporary art collection, offers a visual respite from all the opulence. The focus here lies on Russian artists working from 1945 to today, with over 170 represented across 2,300 works.

Peter And Paul Fortress
Set within St Petersburg’s original citadel, the Peter And Paul Fortress is at once the burial ground of the Russian Imperial family, a museum, and also a past military base. The on-site cathedral is a must-see.