Flights to St Petersburg (LED)

Palaces and cathedrals, canals and bridges, art and caviar – flights to St Petersburg transport you to a dream city.

Flights to St Petersburg

St Petersburg is, without question, one of the world’s great destinations. It’s a place where almost every house you see tells a story, and where restaurants are found in buildings that are hundreds of years old.

This is where Tchaikovsky, Vrubel, Pushkin and Dostoyevsky all lived. All in all, the elegance of its architecture and the weight of its history are almost overwhelming.

To take advantage of all that this place has to offer, take flights to St Petersburg during the summer. The city’s White Nights – nights in which the city never gets completely dark in the beginning of summer – are legendary. And besides, the snowy, sub-zero temperatures of winter make sightseeing more difficult (although not impossible).

Once here, stuff yourself with blinis and caviar at the city’s high-end restaurants or pop into hole-in-the-wall bakeries for warm pies and tea. Don’t miss the State Hermitage, which has more than three million artefacts in its collection.

And make sure that the Peter & Paul Fortress is on your list, for a glimpse into Russian history. If you have time for a day trip, visit suburbs such as Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) or Petergof, both recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Sites, to explore stunning royal palaces, fountains and gardens.

While there are plenty of places to visit in St Petersburg, from markets to churches to Russian baths, some of the best times you’ll spend here will be walking the streets. This is particularly true in Nevsky Prospekt, the main boulevard in the city and home to many shops, restaurants and crowds of locals. Settle into a lounge, or sip tea and watch the world go by from one of the many cafes.

If the weather is good, take a boat tour along the city’s many rivers and channels and explore the city from water. Try to get a sense of St Petersburg history, but make sure to enjoy where it is today – a city with a sense of fun and adventure.

Learn history at the State Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage is the grand dame of the world’s museums, unmissable for anyone who has even the slightest interest in history or art. Glittering tsarist relics, works by Matisse, one of the world’s most notable collections of Rembrandt's works, mummies from ancient Egypt – these are just a fraction of the treasures it holds. Travellers’ tip: you can download an iPhone app to guide you through.

2 Palace Square
+7 812 571 8446

Shop at Kuznechny Market

From caviar to cheese, berries to honey, this entrancing market sells all kinds of tantalising foodstuffs, including spices from all over central Asia. Stock up on fresh food or pick up some cans of caviar to take home as gifts.

3 Kuznechny Pereulok 
+7 812 312 4161

Discover Russian art at The Russian Museum

Those interested in Russian art should visit The Russian Museum, which is located in the 19th century palace and hosts a unique collection. It traces the entire history of Russian art from the 10th to the 20th centuries.

Inzhenernaya Street, 4
+7 812 595 42 48

Visit Yusupov Palace

Want to see where Rasputin, the famous ‘mad monk’, breathed his last? Yusupov Palace was the place. It’s located on the Moyka (Moika) River, once owned by Prince Felix Yusupov, who was the richest man in Russia. Packed with history and 19th century interiors, a tour of this palace is a fascinating way to spend a few hours.

94 Nab Reki Moyki (Moyka Embankment)
+7 812 314 9892

See a piece of history at Peter and Paul Fortress

Considered the birthplace of St Petersburg, this complex is where the Romanovs are buried. It’s also where some of the important political prisoners from Dostoyevsky to Trotsky were jailed at some point. The complex is divided into several parts, including a bastion and a cathedral, but don’t forget to climb the walls for fabulous views, and catch some sun on the beach adjoining the river.

Zayachy Island
+7 812 230 6431

Experience Russian Baths

Escape from the Russian winter (or just take a break from sightseeing) with a visit to a banya, or Russian sauna. It's a favourite activity among the locals. There are a few to choose from; the Coachmen’s Banya has private rooms and saunas, steam rooms and plenty of beauty-related treatments.

9 Dostoyevsky Street
+7 812 312 5836 (Russian language site)

Climb the steps at St Isaac’s Cathedral

The shimmering gold dome of the cathedral is a landmark of the St Petersburg skyline. And it’s well worth climbing the 262 steps to the colonnade to check out the amazing views of the city. Inside, the opulence of the mid-19th century cathedral is astounding (it’s officially classified as a museum).

4 St Isaac’s Square
+7 812 315 9732

Clean Plates Society (International)

This hipster cafe is a great place to eat lighter fare, with treats like hummus and cashew nuts, vegetable curries and house-made cherry pie. The gourmet burgers come highly recommended, too. In the evening, the restaurant turns into a lively nightlife venue.

13 Gorokhovaya Ulitsa
+7 812 934 9764

Erivan (Armenian)

This lovely Armenian restaurant is a cosy spot for lunch, thanks to its traditional rugs and paintings, library and fireplace. Located on the Fontanka Embankment, it's the best place in the city for authentic Armenian cuisine – order the tasting menu if you're not familiar with it.

51-53 Nab Reki Fontanki (Fontanka Embankment)
+7 812 703 3820

Idiot Café (Russian/Vegetarian)

Dostoyevsky fans should head to this restaurant, which has a pre-Revolutionary vibe and a good selection of Russian food (many in vegetarian versions). It’s warm and homey, with a selection of games. It’s the perfect place to grab a pot of tea and some jam pancakes and kick back after a day spent sightseeing.

82 Nab Reki Moyki (Moyka Embankment)
+7 812 315 1675

Gastronom (European)

This European-style restaurant is elegant but relaxed. You can recline on the sofas and cushioned chairs while eating meals that are considerably lighter and healthier than the usual Russian fare (although they have that, too). It’s definitely a good spot to refuel on fresh produce during a long day sightseeing.

1/7 Nab Reki Moyki (Moyka Embankment)
+7 812 314 3849

Stolle (Pies)

This popular chain of pie shop is a cheap and cheerful choice for a quick meal of chicken, salmon, mushroom or cabbage pie. There are plenty of desserts too. Open from 8am, it’s a good place to pick up breakfast.

Konushenny Lane, 1/6
+7 812 312 1862

Palkin (Russian)

This St Petersburg restaurant is well known for its famous diners. Tchaikovsky, Chekhov and Dostoyevsky all ate at Palkin, an opulent, over-the-top experience with some of the best Russian food in St Petersburg. It’s all blinis, borscht and caviar here, in a setting fit for a tsar.

47 Nevsky Prospekt
+7 812 703 5371

Solo Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky

A good choice for business travellers, the Sokos sits on Vasilievsky Island, within walking distance of Nevsky Prospekt. The 19th century building has stylish decor, and all the modern amenities like LCD TVs, free Wi-Fi, gym and sauna. Rooms have desks, and there are meeting rooms as well.

V.o 8 Liniya, 11-13
Vasilievsky Island
+7 812 335 2290

Kempinski Hotel Moika 22

With a location right next to the Winter Palace and the State Hermitage on the Moyka (Moika) Embankment, this elegant Kempinski property is perfectly located for a visitor who wants to be in the thick of things. The rooms are spacious, there is free Wi-Fi and the floors in the bathrooms are heated.

22 Moika Embankment (Moyka Embankment)
+7 812 335 9111

Soul Kitchen Hostel

White panelled bunk-beds with curtains for privacy are a feature of Soul Kitchen, a hostel in central St Petersburg with a view of the river. There are also a few private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Guests can use the kitchen, make coffee and tea, play records and borrow umbrellas for free.

62/2 Nab Reki Moyki (Moyka Embankment)
+7 965 816 3470

Trezzini Art Hotel

This quirky little hotel has a lovely setting on Vasilyevsky Island, but it’s just a short walk to Nevsky Prospekt and the main sights of St Petersburg. Local artists exhibit in the lobby, and the breakfast is generous – perfect to set you up for a day of exploring.

21 Bolshoi Prospekt
+7 812 332 1035

Four Seasons Hotel Lion’s Palace

One of the newest additions to the St Petersburg hotel line-up, this decadent Four Seasons opened in 2013, just moments away from the State Hermitage museum and St Isaac’s. It was once a palace and has been beautifully restored, with all the luxury and service you'd expect from the Four Seasons.

1 Voznesensky Prospekt
+7 812 339 8000

Alexander House

A merchant’s house from the 1800s, this boutique hotel has just 20 rooms, each with a city theme (such as Paris or London). The rooms are spacious and decorated in bright colours and exposed brick, and the bathrooms have heated floors, which is a welcome touch during the Russian winter.

27 Kryukov Canal Embankment
+7 812 334 3540

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