Why you should visit St Petersburg
- Explore hidden treasures of the Hermitage on a private tour
- Look upwards toward the frescoed ceilings of St Isaac's Cathedral
- Cruise the Volga River between Moscow and St Petersburg
- Marvel at the rare and unique artworks of the Fabergé Museum
- Bring to life the palaces beautifully described in Simon Sebag Montefiore's new book - The Romanovs
Our specialist's ‘Must Do’
Steppes Travel's roots lie in Russia which is where it all began for us. As such, we have a wealth of knowledge and passion for this vast country and a whole host of 'Must Do's' to suggest . We can arrange exclusive access and private tours of many of the sites combined with wonderful musical, ballet or opera performances, a private party in a palace and even a wedding. We would definitely recommend a peaceful canal trip to see St Petersburg’s beautiful palaces and buildings from the river. It is these canals that give St Petersburg the name ‘Northern Venice’.
A little more about St Petersburg
St Petersburg is a vibrant and bustling Russian city of ideas which has firmly established itself as one of the major cultural centres of the world. It was here the Russian Revolution was instigated and it was here that democracy was encouraged when change was required.
The city has a striking array of neoclassical and baroque architectural delights in the form of its many spectacularly designed palaces and museums, most of which were renovated for its 300th anniversary in 2003. The city has a different feel from that of Moscow; it takes on more of the western perspective, allowing the feeling of a more European styled city.
Due to commendable building restrictions, there are still relatively few good hotels to choose from, which has traditionally resulted in St Petersburg being an expensive place to visit. In the last few years, however, the options have improved and a number of small private bed and breakfast hotels have emerged which are excellent and represent very good value in comparison. Alternatively, it is possible to rent very smart, fully renovated, apartments for a few days.
St Petersburg offers a ‘window to the west’; its bohemian inspired atmosphere allows travellers to view a very different side of Russia.
When to go to St Petersburg
Spring is a wonderful time to visit with long evenings and warm days but be prepared for a price increase during the White Nights Festival. September is another good time, some rain but fewer crowds. For snow, travel between December to March but be prepared for some of the marble statues to be covered and the canals to be frozen. The summer palace of Peterhof turns off its wonderful fountains but the Catherine Palace, when covered with snow, can be explored by troika.