Russia Travel Guide

The chocolate-toned, candlelit subterranean hangout on the Moika Canal is a fine place for Earl Grey during the day or stiffer drinks at night (absinthe is on the menu). Cherished by expats, it's got a distinctly bohemian air.

Climb the 250 steps to the colonnade surrounding the gilt dome for 360-degree views of the city. Then descend to the spectacularly lit cathedral, a breathtaking space of gold-embossed arches and soaring malachite pilasters.

Explore the evolution of Russian and Western applied arts from the 16th through the early 20th centuries.

The bookstore has a sleek, aggressively modern interior and the slogan "Books, music, perspective." On sale are gorgeous editions of everything from Nabokov classics to tomes on Soviet architecture; a huge library of music; high-end correspondence; and a smattering of international design objects

Founded by the royal family in 1744, the china here is literally fit for a czar.

This world-class museum is not to be missed, but where to start, with more than 350 rooms?Skip the lines by buying tickets online, then hit the highlights. Room 214: a diminutive duo of sublime Madonna paintings by Da Vinci, in one of the palace's most ornate chambers.

The gallery aims to introduce Russians to photography as fine art. Its first show was a provocative narrative series by Ellen von Unwerth.

Well-priced caviar, vodka, and pickled herring are among the offerings at this gourmet food market, housed in a newly restored 1903 Art Nouveau building. It's the only grocer in town with antique bronze lamps and intricately patterned painted windows.