Things to do in St. Petersburg
Called the "Venice of the North," St. Petersburg gave birth Russian ballet and literature. It's also a beautiful city, with intricate palaces, bridges, and canals. While it may not be as vibrant as it once was as the country's capital, there's no shortage of exciting things to do in St. Petersburg.
The Mariinsky Theatre is the home of the world-renowned Kirov Ballet and Opera company; tour the building or buy tickets to a performance.
The Leningrad Zoo, in Alexander Park, is not only the sole zoo in the city, but it's the second largest zoo in all of Russia. It's a great family outing.
The Winter Palace, open to the public as part of the State Hermitage Museum since 1917, reflects centuries' worth of architecture and Old World glamour.
Located near the Summer Palace of Peter the Great, the Summer Garden is filled with rare flowers. If your image of Russia is a snow-bound land, a trip to the Summer Garden will change your mind entirely.
Stay up until 2 a.m. to watch the drawbridges open along the Neva River.
Take tea at a teahouse or luxury hotel.
If you want to link to another destination, ride the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
Built in 1733 and capped with a distinctive golden needle, the 400-plus-foot spire is a landmark of the Petersburg skyline. It's also a mausoleum for Russia's royal family, containing the remains of every czar from Peter the Great on.
Explore the evolution of Russian and Western applied arts from the 16th through the early 20th centuries.
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.
Russia's first private brewery occupies an industrial-chic space. The live rock shows, sports on TV, and beers on tap draw an enthusiastic crowd of all ages.
Wine bottles line the wall and the menu lists single malts by region, but in a town just discovering cocktails, Korovabar is known for having the best mojitos in town.
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.
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.