St. Petersburg is an impossible city.
The canals and rivers freeze over in winter and the sun never sets in summer. Russia’s second city is a beautiful and enchanting place both in the depths of winter and the glow of summer, but avoid Spring at all costs, when the streets turn to mush.
Despite being the least Russian city in the country, 200 years as Imperial Russia’s capital have left the city with the lion’s share of Russian cultural gems. Gorge yourself on art at the Hermitage – if only to explore its magnificent rooms, marvel at the National Russian Museum, and even giggle at Rasputin’s pickled penis in the miniscule ‘Sex Museum’.
The white nights in Petersburg are incredible – there are celebrations almost weekly. Head to a BBQ on a roof terrace and watch the sun disappear at around 2am, to reappear two hours later. Summer is the best time to visit Peterhof palace –arrive by boat for the best photo opps. For the city’s quirkiest bar, head to St. Lenin’s.
Petersburg has a lot to offer: from Tsarist palaces, to Soviet monuments to the devastating Leningrad blockade. But if it’s traditional Russia you’re after, you’ll have to go elsewhere.
Sounds like quite the mini break. European weekend getaways John’s speciality after all, so get some more tips by joining him for a Continental Breakfast.