Among the some of the greatest cities in the world few people realize how beautiful and fascinating Saint Petersburg is. One with a rich cultural heritage, the second largest city in Russia is also the lushest (for lack of a better word) in exceptional monuments and attractions, most of them created in the two century period it served as the capital of the Imperial Empire of Russia. Saint Petersburg’s pairing of eastern and western architecture, mixed with the spirit of the far north, is really in its own league. While there are many obvious landmarks and sights, which no serious traveller should miss, Saint Petersburg also offers several out of the norm experiences for those out there who wish to get more out of their visit to the old capital.
- Explore the canals – Also famous as the Venice of the north, Saint Petersburg is built upon many islands, so canals and boats are not only popular, but also essential for life in the city. One way you could explore the city and admire the stunning architecture is by joining a boat tour. There are even those so-called party boats, where you can mix travel and entertainment for the ultimate experience.
- Visit the less obvious museums – While the grand majority of tourists head to the world famous Hermitage Museum, few know the city has about two hundred of them, and while it is worth visiting the major ones, there are some that are definitely quirkier and just as fascinating, like the Railway Museum, the Dostoevsky Museum, Arctic and Antarctic Museum, Museum of Beer and dozens more.
- Stay in a historical hotel – Many of the former historical buildings, mansions, estates or palaces, have been today transformed in luxury or boutique hotels and staying in such a hotel in Saint Petersburg is definitely one of the most unforgettable travel experiences.
- Visit during the winter – It might seem daunting to visit such a northern destination in the cold Russian winter, but the city becomes that much more magical and interesting this time of year. You can go Christmas shopping, ice skating and try many other winter activities, while still staying warm in one of the many saunas in the city to recover and regain your senses.
- Get onto a pubcrawl tour – While you might want to stay away from the strong Russian vodka brands if you are not used to it, Saint Petersburg is also a great beer destination and there are countless excellent pubs to try and discover.