Specials Trip Finder Brochures Menu

St Petersburg Tours, Vacations & Travel Packages

  • The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood will be one of the highlights on your Russia vacation.
  • Saint Isaac Cathedral is a great photo opportunity on St Petersburg tours.
  • Monument to Emperor Nicholas I and St Isaacs Cathedral
  • The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in the evening
  • The Peterhof Palace
  • Tsar Horse Carriage in Front of Winter Palace

Our St. Petersburg Tours and Trips

Known as the cultural capital of the country and a highlight of many Russia vacations, St. Petersburg is a beautiful city offering a blend of European architecture and Russian history. Situated on the eastern tip of the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg is Russia’s second-largest city and has the Neva River running through its centre.

St. Petersburg Travel Information

History of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 AD, who then moved Russia’s capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 1712. It remained the seat of the Romanov Dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tzars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.

Known as Petrograd in 1914 during World War I, and later Leningrad in 1924, in honor of communist revolutionary and founder of the Soviet Union, Vladmir I. Lenin, St. Petersburg returned to its original name in 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Once nicknamed ‘Venice of the North,’ St. Petersburg offers beautiful sites along the Neva River, including ornate, Baroque bridges, along with scenic canals. With an offering of an opera or ballet performance, a scenic canal tour, and a dining experience featuring Russian crepes and caviar, St. Petersburg is one of the most romantic cities to be enjoyed while on a Russian vacation.

St. Petersburg Travel Highlights

The Winter Palace

This imposing historic building was reconstructed during the reign of Catherine the Great (1729-1796) who ordered three adjoining buildings to become what we today know as the Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum. The Winter Palace was home to the Czars from 1732 to 1917, when the Soviets stormed the palace during the Russian Revolution. The palace has around 1500 rooms, 117 staircases and almost 2,000 windows. The Hermitage exhibits in the Winter Palace relate to Peter the Great (1672-1725) and include paintings and personal artefacts from Peter I’s reign as well as the Czar’s gilded carriage. You can visit the Czar’s private rooms including his study and dining room.

The Hermitage Museum

This is one of the oldest museums in the world, founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and opened in 1852. There are over 3 million works in this vast building. To see the whole museum on a Russian vacation would take days on end. Every type of art from every possible era is included in the museum, while the State Rooms with their period furniture and decoration are just as important and impressive as the art. In the Treasure Galleries, there are priceless items including Sarmatia goldwork and Faberge eggs. Some of the rooms are used to display art and others are period furniture. There is everything here from ancient Egyptian artefacts to modern art.

Peter and Paul Fortress

This is the original citadel of St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great in 1703. In the early 1920s, it was used as a prison and execution ground by the Bolshevik government. In 1924, it was converted into a museum and today, it is the State Museum of the History of Saint Petersburg. The fortress contains several buildings clustered around the Peter and Paul Cathedral and is the burial place of all the Russian Czars from Peter the Great (1672-1725) to Alexander III (1845-1894).  

St. Isaac’s Cathedral

This beautiful building has a golden dome which dominates the city’s skyline. The cathedral is the second tallest building in St. Petersburg after the Peter and Paul Cathedral, built between 1818 and 1858. Today it’s a museum, although church services are held throughout the year in only one of the cathedral’s chapels. If feeling energetic on Russian tours, you can climb the 262 steps to the colonnade around the dome and experience wonderful city views. The cathedral’s interior is decorated with masses of gold, malachite, lapis lazuli and bronze.

The Aurora Battleship

This is a 1900 Russian-protected ship, currently preserved as a museum ship. The Aurora played an important role in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. It fired a blank shot at the Winter Palace then the residence of the Provisional Government, giving the signal to the workers, soldiers and sailors of the city to storm the palace. This incident was the beginning of years of Communist leadership.

Yusupov Palace

This is a property formerly owned by the affluent Yusupov family until the palace was confiscated in 1917 by the Bolsheviks. This palace is best known as the site where Rasputin, a confidant of Nicholas II, was assassinated. Today the murder has been recreated with wax models, documents and photographs in a special assassination exhibition. There are more than 40,000 works of art in the palace, including works by Rembrandt and sculptures.

Mariinsky Theatre

For over 200 years, this theatre has been home to one of Russia’s best opera and ballet companies. The theatre has neoclassical designs with Byzantine motifs, gilding and a ceiling fresco by Enrico Franciolli. There is an amazing chandelier designed by Albert Cavos. There are no tours of the theatre so you need to attend a performance to see inside its beautiful interior.

The Russian Museum

The Russian Museum contains the world’s largest collection of Russian art with over 400,000 exhibits from the 10th to the 21st Century consisting of all types and schools. There is contemporary photography, contemporary art, folk art, decorative art, applied art, drawings, watercolours, prints, numismatics, sculptures and paintings. The museum complex includes the Mikhailovsky Palace, Marble Palace, Stroganov Palace, Mikhailovsky Castle, Summer Garden, Peter I’s Summer Palace, Peter the Great’s Cabin and the Mikhailovsky Garden.

Peterhof Palace

This palace and gardens are the Russian equivalent of Versailles in Paris and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The palace estate is made up of more than one palace but the Grand Palace is the main attraction. The palace estate was commissioned by Peter the Great to be more impressive than all other European palaces and was completed in 1721. More than 20 museums exist in the complex. The Grand Palace and other palaces within the estate are lavishly decorated with priceless works of art and exquisite craftsmanship including antique authentic period furniture. The gardens are dominated by huge and intricate fountains. The Upper Garden has many fountains including the Grand Cascade with 64 fountains.

Catherine Palace

This was originally a small palace given as a gift to Catherine I from her husband Peter the Great. The palace was enlarged under architect Rastrelli. The reconstruction was completed in 1756 with a palace complex covering one kilometre/half a mile in circumference. More than 100 kilograms/220 lbs of gold were used in the decoration. Today the palace houses a museum which presents the 300 years of the structure’s history. The decor, mosaics, murals and stucco work are outstanding. Especially remarkable are the staterooms designed by Rastrelli. In front of the palace are the former palace gardens which now make up Catherine Park.

"Globetrotting with Goway" blog articles

For some additional reading, the following articles are from our blog “Globetrotting with Goway”….. a great source of information for those people who are, or who want to be, world travellers!

Moscow and St. Petersburg: Two Splendid Cities to Explore on a Russia Vacation

Make 2019 Your Year for a Goway Cruise Vacation

Ten Iconic Sites to See on a Europe Vacation

Explore Host Nations of the World Football Stage

Soviet Russia 100 Years Later: Explore its Communist Past on a Russia Vacation

Extend your Stay

Consider an additional stopover to your Russia vacation at one of Goway's other European destinations. You can choose from a Paris vacation, a London vacation or an Amsterdam vacation. This can be done stopping over en route to or from Russia.

Read More

St Petersburg, Russia

  • There are no matching trips
Trip Finder

What our travelers say

Goway Toolkit

Need help planning your holiday? Our toolkit is a great place to get started.