Travel to St. Petersburg: 10 Things You Gotta Do!

by Keira on January 29, 2012

in Europe, Featured, Russia, Travel Destination Ideas, Travel Tips

Keira and friend in the Palace Square before the Alexander Column

1. The Palace Square –

At the center of the Palace Square is the Alexander Column. This column with the angel on top, was built to celebrate Russia’s victory over Napoleon. When I was in St. Petersburg in 1997 Boris Yeltsin was visiting the city too. He came through the zone with an ambulance following behind.

Just before he did we had gotten out of our taxi so the taxi could clear the area, like the rest of the cars and people. We however walked the rest of the way to the Hermitage Museum, which was about three blocks, along the water. We weren’t stopped because we were obviously harmless tourists… I was 11. This is why the square is so empty in the photo above. Today the square is used for official festivals and gatherings.

alexander garden

Alexander Garden

2. Alexander Garden –

The Alexander Garden is located nearby the Palace Square. Its fountain is known as the musical/dancing fountain because it reacts to music playing in the area. Bring a penny whistle or harmonica or a couple of drumsticks and try it out.

The Winter Palace or State Hermitage Museum

Keira, Mom, and Tour Guide in front of the Winter Palace. The Winter Palace is also home to the State Hermitage Museum

3. The Winter Palace –

The Winter Palace is a beautiful masterpiece of the Russian Baroque architectural style with its roof is lined with bronze statues. You might recognize it by another name—The State Hermitage Museum. It is the largest art museum in the world with 150,000+ works on display in 1,000+ rooms. And that’s only 5% of the collection!!! Wow!

The Resurrection Church

The Resurrection Church

4. The Resurrection Church –

It’s also known as Church of the Savior on the Blood. You might recognize its onion dome appearance before the name as it has approximately 20 English translations. I was there in 1997 but just before the renovations were complete so I did not get to see inside, but I totally believe if you can you will love it.

Summer Garden

Summer Garden

5. The Summer Garden –

Peter the Great was personally involved in the planning of this garden. Its walkways are lined with 79 marble statues each of them on mythological themes. Some of the oldest statues in Russia are located here.

Field of Mars

Field of Mars

6. Field of Mars –

Here you will find Russia’s Eternal Flame. This flame is there to serve as a solemn witness for the fallen victims of the country’s wars and revolutions.

bank bridge russia

Bank Bridge

7. Bank Bridge –

Named after the Assignation Bank next to the bridge, the Bank Bridge is not to be missed because of the gold winged griffons flanking either end. Pavel Sokolov also created the lions and sphinxes for the Lions Bridge and for the Egyptian Bridge (mentioned in the Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan of the Kane Chronicles). These bridges are also located in the city.

St Petersburg Metro Escalators

St. Petersburg Metro Escalators

8. Take the Metro –

Have you ever heard of metro sightseeing? You definitely don’t want to miss the metro stations of St. Petersburg. Located deep, deep, deep, in the center of the earth, it is in fact the deepest subway in the world. Luckily you can ride down on escalators! Each station is a work of art, but if the most beautiful stations are all on Line 1.

Keira at St. Issac’s Cathedral and Monument to Nicholas I

Keira by St. Issac’s Cathedral and Monument to Nicholas I

9. St. Issac’s Cathedral  –

This beautiful gold dome cathedral lies on one side of the Isaakievskaya Square. Photography is not allowed inside the cathedral, so your only opportunity to photograph the cathedral is from the square. The square is also home to the Monument to Nicholas I and framing both in your photo will make for a fantastic souvenir.

Narva Triumphal Arch

Narva Triumphal Arch

10. The Narva Triumphal Arch –

The arch was built as a war memorial and hosts an impressive triumphal chariot pulled by six horses on the top. Both the chariot and the horses are made of copper. The copper is hammered giving the sculpture a wonderful texture.

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