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St. Petersburg is probably the most European of all Russian cities, owed to the fact that it was founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great

St. Petersburg is probably the most European of all Russian cities, owed to the fact that it was founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great who wanted a new imperial capital to Russia located closer to European centers of influence. With this goal in mind, Italian and French architects were commissioned to develop the layout of the city which is famous today for its typical baroque and neoclassical architecture. The splendid architecture combined with an intricate network of canals earned St. Petersburg the nickname “Venice of the North”, while the city is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Baltic” due to its geographic location at the mouth of the river Neva in the Gulf of Finland.

St. Petersburg – a city you never forget

A trip to St. Petersburg is one of those you never forget. The city center, with its canals, bridges and majestic imperial buildings, captures the hearts of people traveling to St. Petersburg for the first time. The historic center with its 36 major landmarks constitutes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Peter and Paul Fortress and the Winter Palace are only a few of the countless must-visit sites in Saint Petersburg.

Saint Petersburg – a hotbed of culture

Other than the legendary Hermitage Museum, which displays one of the largest collection of paintings in the world, St. Petersburg is also home to more than 2000 libraries, 80 theaters and concert halls, and 45 exhibitions centers and 221 art galleries which all contribute to making the city a delight for amateurs of culture, classical music and art. St. Petersburg is nonetheless a town turned towards the future and with its vibrant and ever-renewing cultural life, it is best described as a hotbed of culture.

Good to know

  • Please note that a valid visa is needed for travel to Russia.
  • Flights to St. Petersburg with Icelandair land at Pulkovo Airport which is located 17km away from the city center, or a 25 minute taxi ride.
  • Shopping in St. Petersburg: a wide variety of shops can be found on St Petersburg’s main street, Nevsky Prospekt; Bolshoi Prospekt also offers good shopping opportunities.
  • For more information about traveling to St. Petersburg, visit petersburg-russia.com and saint-petersburg.com.