Top 10 Things to Do in St. Petersburg: A Comprehensive Guide with Visa Information for Russia


St. Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia, is a city brimming with architectural marvels, historical sites, and artistic treasures. This article presents a curated list of the top 10 things to do in St. Petersburg, providing you with an unforgettable experience in this captivating city. Additionally, we will guide you through the visa application process to help you plan your visit smoothly.

Section 1: Acquiring a Russian Visa

Before embarking on your journey to St. Petersburg, it is essential to obtain a visa for Russia. Here’s a brief guide to help you navigate the process:

1. Research the visa requirements: Visit the official website of the Russian Embassy or Consulate in your country to understand the specific requirements for your nationality.

2. Complete the application form: Fill out the visa application form accurately, ensuring that all information is correct and matches your travel documents.

3. Gather the necessary documents: Prepare the required documents, including a valid passport, an invitation letter from a Russian host, travel insurance, and a passport-sized photograph.

4. Submit your application: Schedule an appointment at the Russian Embassy or Consulate and submit your application along with the required documents.

5. Pay the visa fee: Pay the visa processing fee, which varies depending on the type of visa and processing time.

6. Await approval: After submitting your application, await the visa processing time, which can take several weeks. Once approved, collect your visa from the embassy or consulate.

Section 2: Top 10 Things to Do in St. Petersburg

1. The Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace

Start your St. Petersburg adventure with a visit to the iconic Hermitage Museum, located in the magnificent Winter Palace. Marvel at the extensive art collection housed within its opulent halls, including works by masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh.

2. St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Climb the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the city’s largest cathedral, for panoramic views of St. Petersburg’s skyline. Admire the intricate architecture, gilded interiors, and the awe-inspiring dome that dominates the cityscape.

3. Peterhof Palace and Gardens

A short trip from the city center will lead you to Peterhof Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its opulent interiors and breathtaking gardens. Explore the lavish palace, adorned with grand halls and ornate chambers, and stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens adorned with fountains and statues.

4. Catherine Palace and Amber Room

Venture to the town of Pushkin to visit the resplendent Catherine Palace, famous for its magnificent Amber Room. Wander through the palace’s baroque halls, adorned with gold leaf and exquisite artwork, and marvel at the reconstructed Amber Room, a true masterpiece of craftsmanship.

5. Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Russian Orthodox architecture by visiting the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. Adorned with vibrant mosaics, this resplendent church stands on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated, offering a poignant glimpse into Russian history.

6. Mariinsky Theatre

Indulge in the performing arts at the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre, a world-renowned venue for ballet and opera. Catch a mesmerizing performance by the Mariinsky Ballet or Opera Company and witness the exceptional talent that has graced these stages for centuries.

7. Nevsky Prospekt

Explore St. Petersburg’s vibrant heart by strolling down Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s main thoroughfare. Lined with elegant buildings, fashionable shops, and bustling cafes, this bustling avenue offers a lively atmosphere and is a perfect place for people-watching.

8. Peter and Paul Fortress

Delve into the city’s rich history by visiting the Peter and Paul Fortress, the oldest landmark in St. Petersburg. Explore the impressive cathedral, which houses the tombs of Russian emperors, and take in the panoramic views of the city from its bastions.

9. Fabergé Museum

Discover the opulent world of Fabergé at the Fabergé Museum, showcasing the exquisite jeweled creations of the famous Russian goldsmiths. Admire the intricate Fabergé eggs and other masterpieces, a testament to the city’s artistic legacy.

10. Canal Cruise

Experience the beauty of a relaxing canal cruise through St. Petersburg’s network of rivers and canals. Sail past iconic landmarks, such as the Kazan Cathedral, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and the stunning Palace Embankment. Admire the city’s picturesque bridges and enjoy a unique perspective of St. Petersburg’s architectural gems.


St. Petersburg offers a wealth of cultural, historical, and artistic treasures that captivate visitors from around the world.

From exploring world-class museums to immersing oneself in the city’s architectural splendors, this top 10 list ensures an enriching and unforgettable experience in St. Petersburg. With proper planning, including obtaining a Russian visa, you can embark on a remarkable journey in this captivating city.


About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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