Should I visit Moscow or St. Petersburg?
There is arguably nothing that can prepare the visitor for the grandeur and glory of Saint Petersburg. The cultural capital of Russia and the northernmost metropolis in the world lies like a jewel at the mouth of the Neva, which meanders to the west near the Baltic coast. You may know that much of Russian history took place on the stage of St. Petersburg - both for the Tsarist Empire and during the Revolution - but the city is also famous as "Russia's Window" to the rest of Europe and the world. The introduction of the uniform eVisa for entry into Russia from January 2021 makes it easier than ever for travelers to get to know St. Petersburg.
The privileged location of St. Petersburg makes the city an enchanting destination in itself as well as a perfect starting point for exploring Russia. The Sapsan high-speed trains take their passengers from here to Moscow in a few hours. The seaport and the international airport with their global transport connections as well as the new eVisa make St. Petersburg the perfect destination for business travelers as well. The city is a leading MICE destination and the St. Petersburg Convention Bureau guarantees the success of all your events.
You stay in unique hotels, eat in fantastic restaurants and attend world-class events of all kinds throughout the year. In winter, visitors get to know the Christmas fire festival. In spring, the city celebrates Maslenitsa with pancakes and the traditional burning of the straw man in the last week before the passion time. In summer, visitors can enjoy the purple sails and the classic white nights. In autumn, guests are invited to admire fantastic installations at the annual light festival.
St. Petersburg has everything you could want; Not only as a cultural destination with a rich rhythm of events all year round, but also as a center for cruises and yacht tours, advanced medicine and ecotourism: Here you can relax in the middle of nature. Don't miss the opportunity to explore Peterhof Palace with its magnificent gardens and fountains, and take time to visit Kronstadt Fortress on the Baltic island of Kotlin, which separates the Bay of Neva from the Gulf of Finland. Construction of the fortress began in the time of Peter the Great.
The most architecturally symbolic monument in St. Petersburg is the incomparable Winter Palace, which houses the Hermitage with its three million phenomenal works of art in a huge labyrinth of rooms. It would take over nine years to see them all, but in one day you can take your time and admire the highlights of the museum, such as the galleries of the old masters and works by Picasso, Kandinsky and Matisse. For lovers of modern art: The St. Petersburg Museum of Street Art (SAM) is located in the building of a former plastic factory in the eastern part of the city.
The hometown of Pushkin and Tchaikovsky, however, is a work of art in itself. Stroll along the canals and royal facades of the Italian houses and enjoy the reflection of the pastel colors on the surface of the water. This visual pleasure can be found along the entire Newsky Prospect, the main architectural artery of the St. Alexander Newsky Monastery. The most important sights include the beautiful Stroganow Palace by Bartolomeo Rastrelli from the 1750s with its subtle but dramatic pink facade, the neoclassical Kazan Cathedral, the Art Nouveau bookstore in the Singer House, the delicatessen store Jelissejew - a luxurious specialty shop - and many more architectural monuments of bygone times.
But St. Petersburg also knows how to adapt to changes. The city was the first Russian city to sign up for the WTTC International Safe Travel Program. This stamp guarantees tourists that the offers of the city's tourism organizations meet the requirements for sanitary, hygienic and safety standards. The Safe Travels SPb stamp supports and reinforces the international trend that travelers want and can feel safe during their stay.
For lovers of modern architecture, St. Petersburg offers a completely new tourism geography. On Vasilyevsky Island, home of the old St. Petersburg Stock Exchange, which is connected to the rest of the city by drawbridges, the gates of the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art are open to visitors from all over the world. This is not only home to the largest collection of contemporary art in all of Russia, but also a beautiful restaurant with the best desserts in St. Petersburg. And very close to the Erarta Museum, the Sevkabel Harbor with its restored former cable factory building right by the sea offers a lively gastronomic space with many different restaurants and cafes for every taste and trend. The promenade invites you to take a leisurely stroll with an excellent coffee or a real Italian pizza in hand. The view alone is worth a visit. On the island, the Vasileostrovsky market also invites gourmets from all over the world to stroll. And how about a panoramic view? The Lachta center cannot be overlooked - after all, its height of 462 meters makes it the tallest skyscraper in Europe. Its viewing platform, which will soon be accessible to visitors, offers an unforgettable view of the city.
Every night as the bridges rise over the Neva to let shipping traffic pass, you will be reminded that, despite its rich history, St. Petersburg is a city that dances to a modern rhythm. Even a short stay of two or three days is a pleasure for the senses in every way. St. Petersburg shows itself to its visitors not only as the most cultivated city in Russia and a unique example of expert urban planning, but also as a place whose extraordinary atmosphere takes us on an unforgettable journey.
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