12 Most Beautiful Places in St. Petersburg (Russia) to Visit

Jon Miksis Jon Miksis clock Updated November 30, 2023 tourism Dream Destinations
by Flora Backup
This post may have affiliate links, where I may receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Are you thinking about visiting St. Petersburg this year? Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in St. Petersburg. These beautiful spots and places are guaranteed to leave you speechless.

St. Petersburg is Russia’s window to the West and a city that effortlessly blends the grandeur of the past with the zest of the present. Imagine walking along the Neva River as the sun sets, casting golden hues on the baroque architecture that has stood the test of time. It’s not just a city; it’s a living, breathing work of art.

But don’t be fooled by its historical façade. St. Petersburg is as modern as it is ancient, teeming with trendy cafes, contemporary art scenes, and an underground nightlife that could give any cosmopolitan city a run for its money. It’s a city where every corner you turn, there’s something awe-inspiring to see, from the intricate mosaics of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood to the sprawling elegance of the Winter Palace.

So, if you’re yearning for a destination that offers more than just pretty sights—if you’re looking for a place that touches your soul and leaves you forever changed—then you’re in the right spot. Buckle up as we explore the most beautiful places in St. Petersburg, each a unique gem in this crown of a city.

the most beautiful places to visit in St. Petersburg for all types of travelers

The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in St. Petersburg

Eager to explore the most stunning spots in St. Petersburg? Located in Russia’s northwestern region, this city offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler.

Whether you’re drawn to its rich cultural landmarks or you’re in search of a tranquil retreat in nature, St. Petersburg has got you covered. Read on to uncover the must-visit locations in this captivating city:

1. Alexander Nevsky Monastery

Step into a realm where spirituality meets architectural grandeur. Alexander Nevsky Monastery is not your average tourist spot; it’s a sanctuary that captures the essence of Russian Orthodoxy. The monastery complex houses some of the most beautiful places in St. Petersburg, including the Tikhvin Cemetery, where some of Russia’s most celebrated artists and composers are laid to rest.

The atmosphere here is one of serenity, punctuated by the occasional tolling of church bells. As you wander through the grounds, you’ll be struck by the intricate details of the baroque and neoclassical buildings. The Holy Trinity Cathedral, with its golden domes, stands as a beacon of spiritual enlightenment. It’s a must-see in St. Petersburg for anyone interested in history, architecture, or spirituality.

Alexander Nevsky Monastery provides a serene counterpoint to the city's energy, offering tranquility
Alexander Nevsky Monastery provides a serene counterpoint to the city’s energy, offering tranquility

While the monastery is a place of worship, it also serves as a historical archive, housing ancient manuscripts and religious artifacts. It’s not just a feast for the eyes; it’s nourishment for the soul. Don’t miss the chance to light a candle in one of the chapels; it’s a humbling experience that connects you to the rich tapestry of Russian culture.

Whether you’re visiting St. Petersburg for its palaces or its nightlife, a trip to Alexander Nevsky Monastery offers a peaceful counterpoint to the city’s bustling energy. It’s a slice of tranquility in a city that never sleeps, making it one of the best places to visit in St. Petersburg.

2. Catherine Palace and Park

Unearth the epitome of opulence as you step into Catherine Palace and Park, a marvel that redefines grandiosity. This palace complex is a jewel among the most beautiful places to visit in St. Petersburg. With its iconic blue-and-white façade and golden domes, the palace is a visual spectacle that captivates every visitor.

The Amber Room, often dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” is a masterpiece you can’t afford to miss. Its walls are adorned with amber panels, gold leaf, and mirrors, creating an ethereal glow that leaves you speechless.

Step into Catherine Palace and Park to unearth the epitome of opulence, a marvel redefining grandiosity in a concise expression
Step into Catherine Palace and Park to unearth the epitome of opulence, a marvel redefining grandiosity in a concise expression

Stroll through the meticulously designed park, where art and nature coalesce. Fountains, sculptures, and ornate bridges punctuate the landscape, offering endless photo opportunities. It’s a St. Petersburg beauty that extends beyond the palace walls, providing a perfect backdrop for those Instagram-worthy shots.

While the palace is a magnet for history buffs and art enthusiasts, the park appeals to those seeking a leisurely escape. Together, they offer a well-rounded experience that caters to a variety of interests. Visiting St. Petersburg without exploring Catherine Palace and Park would be like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower. It’s that monumental.

3. Church of the Savior on Blood

Prepare to be dazzled by a spectacle of colors and intricate designs. Church of the Savior on Blood is a feast for the eyes and undoubtedly one of the most scenic places in St. Petersburg. With its vibrant domes resembling a cluster of colorful candies, this church is unlike any other you’ve seen.

The interior is equally mesmerizing, adorned with detailed mosaics that tell biblical stories. Every inch of the space is a canvas, making it a top sight in St. Petersburg for art enthusiasts and casual tourists alike. The church stands as a tribute to Alexander II, adding a layer of historical significance to its visual appeal.

The Church of the Savior on Blood seamlessly provides a peaceful retreat before reentering St. Petersburg's vibrant streets
The Church of the Savior on Blood seamlessly provides a peaceful retreat before reentering St. Petersburg’s vibrant streets

Don’t just admire it from the outside; the real magic happens within its walls. The atmosphere inside is one of reverence, offering a quiet respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s a place where art, history, and spirituality converge, making it one of the prettiest places in St. Petersburg.

While many come for the visuals, they stay for the emotional impact. The church offers a unique blend of awe and serenity, leaving you with a sense of peace as you step back into the city’s lively streets. Visiting St. Petersburg and missing out on this gem would be a cultural sin.

4. Dostoevsky’s St. Petersburg

Uncover the darker, more enigmatic layers of the city through the lens of one of Russia’s greatest novelists, Fyodor Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky’s St. Petersburg is a journey through the alleys and squares that inspired classics like “Crime and Punishment.” It’s a St. Petersburg beautiful spot that offers a different kind of beauty, one that’s raw, gritty, and profoundly human.

The area around Sennaya Square, often depicted in Dostoevsky’s works, is a must-visit. While it may not be among the traditionally beautiful spots in St. Petersburg, it holds a magnetic allure for literature lovers and those intrigued by the complexities of the human psyche.

Dostoevsky's St. Petersburg unfolds in alleys and squares—a literary journey captured in a succinct expression
Dostoevsky’s St. Petersburg unfolds in alleys and squares—a literary journey captured in a succinct expression

Take a guided tour to fully grasp the depth of Dostoevsky’s connection to these streets. You’ll visit his former residences, the places he wrote about, and even the spots where key events in his novels supposedly took place. It’s a St. Petersburg scenery that’s as compelling as the stories it has inspired.

This isn’t just a sightseeing spot; it’s a narrative experience. As you walk these streets, you’ll feel the weight of Raskolnikov’s moral dilemma and the anguish of the Karamazov brothers. Visiting St. Petersburg without experiencing its literary heritage would be like reading a book with missing pages. It’s an essential chapter in the story of this multifaceted city.

5. Kronstadt Naval Cathedral

Sail away from the city’s center to discover a marvel that’s often overlooked—Kronstadt Naval Cathedral. This architectural gem is a beacon for seafarers and a symbol of Russia’s naval glory. With its golden domes and intricate mosaics, it’s among the pretty places of St. Petersburg.

As you approach the cathedral, you’ll be struck by its sheer size and grandeur. It’s not just a place of worship; it’s a tribute to the Russian Navy and a monument to the sailors who’ve lost their lives at sea. This makes it one of the most beautiful spots in St. Petersburg, especially for history buffs and maritime enthusiasts.

The Kronstadt Naval Cathedral, a maritime beacon, symbolizes Russia's naval glory with architectural splendor,
The Kronstadt Naval Cathedral, a maritime beacon, symbolizes Russia’s naval glory with architectural splendor,

The interior is equally awe-inspiring, with its high vaulted ceilings and intricate frescoes. Light filters through the stained glass windows, casting a heavenly glow on the marble floors. It’s a St. Petersburg beauty that offers a spiritual experience, whether you’re religious or not.

Don’t just make it a quick stop; take the time to climb the bell tower. The view from the top is breathtaking, offering a panoramic vista of the surrounding islands and sea. Where to go in St. Petersburg for a blend of history, spirituality, and stunning views? Kronstadt Naval Cathedral is your answer.

6. Neva River

Embrace the poetic allure of the Neva River, the lifeblood of St. Petersburg. As you cruise along its waters, you’ll understand why it’s considered one of the most beautiful places in St. Petersburg. The river is a mirror reflecting the city’s architectural marvels, from the Winter Palace to the Peter and Paul Fortress.

Opt for a boat tour to experience the Neva in all its glory. As you glide past iconic landmarks, you’ll feel the city’s history come alive. It’s a St. Petersburg top attraction that offers a unique perspective, allowing you to see the city from a different angle.

The Neva River serves as a shimmering mirror, reflecting St. Petersburg's architectural marvels
The Neva River serves as a shimmering mirror, reflecting St. Petersburg’s architectural marvels

The river is not just a sightseeing spot; it’s a cultural experience. During the White Nights, when the sun barely sets, the Neva becomes a stage for spectacular events like the Scarlet Sails. It’s a must-see in St. Petersburg, especially if you’re visiting during the summer months.

Don’t miss the chance to walk along the embankments, where you’ll find locals fishing, artists sketching, and couples lost in romantic moments. It’s a St. Petersburg scenery that changes with each passing hour, from the soft morning light to the golden hues of sunset.

7. Nevsky Prospekt

Discover the pulse of St. Petersburg as you stroll down Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s main artery. This bustling avenue is a microcosm of the city itself, offering a blend of historical landmarks, modern shops, and vibrant street life. It’s one of the best places to visit in St. Petersburg if you want to feel the city’s heartbeat.

Start your journey at the Admiralty building and make your way towards the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. Along the way, you’ll pass iconic structures like the Kazan Cathedral and the Singer House. Each building tells a story, adding layers to your understanding of this multifaceted city.

Embark on a journey through the heartbeat of St. Petersburg by strolling down Nevsky Prospekt
Embark on a journey through the heartbeat of St. Petersburg by strolling down Nevsky Prospekt

But Nevsky Prospekt is not just about the buildings; it’s about the experience. Street musicians provide a live soundtrack to your wanderings, while local vendors offer a taste of Russian delicacies. It’s a St. Petersburg scenery that engages all your senses.

As day turns into night, the avenue transforms into a hub of entertainment. Bars, clubs, and theaters come alive, offering a glimpse into the city’s vibrant nightlife. Visiting St. Petersburg without a walk down Nevsky Prospekt would be like visiting New York without seeing Times Square. It’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of the city.

8. Peterhof Grand Palace

Unlock a world where water dances and history whispers. Peterhof Grand Palace is a spectacle of fountains, gardens, and architectural brilliance. Often referred to as the “Russian Versailles,” this palace complex is among the most beautiful places to visit in St. Petersburg.

The Grand Cascade, a series of fountains adorned with golden statues, is the showstopper here. As water jets shoot up in a choreographed display, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. It’s a St. Petersburg beauty that captivates both young and old.

The Peterhof Grand Palace, a captivating beauty in St. Petersburg, enchants visitors of all ages.
The Peterhof Grand Palace, a captivating beauty in St. Petersburg, enchants visitors of all ages.

While the fountains are the main attraction, the palace itself is a marvel of baroque architecture. Each room is a canvas of opulence, from the gilded Ballroom to the intricate designs of the Chesme Hall. It’s a must-visit in St. Petersburg, offering a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Russian royalty.

Don’t rush through your visit; take the time to explore the Lower Gardens, where you’ll find smaller fountains, charming pavilions, and hidden corners perfect for a quiet moment. Where to go in St. Petersburg for a day of royal extravagance? Peterhof Grand Palace is your answer.

9. St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Elevate your St. Petersburg experience—literally. St. Isaac’s Cathedral offers not just spiritual elevation but also a physical one, thanks to its colossal dome. The cathedral is a standout among the most beautiful places in St. Petersburg, with its intricate mosaics, marble columns, and gold accents.

Begin your exploration inside, where the lavish interior will leave you in awe. The dome, adorned with paintings and sculptures, is a masterpiece that draws your gaze skyward. It’s a St. Petersburg scenic attraction that impresses with its scale and attention to detail.

St. Isaac's Cathedral, with its captivating beauty and grandeur, stands as an unmissable destination in St. Petersburg.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral, with its captivating beauty and grandeur, stands as an unmissable destination in St. Petersburg.

But the real treat awaits you at the top. Climb the 262 steps to the observation deck and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city. From this vantage point, St. Petersburg unfolds before you like a living map. It’s a St. Petersburg scenery that you’ll want to capture, not just with your camera but also in your memory.

This cathedral is more than just a religious site; it’s a testament to human ingenuity and artistic skill. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, the captivating beauty and grandeur of St. Isaac’s Cathedral make it an unmissable destination in St. Petersburg.

10. The Hermitage (The Winter Palace)

Step into a world where time stands still, and art speaks volumes. The Hermitage, also known as the Winter Palace, is a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces and historical artifacts. It’s a St. Petersburg destination that’s a feast for the eyes and the soul.

As you wander through the labyrinthine halls, you’ll encounter works by legends like Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. Each room is a gateway to a different era, culture, or artistic movement. It’s one of the best places to visit in St. Petersburg for anyone with even a passing interest in art.

The Hermitage is a St. Petersburg gem, it is a destination that nourishes both the eyes and the soul.
The Hermitage is a St. Petersburg gem, it is a destination that nourishes both the eyes and the soul.

But the Hermitage is not just about the art; it’s about the experience. The grandeur of the Jordan Staircase, the opulence of the Gold Drawing Room, and the intricate designs of the Malachite Room all contribute to the museum’s allure. Exploring this gem is one of the best things to do in Europe. It’s a St. Petersburg beauty that transcends time and space.

While it’s impossible to see everything in one visit, make sure to at least catch the highlights. And don’t forget to pause and soak in the atmosphere. The Hermitage is not just a museum; it’s a journey through human creativity and a must-see in St. Petersburg.

11. The Peter and Paul Fortress

Imagine standing at the very spot where St. Petersburg was born. The Peter and Paul Fortress is not just an architectural marvel; it’s the cradle of the city’s history. It’s an essential visit in St. Petersburg, particularly for those interested in exploring the city’s history.

The fortress is a complex of several historic buildings, but the centerpiece is undoubtedly the Peter and Paul Cathedral. With its golden spire piercing the sky, the cathedral is a beacon that has guided the city through centuries.

In the tapestry of St. Petersburg's allure, the Peter and Paul Fortress weaves a tale of intrigue.
In the tapestry of St. Petersburg’s allure, the Peter and Paul Fortress weaves a tale of intrigue.

While the fortress is a magnet for history buffs, it also appeals to those looking for unique experiences. The beaches along the fortress walls offer stunning views of the Neva River and are a popular spot for sunbathing in the summer. It’s one of the most beautiful places of St. Petersburg, where history and leisure coexist.

Don’t leave without visiting the Trubetskoy Bastion, a former prison that now serves as a museum. The cells and exhibitions tell stories of political prisoners and revolutionaries, adding another layer to your understanding of Russian history. St. Petersburg’s beautiful places often come with tales of intrigue, and the Peter and Paul Fortress is no exception.

12. Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin)

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and find yourself in a realm of opulence and grandeur. Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) is a royal estate that serves as a sublime getaway. It’s one of those St. Petersburg destinations where every corner whispers tales of emperors and empresses.

The crown jewel of this estate is the Catherine Palace, a baroque masterpiece adorned with gold, marble, and an endless array of intricate details. The Amber Room, often dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world,” is a spectacle you can’t afford to miss. It’s a St. Petersburg beauty that has to be seen to be believed.

Tsarskoye Selo, also known as Pushkin, stands as a regal estate offering a sublime retreat
Tsarskoye Selo, also known as Pushkin, stands as a regal estate offering a sublime retreat

But the allure of Tsarskoye Selo isn’t confined to its palaces. The gardens are a labyrinth of greenery, dotted with charming pavilions, reflective ponds, and whimsical statues. It’s the most scenic place in St. Petersburg, perfect for leisurely strolls or romantic picnics.

While the estate is a hit among history enthusiasts and architecture buffs, it’s also a haven for those seeking a bit of tranquility. The serenity of the gardens, the elegance of the palaces, and the estate’s overall atmosphere make it a must-see in St. Petersburg.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Visiting the Beautiful Places in St. Petersburg                 

Want to discover more about the most captivating spots in St. Petersburg? Below are some questions that I commonly receive about the region’s must-visit attractions.

Is St. Petersburg Russia worth visiting?

Absolutely, St. Petersburg is a treasure trove of cultural, historical, and architectural wonders. From the awe-inspiring Hermitage Museum to the intricate Church of the Savior on Blood, the city offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to all types of travelers. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff, or someone simply looking to explore a city that blends European charm with Russian grandeur, St. Petersburg is a must-visit.

What is St. Petersburg famous for?

St. Petersburg is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, which includes world-class museums, palaces, and theaters. The Hermitage, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, is perhaps the most iconic of these. The city is also famous for its classical architecture, beautiful canals, and vibrant arts scene, including ballet, opera, and classical music. It’s a city where history and modernity coexist in a fascinating dance.

What is the best view of St. Petersburg?

The best view of St. Petersburg can be enjoyed from the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The panoramic vista from this vantage point offers a 360-degree view of the city, including the Winter Palace, the Admiralty building, and the Neva River. It’s a breathtaking sight, especially during the White Nights when the city is bathed in a surreal twilight.

St. Petersburg captivates with its breathtaking architecture, picturesque canals, and profound cultural legacy.
St. Petersburg captivates with its breathtaking architecture, picturesque canals, and profound cultural legacy.

Which is prettier, Moscow or St. Petersburg?

Both cities have their own unique charm, but many travelers find St. Petersburg to be prettier due to its intricate architecture, scenic canals, and abundance of art and culture. Moscow is more about grandiosity with its massive squares and imposing Soviet architecture. St. Petersburg offers a more European vibe, with a focus on elegance and beauty.

What is the prettiest place in Russia?

While beauty is subjective, many consider St. Petersburg to be the prettiest place in Russia, thanks to its stunning architecture, beautiful canals, and rich cultural heritage. Other contenders could be Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest freshwater lake in the world, and the Kamchatka Peninsula, known for its extraordinary natural landscapes.

What’s the nicest part of Russia?

The “nicest” part of Russia would depend on what you’re looking to experience. For cultural and historical richness, St. Petersburg is hard to beat. If you’re into natural beauty, places like Lake Baikal or the Altai Mountains are unparalleled. For a mix of both, the Golden Ring, a series of ancient cities surrounding Moscow, offers a glimpse into Russia’s soul.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Beautiful Places in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is more than just a city; it’s a tapestry of art, history, and culture, woven together by the Neva River and adorned with architectural gems. From the regal atmosphere of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) to the historic significance of The Peter and Paul Fortress, each destination offers a unique slice of what makes St. Petersburg a must-visit. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or someone who simply appreciates beautiful places in St. Petersburg, this city has something for everyone.

As you wander through its cobblestone streets, take a moment to appreciate the city’s intricate ballet of the old and the new. It’s a place where imperial Russia meets modern-day vibrancy, where every corner has a story to tell, and where the beauty is not just in its palaces and cathedrals, but in the very soul of the city itself.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and set off on an adventure that promises not just sights to behold, but experiences to be etched in your memory. After all, St. Petersburg isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience that defines the very essence of travel. 

the most beautiful places to visit in St. Petersburg for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the most beautiful places to visit in St. Petersburg? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment