Things to Do in Saint Petersburg for Your First Visit

Na zdorovie!
by | October 21, 2019

Saint Petersburg is now more accessible to Filipinos and other nationalities because of the e-visa that grants entry to the city for up to 8 days starting on October 1, 2019. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia with its stunning palaces and churches, and fetching buildings lining its canals and alleys.

If you’re planning to include this in your itinerary, these are some of the things you can do during your first visit.

Visit a Palace

The royal family lived lavishly during their heydays; you’ll see many palaces scattered all over the city and just outside of it. The majestic exteriors and elaborate interiors were designed by the best architects of their time. A walk inside these provides a glimpse of the lifestyle of the rich and the elite. The most notable palaces are the Catherine Palace, Winter Palace and Peterh of Palace.

See Priceless Art

The city’s rich culture and history has made it an art haven. Many of the palaces have been turned into museums and art galleries, the most prominent of which is the Hermitage Museum. Inside this you’ll find priceless paintings created by some of the best European masters. The Hermitage will need more than one visit to appreciate all the beauty stored in it. You’ll also see many statues and paintings inside the other palaces and art galleries in the city.

Walk Along the Canal and the Alleys

One of the best free things to do in Saint Petersburg is to just walk. The city is beautiful with many stunning buildings and churches that are either decades or centuries old. The alleys and canals provide fetching views of the cityscape. Nevsky Prospekt is a nice place to start your walk.

See the Beautiful Churches

Other than palaces, some of the most beautiful structures in the city are churches. These are centuries old and have survived natural disasters, wars and revolutions. They have also undergone reconstructions to restore their former glory. Some of the notables to include in your itinerary are Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Kazan Cathedral, Smolny Cathedral and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

Admire Religious Icons

The many churches in Saint Petersburg are home to beautiful religious icons. These colorful displays of religious art are part of the country’s rich culture and history. The Russian Orthodox Church is still influential in many parts of the country.

Go on a Day Trip to Veliky Novgorod

Not exactly in Saint Petersburg, Veliky Novgorod is an accessible destination from the city. The train ride takes approximately three hours one way. However, the attractions in the “Birthplace of Russia” are within walking distance from each other. The UNESCO-listed Kremlin has the Cathedral of Saint Sophia and the Monument to the Millennium of Russia.

There are no direct flights from Manila to Saint Petersburg. You’ll have to transit or come from a different city to reach Saint Petersburg. You can combine the city with a trip to Europe or Armenia and Georgia. You can find direct flights to Saint Petersburg from Dubai.


Which of these would you like to see? Tell us below!

Joshua Berida is a writer by profession and traveler by passion. He writes and posts about his adventures on He likes the outdoors and prefers mountains and hiking to beach bumming, but he wouldn't mind lazing on a white sand beach and swimming in its clear, blue waters.

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