St. Petersburg Back to Russia

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Courtesy One Baltic Sea Region

St. Petersburg, or Piter as it is affectionately known to locals, offers a wealth of history and culture. The city has dizzyingly beautiful buildings, 60 rivers and canals, endless (but easily visited) attractions, and its tragic and triumphant history can be felt around every corner. One cannot help but be affected by the humbling rush of history and sheer beauty, yet there is a great frustration in knowing that visitors cannot begin to scratch the surface. The city, though familiar with its European aesthetic, has (understandably) hard edges and touring the sights can feel a little like visiting a souvenir shop; convenient and neatly packaged, but not quite the real deal.

Cheat Sheet

Lay of the Land

“But Sasha was from Russia, where the sunsets are longer, the dawns less sudden, and sentences often left unfinished from doubt as to how to best end them. ”
~Virginia Woolf

St. Petersburg is a series of islands divided by the enormous Neva River, which slices around the mainland like a number seven and opens into the Bay of Finland. It is easily navigated since most of the famous domes and spires are visible from all points of the city. On the north side of the river is Petrogradskaya Storona, a hip neighborhood with many shops and restaurants, plus the must-visit Peter and Paul fortress. However, most visitors stay south of the river near the northern end of the Nevsky Prospekt, the main thoroughfare in the city within walking distance of the HermitageChurch of Spilled Blood and St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Visitors will also spend time on Vasilievsky Island, one of the oldest parts of the city that most resembles Europe for its many canals and bridges.

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Beyond… St. Petersburg

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