Saint Petersburg makes you fall in love with it during the first minutes of your visit. It offers the unique atmosphere of romance and dreams. It seems that you are traveling in time, going right to the majestic capital of Russian Emperors. Saint Petersburg was founded at the beginning of the 18th century and considered one of the youngest capitals in Europe. However, only Saint Petersburg managed to protect and save its historical atmosphere and look.
Several years ago UNESCO decided to add all the objects of the historical center of the city to the list of the World Heritage Objects. During the period from 2005 until 2011 both local and foreign experts had to examine all the objects in the city center in order to define the borders of the area. Finally, UNESCO protected the overall area of 26 thousand hectares with all the buildings and monuments. This is one of the first cases when UNESCO decided to protect such a huge area inhabited by thousands of citizens.
Beautiful palaces, pompous temples, astonishing bridges, and other monuments can be found not only in the center of the city but all around Saint Petersburg and even in the suburbs. The beauty of the palatial complexes will impress even the most demanding and experienced travelers. It’s impossible to describe the charm of Saint Petersburg. One needs to go there in order to witness it with their eyes.
The most attractive areas of Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg has 68 rivers, channels and ducts, which divide the city into 42 islands. There are 520 bridges, and 20 of them are leaf bridges, which have to be opened at night in order to allow the vessels entering the city.
At the beginning of the construction works, Peter the Great prohibited building bridges. The emperor wanted local citizens to use boats like in Venice. However, bridges were built after his death, and currently, those bridges are one of the most popular attractions in the city.
It’s worth noting that all the islands are beautiful and offer their own style and atmosphere. Almost every yard in the city keeps ancient secrets. However, there are several astonishing areas, and you need to start getting familiar with the city from them.
The historical center of the city remains the most popular place among the tourists offering the highest number of attractions: Palace Square, the Hermitage, the Church of the Spilled Blood, the Cathedral of the Virgin of Kazan and other monuments and buildings. By the way, there are temples of 42 confessions in Saint Petersburg, including a Buddhist temple, and the Maltese Order Chapel that was built during the reign of Pavel I.
In 1990 UNESCO decided to include the historical center of Saint Petersburg into the world heritage list. All the historical monuments and architectural creations were included in the list. The overall area covers 26 thousand hectares. This is one of the first cases when UNESCO decided to protect such a huge area inhabited by thousands of citizens.
To the north of the historical center once can find the Petrogradskaya Side. This area is younger, but it also offers several islands with numerous attractions. The most interesting among them is Petropavlovsky Island that has the famous House of Peter the Great and the Peter-Paul Fortress. During the day tourists can be scared of the sounds of a real piece of ordnance. According to the local tradition, the piece of ordnance makes a blank round every day at 12:00.
While going to the western part of the city, one needs to take a look at the part of the Basil Island with the Menshikov Palace and rostral columns.
Useful information: White Nights
The best time to visit Saint Petersburg is the summer. From the end of May till the middle of July one can witness the famous white nights. Keeping in mind that the sun leaves the sky only by 9°, it’s almost impossible to find the difference between the twilight and the sunrise. On the 20th day of June, the day lasts for almost 19 hours.
The numerous palaces of the emperors are located in the outskirts of the city. While making a visit to Saint Petersburg, one definitely needs to see one of them. All of them are really worth your visit, but one simply must see the Peterhof (the residence of Peter the Great), the Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk. They will not only impress you with the luxurious palaces and interior decorations but with the incredibly beautiful parks. If you have some additional time, you can go to Kronshtadt. It’s less pompous, but it has a unique charm and offers the astonishing views of the Gulf of Finland.
Interestingly, all the palaces are officially located in Saint Petersburg, but local people still call them outskirts as many years before. It became a local tradition.