St. Petersburg City Highlights Tour

St. Petersburg is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Often called the Venice of the North, it is situated on over 40 islands which are interconnected by an astounding 342 bridges. Built in early 18th century on the marshy lands in the mouth of the Neva River to the order of Peter the Great, St. Petersburg became the largest architectural endeavour of all times with hundreds of Russian and foreign architects busily designing Russia's new capital.

Thought by many to be the most Westernized of all Russian cities, St. Petersburg dazzles the eye with its one-of-a-kind architectural monuments, ornate facades and romantic waterways. Home to the Hermitage, the world's second largest museum, and the birthplace of the Russian ballet, it has played an important role as the country's official (until 1918) and cultural capital. Never conquered by any enemies and heroically fending off the Nazi Blockade, St. Petersburg remains one of the most important cities in Russia and the whole of Europe.

Our City Highlights Tour will introduce you to St. Petersburg's best known monuments and showcase its rich traditions. During this drive-by tour, your tour guide and driver will take you to the most picturesque areas of St. Petersburg where you will be able to make multiple photo stops at your request, while engaging you in entertaining and informative discussion about the city's history and present-day life.

Topics of Interest

While on this tour you will learn about the most important periods in the history of St. Petersburg:

Foundation of St. Petersburg in 1703: Peter and Great, Northern War, life in the Northern Venice

The Romanovs Dynasty and their historic legacy: Detailed narrative of the key decisions and life stories of the Russian monarchs

St. Petersburg as the official capital of Russia (1712 to 1914): Early years of the Russian Royal Court, Russo-Turkish War, Napoleon War, Alexander Pushkin literature, industrial development, Bloody Sunday

Petrograd (1914 to 1924): WWI, rise of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Lenin, October Revolution of 1917, Civil War, life during early Soviet years

Leningrad and the Soviet history of the city (1924 to 1991): Death of Lenin, assassination of Kirov, Stalin repressions, fire sale of the Hermitage treasures, WWII, Cold War, Perestroika

Post-Soviet St. Petersburg (1991 to present): Boris Yeltsin, rise of the oligarchs, economic development under Putin, present-day life

Top 20 Sights

We will do our best to show you all of the Top 20 Sights during your city tour. The actual order of sites visited will depend on chosen tour type, day of the week and traffic conditions.

  • Spit of the Basil Island and the Rostral Columns
  • The Sphinxes
  • The Hermitage Museum and the Palace Square
  • Summer Gardens
  • The Palace Bridge
  • The Senate Square
  • Bronze Horseman Monument
  • St. Isaac's Square and St. Isaac's Cathedral
  • Nevsky Prospect
  • The Arts Square and the Russian Museum
  • The Yusupov Palace
  • St. Nicholas Cathedral
  • Smolny Cathedral
  • Field of Mars
  • Church on Spilled Blood
  • Michael's Castle
  • Alexander Nevsky Lavra
  • Cruiser Aurora
  • Theater Square and Mariinsky Opera and Ballet House
  • The WWII Memorial
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