Russia’s second-largest city Saint Petersburg has been named this year’s best destination in Europe at the World Travel Awards. The travel industry’s most prestigious awards program recognized the city for its exceptionally rich history, centuries-old traditions and bright future.It’s the first time a Russian city has won this category in the award’s 22-year history. St Petersburg triumphed over London, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice and others from the list of 13 nominees.
Now is the best time to visit!
St.Petersburg is the true cultural heart of Russia, and visiting Russia is currently fairly affordable. The weaker ruble is a key factor in attracting tourists to the country. The ruble has lost more than the half of its value in just over a year.
Hiring a tour operator works best
1. Skipping the line
During the tourist season,the rising tourist interest in St.Petersburg can get it really overcrowded. Tour operator will help you to avoid lines to the main museums and save your time.
2. Enjoy not look for
The Hermitage houses a collection of more than 3 000 000 exhibits are placed in more than 350 rooms of 5 buildings. Among them are such highlights as pieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael and Rembrandt. Save time and enjoy masterpieces while a professional guide navigates you around and tells interesting stories about one of the richest collections in the world.
3. Don’t miss Russian soul
Don’t just stick to tourist traps and miss the Russian soul! Your guide will take you to the cozy Russian restaurants with delicious Russian cuisine. Usually such places are a little out of the tourist central locations. Borsch, pelmeni, pancakes and stories about the native character and history is something that will make you feel special about Russian hospitality.
Trick with the Russian visa
You can avoid paperwork and visa fees if you decide to take a cruise. If you are on a cruise or take a ferry to reach St.Petersburg – youdon’t need visa. Just reserve a tour with the local registered tour operator – and they will take care of all your paper work. Anastasia Travel Group is one of the oldest private tour operators in St. Petersburg.
Top 10 must-visit locations
1. The Hermitage – one of the largest and richest museums in the world. It combines unique architecture, luxurious tzars’ hall and private rooms with outstanding art collection from all over the world, Syths and Egyptian excavations, ancient Greek and Roman sculptures.
2. The Catherine’s Palace – amazing tzars’ residence, known for the unique Amber room.
3. The Peterhoff – Russian Versailles. Breathtaking 5 cascades, 150 fountains and more than 20 palaces at the territory of 5 parks.
4. St.Isaac’c Cathedral – the 3rd largest domed cathedral in the world with rich interior decoration.
5. Saviour on the Spilt Blood – Russian style church fully covered with colorful mosaic both from inside and outside.
6. Faberge Museum – Everyone knows the famous Faberge Easter eggs, however, very few people have seen real ones. Here you have a wonderful opportunity to see some of the original Easter eggs made by the legendary jeweler within the luxurious interiors of a recently restored palace. The eggs were all gathered by the founders of the museum from different private collections all around the world, as well as some other priceless artifacts.
7. Yusupoff’s Palace – this palace is in the list of 100 best noble palaces of Europe. It is also known for the mysterious death of Rasputin.
9. Boat trip around rivers and canals of St. Petersburg -St. Petersburg, according to the original plan was built as Venice. So all the most gorgeous palaces, cathedrals and mansions face the main canals and rivers of the city. St.Petersburg is truly charming from water.
10. Ballet – Russian ballet has truly become a legend all over the world. Since the establishment of the first ballet school in Russia the ballet dancers were winning more and more hearts of the spectators. With the combination of the world-famous music, the interiors of the best theatres, which are masterpieces in themselves, the show is literally breathtaking. “Swan lake”, “The Nutcracker”, “Romeo and Juliette”, “Gizelle” – You choose!