Saint-Petersburg

The cultural gem of Russia.
Location
Eastern Europe, the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea.
Weather
From 18°C (64°F) to -6°C (22°F).
Founded
16 May, 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great. Was a capital of Russia.
Population
5 million (as of October 2012).
Famous for
Drawbridges, White Nights.
Main cultural attractions
Hermitage Museum, Mariinskiy Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Nicknames
"The Venice of the North", “The Palmyra of the North”.
Airports
Pulkovo Airport

Saint-Petersburg, located on the Neva river banks, is the historical and cultural pearl of Russia. Its artistic and historical importance is as big as that of London, Paris, Rome and Berlin. No wonder, it's called the cultural capital of Russia: this city inherits many significant historical traditions, monuments, places of interest and museums. Every tour to this city of islands and canals is a must-see unique and highly attractive experience for any person interested in Russian history, culture and sightseeing.

Olta Travel loves Saint-Petersburg for its cultural heritage, magic of white nights and, on the whole, the unique mixture of present and the past.

The city's architecture mostly preserves the 18th and 19th ensemble untouched, so a vacation in Saint-Petersburg gives you a chance to see the past of Russia with your own eyes. It was also designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city of arts also gives you more than fifty theatres to attend.

However, it's wrong to see this city only from the "old" historical perspective. Saint-Petersburg is a modern dynamic, vibrant city offering a huge variety of activities.

Saint-Petersburg In blog
OLTA Travel participated in Charity Fair Last Sunday, on 11 December, OLTA Travel participated in Christmas Charity Fair. This wonderful event had been organized by Alevtina Fourriere, beautiful wife of General Consul of France, in order to support program “Older Brothers, Older Sisters”, which helps children in difficult life situations. The fair was held in Radisson Royal Hotel 5*. More details
Reviews
I would like to thank you very much for your kind efforts regarding the below requested group, we appreciate your kind cooperation for the below several quotation and your quick and professional reply each time.
Nancy R. (15.06.2015)
Nancy R. (15.06.2015)
We would like thank you so much for organization nice two day trip in St. Petersburg! Many thanks belong to our guide Nathalie too! It was beautiful entertainment for us and hope that we will have opportunity to visit this lovely city ones more in the future!
Ivana S. (21.06.2015)
Ivana S. (21.06.2015)
Thank you very much for the splendid organization of all parts of the program for visiting Saint-Petersburg!
Michael L.  (03.05.2015)
Michael L. (03.05.2015)
We would like to thank you for the wonderful weekend in Russia! Our group loved the sightseeing tour the most!
Arjith W. (15.03.2015)
Arjith W. (15.03.2015)
Olta Travel provides a variety of hotels and apartments in Saint-Petersburg for different demands and tastes. We recommend you stay in these hospitable places during your visit to Russia.
Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya 4
Located on the scenic Gulf of Finland, this hotel is a top choice for guests who want to enjoy easy access to the Pulkovo Airport.
Good
Ibis Centre 3
All the main sites of St. Petersburg are near the Ibis Center hotel. If you are interested in city walks, museums and ambiance this place is a perfect.
Basic
The State Hermitage Hotel 5
The philosophy and the values of the State Hermitage Museum, the main museum of St. Petersburg, have been embedded into the design and service concept for the hotel making it an exquisite place to stay.
Premium
Astoria Rocco Forte 5
Located right in front of the St. Isaac Cathedral, this hotel is the right place to find the harmony and relax after the long touristic day. For its guests, Astoria offers different spa and sauna services.
Premium
W 5
In W everything is unique and exclusive. Located near the St. Isaac Cathedral, this hotel offers its guests the luxurious stay in creatively designed rooms, the finest dinner in its own restaurant and the perfect relaxation in its spa salon.
Premium
Hotel Indigo Tchaikovskogo 4
Located just 5 minutes of walk away from the Tavricheskiy park and palace in the center of the city, hotel offers everything needed for the most comfortable stay during your vacations or business trip.
Good
Ambassador 4
In the very heart of historical St. Petersburg stays Ambassador Hotel, the unique place where the architecture from 19 century is combined with modern luxury.
Good
Azimut Hotel 3
Located right in center of the city, Azimut placed in the highest historical building of St. Petersburg and shares a great view on the whole city from the panoramic bar at the top floor.
Basic
Four Seasons Lion Palace 5
Within a 19th century Russian royal palace, its entry guarded by two marble lions, Four Seasons reveals a resorted luxury hotel treasure in the historic center of St. Petersburg.
Premium
Domina Prestige 5
All the comfortable rooms at Domina Hotel, located just two minutes away from city center, feature extraordinary and luxurious design that every guest will enjoy.
Premium
Courtyard Vasilievsky 4
Perfectly located near the historic center of St. Petersburg, this hotel has everything to make your stay comfortable and memorable.
Good
Holiday Inn Moskovskye Vorota 4
From the windows of Holiday Inn you can enjoy the mesmerizing view on the whole city! Moskovskiy district is a great choice for travelers.
Good
We can book any hotel for different prices demands and tastes.
Sightseeing tour of Saint-Petersburg
During the tour you will be taken out on the extra-comfortable bus which will take you to the most precious monuments of the city’s rich history and original architecture carefully preserved as the world cultural heritage. During this panoramic city-tour of Saint Petersburg you will be able to hear amazing stories and to take fine pictures of the main architectural and historical sites like Nevsky prospect, the Kazan Cathedral, the Winter Palace, Vasilievsky Island, St. Isaac Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress, the Senate Square and the Palace Square. You will be taken on the extra-comfortable bus which will guide you among the most precious monuments of the city’s rich history and original architecture, carefully preserved as the world cultural heritage. The 3-hour sightseeing tour organized by our travel agency will allow you to get a brief but bright impression of Saint-Petersburg.
Panoramic
City
Walk & Ride
1-3 hours
The Hermitage
It is hard to imagine a trip to Saint-Petersburg without visiting one of the most famous museums worldwide – the State Hermitage. Its priceless collection occupies 5 historical buildings of which the Winter Palace – the former residence of the Russian Royal family – is the most remarkable. Its rooms, decorated with marble and gold provide a fine background for the treasures of the Hermitage. You might be surprised to know that the collection of this unique museum contains over 3 million exhibits including the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael and other famous artists,however the collections of the Egyptian, Oriental and Ancient Greek art should not be missed as well. You will be literally overwhelmed by the beauty of the museum and will never forget this magnificent and legendary place.
Arts & Culture
City
Walking
Half-day
The Peter & Paul Fortress
Today the Peter and Paul fortress is home to several museums, which exhibit to everyone the splendid history of Saint-Petersburg’s foundation and growth. Here you may visit main museums like the Peter and Paul cathedral – the tallest building in the city center and the burial place of the Russian Emperors – the Grand Ducan Mausoleum, and the Museum of history of Saint-Petersburg. Here you may also encounter more modest museums and temporary exhibitions like the Museum of miniature, Museum of Torture, etc. The fortress also used to be a political prison as you may see during a visit to its casemates. You may stroll on the fortress walls and witness the famous traditional midday cannon shot.
Architectural
City
Walking
1-3 hours
The Yusupov Palace
The Yusupovs were one of the most powerful and wealthy aristocratic families of Imperial Russia. Right from the very beginning of Saint-Petersburg construction, the maps were tagged with the name “Yusupov” and their wooden palace. Later it was reconstructed into its modern view – the huge bright palace in Baroque style, designed by the project of French architect. Today you may discover their way of life and habits from their palace on the banks of the Moika river. Here you will walk through their unique art collection, decorated halls and rooms, in addition to a private theatre, where a special performance may be organized on your request for up to 180 persons. The Yusupov palace is also famous for being the place where Grigory Rasputin was assassinated, hence a special exhibition telling the story of this macabre event.
Architectural
City
Walking
1-3 hours
The Church of our Saviour on the Spilled Blood
This church commemorates the assassination of the Emperor Alexander II. It is situated on the very place where he was deadly wounded by terrorists. To visit this memorable place you need to walk to the city center by the Griboedov canal, - after one minute of walk from Nevsky street you’ll be stunned by the beauty of its colorful domes and unusual to foreign eye Russian style of architecture. Today the church attracts numerous visitors as a museum thanks to its finest decorations and colorful mosaics. When you walk inside the building – you almost travel to another dimension, where every part of the ceiling and walls is painted with beautiful patterns and pictures from Christian history.
Architectural
City
Walking
1-3 hours
St. Isaac Cathedral
St. Isaac cathedral is one of the largest churches in Saint-Petersburg. Its construction took 40 years, and today it remains one of the most impressive buildings in the city center. Inside the cathedral, which also holds services, you may visit an exhibition telling the incredible story of its construction, represented with the authentic historical documents, plans and models. Finally, you should climb atop the cathedral’s colonnade in order to discover one of the best panoramic views of the city! No doubt you will be impressed.
Iconic
City
Walking
1-3 hours
Cruise by Neva river and canals
Saint-Petersburg is aptly called “North Venice”: a boat tour on its rivers and canals is an absolute must-do there. Breathtaking views from the water and bridges over the city architecture are really worth seeing. During this tour you will see all the main points of interest of Saint-Petersburg from water and hear the stories about its most famous bridges such as Anichkov bridge and Bridge with Golden Gryphons. You will travel along the canals and see such jewels of the city as St. Isaac Cathedral, The Church of our Saviour on the Spilled Blood and other places than will mesmerize you and make your visit to the city unforgettable.
Panoramic
City
Walk & Ride
1-3 hours
The Russian Museum
The Russian Museum represents one of the richest collections of Russian art in the world, gathered in the remarkable building of the Mikhailovsky Palace and its several annexes. This museum was found by the Emperor Nikolay the Second who wanted to gather as much Russian art in one place as possible. The collection is so vast that you need a lot of time to appreciate all its beauties. Nowadays the Russian museum contains the unique collection of Russian art and icons. Moreover, the museum brings together the work of more than 260 museums across Russia and works and restoration and cultural center.
Arts & Culture
City
Walking
1-3 hours
Visit to Faberge museum
This private museum situated on the banks of Fontanka canal boasts one of the richest and biggest collection of artworks by the famous jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé. Of course, the museum displays a handful of genuine Easter eggs made out of precious metals and gemstones for the imperial family. But you will be amazed to discover the collection of refined everyday object created by Fabergé, as well as the collection of tableware, master paintings, and Russian icons of the museum. Above all, the museum itself is a true jewel-like setting: a perfectly restored palace that will plunge you in the magnificence of the Imperial times.
Arts & Culture
City
Walking
1-3 hours
The Catherine’s Palace in Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin)
The Summer Palace is the heart of Tsarskoe Selo (Tsar’s Village) – one of the most picturesque parks among the former residences of the Russian Emperors. Here you may feel the atmosphere of the Royal way of life in its entire magnificence. It is hard to believe that almost everything inside the palace is a result of a careful restoration, which has been finished just 8 years ago. Nowadays the legendary Amber Room, where this precious resin covered the walls in a magnificent and shining style, as well as the radiant interiors have finally regained their former splendor after they suffered from severe damages during World War II. Today tourists from all over the world come to the Pushkin to see the marvelous park and the Catherine’s Palace, definitely one of the most impressive highlight of every visit to Saint Petersburg.
Architectural
Out-of-town
Walk & Ride
1-3 hours
Petrodvorets (Peterhof)
Located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, 34 kilometers from St.Petersburg, spectacular Peterhof attracts thousands of tourists with its parks, palaces and, mainly, fountains. Among the suburban parks, Peterhof is probably the most famous for its fountains and is thus frequently compared to Versailles. ‘The Samson’ of the Grand Cascade is the most powerful and magnificent of the fountains of Peterhof and thus has been made a symbol of the park. As a former residence of the Emperors, Peterhof is also the home of several palaces with the Grand Palace as its main landmark. It had been destroyed by the Nazis and then carefully restored as to exhibit the splendor of the Royal way of life. You will see the halls, brightly decorated with gold, marble and numerous mirrors. The beauty of Peterhof, its marvelous fountains and palaces has left nobody indifferent, and you will probably be no exception.
Architectural
Out-of-town
Walk & Ride
Full day
Pavlovsk (Paul’s Palace)
The former residence of the Emperor Paul I and one of the largest English gardens in Europe is located within 3 km from Pushkin. Here you may visit the classical style Emperor’s palace built on the edge of 18 – 19 centuries, and walk over the beautiful parks. The whole ensemble is included in UNESCO World’s Heritage list. Due to its large territories the exploration of the whole place may take some time. The park is divided by 7 different zones with carefully ornamented pavilions in every one of them. Together with Pavlovsk palace you may enjoy the visit to church of Peter and Paul and walk over the monument of Pavel the First, whose statue greets the visitors near the entrance to the ensemble.
Architectural
Out-of-town
Walk & Ride
Half-day
The Chinese Palace at Oranienbaum
Oranienbaum is one of the former residences of the Russian emperors. Although it is not as popular as Peterhof or Tsarskoe Selo, this beautiful park, which is situated on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, presents several curious sights, which make it worth seeing. It was built by Antonio Rinaldi in 1762 for the Empress Caterine the Second. Several rooms of the palace are beautifully decorated in chinese style that was popular at that time. What's interesting, only here in the whole Russia you can also see some buildings in rococco style.
Architectural
Out-of-town
Walk & Ride
Half-day
Olta Travel offers different types of transportation for all your needs such as driving through the city, transfer from an airport or back, transport for your excursion (including out of town ones) and long-distance transfers.
Limousines
Hummer, Chrysler, Ford, Cadillac, Cherokee
24
Light transport
VW, Opel, Chevrolet or Mercedes E-class
2
Lux & Sport cars
BMW, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Infinity, Porsche, Jaguar
3
Minivans
Mercedes Viano
5
Minibus
Mercedes Sprinter, VW, Hyundai, Hager
20
Bus
Neoplan, Mercedes, Daf, Volvo, Utong
55
Commuter. Night and long-distance trains. Trains from Saint-Petersburg to Helsinki. Trans Siberian Railway.
Sapsan, Allegro, Luxury & Standard.
55 berth compartments, Seating accommodation, SGL occupancy.
Standard flights. Business and economy classes.
All transport is provided with a driver. English-speaking drivers may not be available for all types of transportation. Please, ask in advance, if you need such service.
MICE transport
Party Bus
Moscow, Saint-Petersburg.
Helicopter
Any part of the country.
Retro Train
Moscow
Military transfers
Moscow, Saint-Petersburg.
Retro Tramway
Saint-Petersburg
Retro Auto
Moscow, Saint-Petersburg
Theatres

Saint-Petersburg is home to more than a hundred theatres and theatre companies of different genres. From classical music, ballet and opera to the modern experimental performances, you can always find a right place to satisfy your cultural hunger.

The Imperial Hermitage Theatre
Located in one of the Hermitage Museum’s buildings, this theatre gives you a very special beauty and graceful decorations wrapped in the unique historical interior.
Good
The State Academic Capella
Located in the heart of downtown, Capella offers a huge list of classical music, solo and ensemble concerts and festivals in its ornate and acoustically superb hall.
Premium
Mikhailovsky Theatre
This theatre was recognized as St. Petersburg’s most prestigious musical theatre. Today, while preserving Russia’s centuries-old musical theatre traditions, the Mikhailovsky Theatre is constantly pushing to be at the forefront of contemporary world theatre.
Good
The Mariinsky Theatre
For more than two centuries the Mariinsky Theatre has been presenting the world with a plethora of great artistes. This is a right place to enjoy the magnificent Russian ballet performed by the supreme dancers.
Hit
Premium
Shostacovich Philarmonic
One of the largest musical centers in the world, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic comprises two famous orchestras in the 19th century building.
Budget
St. Petersburg Opera
The Chamber Music Theatre was established by one of Russia's leading musical theatre directors, famed as an innovator in opera. With time the place transformed into a professional State theatre, well-known both throughout Russia and abroad.
Good
We can find any theatre for different price demands and tastes.
Event of the season
Russian Music Seasons
The series of chamber concerts of classical Russian music, which are held in Saint-Petersburg’s stunning palaces. You will hear an incredible collection of musical masterpieces re...
Restaurants

Saint-Petersburg is full of restaurants serving traditional Russian cuisine from different periods: there, you may taste imperial Russia dishes, modern cuisine or have a bite of some specialty from Soviet times. For those who want to try out something else or find flavors from home, the capital of Russia has a wide range of restaurants with cuisine from around the world.

Mansarda Restaurant
The new unique "Mansarda" restaurant overlooks Saint-Petersburg from the last floor of Quattro Corti business center, located in a historical building neighboring the restored house of count Shuvalov. The restaurant's menu was created according to the last European and Asian gastronomic trends.
Premium
Saint-Petersburg Restaurant
“Saint Petersburg” is a first-class restaurant located along Griboyedov Canal, directly next to the Church on the Spilled-Blood. It has elegant interiors with antique mosaic lamps and a garden in its center/ The restaurant serves Russian and European dishes and entertain its guests with dance shows and cabaret performances on daily basis.
Hit
Good
Demidov
Designed in the style of an old Russian restaurant of the beginning of the 20th century it offers mainly Russian cuisine. The classical interior of the White Hall is unique with the period porcelain fire-place, which is still working, and prints with the views of old St.Petersburg. Gypsy music is played in the evenings.
Premium
Russkiy Kitch
Restaurant is located in the city center at the Vassilievsky Island and offers amazing views. Inside you can feel an unusual atmosphere of mixture of luxury and humor. The menu is full of non-compatible dishes, for example, common herring slightly pickled in pistachio and served with real gold leafs or common sausages made of foie gras.
Budget
Podvorie Restaurant
Podvorie is a typical Russian restaurant in an isba, the traditional Russian log cabin. The interiors are decorated accordingly, with stuffed animals, woodcarvings and furs, and Russian folk concerts in traditional costumes are played here for guests' entertainment.
Hit
Good
Na zdorovye
Restaurant is located in the Petrogradskaya district, not far from the Peter and Paul fortress. The interior is Russian country style with wooden furniture, folkloric decorations, painted wall-panels, country quilts on the chairs. Live folklore music. The traditional Russian menu is beautifully presented in a modern style.
Good
We can find any restaurant for different price demands and tastes.
Night life

Saint-Petersburg is a modern and trendy city with life and Energy boil all day long. For those who like partying or being up till midnight and later, this city presents lots of night life activities, clubs and restaurants to build the best experience and memories from your trip. For those who likes partying or being up till midnight and later, city offers lots of night life activities, along with places of interest and clubs to have the best experiences and make the fondest memories from you trip.

Drawbridges
Very special for St. Petersburg, this is an interesting thing to watch from the Neva banks in the city center.
Hit
Budget
City Roofs
There are several places where you can enjoy your meal on the rooftop in the city center while watching the white nights.
Good
ХХХХ Lenconcert
So far it’s the trendiest night club in the city with very strict front door policy that may require you name in a guest list to get in. Food and drinks is served all night long.
Hit
Good
The Hat
For those who in favor of Jazz music, this small bar will be the best choice to go. Every night the drinking here is accompanied by live jazz improvisations from famous Russian artists.
Hit
Budget
Leningrad Show centre
Leningrad Center is a newly renovated venue in the heart of Saint Petersburg. It is a very trendy and interesting place featuring bars, restaurants, galleries, and showrooms. All types of entertainment are performed there: cabaret, circus performances, shows for kids, DJ sets, art exhibitions, but always in a very contemporary, multimedia and incredibly classy way.
Premium
Griboedov
Rather small and very comfortable restaurant which is located on the premises of Fedorovsky Monastery with high quality services provided. We can find any entertainment option for different price demands and tastes.
Premium
We can find any entertainment option for different price demands and tastes.
Travel Tips

For those who want to know ahead what awaits them in Russia, we prepared a set of useful information and travel tips to make your groups’ staying in Saint-Petersburg the safest and the most comfortable possible.

Help in airport
From your arrival on, you might be annoyed by various ‘helpers’ willing to carry your luggage for a small fee which finally results in being surprisingly and unpleasantly high. Simply avoid such helpers for good.
Services of unknown taxi companies
Numerous taxi drivers will desperately offer to take you wherever you want, however some of them might have no idea where your hotel is and sometimes may have no driver’s license at all. We strongly advise you to use airport taxi service if you don’t want to get lost and be charged extra, or resort to our services instead.
White Nights
If your group wants to live Saint-Petersburg’s famous natural phenomena in its full glory, we recommend you visit the city in June. This is the best time to experience the White Nights. The White Nights’ season starts on the middle of May and ends in the middle of July.
Tap water
In some districts tap water may be not cleansed enough, in some others the amount of iron in it is too high to drink safely without any filter or boiling. We strongly advise you to drink bottled water while in Saint-Petersburg, but tap water is still completely safe to brush your teeth or for shower purposes.  
Pickpocketing
Watch your pockets and avoid giving money to gypsies, especially during sightseeing! Sometimes you may encounter a kid who begs for money. If you do give them money, either other kids will approach you or you will be distracted and fall prey to pickpocketing or snatching of your camera.
Local emergency numbers
The emergency numbers are fairly simple to memorize: for fire or accidents – 01; for Police call – 02; ambulance – 03; police hotline for foreigners 278-30-18; central police switchboard 340-10-20.  If you are calling from a mobile phone, just use +7 (812) code before entering the numbers.
When visa isn’t needed
If you are having a cruise and entered the city through the harbor, you can stay in Saint-Petersburg for 72 hours without a visa.
Pictures in Metro
The city’s metro network has the most colorful and beautiful interior design, with many walls covered in mosaics and paintings. Still, in Moscow it is prohibited to take pictures with the flash on inside metro stations.
Smoking
In 2014 a law was passed stating that no one is allowed to smoke inside restaurants and bars. This also outlaws smoking near public places such as bus stops and entrances to the metro stations. The fine is varies from 500 to 1000 rubles.
Unique musical experience
Saint Petersburg always has been a place where the newest musical movements in the country started out, such as Jazz or Russian Rock music. For Jazz lovers we recommend the visit of Saint-Petersburg philharmonic, or the most recently opened jazz bar, The Hat, where it is always time for jamming.  
Weather
Even in summer Saint-Petersburg can greet you with heavy and rather cold rain. So, while packing your clothes or planning you visit, it's better to prepare some cloth for rainy weather. In winter be prepared to bring a warm coat, a hat and something to cover you neck and chin - the winds during winter can be rather severe.
You can always contact us via sales@oltatravel.ru to book a tour or to have an answer to your questions.
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