Top Sites for your Walking Tour in Saint Petersburg
With an average of 7,000 excited tourist visiting Saint Petersburg each year, it has quickly become the most popular city in Russia. This vibrant city is filled with stunning Baroque and Neoclassical architecture and is home to some of the most unusual historical buildings in the world. So, with all this rich history and culture so close by, there’s no better way to explore St. Petersburg than by foot. From the famous Church of the Saviour on Blood and Winter Palace, to the more unusual Nevsky Prospect, we have all of the important sites covered in this historical walking tour in Saint Petersburg.
You’ll start your walking out off at one of the most visually impressive buildings in St. Petersburg, the Winter Palace. The sheer, monumental scale of this mint green building was made to reflect the great power of Imperial Russia. With over 1,500 rooms, 117 staircases, 1,786 doors and 1,945 windows, we think they did their job exceedingly well. The Winter Palace was worked on by many different designs and architects, however, most noteworthy was Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who gave this grand building its Elizabethan Baroque style. If you feel like a little extra history on your walking tour in Saint Petersburg, then you can enter the Hermitage Museum, which today, sits directly inside the restored buildings of the Winter Palace.
After taking in the impressive sight that is the Winter Palace, turn on your heals and you’ll see a dominant statue looming in front of you. This impeccable red granite column gives an eye-catching contrast to the subdued white and green palace behind it, and is the focal point of the Palace Square. Alexander Column was built after the Russian victory over France during Napoleon’s reign and was named after their emperor at that time, Alexander I.
Your next stop will bring a lovely pop of Russian culture into your walking tour in Saint Petersburg, the Nevsky Prospect. This vibrant area is actually the main street in the city, and was named after the Russian prince, Alexander Nevsky. You can follow the avenue from the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, all the way down past Vosstaniya Square, Stroganov Palace and on to the Admiralty. There are many wonderful places to stop for coffee or a bite to eat along the Nevsky Prospect, but there are also many historical sites to enjoy. The Kazan Cathedral, Eliwsseeff Emporium, Russian National Library, Singer House and the Anichkov Bridge all sit along this impressive street.
As you walk down this bustling street, you’ll pass the famous St. Isaac Cathedral, the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city and the largest Orthodox basilica in the world. This picturesque cathedral is covered with grey and pink stonework with a powerful neoclassical design. There are over 112 fuchsia columns, a large rotunda surrounded by smaller domes, 25 intricate statues on the roof, and another 24 encircling the main dome. Although the outside of this stunning building is something to behold, the inside it even more breathtaking. Behind the intricately designed bronze doors, you’ll find a stunning array of exquisite reliefs, shimmering gold and delicate paintings.
After you’ve taken in all the splendor of St. Isaac Cathedral, make your way to one of the most famous statues in Saint Petersburg, the monument of Peter the Great. Standing an impressive 322 feet high, this structure is the eighth tallest statue in the world. The Peter the Great monument was built in 1997 to commemorate 300 years of the Russian Navy, which was established by none-other than Peter the Great himself. As this statue sits neatly on the side of the Moskva River, you can take a moment to enjoy the beautiful views over the water.
The final stop on your walking tour in Saint Petersburg will be at the most famous site in the city, the Church of the Savior on Blood. This jaw-dropping church is covered with different colors, patterns and textures, and contains over 7,500 square meters of mosaics. Constructed in 1883 by Alexander III in commemoration of this father, the Church of the Savior on Blood is truly spectacular. This church goes against the usual Baroque and Neoclassical architecture in Saint Petersburg, as it gives a nod to the nationalist medieval Russian architecture. With its multiple domes and breathtaking beauty, the Church of the Saviour on Blood is the perfect way to end your walking tour in Saint Petersburg with a bang.