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Book a flight to St. Petersburg with Qatar Airways
Russia’s second largest city is an astonishing combination of history, innovation, commerce, and breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Criss-crossed with canals and with the legendary Winter Palace at its heart, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination that should be on every adventure traveller’s bucket list. It is a wonderful location for a city break too, and offers so much to both tourists and business travellers alike. Flights to St. Petersburg with Qatar Airways will bring you to one of the most spectacular cities in the world, one that’s unlike any other destination.
Modern St. Petersburg is a relatively young city. Peter the Great founded it in 1703, although the area has been populated for over 2,500 years. With so much history on display, it is truly a culture lover’s delight. From the opera to theatre, art to magnificent architecture, St. Petersburg welcomes visitors with a display of opulence and luxury, surrounded by dramatic natural beauty all year round.
At the top of any list of tourist attractions on a trip to St. Petersburg has to be the Winter Palace. This massive royal palace and museum complex is packed with over 3 million artefacts from around the world. The Hermitage Museum, which forms the main tourist attraction, is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of art. With so much to see, it is a good idea to join a guided tour so that you don’t miss anything. It is also advisable to purchase a ticket online before you arrive, as queues can be long.
Although the Winter Palace complex, including the magnificent Palace Square towards the western end of Nevsky Prospect, dominates the city, there are also plenty of other attractions to see. Check out the Peter and Paul Fortress, the last resting place of a succession of Romanov Tsarsars. The cathedrals of St. Petersburg are magnificent, filled with golden murals and dazzling interiors. For a truly photogenic example, head to the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, with its typically Russian Orthodox style towers. For another great photo opportunity, the fountains of the Neva River at Vasilievsky Island are not to be missed.
There are dozens of museums and galleries to explore, and even a pair of 3,000-year-old granite sphinxes that have travelled all the way from Thebes. In fact, there is so much to see on a trip to St. Petersburg that one visit will never be enough.
St. Petersburg is the home of Russian ballet and opera, and if you’re travelling to St. Petersburg for business or pleasure, you should try and get at least one visit to the theatre scheduled before you leave. The Mariinsky Theatre (the home of the Kirov troupe) is a world-class venue that puts on both opera and ballet performances. Other venues include the Mikhailovskiy Theatre, the St. Petersburg Opera, and the Conservatory. For classical music, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Grand Hall is the base for one of Russia’s greatest orchestras, while the Small Hall next door hosts smaller recitals and chamber music performances.
To see St. Petersburg from a different perspective, head to St. Issac’s Cathedral, which is the highest church in the city and offers a great viewpoint. If you don’t have a head for heights, a canal cruise will take you past the Winter Palace and other top attractions.
Russian food is famous for its richness, variety, and quality. This huge country has many regional variations that create a tapestry of flavours. In St. Petersburg you will find some outstanding Uzbek and Tajik food such as plov, lagman and shorpa. For the best Uzbek dishes head to Sennoy market where you will find authentic Uzbek restaurants. Georgian food is also well represented across the city, with rich stews and beef dishes the main attraction. St. Petersburg has literally hundreds of restaurants to explore, and even the street cafés will serve up delicacies such as Russian caviar.
One of the top souvenirs to buy in the city are Raketa wristwatches, which have been made here for centuries. For the genuine article head to Petrodvorets Watch Factory, which has been making the watches for more than 300 years.
If you wish to haggle for a bargain during your trip to St. Petersburg, then there are plenty of markets to explore. Udelnaya flea market is a treasure house of trinkets, while the Souvenirs Fair behind the Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood is a great spot for affordable mementos of your trip. For some high-end shopping, Passazh is an exclusive retail centre specialising in luxury goods, and Gostiny Dvor is the city’s oldest and largest centre that sells a huge range of goods.
Essential facts about St. Petersburg
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip