St. Petersburg is the former capital and the second-largest city in Russia. It is called an open-air museum. Walking along the old streets you will see architectural and cultural monuments. There are more than 200 museums in St. Petersburg, many of which are located in historic buildings that previously belonged to noble and royal families.

#1 State Hermitage Museum

One of the largest museums in Europe occupies several buildings. The Winter Palace is one of them. This is the former imperial residence where several generations of the Romanov royal family lived. The museum houses a huge collection of masterpieces of world art. You will see Rembrandt, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens. The collection of works by the Impressionists of the Hermitage Museum is considered one of the best in the world.

#2 Russian State Museum

If you are interested in Russian art, don’t forget to visit the Russian Museum. Along with the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, it keeps the largest collection of works by Russian artists. The museum also occupies several buildings, but the main building is located in the magnificent Mikhailovsky Palace – a grand ducal palace. Its original collection was composed of artworks taken from the Hermitage Museum and the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1985. Today the collection shows Russian art beginning in the 12th century up to the unofficial art of the 20th century. The museum also houses the largest collection of icons.

#3 Peter and Paul Fortress

The history of the construction of St. Petersburg began from this fort. Built as a defensive structure, today the Peter and Paul Fortress is a historical museum. There are several bastions, a mint, a cathedral, The Grand Ducal Burial Vault on its territory. Fireworks at the Scarlet Sails festival during the white nights are fired up from the side of Peter and Paul Fortress.

#4 Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood

This cathedral was built in memory of Emperor Alexander II, who died due to mortal wounds during the assassination attempt in 1881. Artists of those times worked on the design of the temple. Inside the temple is a “mosaic museum”, the area of which is 7065 square meters. Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood differs from other structures of St. Petersburg. You can see a lot of Baroque and Neoclassical buildings here, but the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism.

#5 Peterhof

The construction of this summer residence was personally carried out by Russian Tsar Peter the Great. The palace, located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, is surrounded by two parks with a large number of sculptures, pavilions and fountains. Peterhof is called the Russian Versailles, although according to local residents, it is far superior to the residence of the French kings.

#6 Catherine Palace

The Catherine Palace is located a few kilometres from St. Petersburg. This is the former summer residence of Empress Catherine the Great, which is open to visitors today. The Amber Room is one of the most famous parts of the Great Catherine Palace. During the Second World War, the decoration of this room was taken out and lost. In 2003, the Amber Room was restored.

#7 Faberge Museum

Jeweller Carl Faberge became famous thanks to the Easter eggs that members of the royal family ordered. A series of imperial eggs was so famous that Faberge produced several products for private customers. In the Faberge Museum, you can see the master’s unique works. Currently, the museum’s collection has over 4,000 items, among which, in addition to the famous Easter eggs, silverware, icons, and jewellery created by Faberge.

#8 Cruiser Aurora

Several military and naval museums are open in St. Petersburg, but the cruiser Aurora is the most popular. It was built at the end of the 19th century. The cruiser participated in the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, became a symbol of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Now the cruiser is a museum, visitors can see the wheelhouse, the engine room and the boiler room of the ship. The exposition holds more than 500 unique exhibits, including documentary photographs, ship items and documents.