Begin your tour with pickup from your St Petersburg hotel and then head with your knowledgeable guide toward the city center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Circling the charming palaces and squares, gaze with awe at the beautiful, illuminated buildings as you learn about their historical significance and the many influences of the architecture.
Continue your sightseeing excursion to Russia’s first museum, the Kunstkamera, located on the Neva riverfront. Built in 1727, it houses the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. Then, note the gilded spire of the stone cathedral standing in the center of Peter and Paul’s Fortress, located on an island in the delta.
View the Spit of Basil Island, which juts into the Neva River and divides it in two. Stop along the shores of the Fontanka River, one of its tributaries, and admire the impressive former homes of Russian nobility that line the embankment. Catch sight of the State Hermitage Museum, including the Winter Palace where Russian emperors once resided.
As you travel down Nevsky Prospect, keep an eye out for the Admiralty, the neo-classical Kazan Cathedral and a monument to Catherine the Great, stopping for photos along the way. You’ll also glimpse the granite columns and gilded dome of St Isaac's Cathedral, as well as the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, built in a traditional Russian-Byzantine style of colorful mosaics and more than half a dozen onion-top spires.
Note: During the White Nights of summer, from May through July, enjoy the romantic allure of faint twilight instead of darkness. Any time of year, you’ll be amazed by the illumination of this Russian imperial city!