Saint Petersburg is a city on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Established in 1703 by Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Russia for two centuries, and has witnessed some of the most important historical events. The city is often called "Venice of the North" because of its unique architecture. Petersburg is also very famous for its special creative atmosphere that attracts artists, poets, and dreamers.
Two Steps from Europe
Saint Petersburg is 400 km away from Helsinki. There are several buses, express trains, and ferries going from St. Petersburg to the Finnish capital and back every day. The trip takes 3.5 to 6 hours depending on the type of transport. An opportunity to take frequent trips to Europe is one of the advantages of living in the city on the Neva, but you need to make sure you have a Schengen visa in advance (you can do this at embassies of European countries in your country).
Saint Petersburg is rightly called the world's cultural capital. The historical centre of the city is protected by UNESCO. The city boasts world-famous museums, theatres, galleries, architectural monuments, cultural and educational institutions: the Hermitage, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Russian National Library, and the Russian Museum are just four of them. Many people visit St. Petersburg to familiarise themselves with Russia's great culture: visit the best shows, concerts, exhibitions, and festivals.
City of Multiple Religions
The Northern capital hosts 270 religious communities, 229 religious establishments, including Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant cathedrals and churches, synagogues and mosques, and even a Buddhist cathedral.
City of Football
Saint Petersburg is the home of the famous Russian football team Zenit – a multiple winner of national championships, and a winner of the UEFA Cup and Super Cup.
Locals are proud of the fact that Saint Petersburg is one of the 11 cities to host matches at the 2018 World Cup.
City of Bridges
There are over 300 bridges in St. Petersburg: 21 drawbridges, 24 pedestrian, and 297 transport bridges. Each bridge has its own unique name: Tovarischesky (Friends' Bridge), Teatralny (Theater Bridge), Bumazhny (Paper Bridge), or Potseluev Most (Bridge of Kisses), which is very popular among lovers. There are record breakers here as well: Blue Bridge is the widest bridge of its kind in the world (97.3 m), while Alexander Nevsky Bridge is the longest of its kind in the world (905.7 m).
City with the Deepest Underground in the World
The St. Petersburg Metro consists of 5 lines and 67 stations, most of which are 20–80 metres deep. The longest escalator is 150 metres long, and the "deepest" station is Admiralteyskaya (86 metres under the ground).
City of White Nights
White Nights is a particular symbol of St. Petersburg. This is an unusual natural phenomenon when it does not get dark at night from the end of May to mid-July. Many events take place in St. Petersburg at this time. One of the most prominent of them is the all-Russian Graduate Ball "Crimson Sails". The annual celebration starts with a grand stage show concert in the city centre and finishes with a magnificent multimedia light show in the waters of the Neva. The show culminates with a ship with crimson sailing along the embankments.
City of Russian Rock
Saint Petersburg is the home city of renowned Russian rock groups: Aquarium, Alisa, Kino, Auktion, Picnic, and many others. A legendary Leningrad rock club was established in the city on the Neva in the Soviet times to hold rock concerts and festivals that were prohibited by the authorities. Modern-day Petersburg is a popular concert venue visited by the world's top stars, including Lady Gaga, Tokyo Hotel, Sting, Deep Purple, and many others.
Near the City
There are many beautiful places in the suburbs. Consider visiting gardens and palaces of Gatchina, Oranienbaum, Peterhof, Strelna, Pavlovsk, and Tsarskoye Selo.