How to Spend 2 Days in St Petersburg
Having two days to spend in St. Petersburg gives you time to explore the UNESCO-listed city center and tour the magnificent imperial palaces. Planning ahead and prebooking skip-the-line tickets will help you maximize your time, while super-saver tours and combo deals can help you see more for your travel budget. Here are a few ideas.
Day 1: Art and Architecture
Morning: The State Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s largest art museums, with works by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, and Rembrandt. Opting for a skip-the-line tour could save hours of waiting in line, and your guide can point out all the highlights. Don’t miss the beautiful gardens.
Afternoon: A guided city tour or hop-on hop-off bus tour will ensure you see all of St. Petersburg’s architectural marvels. Jump off to admire the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, and the Kazan Cathedral; stroll around Palace Square and the main boulevard of Nevsky Prospekt; and cross over to Zayachy Island to see Peter and Paul’s Cathedral.
Evening: Attend a ballet at one of the city’s prestigious venues—the Mariinsky Theatre and Hermitage Theatre are among the most renowned—and enjoy a spectacular performance of The Nutcracker or Swan Lake. For the best value, book a package that includes a preshow dinner and sample some typical Russian cuisine.
Day 2: Experience Imperial Russia
Morning: The 18th-century Catherine Palace in the nearby town of Pushkin is the former summer residence of Catherine I and was originally built to rival Versailles. A guided tour is the best way to explore, taking in highlights like the Grand Hall, the Amber Hall, and the stunning Catherine's Park.
Afternoon: Continue your second day with a visit to the magnificent Peterhof Palace. The enormous palace and gardens stretch all the way down to the seafront, and a walking tour of the Upper Garden and Lower Park affords fantastic views. Inside the Grand Palace, take a peek at the Throne Room, the Ballroom, and the Crown Room.
Night: Spend your final night in St. Petersburg hopping between the bars and clubs around Nevsky Prospect. After sampling the city’s nightlife, hop aboard a midnight sightseeing cruise and see the illuminated skyline at its most mesmerizing.