With its saturated history, monumental palaces, and glorious cathedrals, vast Russia is full of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered! It goes without saying, that any Russia vacation won't be complete without exploring its two main pearls, vibrant Moscow and elegant Saint petersburg. Wondering what attractions should be included in your sightseeing list? Then continue reading, as on this page we created a rating of the best places to visit in St. Petersburg and Moscow to take in their incomparable charm to the fullest!
Best Places to Visit in Moscow
To see the town of waterways at its best, save some time to witness one of the most well-known Russian icons, Red Square is a perfect place to start your Moscow exploration. Just on one cobblestone square, you can find several city landmarks like Moscow Kremlin, which used to be the heart of political might of the country, the State History Museum, Lenin's Mausoleum, the grand St. Basil's Cathedral and imposing GUM Department Store which offers plenty of shopping and entertainment opportunities.
St. Basil’s Cathedral
Deservingly mentioned in the UNESCO World Heritage list, fairytale St. Basil's Cathedral is honorably among the most notable and scenic Russia sites. Nestled right on the Red Square, this architectural masterpiece dates back to the 16th century when it was built by Tsar Ivan the Terrible in order to glorify Vasily the Blessed. The exterior of the church is truly breathtaking: multi-styled domes, bright colors, and the diversity of shapes make this structure shine ethereally.
All art enthusiats shouldn't miss a chance to pop in on of the most iconic Moscow museums, majestic Tretyakov gallery. Since its foundation in 19th century the collection was a private property of Pavel Tretyakov whisch later was presented to the city and became the base of the future gallery. Welcoming not only locals but also foreign guests, the museum owns pieces by artists like Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Vrubel, and other genious creators.
Indeed, Moscow is the city of contrasts, which organically combines old and new. If you would like to see something super modern, head to futuristic Zaryadye Park. Holding the title of the World's Greatest Places by the Time magazine, this popular Moscow attraction is among the most photographed spots in the capital! The park features 4 different sections with many fascinating exhibits such as the non-melting Arctic glacier cave, the Florarium, the Cupola, and the underground Archeological Museum. Also, check out the "floating" Zaryadye Park Bridge, which provides an amazing view over the city center.
Travel Moscow like a local and see the secret wonders of the Russian capital hidden underground! Established in 1935 by Stalin, the Moscow subway network had only 13 stops. Nowadays Moscow metro system is one of the biggest subway systems on the planet! Create a route of several palace-like stops and let yourself get enchanted by carved ceilings and detailed statues. Believe us, Teatralnaya, Elektrozavodskaya, Komsomolskaya, and Arbatskaya stations will blow your mind with their marvelous decorations!
Top Things to Do in St. Peterburg
When touring the marvelous Venice of the North, not visiting the legendary Hermitage would be totally a miss. Beautifully situated on the Neva River banks, this outstanding architectural gem is a significant part of the city's impressive heritage. Did you know that Hermitage or Winter Palace is home to the most extensive art collection in the world? Wander around the richly decorated halls, learn more about the eventful past of this iconic Saint Petersburg museum, and explore its countless treasures, featuring Malachite Room and the Great Nicholas Room.
Peter and Paul Fortress
Gloriously representing the power of Saint Petersburg for centuries, the monumental Peter and Paul Fortress was built in 1703 by Peter the Great to strengthen the city during the Northern War with Sweden. Today the citadel belongs to a huge complex, including the State Museum of Saint Petersburg history and the famous Trubetskoy Bastion. While delving into the peculiarities of the fortress construction located on petite Hare Island, you may also hear the fire of the local cannon announcing noon.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
Being one of the most recognizable Saint Petersburg sights, the eye-catching Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood was created in honor of Alexander II and since then serves as the embellishment of the Griboedov Canal. Striking everyone with its beauty, the cathedral is decorated with semiprecious stones like Italian limestone jasper, mountain crystal, and topaz, to name a few. In addition to all mentioned above, the church boasts one of the largest mosaic collections in entire Europe since about 23.130 square feet of its walls is decorated with colorful mosaics!
Drawing of the Bridges
To see the town of waterways at its best, save some time to witness the bridges' fantastic drawing. Interestingly, romantic Saint Petersburg houses more than 300 bridges varying in styles and largeness. Embark on a day or even night boat tour to discover the city from another perspective and have the best view on the bridge show wooing hundreds of people. We personally recommend checking out four centrally located drawbridges (the Blagoveshchensky Bridge, the Palace Bridge, the Trinity Bridge, and the Foundry Bridge).
Eager to go beyond traditional Saint Petersburg sightseeing? As a highlight, crown your Russian vacation with a day-trip to Peterhof, a unique place which is often called "Russian Versailles." The wonderful residence of Russian Tsars, founded by Peter the Great in the 20th century, strikes its every guest with shining statues, gorgeous fountains, and marvelous gardens. Don't miss an opportunity to escape from the city's hustle and bustle, appreciate the charm of the UNESCO-listed palaces, and travel back to the days of Tsarist Russia!
Best Way to Travel between Moscow and St. Petersburg
Feel inspired to visit both incredible Russian capitals at once? When planning your trip, think about hopping on a high-speed train that covers the distance between these magnificent destinations in just 2,5 hours! There are several types of trains operating on the Moscow - St. Petersburg rail line so that adventurers can easily choose one depending on their budget and comfort preferences. On Russian Trains, you can quickly browse Moscow - St. Petersburg train schedule, indicate your seat preferences and book your rail tickets in a few clicks.