What to see in St. Petersburg in 3 days

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

A timeless city full of fairytale and enchanting buildings, St. Petersburg has so much to offer. With its countless museums, royal palaces, majestic cathedrals, ancient fortresses and manicured gardens, the city attracts millions of tourists every year and it is no coincidence that the historic center is part of the world heritage of humanity. Let yourself be carried away by the magic and let's find out together what to see in St. Petersburg in 3 days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in St. Petersburg cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Hermitage Museum, Winter Palace, Palace Square

We start the day with a delicious breakfast within walking distance of the first stop on our itinerary, The Coffe Bar Bonch which offers sweet and savory menus, with a wide choice of sandwiches. On average you spend € 3,00 / € 3,50 and don't forget to try Russian coffee. Our tour starts with the right energy and we head towards the Hermitage Museum. Given the size of the palace-museum, we recommend that you do a research before leaving so that you already have a clear idea of ​​what to visit. I advise you to plan the whole itinerary in advance in order to optimize the time and see as many attractions as possible. To avoid long waits, you can buy tickets online. Take advantage of this convenience and skip the line. The museum is one of the most important collections of works of art in the world: sculptures, paintings, archaeological finds, numismatic objects and so on. We recommend visiting on Wednesday or Friday when the museum is open from 10:30 to 21:30, other days it closes at 18:00. The Hermitage consists of a complex of five buildings connected to each other on the banks of the Neva River: the Winter Palace (the official residence of the old Tsars), the Little Hermitage, the new Hermitage, the Grand Hermitage and the Hermitage Theater. Admission is free on the first Thursday of each month, otherwise the cost for purchasing the ticket online, directly from the English site, is approximately € 16,00 and allows entry to all buildings. Alternatively you can buy the ticket in the museum and in the automatic machines but armed with patience, there will be long lines to do. Allow yourself at least a couple of hours to visit the whole building and take some photos of the imposing imperial halls and continue on to Palace Square, right next to the Palace where you can relax and have lunch.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Palace Bridge, Stock Exchange Square, Menshikov Palace

Local culinary specialties don't have to be expensive to be good and appreciated, sometimes even a typical fast food chain can be enjoyed. It is the case of Stolle, present in many Russian cities, offers good quality menus at affordable prices. Renowned for the delicious sweet and savory cakes, we can have lunch for under € 10,00. After lunch we cross the very romantic Palace Bridge to reach the other side of the Neva River and visit the historic one Stock Exchange Square, also known as Punta dell'Isola di San Basilio. Along the river we arrive up to Menshikov Palace, very characteristic baroque style building which contains the history and culture of tsarist russia. We recommend visiting on Wednesday or Friday when the museum is open from 10:30 to 21:30, other days it closes at 18:00. Cost of the single ticket: € 4,00. Ticket Full admission ticket: Menshikov Palace, Main Museum Complex, Headquarters, Peter I Winter Palace, Imperial Porcelain Factory Museum: € 9,50

3 - Evening: Dinner and Cruise

In the evening, walking towards Nevsky prospect, the main artery that crosses the city of St. Petersburg, you will meet majestic historical buildings and monuments that make this street interesting and appreciated. Before dinner, take a leisurely cruise along the river (buy online) and let yourself be enchanted by the romantic St. Petersburg at sunset and the characteristic lifting of the bridge. The sunset cruise is an experience to add to your on-board itinerary and organized tours depart near the Lomonosov Bridge, along the Fontanka River embankment. Duration: one hour. Ticket price: around € 13,00. Departures until 20:00. At the end of the boat tour we will have a slight peckish and nearby we find a very interesting and characteristic restaurant in terms of location and gastronomic proposals: the Erivan Restaurant. Located right by the river, the restaurant offers menus of Armenian and Russian dishes for around € 20 / € 25. I suggest you try some good typical bino!

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 7,3 km / 1 h 33 min
  • Places visited: Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace (€ 16,00), Palace Square (free), Palace Bridge (free), Stock Exchange Square (free), Menshikov Palace (€ 4,00), River Cruise (€ 13,00)
  • St. Petersburg: private 3-hour Hermitage tour
  • Breakfast at Coffe Bar Bonch (Get directions), Lunch at Stolle (Get directions), Dinner at Erivan Restaurant (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Summer Palace, Marble Palace, Church on the Spilled Blood

Pyshechnaya is a typical restaurant in St. Petersburg born in the 50s and renowned for Russian donuts fried covered with powdered sugar. If you pass by these parts, you cannot fail to stop for breakfast. For about € 0,20 you can taste simple and delicious donuts typical of the Russian tradition. I recommend that you take a couple to avoid going back and queuing up.
We then proceed towards the Summer Garden of St. Petersburg is the oldest park in the city characterized by fountains and sculptures designed by Italian artists, inside is the Summer Palace, one of the greatest expressions of the Russian Baroque. The palace was the summer residence of Tsar Peter the Great and his family. Hours: from June to October from 10:00 to 18:00. Ticket cost: € 4,00. Next to it we find another imposing imperial residence, The Marble Palace which takes its name from the fact that more than thirty different types of marble have been used for interior and exterior decoration. The architectural style represents the transition from Baroque to Classicism. Ticket price: € 6,80 adults, € 3,40 students. Hours: from 10:00 to 18:00 (Thursdays closes at 21:00). Closed on Tuesday.
La Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the most significant churches in St. Petersburg which immediately catches the eye for the typically Russian-style architecture and the precious colored decorations. Inside is one of the largest collections of monumental mosaics in all of Europe. It is located near Nevksi Prospect on the banks of one of St. Petersburg's canals. In Russian it is called the "Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ" because it was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II of Russia was killed. Hours: from 10:00 to 18:00. Entrance fee: € 3,50.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch at Literary Cafe, Russian Museum, Mikhailovsky Theater, Kazan Cathedral

Located along the Moika River, right in front of the wax museum, the Literary Café is the ideal place for a lunch around € 20,00 - € 25,00 with a scenic view. Excellent proposals of Russian cuisine with savory and sweet dishes. We recommend the mushroom soup and the smoked salmon. We continue the visit with the Russian State Museum: a superb collection of icons, paintings, graphic arts and sculpture, numismatics entirely dedicated to Russian art. Interesting to get to the heart of this culture. We recommend that you allow at least an hour and a half for the complete visit of the museum. Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 (Thursdays from 13:00 to 21:00) Closed Tuesday. Ticket cost: € 6,20. Not very far from the museum we find Mikhailovsky Theater located in the historical building of the Arts Square and often hosts performances by foreign theater companies. Depending on your budget and the schedule of the shows you can buy an online ticket and live a unique experience. Also there Kazan Cathedral, a few hundred meters away, is worth a visit. It is a neoclassical church dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, the most revered icon and is the seat of the Orthodox bishop of St. Petersburg. The cathedral is open every day from 7.00 until the last liturgical service, which takes place at 18.00 and admission is free.

3 - Evening: Dinner at Arka Bar Food Space, Anichkov Bridge, Nevisky Prospect

Near the Kazan Cathedral we recommend a stop at the Arka Bar Food Space, a modern-looking bar-restaurant that offers a wide choice of menus (including vegetarians) for under € 12,00 and international cocktails. The Borsch is also very good. For lovers of nightlife, we recommend continuing along Nevisky Prospect and cross the Anichkov bridge, the riverside is full of bars where you can relax a bit and enjoy the real St. Petersburg by night.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 6,9 km / 1 h 27 min
  • Places visited: Summer Palace (€ 4,00), Marble Palace (€ 6,80), Church of the Spilled Blood (€ 3,50), Russian Museum (€ 6,20), Michajilovski Theater, Kazan Cathedral ( free), Nevisky Prospect, Anichkov Bridge
  • Tour of the Imperial Palaces of St. Petersburg
  • Breakfast at Pyshechnaya (Get directions), Lunch at Literary Cafe (Get directions), Dinner at Arka Bar Food Space (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Senate Square, Bronze Horseman, Moika Palace

Let's continue our journey to discover the most sumptuous and grandiose church in St. Petersburg: St. Isaac's Cathedral located in the homonymous square. Before starting the visit we stop for breakfast at the Bar Restaurant Schastye, less than 200 meters away, small typical restaurant overlooking the cathedral. Prices a little higher than average (a breakfast around € 12,00) but considering the location and the service, it's really worth it
The Cathedral features one of the largest domes in the world and boasts the recognition of the second tallest Orthodox church in the world. Inside it is covered with marble, decorations and sculptures that make it unique and majestic. Hours: from 10:30 to 18:00, in summer until 22:30. Ticket cost: € 3,50 for the cathedral (children under 7 enter free), € 2,00 for the colonnade from which you can admire the city from above. In the heart of the Senate Square is placed by sculpture of Bronze Knight, a colossal equestrian monument dedicated to Tsar Peter and symbol of the city of St. Petersburg. Not far away, about ten minutes on foot, we reach the Palazzo Moika, a sumptuous royal building that nowadays hosts government meetings, international conferences and symposia. The elegance of the interiors are worth a visit. Hours: from 11:00 to 18:00. Ticket cost: around € 6,50 or € 9,60 with audio guide included.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch at Attic Restaurant, Mariinsky Theater, Griboedov Canal, Stronagov Palace

Located on the top floor of an elegant high-rise building with stunning views of St. Isaac's Cathedral, Il Ristorante Mansarda offers highly sought-after international and Russian specialties. The location is classy and the dishes are of high quality. Don't forget to taste borsh, a typical Russian beetroot-based soup accompanied by a good Russian wine. Average cost of lunch € 30 but justified by the suggestive location. The Mariinsky Theater is another must-see attraction in St. Petersburg where operas and ballets are offered. If there are shows that intrigue you, I recommend you drop by. We cross another famous canal, the Griboyedov Canal and let's head towards the last stop of our afternoon itinerary: the Stronagov Palace. The building stands on the corner of Moika and Nevsky Prospekt and represents one of the best examples of Baroque art. Currently the palace hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions of the Russian State Museum, as well as a wax museum. Hours: every day from 10:00 to 18:00 (last admissions at 17:00), closed on Tuesdays.

3 - Evening Dinner at Gosti and walk along the river

We have dinner in a typical restaurant in the heart of St. Petersburg that offers typical Russian cuisine at reasonable prices, the Gosti Restaurant, which offers a delicious typical Russian apple pie the Sharlotka. Stop for a while to relax and chat with the locals who are very friendly and speak English very well. With about € 15,00 - € 20,00 you can dine and ... chat. At the end of the evening, to close this fantastic journey, we recommend a very relaxing walk along the Neva river that will enchant you and make you dream. Let yourself be carried away by the magic of St. Petersburg.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 9,8 km / 2 h 3 min
  • Places visited: St. Isaac's Cathedral (€ 3,50), Senate Square and Bronze Horseman (free), Moika Palace (€ 6,50), Mariinsky Theater (depending on the show), Griboedov Canal, Stronagov Palace
  • St. Petersburg: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and Boat Tour
  • Breakfast at Bar Restaurant Schastye (Get directions), Lunch at Mansarda Restaurant (Get directions), Dinner at Gosti (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in St. Petersburg cost

The budget for 3 days in St. Petersburg depends on the high and low season, the type of accommodation, the attractions you want to visit, travel within the city and above all on the Rublio-Euro exchange rate. Suppose we quantify the trip we have planned by taking an average:

  • Costs to eat: about € 45,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: Hermitage Museum (€ 16,00), Menshikov Palace (€ 9,50), Cruise (€ 13,00), Summer Palace (€ 4,00), Marble Palace (€ 6,80), Church of Spilled Blood (€ 3,50), Russian Museum (€ 6,20), St. Isaac's Cathedral (€ 3,50), Palazzo Moika (€ 6,50)
  • Transportation: Airport-city transfer € 15,00, Bus ticket € 0,60, Metro ticket € 0,65
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: from € 30,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 15,00 per person (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in St. Petersburg: from € 370,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit St. Petersburg: during the winter period snowfalls are frequent and the landscape is very suggestive, however the climate is freezing and the days are short. Autumn is quite cool and spring quite windy. The best season is certainly the summer, between June and July when temperatures are rather mild and sunny days. It is precisely at this time of year we can witness the magnificent White Nights, or the "midnight sun" which, due to the inclination of the earth's axis, gives a magical and evocative atmosphere that has inspired poets and writers of all times . The climax occurs between 20 - 23 June. One more reason to take a vacation - find out more
  • before leaving, make sure you have requested a valid Tourist Visa for entry to Russia. You can request it at the consulates of the Russian Embassy (€ 35,00), online on the website of the Visa Center for Russia (€ 35,00 plus € 30,00 management costs) or at a travel agency (variable price) . Be sure to check if any other documents are required besides the visa and passport. Airplane: Pulkovo Airport is located about 20 km from St. Petersburg and is well connected to the city center. Taxi: Taxi service is safer but slightly more expensive. To get to the center: half an hour / one hour depending on traffic. Rate around € 15. The best companies are Kiwitaxi and Lingotaxi. Be wary of illegal and unlicensed taxi drivers who offer you cheap rides. Bus If you want to opt for a cheaper solution we suggest the City Bus 39 (runs every 15 minutes. Duration: 30 minutes) or the City Express 39Ex (rides every 25 minutes. Duration: 20 minutes). Both tickets cost around € 0,60 and will take you to the Moskovskaya metro stop. Metro The Moskovskaya metro station is just outside St. Petersburg but for only € 0,65 you can get to the center. There are also passes for 10, 20, 40 and 70 trips. Car and train It is also possible to arrive in Russia by car or with international rail connections but it is not recommended for short trips.
    starting from € 159,00 -
  • Most of the tourist attractions of St. Petersburg are located in the central part of the city so to save time in the various movements, we recommend staying in an area not too far from the Hermitage museum or Nevski Prospect.
    Hotel and b & b starting from € 15,00 per room -
  • Getting around: Most of St. Petersburg's attractions are located in the central area so walking shouldn't be too tiring. In any case, public transport works well and the underground line consists of 6 lines that branch off throughout the city. The taxi is very convenient for getting around and is not very expensive, very useful especially in the evening - find out more
  • Other: the current currency is the ruble and corresponds to € 0,01. Better to have cash in your wallet. We recommend paying directly with your Visa and Mastercard credit card (check the fees), withdrawing from an ATM directly on arrival or changing euros in a Russian bank. Better to avoid changing euros at the airport ... the exchange rate is very unfavorable. Furthermore, the health card is not valid in Russia, we recommend that you take out an insurance policy before leaving

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