The result is one of the most enchanting cities to stroll in the world. The highlights of the sprawling Hermitage Museum and graceful Winter Palace and Marble Palace alone would make this worth visiting for the architectural dance of baroque and neo-classical architecture, but there is much more to see in the city. Other highlights that would flatter most other cities are the Palace Square, Yusupov Palace, St Isaac's Cathedral, Church of the Saviour on the Blood, the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Russian Museum to name but a few.
St Petersburg’s love of art is renowned and the collections of art in the city are staggering. The Hermitage features major works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Picasso and Matisse (once again to name but a few) while the Russian Museum has a rich collection of Russian art from Byzantine icon-paintings to the avant-garde experimentalism of the early 20th century. The other art forms for which visitors come to the city are ballet, opera and the orchestra. The Mariinsky Theatre has seen the likes of Anna Pavlova dance and the opera singer Feodor Chaliapin perform on its stage. There is also a thriving contemporary ‘underground’ arts scene and lively jazz, pop/rock and even hip hop venues.
However, one of the highlights of visiting St Petersburg is simply strolling the streets and if you visit during the White Nights in summer when the sun barely sets, you’ll have more time to experience one of the world’s greatest cities in a painterly dusky daylight.