➤ Guided Tour of the Winter Palace and Hermitage
➤ City Sightseeing Tour visiting Kazan Cathedral
➤ Afternoon at leisure
➤ Late evening bar crawl
➤ Midnight drawing bridges cruise
The State Hermitage Museum is often called St. Petersburg’s most important site - a title we think is well deserved. The Winter Palace, the main building of the Hermitage, was home to the Russian Tsars and royal family. There is no better way to understand the heart and soul of St. Petersburg than by roaming the grounds of the Hermitage. Come face to face with history, and the majestic splendor of this unapologetically baroque Palace.
During state receptions and functions the Jordan Staircase was a focal point for arriving guests. After entering the palace through the Ambassadors' entrance, in the central courtyard, they would pass through the colonnaded ground floor Jordan Hall before ascending the staircase to the state apartments. Following a ball at the Winter Palace in 1902, The Duchess of Sutherland wrote: "The stairs of the palace were guarded by cossacks, with hundreds of footmen in scarlet liveries, I have never in my life seen so brilliant a sight—the light, the uniforms, the enormous rooms, the crowd, the music, making a spectacle that was almost Barbaric."
Visit stunning Kazan Cathedral. Construction of beautiful Kazan cathedral commenced at the start of the 19th century, and this neoclassical beauty has stood tall and proud ever since. Often commended as having some of the most beautiful features of any cathedral in the world, the scale of Kazan is something you must experience for yourself.
Take a short walk past St. Petersburg’s most iconic churches. St Isaac’s Cathedral is one of the world’s largest cathedrals, and its dome is unmissable from any vantage point in St Petersburg. If you’re looking for ornate, this is it. If you’re looking for ornate, this is it. The best views of the city are from the colonnade of the cathedral. The number of steps is 262. About the same number would make it to reach the 28th floor in a residential building, only the height of the steps here is less. The smallest doorway is 70 cm. The height of the colonnade is 43 meters. This is about 14 floors along with floors.
Spend afternoon at leisure. Later, we gather again to go out for your first Russia bar crawl tonight. Explore 40 bars and 50 restaurants of famous Rubinstein street, Russia' main bar street. One of our young but professional and experiences local guides will be with you and show all the iconic hot spots.
Surprisingly, St Petersburg is one of the leading gastronomic destinations in Europe. Original and varied, Russian cuisine is famous for exotic soups, which are eaten for lunch. Amongst soups, we should first of all mention "schi" made of sourcrout and "solyanka", made of assorted meats. Russians are great lovers of pelmeni, small Siberian meat pies boiled in broth. Those are very similar to Italian ravioli but larger in size, more like Chinese dumplings. Mushrooms are one of the most abundant gifts of Russian woods. Those are eaten fried, pickled, salted or boiled. We should also mention "pirozhki" and "bliny" - pancakes, the later became a symbolic Russian food every serious traveler has to try.
Then, take off for another highlight of today: St. Petersburg drawing bridges midnight cruise! Opening and closing of the bridges is a magnificent show, spectacular and captivating. What’s interesting it’s not a tourist attraction, but a purely technological procedure, the fact which adds flavor to the experience. Yes, it does complicate local driving as at night you might need to choose another way if you reside on the islands. However, what a spectacular show it is, indeed! St Petersburg has 9 out of 10 world's biggest bridges that are lifted regularly. The remaining one is the London’s Tower bridge.
Ask you guide about spare time in St Petersburg. The palace on the banks of the Moika River belonged to five generations of the Princes Yusupov. It is called the "encyclopedia" of the St. Petersburg aristocratic interior. They come here to see the decoration of the front halls and living rooms. Among them are strict apartments in the classical style, the Mauritanian living room in the magnificent oriental style, the living room in the style of Henry the Second, a library with caches. In the chambers where Prince Felix Yusupov lived, in 1916 famous Grigory Rasputin was killed.
In St. Petersburg, there are several places that are attributed to magical power - the ability to fulfill cherished desires. "Semimostye" one of these. This is the point from which seven bridges are immediately visible. It is located on the Pikalov Bridge, at the intersection of the Kryukov and Griboedov canals. You need to stand up so that the St. Nicholas Sea Cathedral appears to your left. From there you can see the Krasnogvardeisky, Novo-Nikolsky and Staro-Nikolsky bridges through the Griboedov Canal and Adjacent, Kashin and Torgovaya through the Kryukov Canal. If you turn around, you can see the seventh bridge: Mogilevsky through the Griboedov Canal. Make a wish and check whether St. Petersburg magic works!