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How to Spend 3 Days in St Petersburg

How to Spend 3 Days in St Petersburg

With three days in St. Petersburg, you have enough time to visit all the must-see sights, and tailor your itinerary to suit your interests. Take advantage of money-saving passes and combo tours, explore the city’s many museums, and experience Russian culture. Here are some ideas.

Day 1: Sightseeing in the city

St. Petersburg’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed city center is full of historic monuments and architectural marvels. To make the most of your time, opt to explore with a guide, or take a hop-on hop-off bus tour that lets you pick and choose the attractions that interest you most.

Spend the morning admiring the gigantic art collection of the State Hermitage Museum, including masterpieces by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, and Rembrandt. Queues are notoriously long, so be sure to book skip-the-line tickets and don’t miss the gardens, where you’ll find the beautiful Winter Palace.

Next, visit Palace Square and perhaps do some shopping along Nevsky Prospekt, before visiting the magnificent Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. The St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, and Peter and Paul’s Cathedral are all popular photo stops, as is the Yusupov Palace, known as the spot where Rasputin was assassinated.

Day 2: Pushkin and Peterhof

Two of Russia’s most extravagant imperial palaces lie just outside St. Petersburg, and you can visit both on a full-day tour. Start with a guided tour of the 18th-century Catherine Palace in Pushkin, the former summer residence of Catherine I. Inside, the star attraction is the opulent Amber Room, a visual feast of amber panels, gold leaf, and mirrors, while the vast parklands are dotted with pretty pavilions and grottoes.

In the afternoon, visit Peterhof Palace, which was designed by Peter the Great in the 18th century and is nicknamed the Russian Versailles. A tour of the Grand Palace includes a look at the Throne Room, the Ballroom, and the Crown Room, while the idyllic gardens run right down to the seafront. The most impressive view is from the Fountain of Neptune, gazing down along the Grand Cascade.

Day 3: Experience Russian Culture

The Hermitage isn’t the only world-renowned museum in St. Petersburg; the Russian Museum is a must for fans of Russian art, while the Fabergé Museum is home to the legendary Fabergé Eggs. Or you could explore another mainstay of Russian culture with a visit to the Museum of Russian Vodka.

Spend the afternoon enjoying a quintessentially Russian experience: Visit the Yamskiye Baths to enjoy a traditional Russian sauna, learn to cook classic Russian dishes with a private cooking class, or have fun painting your own Matryoshka (nesting) dolls.

For your final evening in St. Petersburg, enjoy an unforgettable night at the ballet. The Mariinsky Theatre and Hermitage Theatre are among Russia’s most prestigious venues and hold regular performances of favorites like The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

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9 Tours and Activities

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St. Petersburg 3-Day All-Inclusive Tour

St. Petersburg 3-Day All-Inclusive Tour

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This 3-day tour of St. Petersburg includes transport, lunches, and all entrance fees for places shown on the below itinerary, so you can relax and enjoy your time exploring what the city has to offer. Go to the famous Hermitage and the Faberge Museum to learn about Russia’s history. Along the three days, see Yusupov Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Peterhof Palace and Garden (Petrodvorets), the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and Catherine Palace and Park.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$400.65
From
$400.65

1-Day St Petersburg PRIVATE Tour to Peterhof skip-the-line

1-Day St Petersburg PRIVATE Tour to Peterhof skip-the-line

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Visit the Imperial palace of Peterhof on this tour that includes a high-speed boat road from St Petersburg. After zipping along the Neva River from Winter Palace, step onto dry land at Peterhof and explore its Lower Park, lavish Grand Palace and Upper Garden on a tour. Wander amid whimsical water features and resplendent furnishings as you learn about Tsar Peter the Great, for whom the palace was built.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$132.13
Price varies by group size
From
$132.13
Price varies by group size

Saint Petersburg CityPass

Saint Petersburg CityPass

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The St. Petersburg CityPass is the ultimate in flexibility for your sightseeing in the city. Choose which museums and attractions to visit when you want. The CityPass includes admission to more than 20 different museums. Use the pass for complimentary bus tours, walking tours, or sightseeing excursions on the water. You also receive deals and discounts at participating restaurants. An included guidebook and city map help plan your days. Choose from 2-, 3- or 5-day passes.
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  • 2 to 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$85.58
From
$85.58

Private tour: Hermitage Museum and 3-course Traditional Russian Lunch with Vodka

Private tour: Hermitage Museum and 3-course Traditional Russian Lunch with Vodka

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Enjoy a private tour of St Petersburg's Hermitage—one of the largest museum's on the planet—then follow it up with a traditional 3-course Russian meal. Use your admission ticket to peruse the world's largest collection of paintings and explore the Hermitage's vast exhibition halls, taking in works by Rembrandt, Picasso, Goya and Van Gogh as you go. See sculptures by da Vinci and wander among extravagant state rooms offering insight into Russian history. Afterward, savor a lunch of national cuisine (think beet borsht and fish) accompanied by a complimentary vodka shot.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$160.00
Price varies by group size
From
$160.00
Price varies by group size

St Petersburg Private 3 Day Essential Shore Excursion

St Petersburg Private 3 Day Essential Shore Excursion

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Explore St. Petersburg at your own pace on this private 3-day tour. You can either follow the itinerary below, or ask to alter it to better suit your and your group’s needs. Along the three days, see the Hermitage, Smolny Cathedral, Catherine Palace, Alexander Nevsky Lavra Monastery, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and Peterhof Palace and Garden (Petrodvorets). Plus take a canal cruise to see sights from the water.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$712.00
Price varies by group size
From
$712.00
Price varies by group size

Russian Bath Private Experience at Historical Banya with 3-Course Russian Lunch

Russian Bath Private Experience at Historical Banya with 3-Course Russian Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Russian bath experience in St Petersburg at the Yamskiye Baths, one of the oldest baths in Russia, once frequented by famous figures such as Russian writer Dostoyevsky. The bath experience consists of a relaxing session in a steam room followed by a dive into a cold plunge pool; this is typically repeated a few times, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. You’ll be escorted by a guide, who tells you about the customs of this historical practice. Indulge in a traditional 3-course Russian lunch before being dropped of at your accommodation.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$189.00
Price varies by group size
From
$189.00
Price varies by group size

Matryoshka-doll Private Painting Class in St Petersburg

Matryoshka-doll Private Painting Class in St Petersburg

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Enjoy a fun endeavor with the entire family: paint matryoshka dolls--or Russian nesting dolls--to take home as souvenirs. Receive tips from a professional artist before setting to work on your own unique creation in the comfort of a local cafe. Savor light snacks and beverages while waiting for your doll to dry, or combine the class with an organized tour so that you can paint your dolls, go sightseeing, then return to pick up your finished works later in the day.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.00
Price varies by group size
From
$55.00
Price varies by group size

Private Cooking Class: Borsch & Beef Stroganoff in St Petersburg (with transfer)

Private Cooking Class: Borsch & Beef Stroganoff in St Petersburg (with transfer)

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Immerse yourself in the culinary techniques and traditions of Russian cuisine with a 3-hour private cooking class in St Petersburg. Join a skilled chef in preparing two well-known Russian dishes: beet borscht and beef stroganoff, and learn about the confluence of local cuisine and culture while preparing each dish. Afterward, sit down to enjoy the delicious fruits of your creation.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$276.00
Price varies by group size
From
$276.00
Price varies by group size

St.Petersburg: Meal with a Russian Family

St.Petersburg: Meal with a Russian Family

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Delve off the traditional tourist path to enjoy a truly authentic experience: dining with a local Russian family. Depart the city-center along the historic 'Road of Life' for a visit to the family home and witness first-hand how multiple generations live under one roof. Mingle with family members and tour the residence before sitting down to a meal of traditional Russian dishes. Around the table enjoy an opportunity to discuss Russian culture and daily life with your English speaking host.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$210.26
Price varies by group size
From
$210.26
Price varies by group size