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Visiting St Petersburg – Russia’s Cultural Capital

Visiting St Petersburg – Russia’s Cultural Capital


Thanks to Corinthia Hotels, I had an incredible opportunity to visit Russia for the very first time last month! If you read my post about the beautiful Corinthia property in St Petersburg, you’ll already know that the hotel offers the Art à la Carte Package. A special cultural package to visitors that allows guest to experience the best of what St Petersburg has to offer in terms of art and theater.  I had the pleasure of visiting world-renowned museums by day, followed by magnificent ballet and opera performances in the evenings. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in this very unique Russian city.

St Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!  It used to be the capital of Imperial Russia and is now the second largest city of modern Russia. I was blown away by the Russian architecture, but I also noticed a European flavor throughout the city which was a nice surprise. Now is the perfect time to visit St Petersburg, as it was recently named Europe’s Leading City Destination by the World Travel Awards!

Russia might be cold in the winter, but you can keep warm in their very impressive museums. I was lucky enough to visit four fascinating museums during my trip.

The Hermitage Museum 

The first one on our itinerary was the Hermitage Museum. Visiting the most famous art museum in Russia was a dream come true. It houses the biggest collection of European art in the world, spanning from ancient times till present. The Hermitage has over three million items which are displayed throughout six historic buildings along the Palace Embankment. One of these impressive buildings is the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. If you really want to experience the best of what The Hermitage has to offer, I would give yourself at least two days to thoroughly explore.

The Erarta Museum

If modern art is more your style, I’d highly recommend visiting the Erarta Museum which holds the largest private museum of contemporary art in Russia. Along with their permanent collection, you can often see different exhibition projects, especially from talented Russian artists from various regions. While not as extensive as the Hermitage, you will still find almost 3,000 works of contemporary art which were created between 1945 and present time. I learned that the museum prides itself on showcasing work from unknown artists right alongside renowned masters of art!

The Erarta Museum has many interactive exhibits throughout the floors, which were my favorite.

The Russian Museum

Our next visit was to The State Russian Museum, one of the largest museums in the country.  It was actually the first museum of Russian art, initiated by Emperor Alexander III in the later 1800’s. The historical and unique architectural complex the collection is housed in is impressive enough! The main building of the museum is the Mikhailovsky Palace, a beautiful Neoclassical residence of the Grand Duke Michael Paclovich which was built around the 1820’s. I really enjoyed admiring magnificent pieces of Ruissian art while strolling through the opulent palace halls!

Fabergé Museum

A visit to St Petersburg isn’t complete without a trip to the Fabergé Museum. This stunning collection of works by Carl Fabergé is housed at the Shuvalov Palace, another Neoclassical gem in the heart of the city. The most well known pieces of art in this museum are nine of the famous Imperial Easter Eggs. These unique historical artifacts are some of the finest jeweled works of art I have ever seen! The detail and quality of each egg just blew me away, and I could have easily spent hours admiring their beauty.

The Mikhailovsky Theatre

Along with incredible museum art, performance art is just as impressive in this city. One evening, I attended an opera performance at one of Russia’s oldest opera houses: The Mikhailovsky Theatre. Beautiful from the inside and out, this theater was founded in 1833. I had the pleasure of seeing Tosca, an Italian opera with music by Giacomo Puccini. Tosca is one of the greatest achievements in the history of opera and its emotional story is told beautifully with a rapid pace of events. The story focuses on Floria Tosca, a celebrated singer and beautiful woman who succumbs to her emotions very easily.  If you enjoy opera, there is no better place to experience it live than at The Mikhailovsky Theatre!

Mariinsky Theatre

Last but not least was a visit to the Mariinsky Theatre, the most famous Russian opera and ballet theater! St Petersburg is actually the birthplace of the Russian ballet so it was a top priority of mine to see a show here. This was definitely one of the highlights of my entire trip to St Petersburg. The stunning beauty of this historic building left me in absolutely awe. I saw La Sylphde, a classic ballet dating back to the 1800’s.

This charming city has one of the most incredible cultural scenes I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. I feel very lucky to have received such an exclusive and memorable look at St Petersburg through the eyes of the Corinthia St Petersburg Hotel!

Disclosure:  I was a guest of the Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg, but all opinions are my own.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. soaringtraveler
    November 26, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Everyone I know who has been to Russia has loved it. Your pictures are wonderful!

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 28, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Thank you so much! I certainly loved it.

  2. Jennifer
    November 27, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    It’s easy to see why this was named one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I love the colour of the Hermitage Museum (my favourite colour:). I can only imagine the elegance of the Russian ballet.
    Jennifer recently posted…Best of Maui – Free, Affordable & Awesome Things to DoMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 28, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      It is a great color! Thanks for reading, Jennifer 🙂

  3. Katherine
    November 28, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Your photos make me want to be in Russia right now! I would love to go see the Russian ballet as well, you are so lucky you got to see a show while there!

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      It was an incredible experience! I felt very lucky.

  4. Mel Butler
    November 28, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I went to St Petersburg 13yrs ago for Christmas and I loved it there. I definitely was not expecting all the culture that the city had to offer and I have been wanting to go back. Your post takes me right back there and I wanting to pack my bags and jump on a plane back there. I think it is a great idea too that the Corinthia Hotels offer special cultural packages definitely something I would look into doing.
    Mel Butler recently posted…The Lodge – Champéry by Mrs Miggins, A luxury ski Chalet SwitzerlandMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Aw, I’m glad this takes you back! Thanks for your lovely comment.

  5. Lena
    December 10, 2017 at 7:39 am

    I guess if you love art and theater then St. Petersburg is the place to be. Thank you for all the pictures and details about the beautiful art in the museums.

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 15, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      You’re very welcome! I am a big fan of the arts so it was a dream trip for me 🙂

  6. Marya
    December 10, 2017 at 11:36 am

    your pictures are magnificent! i’m interested to watch ballet at mariinsky theater as i used to do ballet when i was a kid. hopefully, one day! 🙂

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 15, 2017 at 11:02 pm

      Thank you, Marya! You’d love seeing a performance at the Mariinsky!

  7. Julien Mordret
    December 10, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I have been wanting to go to Russia really badly, everything you show here looks really stunning! I only knew about the Hermitage Museum – which is already massive – but I see that there is so much more. The Russian ballet must have been an interesting experience
    Julien Mordret recently posted…Night Walk Around Burj Khalifa, Tallest Tower In The World – Dubai, UAEMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 15, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Oh yes, there’s so much to offer! I hope you get to go one day, Julien.

  8. Anthony (one of FourFriendsOneWorld)
    December 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Such a cultured and luxurious post. You certainly live up to your blog name.

    I have always wanted to see Russia and visit the Hermitage Museum. Unfortunately, it seems to always drop down the list as other places and adventure ideas take over. Maybe the friends need to rethink that and push it back up the list.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep traveling, blogging and living a life of luxury.. Adventure is better when shared with friends

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 15, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      Thank you for such a lovely comment, Anthony! I really appreciate it. I hope St Petersburg starts to go up your list 🙂

  9. Samantha
    December 10, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    You always have the most awesome adventures! The architecture in that place looks so exquisite!! Looking forward to reading more of your luxury adventures!

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 15, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you so much!! Stay tuned, I’m on a wonderful Crystal Cruise right now from Mauritius to Cape Town 🙂

  10. Rachel
    December 11, 2017 at 6:55 am

    I would LOVE to go to Russia – but am told as a solo female it might not be the safest place, what are you thoughts on that? The city looks incredibly beautiful, I ;d love to head that way. The faberge museum looks awesome!

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      I felt very comfortable!! It’s a beautiful city with a lot to offer. Thanks for reading, Rachel 🙂

  11. Kalka Shimla
    December 13, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Such a wonderful city. I am planning to visit this city in the next year with my family. Share something more about St. Petersburg. Thanks in advance.

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      That’s great! I have a restaurant post coming out soon, stay tuned 🙂

  12. St Petersburg is beautiful! Your photos show all its beauty. Thank you for such an article about my beloved city!

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