St Petersburg
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Petersburg the great!

Did you know? Saint Petersburg began life as 'Sankt Petersburg' in 1703, after its founder Tsar Peter the Great. However when the Russians and Germans found themselves at war in 1914 Sankt Petersburg was deemed too German sounding and the name was Russified to Petrograd. After Lenin died in 1924, the city's moniker changed in his honour, to Leningrad. Following the collapse of Communism in 1991, the city's citizens voted to change the name back to Sankt Petersburg, or 'Saint Petersburg' in English.

Few places in the world resonate with the magic and romance that imbue every fibre of Russia's most splendid city, Saint Petersburg. Built by Peter the Great to rival Europe's finest capitals, St. Petersburg's bountiful waterways, numerous islands and its three hundred bridges have earned it the title of the 'Venice of the North'; whereas its long boulevards and Neoclassical mansions have seen it dubbed the 'Paris of the East' - and Peterhof Palace 'the Russian Versailles'. However all these titles, and many more, fail to do justice to the Northern metropolis's unique and vibrant character. After all what other city can bathe in the luminosity of the White Nights, in the legacy of the Kirov Ballet and in the glory of such progeny as, Doestevsky, Nabokov, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich? Saint Petersburg is truly one of a kind!

The 20th Century may have been unkind to St. Petersburg - it was stripped of its capital status, endured the Siege of Leningrad, and fell into disrepair under the shadow of Communism - but already the 21st seems far brighter. Once glorious buildings are being renovated to their former splendour, a renowned cultural programme continues to be enriched and hardly a day passes without a slew of new bars, nightclubs and restaurants opening up. For now the sun sparkles brightly on the river Neva!

We at St. Petersburg Life will help you discover the best of everything this Imperial capital has to offer, from the Hermitage to the Stars of the White Nights Festival, as well as giving you plenty of useful information on all kinds of practical considerations, such as finding a hotel, transferring from the airport, getting around town plus travel tips and an intro to the Russian language! We do our best to keep our site accurate and up-to-date, however, if there's something you can't find, or that we should know about, please contact us... We won't rest until we've created the number one English language guide to St. Petersburg!

Seeing as you're in the neighbourhood, why don't you see what else is going on in the East? Our friends in Moscow, Tallinn, Warsaw, and Vilnius are sure to give you a warm welcome!

Expect rain, shine and cold breezes in St. Petersburg during autumn, arguably the least predictable of the Northern capital's seasons. As long as you're prepared for each elemental eventuality you should have a great time in St. Pete's. The mainstay of the tourists have gone home, leaving the 'true' face of the city yours alone to discover. Whether your odyssey takes you to the museums or the bars, is entirely up to you! The most romantic of Russian cities becomes a pale shade more romantic under a veil of snow, meaning the winter months are still an ideal time to head north. Of course you'll have precious little daylight but seeing the sun rise and set over the frozen river Neva is worth the air ticket alone. And no matter how dark it is outside the millionfold treasures of the State Hermitage Museum can still be enjoyed, as can the vodka-fuelled nightlife. Na zdorovie!

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