Honestly, I am not that fond of different ratings as they make us believe that if one has visited some top sites he has seen the city. But every now and then we are short of time and are forced to choose the best from the best. In my opinion, if you have only one day there are 3 must see places in Saint-Petersburg:
1. Walk along Nevsky prospekt (the main street of our city) from Mayakovskaya metro station to the Admiralty and the Palace square, make a loup to admire st Isaac’s cathedral and the Bronze horseman, continue to Vasilyevsky island and from there move to to Peter and Pauld fortress . Although you won’t have time to go inside most of these sights you will see a lot.
2. Spend 2-3 hours at the Hermitage, you simply can’t leave the city without doing that. It’s a real must see in St Petersburg.
3. Take a boat trip along the Neva river as the city looks completely differently from water. And you must give some rest to your poor legs after all:))
If you have an extra day , save it for a day-trip to Peterhof, a must see suburb of Saint-Petersburg. The main thing there is a park with beautiful fountains, the Grand palace and many pavillions (in fact there are several interesting parks in Peterhof, although the so called Lower garden is the most famous due to the fountains). If you have time, take a tour to the grotto of the Grand cascade – the tour isn’t particularly interesting, but the ending is fascinating – make sure you have your camera on.
The Grand palace is beautiful both inside and outside and has very rich interiors, but in my personal opinion it resemples the Winter palace, so my favourite “palaces” this far are so called Olga’s and Queens pavillions – two villas built for the wife and daughter of russian tzar Nicolas the I. They are situated in the center of Peterhof only a short walk from the Upper park but you seem to be in another world as this place is not overcrowded with tourists. Unfortunately you can visit this museum in summer time and only with a tourist group.
This is the Queen’s pavillion. Its interiors are decorated in style of ancient Pompeii, so this building is quite different from traditional baroque palaces of Saint-Petersburg. In fact I will make a special post on Peterhof as there are lots to visit.