St. Petersburg Short Break Ideas

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St. Petersburg Short Break Ideas

Most people going on a trip want to experience new horizons. They want to cram as much fun as they possibly can into their holidays. Therefore, choosing a short break holiday spot is not as simple as it appears on the surface. Family members have their own ideas as to the best way to enjoy their time. Therefore, one may find that each member is privately making plans. Travellers need to consider their budget, as well as the finer details of the location they plan to visit, such as its history, accessibility, and entertainment. The best way to go about choosing a short break package is to find a spot that each family member can enjoy. People generally gravitate towards a place where the climate is warm, with variable and copious attractions. While St. Petersburg has a temperate climate, it still attracts a fair number of visitors, and is one of the more popular short break destinations.

What is a Short Break?

A short break is a trip that lasts between three days and a week. A short break idea is the plan for where to go to maximise whatever pursuit one has in mind. A short break may be for fun, health, relaxation, and some families take short breaks just to bond, or have someone else take care of them for a change. Historically famous and culturally rich, Saint Petersburg makes an excellent short break idea.

St. Petersburg Short Break Budget Ideas

A holiday excursion costs money, whether it is a short break or an extended holiday. Families or individuals need to work out a budget before putting St. Petersburg short break ideas in place. The attractions and activities are many and exciting which may result in overspending if concrete planning is not done, and agreed upon before embarking on their short break.

About St. Petersburg

Widely renowned for its architectural and cultural heritage, St. Petersburg is famous for its rich blend of traditional Russian byzantine, baroque, and neoclassical architecture. It is located on the Neva River, at the top of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. It is situated in the middle of the Taiga lowlands and the Neva River flows through the length of the city. Its highest point is 577 feet above sea level; its lowest is a mere 13 feet, which makes that area prone to frequent flooding.


Once home to the Tsars of Russia, St. Petersburg is significantly rich in both cultural and history. Founded by the Tsar, Peter the Great in 1703, St. Petersburg is a federal subject of Russia. Although no longer the chief city of Russia, it had the honour of being the Russian capital on two separate occasions, from 1713 to 1728, and again from 1732 to 1918. When the central Russian legislative bodies migrated to Moscow in 1918, the city, then named Petrograd, was downgraded to a federal subject. With a population of approximately 4.9 million people, it is Russia's second largest city, next to Moscow. Not only is it an important Russian port, but it is Russia's cultural capital. It is also regarded as a significant European cultural centre. St. Petersburg is also the most "westernised" of all Russian cities. This contributes to its attractiveness as a short break idea.


There is no shortage of transportation and commuters have a variety of choices. The first Russian railway was built in 1837 and is continually upgraded to keep pace with this thriving city. There is also an extensive public transportation system of which the main two are the St. Petersburg tram and St. Petersburg Metro. These are state owned and operated. There is a wide network of roads and railway lines to support the ever increasing motorised population. Federal highways, national and international rail routes supplement transportation needs, as well as connect St. Petersburg to Russia and the international community. The state run buses are estimated to transport approximately three million passengers daily while the railway carries almost another 3.5 million. There is also the Pulkovo Airport which caters to air travelling.

Apart from the traditional transportation of buses and taxi services, St. Petersburg boasts the largest most modern riverine service worldwide. The city is served by both passenger and cargo seaports in the Neva Bay. Many smaller ports line both banks of the river which makes it much easier for travellers to embark or disembark nearer to their destinations. Two major shipping lines, the Volga Baltic and White Sea Baltic also have terminals in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Short Break Attractions - Sightseeing

Once home to the Russian elite society, St. Petersburg is rich in architectural designs from the 18th and 19th Centuries. Although many of its classic designs were demolished in World War one and two, many of its classic architecture still remain. Consisting mostly of Baroque, neoclassical and Russian byzantine influence, the infrastructure collectively referred to as the Historic Centre of St. Petersburg and Related Group of Monuments has been mostly preserved. Due to the richness and unique blend of its architectural culture, and the high esteem in which it is held, St. Petersburg was identified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991.

The banks of the River Neva are dotted with varied historical buildings. Dominating the right bank is the architectural ensemble of the Peter and Paul fortress and Peter and Paul Cathedral. Every day at noon, a blank shot is fired from the cannon at the fortress. Once the largest in all of Europe, the St. Petersburg mosque is also on the right bank of the Neva in close proximity to the fortress. Its oldest preserved wooden structure is the house that was constructed for Peter the First in 1703, on the shore of the River Neva.


There is no shortage of interesting activities on a St. Petersburg short break. With over two hundred museums, numerous libraries, almost fifty galleries, and many other attractions, there is not a moment to be bored. Theatres and cinemas, and concert venues when added together number more than two hundred. In a single year, the city hosts over one hundred festivals and competitions of varying genres, from art to culture, domestic and international. During the winter months, which usually last from November through April, ice skating and skiing are two popular entertaining activities.


With so many museums, the opportunities are diverse. Home of the famous Hermitage Museum, founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, one of the largest and oldest in the world, St. Petersburg itself may be considered a museum. There is so much to see and do that one may actually come up with another short break idea while on the first trip. Included in the list of museums is a private museum of puppets with a display of more than two thousand dolls. There is a museum of musical instruments, the State Russian Museum of Russian Art, museum of decorative arts are among the myriads of museum offerings.

With so many museums, it is difficult to include them all. Separate from those aforementioned, there are many others that command special mention, such as the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Ethnography Museum, Zoological Museum, Railway Museum and the Artillery Museum, to name a few. With forty-five galleries and eighty other cultural establishments, visitors are kept busy on their short breaks.


For nature lovers, there are many parks and gardens to explore. Containing a palace, one of the most popular parks in St. Petersburg is the Kirov Central and Leisure Park, located on Elagin Island. The palace is utilised as a museum with a collection of decorative and applied art. The park boasts an ice-skating rink in winter and summer attractions such as a badminton court, sightseeing boat trips around the city and children's rides.

If one is proficient on ice, skis are available for rental at this venue. Maritime Victory Park and Moscow Victory Park are two parks commemorating the victory of the Russians over Nazi Germany during WWII. The chart below highlights some of the city's most popular parks, gardens, and museums.



Hermitage Museum

Interior of Russian hierarchy and art

Russian Museum

Russian culture

Peter the Great Museum

World-wide 18th century collection of curiosities by Peter the Great

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art

Largest non-governmental museum of contemporary art in Russia

Artillery Museum

Displays of Russian artillery; military equipment; uniforms; decorations

Kirov Central and Leisure Park

Ice skating; ski rental; children's rides; boat rides on the Neva River; restaurants

Tauride Garden

Tauride Castle as its centrepiece; museum

Summer Garden

Oldest garden in location; famous for its cast iron railings; marble sculptures; 18th century; regular style garden

The largest simulation of an English garden on the European continent is also located in the southern suburb of St. Petersburg. The Summer Garden located on the southern bank of the Neva is oldest. Though designed in the eighteenth century, its cast iron railings and marble sculptures still attract a fair number of visitors. There are many other attractive parks and gardens located in and around the city of St. Petersburg.


Not everyone is fascinated by museums and historical culture. For those who are not, the films shown at one of St. Petersburg 62 cinemas may be of interest. There is also a choice of more than 80 theatres to attend. Russian ballet is arguably the best in the world. St. Petersburg being the home of Russian dancers such as the famous Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev and Natalia Makarova, naturally incorporates ballet in its recreational treats. Combined with all those theatres and cinemas are several concert programmes and other informal, non - traditional musical interludes.


Due to the influx and variety of cultures that regularly visit St. Petersburg, Haute cuisine establishments and regular restaurants are located in all over the city. Apart from the cultural fare, there is food to soothe every palate and tease all taste buds in St. Petersburg. All the museums and recreational areas are equipped with restaurants or some other form of eating establishment.


Taking into account that St. Petersburg is a city that is literally built over and along the course of a river, its architectural wealth is astonishing. Although famous for its architecture, its fascinating history as the home of Russia's former imperial society, the Tsars, is of itself an attraction. Despite the frigidly cold winters, the attractions are enough to keep visitors returning on their short breaks. There are only two definable seasons in Saint Petersburg, summer and winter. The allure of the "White" nights in winter coupled with its temperate climate during the summer make St. Petersburg a favourite for short break ideas.

There are no definite high or low seasons for travel, and the only change in its diverse attractions is the lack of snow skiing during the summer. Year-round discounted short break deals are available and may be found on various websites such as eBay. travellers simply need to learn more about their preferred destination including its history, attractions, and activities in order to have great ideas on what to do on their short break.

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