About St. Petersburg

Landmarks and historic sites

St. Petersburg is a city with a unique role in Russian history. For more than two centuries, it was the dazzling capital of the Russian Empire and is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

State Hermitage Museum, Mariinsky Theatre, Russian Museum, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and the palaces and parks of Peterhof, Pushkin and Pavlovsk together create the magnificent image of St. Petersburg. The entire historic centre of St. Petersburg is patronaged by UNESCO.

Today, St. Petersburg boasts 206 museums, 210 libraries, 91 theatres, 60 cinemas, 100 concert venues, 45 galleries and exhibition halls.

In 2018, St. Petersburg became a laureate of the World Travel Awards, the prestigious international prize in the tourism sector, in three nominations: World’s Leading Cultural City Destination 2018, Europe’s Leading Cruise Destination 2018 and Europe’s Leading City Break Destination 2018. The city has now won the title of World’s Leading Cultural City Destination for three consecutive years.

In 2018, the city became a destination for 8.5 million people, 5 million of them visitors from abroad. Most of these visitors came from China, United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Finland, Italy, Canada, Australia and Spain. More than 650,000 tourists visited the Northern Capital of Russia during the FIFA World Cup.

International relations

More than 30 countries have their consulates in St. Petersburg. There are also representative offices of such international organisations as the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers, representative offices of international foundations and unions, organisations of the UN system as well as offices and branches of international banks.

The city frequently hosts major international events. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has been held here every year since 1997. In 2015 and 2018 the city hosted the Eurasian Women’s Forum. It has also hosted the G20 Summit, the Ice Hockey World Championship 2016, the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 2017, the FIFA World Cup 2018 and other sports competitions, major international sectoral conferences, exhibitions and festivals.

In September 2019 St. Petersburg will welcome the 23rd session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, for which delegates have been invited from 156 countries.

There are 170 venues for international events in St. Petersburg, including the Expoforum Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall, the Tauride Palace and the B.N. Yeltsin Presidential Library.


St. Petersburg has a well-developed tourism and hospitality industry, with a large infrastructure and high-quality service. Many hotels are located in historic buildings listed as architectural heritage in the city centre.

A list of recommended hotels with exclusive rates for participants of the International Arctic Forum can be found in the Hotels section.


St. Petersburg is the largest transport hub in northwest Russia and the second largest in the country after Moscow. The city has an international airport, a business aviation centre, 5 railway stations, one of the largest seaports on the Baltic Sea, as well as numerous highways connecting St. Petersburg with cities in Russia and Europe.

To find your route, see How to get to St. Petersburg.