Our St Petersburg travel blog

Why St Petersburg Should be your Next City Break

'Why would you want to go to Russia?', has pretty much been the stock response from people for the last decade or so when I've told them I'm heading there, and that's usually followed by a slight shudder and questions about prison camps, Putin and whether the food is terrible. However, before my most recent trip there in April, news of my departure was met with squeals of jealousy and protestations along the lines of 'I've always wanted to go there, actually, and Tolstoy is my favourite author thank you very much'. I think a certain BBC drama may have got some people all hot under the collar and wanting to meet their own Andrei, but it very much seems that many are at last joining me in thinking…. why wouldn't I want to go to Russia?

The Best Cities in the World

As well as great loves, scandals and tragedies, the cities that set the scene in literature often tell their own story. They also make amazing starting points for the holiday of a lifetime. From the romance of St. Petersburg to the magic of Uttar Pradesh, here are our best cities in the world…

80 Senses: #29 - The Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

3 million works of art and counting... Keeping up with the Joneses never resulted in as pleasurable experience as St Petersburg. Built in defiance of nature and logic, the city is a monument to the will of Peter the Great, who wanted Russia to have a 'window on the West' and - more pertinently - a city to rival the great capitals of Western Europe he had been enviously eyeing up.

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