Top 12 Experiences in Moscow and St. Petersburg

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From stunning architecture to canal cruises, Moscow and St. Petersburg offer terrific experiences that should be on every traveler’s list. Here are Fodor’s top picks for a memorable trip.

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Peterhof Palace

In St. Petersburg, this opulent palace and its elaborate gardens, lavish fountains, and cascading waterfalls (all designed by Peter the Great) offer a glimpse of just how extravagantly the tsars lived.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Side Trips from St. Petersburg Travel Guide

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Nevsky Prospekt

Often compared to the Champs-Elysées in Paris, this is St. Petersburg’s busiest street and prime real estate for people watching, dining, and shopping.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s St. Petersburg Travel Guide

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Moscow Metro

Moscow’s fast and efficient metro system is used by more than 8 million people each day. The stations contain stunning Soviet mosaics and statues glorifying the proletariat.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Moscow Travel Guide

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Peter and Paul Fortress

St. Petersburg’s oldest building has stunning interiors and serves as the final resting place for the Russian tsars.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s St. Petersburg Travel Guide

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Gorky Park

The park is the place to be on a nice day in Moscow. Stroll past modern art galleries and cafés, or rent a bike or paddleboat to explore the grounds.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Moscow Travel Guide

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White Nights

St. Petersburg comes alive in the summer, when the sun barely sets and local pride in the city’s beauty is contagious. You’ll be tempted to stay up all night.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s St. Petersburg Travel Guide

Borscht

A bowl of Russia’s traditional soup (made primarily from beets) will fill you up after a long walk around the city; it’s especially satisfying on cold winter nights.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Russia Travel Guide

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Red Square / Kremlin

Centuries of Russian history fill Moscow’s famous square, inviting you to linger in the shadows of the iconic onion domes and the stunning facade of the Armory Chamber.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Moscow Travel Guide

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Ballet at the Bolshoi

Revel in one of the country’s most respected arts by seeing a Russian classic, like Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, at Moscow’s oldest and grandest theater.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Moscow Travel Guide

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Lenin Mausoleum

The founder of Russian communism is entombed in Moscow. Millions viewed him after he died in 1924, and Soviet history buffs still visit his embalmed body.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Moscow Travel Guide

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State Hermitage Museum

St. Petersburg has one of the world’s renowned art collections. The lavish halls here contain works by European masters including Rembrandt, Matisse, and others.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s St. Petersburg Travel Guide

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Canal Cruise

Cruising the myriad waterways takes you past St. Petersburg’s top attractions and provides a look at the details of the city’s ornate buildings and bridges.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s St. Petersburg Travel Guide

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