Numerous rivers and canals divide St. Petersburg into islands and islets connected by fixed and drawbridges. The three main tourist areas of St. Petersburg are the historical center, the Petrograd side and Vasilevsky Island.
According to clothingexpress, unlike many other modern megacities, St. Petersburg does not have a clear division into a historical and a modern (business) center. There are not as many skyscrapers in the city as in Moscow, but they do exist: the Leader Tower business center on Constitution Square, the Peter the Great and Catherine the Great residential complexes in Rybatsky, the Prince Alexander Nevsky building » on Obukhovskaya Oborony Avenue and others. There are about twenty of them in total, including the highest in Europe 462-meter “Lakhta Center”, which some of the residents and guests of St. Petersburg actively disliked for the “spoiled” view of the Peter and Paul Fortress.
Modern St. Petersburg skyscrapers are either collected in small groups, or even stand separately. This has both pluses and minuses: the plus is that both modern infrastructure and antiquity can be found in one place. The main disadvantage is that due to the merger of the business and “sightseeing” parts, it is almost impossible to get to the key points of the center by car (and even more so – to park nearby).
The historical center of St. Petersburg from a territorial point of view is a loose concept. In the most general sense, this is a part of the city, bounded from the south by the Obvodny Canal, and from all other sides by the Neva. But the area of this center is too large to get around it on foot in one, two or even three days. Therefore, many travelers on their first visit are limited to the northern part of the center, “cut off” by Nevsky Prospekt, where the lion’s share of attractions is located: the Hermitage and Palace Square, the Russian Museum, the Savior on Spilled Blood, the Field of Mars, the Kazan Cathedral and the Bronze Horseman monument.
The Petrograd side is an island territory north of the historical center, formed by the Neva, Malaya Neva and Bolshaya Nevka. The main island of this area is Petrogradsky, here are the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Prince Vladimir Cathedral, the House of Peter I, the St. Petersburg Cathedral Mosque, the Artillery Museum, a zoo and a botanical garden. Most of the territory of the three smaller islands is occupied by parks: Primorsky Victory Park and the entertainment “Divo-Ostrov” on Krestovsky, TsPKiO on Elagin and the same name on Kamenny.
In general, Petrogradka is considered an expensive and noble area, and the local architecture, although younger than in the historical center, is also very beautiful.
There are two Bolshoi Prospects in St. Petersburg: one is the main artery of the Petrograd side, the other is Vasilyevsky Island. To avoid confusion, the name of the prospect on Petrogradka is usually abbreviated as “BP PS”.
The western part of the city, Vasilyevsky Island, is hardly inferior in area to the whole of Petrogradka with its islands. But, unlike the Petrograd side, only a relatively small part is of tourist interest here: the arrow and what is located a little to the west – maximum, up to the 8th line and the Vasileostrovskaya metro station. The Rostral Columns, the Stock Exchange building, the Kunstkamera, the Menshikov Palace and St. Petersburg University are located here.
The main reason why the townspeople do not like Vasilevsky Island is the transport problem. So far, there are only 2 metro stations on the entire huge island (new ones are still in the plans). Two bridges each connect Vaska with the Tsentralny District and with Petrogradka, and all four are stuck in traffic jams during the day and separated at night.
The most inhabited part of the island is dissected along the Bolshoi, Sredny and Maly avenues, and across – by streets, which are called lines here and are numbered from the first to the 29th. In general, the layout is nowhere simpler, although one detail can confuse travelers: in fact, the “line” is only one side of the street, so there are two of them on each Vaska street.
On the last numbered line, 29th, is one of the city’s newest and best exhibition and concert venues: the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art. Alas, she is one of those that are most inconvenient to get to.
Secondly, tourists are interested in the famous suburbs of St. Petersburg. The most interesting are Petrodvorets (Peterhof), Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) and Pavlovsk – the former royal residences. Lomonosov (Oranienbaum), Strelna and Gatchina, as well as Kronstadt, an island fortress in the Gulf of Finland, are worth attention. Some of the suburbs are officially considered city districts (like Pushkin, for example) and almost all of them can be reached fairly quickly by bus, minibus or train. They still go to Kronstadt on speedboats, but rarely and only for sightseeing purposes.
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