Saint Petersburg is Russia's second largest city, with a population of 4.7 million perched at the eastern tip of of the Baltic Sea and the Neva River. The city was formerly known as Petrograd, and later Leningrad.
Founded by Peter the Great, the former home of the Czars and the center of Russian culture, Saint Petersburg was known as "The Venice of the North" in its heyday.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the city has been rapidly making up for lost time and is by far the most cosmopolitan of Russia's cities. Now formally known by its original name again, most Russians call it what they always have, the friendly diminutive Piter.
During the last 10 days of June, the longest days of the year, Saint Petersburg celebrates the White Nights in a cultural extravaganza. Book early as accommodation and transport can be packed during this time.
The Hermitage Museum/The Winter Palace is Saint Petersburg's prime attraction.
Airlines to fly into St. Petersburg: Delta, Aeroflot, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Finnair, Scandinavian Airlines, British Airways, Czech Airlines, AeroSvit, Malev, LOT, Turkish Airlines.