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St Petersburg

St Petersburg
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Russian Federation
Second to Moscow only in size, St Petersburg is no less dazzling than the Russian Federation's capital. The city's historic center is a freeze-frame of its illustrious history as the nation's imperial capital, its picturesque canals lined with Italianate mansions giving way to stately plazas with neoclassical and baroque gems. It is St. Petersburg's palaces and cathedrals, however, that best capture its glorious past, most notably the Palace of Peter I, the city's founding father, and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. Built on the banks of the Neva River where it empties into the Gulf of Finland, the city's shore is lined with attractive beaches. There are gardens and amusement parks too, as well as zoos and other family-friendly attractions. A veritable paradise for art lovers, St. Petersburg's thriving arts scene is defined by the extensive collections of the Hermitage, Russian Museum and the Street Art Museum, alongside its numerous art galleries. The best time to visit is during the Summer White Nights when the city comes alive in a seemingly endless celebration of the glorious weather, with art festivals galore and superb performances around every corner. There's always something to see and do here, no matter the time of the year, as the scene morphs from the snow-dappled whimsy of winter to the vivid hues of autumn and the fledgling verdant spring.
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