Known as Russia’s cultural capital, St Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, whose ambition was to outshine all of Europe. Majestic in its layout of parks and canals, this beautifully preserved city is like a jewel box, dazzling with Imperial palaces in hues of yellow, blue and green. The city is woven with a network of canals, earning it frequent comparisons to Venice. The centrepiece of culture and history is the State Hermitage Museum, established by Catherine the Great in 1764 and home to the world’s largest collection of paintings and an exquisite display of Fabergé jewels. Classical Russian opera and ballet come to life at the gilded Mariinsky Theatre. Beautiful at all times of year, St. Petersburg sparkles with Doctor Zhivago–like romance in winter. Snow decorates the colourful architecture, and horse-drawn sleighs speed along the frozen river. Summer is a mild and comfortable season, with the legendary White Nights from late May to mid July bringing long days when the sun barely dips below the horizon and the city buzzes with activity.
1 Voznesensky Prospekt
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Russia’s State Hermitage Museum draws on philanthropic partners.
Before her private jet journey begins, Concierge and blogger Bertine Hage offers her travel advice and anticipates 22 days of adventure.