What makes Saint Petersburg the cultural capital of Russia?

What makes Saint Petersburg the cultural capital of Russia?
18 March 2021

When I think about Saint Petersburg, the first thing that comes to mind are: the Hermitage museum, world-class ballet, opera and classical concerts. For people who love art and culture, Saint Petersburg is often at the top of their wish-list of cities to see. And rightfully so. Although the real capital of Russia is now Moscow (this was actually not always the case, but that’s another story), everyone agrees that Saint Petersburg is the cultural capital of Russia. Let me walk you through some of the top sights in Saint Petersburg that I visited myself, to encourage you to book a trip yourself.



  1. The Hermitage.

Although I have not visited all beautiful museums in the world, I can honestly say that it is by far the most interesting and greatest museum that I have ever been so far. And with over 3 million (!) objects, it is probably one of the biggest museums in the world as well. It means that you would stay there for nearly six years should you spend 1 minute by each piece of artwork. The museum is divided into two floors, which covers the following categories: Russian culture, Palace interiors, French art 15th – 18th centuries, Spanish art, German art, British art, Flemish art, Dutch art, Netherlandish art, Italian art, European medieval art, European arms and amour, Greek and Roman Antiquities, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Near East.

2. Russian Museum 

Of course, the Hermitage is the most impressive museum of Saint Petersburg. However, I really enjoyed visiting the Russian museum as well. Whereas the Hermitage is 1 building, the Russian Museum is more of a palace complex with different buildings holding different kinds of art. There is an impressive collection of Russian art (hence the name).

Marrinsky ballet

  1. Marrinsky Ballet

I can honestly say I have never felt more in Russia than last weekend when I went to see the Nutcracker (in Russian: Щелкунчик) in the Marrisnky theater. It is one of the most renowned and important theaters in the history of Russian art. It is actually the house where world famous premieres were given that we still know to this day, such as the Sleeping Beauty (1890), the Nutcracker (1892) and the Swan Lake (1895).

One more thing

Whether you are into art, architecture, Russian literature, religious buildings or Soviet history, in Saint Petersburg there is something for everyone. It makes your trip even more interesting if you speak a little Russian! Therefore, don’t forget to check out the courses at Liden & Denz to help you prepare for your next trip. 


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