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Dotted around the centre of St. Petersburg, the city’s design hotels tend to be in the quieter areas, just blocks away from some of the main sights and attractions. The main draw of these four- and five-star places to stay is their unique and artistic decors. And the design-driven interiors add to the personable service and high-end facilities and amenities that the design hotels offer, including luxuries such as saunas, fitness centres and elegant restaurants. Breakfast is usually included in the price, and guests can indulge in extensive room service menus.
Though most design hotels are away from St. Petersburg’s busiest areas, they are still close to a number of bus and Metro stations. A couple of hotels are a few minutes’ walk from Vosstaniya Square, a major transport hub for taxis, buses and marshrutka minibuses (shared taxis), and also home to the Moscow Rail Terminal.
For something a bit off the beaten track, head for Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art Museum, which houses a fascinating permanent collection of underground Soviet artworks, which explore the movements the USSR gave rise to.
Of course, no art lover can visit St. Petersburg without seeing the State Hermitage Museum in the buildings surrounding Palace Square. The vast collection of fine art spreads across an incredible 400 exhibition galleries. Visitors take the Jordan Staircase in the Winter Palace, elaborately crafted from gold, marble and granite, to get to the extensive displays of artworks.
For an evening watching St. Petersburg’s finest ballet, head to the famous Mariinsky Theatre. Tchaikovsky held concerts here and many great dancers, including Anna Pavlova, have graced its stage. Some of the most sought-after tickets are for the popular Christmas run of ‘The Nutcracker’.
St. Petersburg’s longest avenue, Nevsky Prospekt, is where you’ll find the city’s most colourful nightlife. There’s something to suit every budget, from fancy bistros to trendy dive bars. It’s a great place to go if you want to sample local cuisine as you’ll find everything from expensive caviar to traditional restaurants serving cheap eats.