The Best of Europe - Summer Experiences in St.Petersburg
It’s easy to think of St.Petersburg as a winter city, but summer is the time of the White Nights when the light lasts long into the night and St Petersburg comes fully alive. Established by Peter the Great in 1703, and considered the cultural capital of Russia, the city has played a vital role in Russian history. Situated right at the heart of the city, just a short walk from Nevsky Prospect and the Mariinsky Theatre, Hotel Astoria is an illustrious St.Petersburg landmark drawing in visitors for its striking art nouveau aesthetic and historic grandeur. As a guest at the Astoria, you can enjoy a romantic boat trip during the White Nights season, marvel at Carl Fabergé’s Imperial masterpieces, explore the ‘inner sanctum’ of one of the city’s first contemporary galleries, and discover the port of Kronstadt - making for an unforgettable summer getaway.
THE FABERGÉ MUSEUM EXPERIENCE
Russian jeweller Carl Fabergé was renowned for the exquisite and incredibly intricate Imperial eggs he created for the Russian royal family. A visit to the Fabergé Museum on the Fontanka Embankment brings you face to face with Fabergé’s masterpieces including nine of the eggs made for the last two Russian emperors. There are also plenty of fantasy-themed objects, jewellery, silverware and home decor among the 4,000 other items on display. After your visit, head to the museum’s gift shop for original souvenirs, including replicas of items in the collection, and stop by for a coffee at the Fabergé Museum café, an eclectic red-themed space with designer prints by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.
SECRET TOUR - MARINA GISICH ART GALLERY
One of St.Petersburg’s first contemporary galleries, the Marina Gisich Art Gallery was established in 2000 and is located on the banks of the Moika River. It represents established artists such as Gleb Bogomolov, Evgeny Yufit and Elena Gubanova as well as a younger generation of artists and collaborates with Russian and European museums and foundations including the State Russian Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Waino Aaltonen Museum. As a privileged guest of Hotel Astoria, discover the gallery’s ‘inner sanctum’ on your tour, which is only accessible by special request, and then hop on a boat that will take you to the Mariinsky Theatre — the birthplace of ballets such as Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty.
WHITE NIGHTS BY BOAT
There’s nothing more romantic than taking a scenic boat trip down the Neva river during the White Nights season. Normally lasting from the end of May to mid-July, the White Nights is an atmospheric phenomenon in which the sun never fully sets due to St. Petersburg's northerly geographic location, meaning the sky remains bright and pink-violet clouds stretch out on the horizon. Glide through the main artery of the city for an exhilarating experience past many of the city’s famous landmarks including the Hermitage, the former Winter Palace of the czars, and Kazan Cathedral.
KRONSTADT - THE PRIDE OF RUSSIA
Kronstadt – a seaport located on the small island of Kotlin in the Gulf of Finland – is famous for its naval history and was the scene of the anti-Bolshevik Kronstadt rebellion in March 1921. The port was founded by Peter the Great who seized Kotlin from Sweden during the eighteenth century, with the first fortifications established in around 1704. Guests reach the island by crossing a dyke constructed to protect Saint Petersburg from floods and will be taken around the historic centre of this strategic island on this fascinating tour.