Nestled at the tip of the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg is a self-assured city firmly focused on the future, forged through lessons learnt from its short but turbulent history. It is widely regarded as a world-class destination, and known as Russia’s cultural capital it positively filled with rich heritage. HAPPYCAR is here to help you find the best car hire St. Petersburg has to offer so you can take full advantage of this visionary city, with car hire from St. Petersburg Airport also available. We check the prices of international and local providers so that you don’t have to check each website to provide you with the best deals to make your money go further on a rental car that fits your specific vacation needs.
One look at St. Petersburg and you would think the city is far more than 300 years old – canals threading through baroque bridges, vast squares housing some of the oldest collections of art in the world and UNESCO-certified, awe-inspiring architecture – but it also highlights the fascinating extravagance of the city’s imperial past. It is known as the Venice of the North in its heyday and makes for an excellent trip for anyone interested in history. Originally founded as a Window in the West, St. Petersburg is the most cosmopolitan city in the country and perhaps the most European. In summer, St. Petersburg is famous for its White Nights, where the sun barely dips below the horizon and the rich culture of the city dazzles brightly. A St. Petersburg car rental is essential to get around, as most public transport is unreliable and shuts down early and taxis can be expensive.
Aside from the stunning architecture and attractions on offer in the city, museums must be high on the list for anybody visiting St. Petersburg, mostly concentrated around the grand central thoroughfare Nevskii Prospekt. The Russian Museum, with the finest collection of Russian art in the world, and the Savior on Spilled Blood Cathedral and Museum, one of the most striking landmarks in the city, are particular standout choices, and there are also many enlightening house-museums from great Russian writers and artists that can be enjoyed – most notably the Pushkin House Museum, the Dostoevsky House Museum and the Vladimir Nobokov House Museum. No trip to St Petersburg would be complete without an opera or ballet performance, and there are plenty from which to choose.
The list is long and heavy, but really must be seen to fully get a taste of the city that is steeped in heritage. The 200-meter-long Baroque Winter Palace is the city’s largest and most opulent, and is houses one of the world’s greatest art museums, the Hermitage. The unrivaled collection of art treasures is truly stunning, highlighting a collection of over 3 million pieces spanning the globe, including works by Rembrandt, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rubens and more. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral is dominating in St. Petersburg’s skyline and is another major attraction in the city, as is the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, the city’s most ancient and eminent monastery.
St. Petersburg features a broad array of cuisines that vary from luxurious to humble, and plenty of down-to-earth traditional local food, like pancakes and soups. Nevskii Prospekt dazzles with its offering of world cuisines, from Mexican to Indian to sushi, but there are also plenty of places to try real Russian food. Think soups and stews, fish and lashings of ice cream. The city also heavily features a glut of street cafes, perfect for grabbing a coffee and watching the world go by. The city is also a popular haven for beer drinkers from all over the country, and has a wider selection of beers than usual.
Day excursions are popular with travelers to the city, and a car hire St. Petersburg is a perfect option to see the immediate surroundings. Peterhof, the Russian Versailles, is just 30 minutes with a car hire in St. Petersburg. Pushkin is also around the same distance south of the city and features some beautiful parks and palaces. A little further afield yet still just under a day’s drive away with a car rental St. Petersburg is Moscow, the enigmatic capital of Russia, and a must on anyone’s Eurasian itinerary.
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