St. Petersburg in Russia: Facts And Figures

by Anna de Nord
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Let’s have a look at Saint Petersburg, Russia. The city is recognized as the cultural capital of Russia. Most city’s guests notice that St. Petersburg is the most European among all Russian cities.

By the way, aren’t you planning to visit Russia? Here are some helpful posts:

1. The Best Time To Visit Russia
2. Discover Places to Visit in Russia
How to Enter St. Petersburg, Russia With No Russian Visa

Facts About St. Petersburg, Russia

  • 5, 3 million inhabitants
  • 1703 — the year when Saint Petersburg, Russia was founded
  • Peter the Great — Russian Emperor, founder of St. Petersburg
  • 25th of May — City Day (widely celebrated)
  • White nights — an astonishing phenomenon due to northern geographical location — the period in summer when the nights are really white, as the sun almost doesn’t go down.
  • The eldest building — Cabin of Peter the Great (built in 1703)
  • The highest building — Lakhta Center (462 meters)
  • The largest museum — Hermitage Museum
  • The main street — Nevsky Prospect
  • 68 parks, 166 gardens
  • 50+ universities
  • Birthplace of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

City’s Former Names

St. Petersburg changed its name several times. Originally, the city has been bearing the name of St. Petersburg — to honour Saint Peter, the saint patron of Russian Emperor Peter the Great, the founder of the city.

After that, the name changed to Petrograd (which means Peter’s city).

Later Petrograd became Leningrad (Lenin’s city).

And finally, on the 6th September 1991, our city returned back to the original name — St. Petersburg.

Walking along rivers and channels in St. Petersburg
Walking along rivers and canals in St. Petersburg

To sum up, I prefer this last one the most, because it reflects the initial purpose. Importantly, St. Petersburg was meant to be the most European city of Russia. And nowadays it is still so: it’s the only European-looking city with a Russian soul.

Locals usually use a short name for St. Petersburg, and it is not St. Pete — we call it Piter  🙂 and write it as SPb.

Why Do We Call St. Petersburg Venice Of The North?

Without a doubt, the nickname of Venice of the North reflects St. Petersburg’s aesthetics. As in Venice, numerous rivers, canals and bridges are an important part of the city’s appearance. For example, look at these: St. Petersburg has

  • 94 rivers and canals. Their total length is about 300 km.
  • 30+ islands
  • 342 bridges (including 12 drawbridges)

Why St. Petersburg Is Called Cultural Capital Of Russia

The historic centre of Saint Petersburg, Russia was recognised as UNESCO heritage for its architectural patrimony. During several centuries the city was the home for Russian emperor family, aristocracy and rich merchants who contributed a lot to the development of the city look, culture and patrimony. That is why St. Petersburg is often called a museum under the open sky. Certainly, its unique architectural style looks very harmonious.

Furthermore, St. Petersburg is a home for a great number of events, from small hand-made markets where local designers sell their unique items to international events like Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum. Besides, we have:

  • 200+ museums
  • 100+ theatres
  • 30+ festivals every month (cinema, music, science, theatre, food, education, sports, etc.)

Is St. Petersburg in Russia
the Only St. Petersburg in the World?


For instance, there’s another St. Petersburg — in the USA: it’s a city full of sun, palm trees and beaches.

This US St. Petersburg was founded by Russian immigrant Pyotr Dementiev, investor and railway owner. Dementiev wanted to build a railroad crossing Florida from west to east.  Eventually, new settlements appeared along the new railway line. Dementiev named one of them St. Petersburg — in honour of Russian St. Petersburg where he had spent his youth.

Moreover, if you have read “The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, you probably remember that Tom Sawyer also lived in Saint Petersburg — in Mississippi!

That is to say, when you ask how many days to spend at St. Petersburg, I can’t give you the right answer. I’ve been living here for more than 15 years and still, and I was not able to see/visit everything!

By the way, for more pictures of St. Petersburg, check this gallery.

By the way, aren’t you planning to visit Russia? Here are some helpful posts:

1. The Best Time To Visit Russia
2. Discover Places to Visit in Russia
How to Enter St. Petersburg, Russia With No Russian Visa

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Saint Petersburg: facts and figuresSaint Petersburg: facts and figures

Best wishes from Russia,

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