St Petersburg

This eastern tip of Vasilyevsky Island is where Peter the Great wanted his new city’s administrative and intellectual centre to be. In fact, it became the focus of the city's maritime trade, symbolised by the colonnaded Customs House (now the Institute of Russian Literature) and the Old Stock Exchange. The Strelka is flanked by the pair of Rostral Columns, archetypal St Petersburg landmarks.

The Strelka has one of the best views in the city, with the Peter and Paul Fortress to the left and the Hermitage, the Admiralty and St Isaac’s Cathedral to the right.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby St Petersburg attractions

1. Old Stock Exchange

0.05 MILES

Designed by French architect Jean-Francois Thomas de Thomon, the Greek revival–style Stock Exchange was completed in 1810. It ceased to serve its original…

2. Rostral Columns

0.07 MILES

The two Rostral Columns, archetypal St Petersburg landmarks, are studded with ships’ prows and four seated sculptures representing four of Russia’s great…

3. Museum of Zoology

0.13 MILES

One of the biggest and best of its kind in the world, the Museum of Zoology was founded in 1832 and has some amazing exhibits, including a vast blue whale…

4. Pushkin House


The old Customs House, topped with statues and a dome, is now home to the Institute of Russian Literature. Fondly called Pushkin House, the handsome…

5. Kunstkamera

0.21 MILES

Also known as the Museum of Ethnology and Anthropology, this is the city’s first museum, founded in 1714 by Peter himself. It is famous largely for its…

6. Dvortsovy Most

0.23 MILES

This major draw bridge, connecting Palace Sq to Vasilyevsky Island, was completed in 1916. The embankment near here is one of the most popular spots to…

7. Twelve Colleges


Completed in 1744 and marked by a statue of scientist-poet Mikhail Lomonosov (1711–65), the 400m-long Twelve Colleges is one of St Petersburg’s oldest…

8. Mendeleev Museum

0.33 MILES

Call ahead to arrange a tour of this small but interesting museum inside St Petersburg University and dedicated to Dmitry Mendeleev, creator of the…