Best viewing points in St. Petersburg

When you are a regular traveler, it is difficult to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world — Saint-Petersburg — in a short period of time. If you do not live here and only come for a while it is not always easy to choose which attractions should be covered during the trip. A great opportunity to literally look over the whole city look is to visit one of the viewing points of the Northern Capital. The panoramic terraces of cathedrals, museums, restaurants and hotels will allow you to combine a walk and a tour, arrange a romantic date and make great photos.

Viewing points

The colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Five hundred thousand people a year — this is a rough statistic of visitors that come to the observation deck of the largest Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg. 300 numbered steps of almost medieval spiral will lead you to a height of 43 meters. Here, at the most popular panoramic point of the city, you will discover great views of the Neva River, St. Isaac’s and the Palace squares, the Admiralty, the Winter Palace, the Savior on Spilled Blood and other famous sights. 

Viewing points

The observation deck of the Smolny Cathedral

Slightly less than St. Isaac’s — namely 277 steps — one will have to overcome in order to climb the observation deck of the Smolny Cathedral. Its’ belfry is the highest museum panoramic point in the city. A height of 50 meters offers a wonderful view of the bend of the Neva River. One can observe a “Greek cross” of the Smolny monastery, the Resurrection Cathedral and Smolny Institute, the Bolsheokhtinsky bridge and the excavation of the fortress of Nienshants. Or one can just admire St. Petersburg from the bird’s eye view and explore the Cathedral itself, which is an incredibly beautiful and harmonious Orthodox building, at its highest point.

Viewing points

Nevsky panorama

“Nevsky panorama” is the name of the walking route along the roof of one of the walls of the Peter and Paul fortress — from Gosudarev Bastion to Naryshkin Bastion.  It is not very high here, and some may argue that the view does not really differ from the one at the promenade at the bottom. However most people are unanimous in the opinion that Nevsky panorama offers one of the best panoramic views of the historic center of St. Petersburg: the Admiralty, the Palace embankment, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Winter Palace, the Trinity bridge and the Vasilevsky island. And also the viewing point at Nevsky panorama allows to observe a ceremonial shot, announcing the onset of noon in St. Petersburg.

Viewing points

The observation deck on the bell tower of the Peter and Paul Cathedral

The construction of the Peter and Paul fortress started in 1703 with the construction of a three-tiered bell tower of the main cathedral. The second floor was equipped with a viewing platform which allowed tracking approaching enemy troops. Today the panoramic platform at a height of 42 meters can be visited by anyone. From its western and northern sides there is a great view at the Vasilievsky island and Petrogradskaya side.

Viewing points

The roof of the Etagi loft-project

The roof of the Etagi (Floors) loft-project offers more modern, but no less beautiful top-view look at St. Petersburg . This well-known space combines hostel, gallery of modern art, shops, cafes and a great observation deck. From there, you can observe Ligovsky Prospekt in all its glory as well as the domes of St. Isaac’s and Vladimir’s cathedrals. The roof at a height of 27 meters is equipped with a fence to ensure the safety of visitors as well as pouffes and mattresses which motivate to relax and enjoy the magnificent view.