Ever since the Tsars ruled Russia, the country has carried an air of opulence. St Petersburg, with it many regal palaces, is considered one of the grandest cities in the world, home to all manner of luxury experiences. From ballets at the illustrious Mariinsky Theatre to Imperial Eggs at Fabergé Museum and relaxation time at Russian bath houses, uncover a life of opulence with our luxury guide to St Petersburg.
Fabergé is one of the most historic jewellery houses of all time. The Russian company is most famous crafting elaborate jewel-encrusted Imperial Easter eggs for many of the country’s greatest Tsars including Alexander III and Nicholas II. Get a glimpse into a world of regal opulence with a trip to Fabergé Museum, where nine of the original ‘eggs’ are housed. As well as gazing at artefacts such as the famous First Hen Egg, visitors can discover a huge collection of over 4,000 priceless pieces of jewellery and artworks.
While museums are great for window shopping, St Petersburg also has an excellent luxury retail scene. Department store DLT offers an excellent opportunity to browse a range of international brands under one roof, such as Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Chloe, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford and Burberry. The store offers VIP services like personal styling to help style-savvy visitors get re-fresh their look. If you prefer standalone boutiques, discover leading fashion labels such as Louis Vuitton and Prada on Bolshaya Konyushennaya, Chanel on the illustrious Nevsky Prospect and local Russian designers such as Natali Leskova on ul Voskova.
No luxury guide to St Petersburg would be complete without mentioning Mariinksy Theatre. For more than two centuries, the grand theatre has hosted the world’s greatest ballerinas, opera singers and musicians. Book tickets to a top Russian opera or ballet, where the best seats can be found in the central stalls and boxes. For the ultimate experience, book the grand Royal Box at the centre of the theatre, which can seat up to 30 guests, or a VIP pair.
Living up to its grandiose reputation, St Petersburg is filled with magnificent restaurants. For local cuisine at its best, head to Palkin, a historic restaurant known for its immaculate décor and presentation. In opulent settings fit for a Tsar, diners can enjoy fine Russian fare under the light of chandeliers and candlelight. Follow in the footsteps of esteemed guests such as the late Fyodor Dostoyevsky and sample the restaurant’s traditional Russian delicacies and modern French dishes Sterlet Sturgeon Baked in White Wine and Guinea Fowl A La Russe. Closer to home, the Imperial Restaurant at Corinthia St Petersburg offers International dishes with a hint of Russian flavour in a spacious setting overlooking the Nevsky Prospect.
For a truly indulgent pampering experience, visit one of St Petersburg’s lavish bath houses, or ‘banyas’. Degtyarniye Bani is a modern spa-style bath house which offers one of the most exclusive banya experiences available. Book into the Russkaya parnaya (Russian steam room) where you can also enjoy a range of treatments such as herbal massages. For a more historical experience, visit Yamskie Bani, which was, according to legend, a favourite of Vladimir Lenin.
Murder, intrigue, crime and punishment… St Petersburg has it all. Those fascinated by the more ghoulish side of history will love these significant spots from fiction, and real life.