The Best Photography Locations in St Petersburg: 29 Amazing Places to Take Pictures for Instagram

Brief description

St. Petersburg is an amazing city with a rich history and a large number of interesting places. You can take a lot of different pictures by walking through its streets, parks. This city has got many great choices. Palaces, old apartments, roofs, bridges – these are only the smallest part of all St Petersburg Instagram spots. 

We made a list of the most interesting and excellent sights. In this article, you will know about the best instagrammable places in St Petersburg where you can take great photos for your blog or social media page.

Bird’s-eye view

Construction of St. Petersburg began along the banks of the Neva River. Most of the buildings were made of stone. The construction work invited the best foreign engineers and bricklayers.

The building of the city in a low swampy place required the construction of canals and ponds for their drainage. The Neva delta consisted of 48 rivers and canals forming 101 islands at the end of the 19th century. As the city was being built, many reservoirs lost their original meaning, became polluted and filled up. In the 20th century, as a result of the backfilling of canals, the number of islands decreased to 42. Because of the large number of canals, St. Petersburg is called the Venice of the North.

You can see the beauty of St. Petersburg and make amazing photos from one of the observation deck of the city. They are usually located in the historical areas of the city. From a bird’s eye view, you will see the towers, domes of cathedrals and the roofs of yard-wells.

Singer House

The Singer House is a six-story building with an attic in the Art Nouveau style, built at the beginning of the 20th century by order of the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Russia. Most of the premises are occupied by the VKontakte office today. But on the first two floors, you can find a lovely bookstore.

Beautiful photos can be taken on the observation deck, which overlooks the Kazan Cathedral, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, the embankment of the Griboedov Canal and Nevsky Prospect. You can also take a photo shoot indoors, for example, in the cafe “Zinger” or in the halls of a bookstore.

Colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral

The colonnade is located around the drum of the cathedral dome at a height of 43 meters above the ground. You can climb it by spiral staircases in 562 steps. The panoramic view offers to the Alexander Garden, St. Isaac’s Square, Peter and Paul Fortress from the colonnade.

You can get to the colonnade by buying a ticket at the box office of the Museum of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. There are always a lot of tourists in the period of white nights, so if you want to take a photo in a relaxed atmosphere, it is better to come to the opening in the morning.

Rooftop tours

The St. Petersburg rooftop tours take place in several districts: Petrograd Side, Nevsky Prospect, Admiralteysky District. Thanks to the “sky line”, the roofs offer a stunning view of the main sights of the city, starting with the Admiralty spire and ending with the Smolny Cathedral.

The main advantage of such rooftop tours is the ability to book an individual tour at any convenient time.

The Tower of the City Duma

The Tower of the City Duma is a vertical accent in the perspective of Nevsky Prospect. Its height is 47.5. The building with an unusual pentahedral shape traditionally decorated with illumination during the holidays. You can get to the tower during an excursion to the Museum of the History of Savings.

From the upper deck of the tower, there is a view of Nevsky Prospect, the domes of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Singer’s House, Gostiny Dvor.

Entrance to the museum is free, but you can join the tour only by appointment and as part of a group.

Loft Project Etagi

The observation deck of Loft Project Etagi is an equipped art space on the roof of the five-story building. This is a large area of 1,200 square meters with comfortable wooden benches. The spacious observation deck offers views of Ligovsky Prospect.

You can get on the roof of the Loft Project any day. The observation deck is available not just in summer but also in winter. The ticket, which costs only 100 rubles, is valid all day.

It is always crowded here, so if you want to take a photo on an empty roof, it is recommended to come here early in the morning. In summer, the observation deck is open around the clock.

Classic sights

Sights of St. Petersburg, which have been its symbols, can also be the great places for your photo shoots.

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

The Cathedral of the Savior on Spilled Blood is a colourful Orthodox church decorated with marble, copper and mosaics. Architecturally, it differs from other Petersburg buildings. The city architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood dates back to medieval Russian architecture.

Take great pictures through the gates of the Mikhailovsky Garden or near the water on the bank of the Griboyedov Canal.

Jordan Staircase of the Winter Palace

If you come to the Hermitage, be sure to find the Jordan Staircase. It was the main staircase of the Winter Palace, decorated with columns of grey granite and white marble balustrade. The staircase was badly damaged by the fire that swept the Winter Palace in 1837 but today this room retains its original decoration.

Kazan Cathedral

Kazan Cathedral is located on Nevsky Prospect, directly opposite the Singer House – another place where you can take excellent pictures. The temple resembles the St. Paul’s Cathedral in Rome. However, its grand colonnade doesn’t enter the square but unfolds toward Nevsky Prospect. Kazan Cathedral is a functioning temple and perhaps parishioners will be against your wish to take a few pictures inside. Anyway, you can do a photo shoot outside at the colonnade.

Catherin Palace in Tsarskoye  Selo

Catherine Palace located 25 km from St. Petersburg. It resembles a fairy-tale palace. Openwork gold trim and snow-white columns on the background of the blue walls of the building look amazing. You can also take photos in the park which is located right at the Catherine Palace.

You can book a private tour to Catherine Palace and Amber room by using this link: petersburg.expert/tour/catherine-palace-and-amber-room-in-pushkin

Peterhof

It is another imperial residence located near St. Petersburg. A chic Grand Palace surrounded by the greenery of the park can be an ideal place for a photo shoot. 4 cascades and 191 fountains located on the territory of the historical complex can serve as awesome decorations for your photos.

The Lower Park of the Grand Palace is located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, which can also be a source of your inspiration.

By the water

St. Petersburg is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland and at the mouth of the Neva River.

There are 94 rivers and canals are in the city. Therefore, you can easily find a suitable location for a photo shoot by the water.

Park named after the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg

The pool and fountains are the central objects of the park, as well as a stylized lighthouse column of granite height of 22 meters. The central alley leads to this composition. The pedestrian Yacht Bridge was opened from the Park named after the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg to Krestovsky Island in 2018. You can get directly to the Krestovsky Stadium, Primorsky Victory Park, the Divo-island amusement park. So you have a possibility to take photos not just in the park but also on the bridge.

Sevkabel Port

Port Sevkabel – public space in the historical territory of the plant with an impressive view of the gulf. There are event-site, cafes, bars, shops, hotels and a museum. So your photo session can be combined with a dinner in a cosy restaurant.

Lakhta Center

The business centre under construction with the tallest skyscraper in Russia is also located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. You can come here not only during the day but also in the evening to take a picture against the backdrop of the backlight. In December 2018, a new green Christmas illumination was lit on the skyscraper, thus turning the building into the highest New Year tree in Europe.

Abandoned factories and mansions

St. Petersburg survived the revolution and siege. Some buildings changed their owners, while others were left unattended. Old mansions and factories were neglected and weren’t restored at all. These unique buildings are available to visit today.

Krasny Treugolnik

The Krasny Treugolnik is one of the oldest industrial enterprises in St. Petersburg which was closed in 2000. Today, in addition to the abandoned buildings belonging to the city, there are many different small productions, sports and business centres, photo studios, music studios and workshops here. Despite this, many housings are still empty. You can book a tour by the territory of the former factory, during which you can take really great pictures.

Demidov Manor

The Demidovs Manor is located in the centre of St. Petersburg – on a cross of the Moika Embankment and Grivtsov Lane – but even those who live here haven’t seen it. The building and the surrounding park are hidden behind neighbouring houses so that even the roof is not visible.

A pity – this is an authentic architectural masterpiece with an incredibly beautiful staircase leading from the mezzanine directly into the garden. If you are lucky, you can go to the mansion and make stunning photos on the snow-white openwork stairs.

Polovtsev Mansion

The mansion is located in the heart of the city, not far from St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The Polovtsev House is distinguished by a low-key classic facade and luxurious interiors. The unique decor of marble and the most valuable wood, stucco and parquet flooring amaze the imagination of the visitors entering here. You can book a tour of the Polovsev mansion for a photo shoot.

Brusnitsyn Mansion

Brusnitsyn Mansion is a monument of architecture in the style of eclecticism. The building has several ceremonial halls with original furnish. Front dining room, decorated in the style of the late Renaissance. The dance hall is a dazzlingly elegant room richly decorated with white stucco with gilding. Preserved panels with gilded stucco are in the living room.

Main entrances of revenue houses

Main entrances is another interesting location for photo shoots in St. Petersburg. These are the front entrances of the former rental apartment houses which turned into ordinary residential buildings today.

The main entrance of Eliseyev revenue house

The main entrance of the house of the merchants Eliseev is known in Petersburg as the “Daisy”. This is a spacious room with stucco, pilasters and elegant capitals. The staircase spirals around a cylindrical elevator shaft.

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The walls of the main entrance are painted in pale yellow colour. Getting into this place is not so difficult. The building has two apartment hotels so you can easily enter the building.

Stieglitz Mansion

The Academy of Art and Industry is in the mansion Stieglitz today. Restoration work isn’t completed here, but you can admire the beauty of the ceremonial halls of the most notable buildings on the English Embarkment.

You can book a tour and walk through the entire Academy. But it is necessary to negotiate about the photoshoot in advance because the time of excursions is limited.

Dr Pel’s Pharmacy

The pharmacy of Dr Pel was opened in 1848. A laboratory, a pharmacological factory, and a library worked in the building. In 2005 a fire occurred at the pharmacy, but unlike Annakirche, the pharmacy was restored. Guided tours are held here today. You can take a picture on the background of the exhibits, as well as in the costumes of the pharmacist of the XIX century.

Metropolitan

Many stations of the St. Petersburg metro look like palaces. Marble, metal and mosaic were used for their design and each station has its own theme.

Take a photo session in the subway is not difficult – just buy a ticket to the metro

Avtovo

One of the first metro stations in St. Petersburg. According to the English magazine Guardian Avtovo, it was included in the list of 12 most beautiful stations in the world.

It was decorated with massive chandeliers and marble. The unique and highly ornate design features columns faced with ornamental glass.

Kirovsky Zavod

The pavilion of this station is made in the classical style and resembles an ancient Greek temple with a wide granite staircase. The interior design is dedicated to the Soviet industry and is decorated with grey marble.

31 pairs of columns are built in two long rows and connected by gentle arches. The bust of Lenin stands with the “carpet” of burgundy granite leads at the end of the hall.

Ploshchad Vosstaniya

The design of this station is dedicated to the Revolution. The vault of the central hall is crossed by white stucco arches. The pylons are decorated with bas-relief medallions and forged metal elements.

The floor of the central hall is lined with red granite. Large chandeliers with a hammer, a sickle and a five-pointed star illuminate the underground halls.

To watch a unique architectural complex of St Petersburg Metro you can book the tour on this link: petersburg.expert/tour/st-petersburg-metro-tour

Other sites

Annekirche

The Lutheran church in the centre of St. Petersburg was damaged by fire in 2002. The facade of the building was restored, and the interiors of the church remained the same as they were after the fire. This entourage is great for photoshoots. Annekirche is open to the public.

Vitebsky railway station

The oldest railway station in Russia. The Art Nouveau building perfectly conveys the atmosphere of the end of the 19th century. Iron forged elements and tracery details are preserved here. The central lobby with a grand staircase is the main decoration of the station. Historical films were made on the station platforms. But today you can take your own photos here.

Five Corners

The Five Corners is the unofficial name of the crossing in St. Petersburg, formed by the intersection of Zagorodny Prospect with Razezzhaya, Rubinstein and Lomonosova streets. The area has existed since the 1760s. A large number of historic buildings are located here. The main decoration of the square is the Joffe apartment house – a corner house with turrets.

Shuvalovsky Park

Shuvalovsky Park is located in the northern part of the city. This is a huge green area with a large variety of attractions: from the county’s cottage to the Gothic church. 12 ponds located in the park. You can take photos not only in nature but also against the background of the ruins, which can be found in the thickets of the park.

Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge

Bolsheoykhtinsky bridge is a drawbridge across the Neva River. Two towers in the form of lighthouses, inside of which are movable mechanisms, were built here. This place is often visited by tourists because here you can take a picture of the Smolny Cathedral, which is visible while moving the arched spans of the bridge.

Golitsyn Dvor

This is a popular art space that combines 5 old mansions, located in the city centre. These buildings are combined into a single yard-well which is lined with planks of wood. You can arrange a photo session in an old mansion with an impressive view of the Fontanka and the Mikhailovsky Castle or in the hall with a marble fireplace and a spectacular stucco ceiling here.

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Alexandra
Hi! I'm an editor of PetersburgExpert blog. We look for the most interesting places in St. Petersburg and tell you about them.
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