Formerly named Leningrad, Saint Petersburg depicts a very interesting historic past spanning over the last 300 years. Having served as the capital city of Russia until 1918, Saint Petersburg is often described as the most westernized city in this country. Originally founded by Tsar Peter the Great in early 1700s, this exceptional city of Saint Petersburg in all aspects has largely lived up to the expectations. Perched at the eastern tip of the Baltic Sea and the Neva River, Saint Petersburg features a significant amount of historic and cultural heritage which make it a very attractive tourist destination.
With 36 historic architectural complexes and 4,000 outstanding individual monuments, Saint Petersburg is firmly inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Reference to Saint Petersburg is incomplete without the mention of opera and ballet. Considered as the birthplace of ballet, the Saint Petersburg cultural scene is diverse, presenting several classical, jazz and pop concerts to choose from at any given time. Playing host to a number of annual carnivals, Saint Petersburg has been home to many famous dancers like Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova and Michael Baryshnikov.