7 Awesome Things to Do in St. Petersburg, Russia When I thought about Russia, I thought of dull, concrete and communist buildings and about the past full of war and terror. When I first arrived in St. Petersburg in 2001, I had to revise my opinion right away. What a beautiful and impressive city. It remains the most beautiful European city I have ever visited, and that includes Paris and Rome. Here is an extended tour of this most northern Metropole in the world.