Why St Petersburg?
Winter finds St Petersburg in full swing; the ballet and opera are in their prime season and there are festivals and revelries aplenty. You'll also be rewarded with a refreshing lack of fellow visitors. When daylight breaks to a clear blue sky, the contrast of the multi-hued buildings against snowy roofs, frozen canals and naked silver birch trees is magical.
There are more works of art than you could ever imagine in St Petersburg, and with three million pieces at the Hermitage Museum alone, it is often hard to know where to begin. A good guide is key: ours are extraordinary founts of knowledge and are able to bypass any queue. When you're not busy soaking up the high arts, we recommend hunting for bargains at the local flea markets, ice-skating on the River Neva, and knocking back vodka and caviar during a tasting session in a secret wine cellar or a lavish city restaurant.