A view of St Isaac's as you look along the Moyka River, St Petersburg, Russia

Bridges and Waterways of St Petersburg, Russia

In Europe, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Russia, Trip-Types by JanisLeave a Comment

Venice of the North

This phrase is often used to describe many European cities; however, St Petersburg has certainly earned this moniker.

I’m always one to enjoy a stroll along a riverside or hop on a boat, if there’s water involved I’m happy.

The Fontanka river embankment, St Petersburg, Russia

Amazingly, St Petersburg has around 800 bridges, so it is quite difficult not to find yourself meandering along the canals and zig zagging over some of the bridges.

Rivers & canals

Where do you begin…….Neva, Moyka, Fontanka, Griboedov (lets do all of them)

The Neva River runs through the heart of St Petersburg, taking a boat trip along this waterway is a must. From this great vantage point you can really appreciate the architecture of the palaces along its main embankments.

Most of St Petersburg’s waterways are within a short distance of the Hermitage Museum, the Neva is straddled by five bridges, the widest of which is the Trinity Bridge.

The full span of the Trinity bridge over the River Neva, St Petersburg, Russia

Trinity Bridge opened in 1903 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of St Petersburg, it consists of ten arches and stretches across the widest point of the Neva River.

The Trinity Bridge over the Neva River, St Petersburg, Russia

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Point to Note

Ensure you check the language of your boat tour, depending on your language of choice will dictate the time of the tour.

Blagoveshchensky bridge

The four other bridges that can be seen from the main embankments are Blagoveshchensky, which opened in 1850 and is a bascule bridge, similar to London’s Tower Bridge, but not as elegant (I my opinion anyway, but I am biased).

The Blagoveshchensky Bridge, with St Issac's in the background. St Petersburg, Russia

The Dvortsovy opened in 1916 and also is a bascule bridge, often known as the Palace bridge. Birzhevoy bridge was opened in 1894, this is also known as the Exchange bridge, after the Old Stock Exchange. The fourth bridge, Liteyny, was opened in 1879.

The Blagoveshchensky Bridge control box over the Neva River, St Petersburg, Russia

Bring your comfy shoes, you’ll going to need them crossing backwards and forwards.

The Moyka River

Heading into the heart of St Petersburg and you’ll come across the Moyka River. This river encircles the core of St Petersburg and give you some fantastic views of the city.

A view of St Isaac's as you look along the Moyka River, St Petersburg, Russia

Originally the Moyka only had four bridges, which were named the Blue, the Green the Yellow and the Red, each painted in that colour. Nowadays the river is spanned by 15 bridges.

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Start creating your own Russian adventure and visit the colourful palaces and winding canals of St Petersburg.

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The Griboyedov Canal

The Griboedov Canal is really pleasant to stroll along, passing by some of St Petersburg’s iconic sights along the way.

The Lion Bridge over the Griboedov Canal in St Petersburg, Russia

The canal was constructed in 1739, 5km in length and has an incredible 21 bridges spanning it. One of which is the Lions Bridge, even though this bridge is small in comparison to the ones stretching across the Neva, it’s actually one of the most famous bridges in St Petersburg.

The Lion Bridge ,in Black & White, over the Griboedov Canal in St Petersburg, Russia

Situated near the Mariinsky Theatre, the pedestrian bridge was constructed in 1826 and has two eye-catching cast iron lions sitting at either end, almost guarding it.

The Bank Bridge, with two of its splendid griffins, over the Moyka River, St Petersburg, Russia

Continuing along to the Bank Bridge, which was constructed in 1825-26, this is the narrowest pedestrian bridge in the city. Adorned at each end of this suspension bridge, are two shimmering golden-winged griffins.

Further along the canal you pass by the Russian Orthodox Kazan Cathedral, which was modelled on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Kazan Cathedral, (Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan), St Petersburg, Russia

Just opposite is the Art Nouveau Singer House also known as the House of Books.

The House of Books (Singer House), St Petersburg, Russia

Then a quick hop across Nevsky Prospekt, and you come to the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.

This is one of my favourite sights in St Petersburg and quite possibly the main reason we visited.

A pleasure boat passes the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood on the Moyka River, St Petersburg, Russia

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Strolled around the waterways of St Petersburg, we’d love to know what you enjoyed about this colourful city?

The Fontanka River

The Fontanka River is 6,700m length and is spanned by 15 bridges. One of its most famous bridges is the Anichov Bridge, this bridge was completed in 1841.

It has four stunning bronze statues of men taming wild horses, viewed in the correct order you may notice that they appear to be broken in.

One of the 4 Horse tamer statues over the Anichkov Bridge in St Petersburg Russia.
One of the 4 Horse tamer statues over the Anichkov Bridge in St Petersburg Russia.
One of the 4 Horse tamer statues over the Anichkov Bridge in St Petersburg Russia.
One of the 4 Horse tamer statues over the Anichkov Bridge in St Petersburg Russia.

Now the beast is under control.

Just near the Anichov Bridge you can also visit the Fabergé museum.

and finally

The Winter canal is the narrowest waterway in the city, it only has 3 bridges and is 228m in length. This little canal is fed one end by the Moyka river and the other by the Neva river, the Winter Palace is just a short walk away.

The Winter canal, one of the shortes in St Petersburg, Russia

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Something for the Traveller

Inspired to visit St Petersburg?

Are you tempted to visit this ‘Venice of the North’? Stroll the canals, or a boat ride along the cities waterways?

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Bridges and Waterways of St Petersburg, Russia

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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