Senate Square (Senatskaya Ploshchad)
Originally named Decembrists’ Square after the December 1825 uprising, Senate Square (Senatskaya Ploshchad is one of St. Petersburg’s most famous public spaces, encircled by some of the city’s top attractions. The unforgettable centerpiece of Senate Square is its Bronze Horseman statue, one of the most iconic symbols of the city.
Linked to the central hub of Palace Square by the 1,335-foot (407-meter) long Admiralty building—the one-time Russian Naval Headquarters—Senate Square is home to the grand Senate Building and the early 19th-century Cavalry Manege, now home to the Central Exhibition Hall, and backs onto the grounds of the gold-domed St Isaac’s Cathedral.
Just about every sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg, from short walking tours to multi-day jaunts through the city, stop in the square, along with other notable attractions, like the Winter Palace of Peter I, Nevsky Prospekt, Peter and Paul Fortress, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Kazan Cathedral, and Saint Isaac's Square.
Things to know before you go
Wear comfortable walking shoes, as this area is large and best explored on foot. Much of the square lacks shade: Don’t forget to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat. Bring a camera, as the statue in the square is one of the city’s essential photo ops.
How to get there
The nearest metro station is Admiralteyskaya. From there, walk along Malaya Morskaya Ulitsa to the end of the street, cross St. Isaac’s Square, and turn right past the cathedral.
When to get there
Senate Square is always open, but it’s best to visit early in the morning or around sunset to get the best images of the Bronze Horseman bathed in golden-hour light. The square tends to be less crowded in the early morning hours as well.
Attractions Near Senate Square
There’s a lot to see and do within walking distance of Senate Square for those looking to spend some time in the area. St. Isaac’s Square and Cathedral are practically right next door. Take a stroll along the English Embankment along the Bolshaya Neva River (one of the most fashionable streets in the city), or admire the statues and fountains of historic Alexander Garden, which dates back to the 1870s.
- Mariinsky Theatre
- St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral (St. Nicholas Cathedral of the Epiphany)
- Central Naval Museum
- C-189 Submarine Museum
- Nikolaevsky Palace
- Russian Vodka Museum (Muzey Russkogo Natsional'nogo Napitka)
- The Republic of Cats Museum and Café
- St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Isaakievskiy Sobor)
- Bronze Horseman
- Menshikov Palace
- The Menshikov Palace
- Admiralty Building
- Stroganov Palace (Stroganovsky Dvorets)
- St. Petersburg Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad)
- Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)