The Northwest region is most visited by foreign tourists, many of whom arrive in St. Petersburg on cruise ships. It will be very interesting to visit the cities of Novgorod the Great and Pskov, as well as Kaliningrad (formerly Koenigsberg), the most western city of Russia.
St. Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter I in 1703 and was built as the front capital of the Russian Empire. That is why it can rightly be called the most beautiful city of Russia, and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is surrounded by the tsarist palaces of Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, Pavlovsk, Gatchina and others.
Two interesting cities are located to the south of St. Petersburg. They are Novgorod the Great and Pskov. The remained a lot of ancient churches and monasteries in the cities. And Novgorod the Great is a city where the Russian state was founded by Prince Rurik and Russian statehood was formed. The Cathedral of St. Sophia, the oldest church in Russia, is in Novgorod the Great (1045).
The vast region of Karelia where you can see many natural sight is to the north of St. Petersburg. On Lake Ladoga you should visit the skerries (rocky islets) in the area of the city of Sortavala, and the Ruskeala marble quarry. Pleasure boats make trips between Sortavala and the island of Valaam with the Transfiguration Monastery. The Kizhi museum of wooden architecture is on one of the islands of Lake Onega. There you can see beautiful wooden churches. The Solovetsky Monastery is on the White Sea.