Russia's second metropolis, the Saint Petersburg area is one of the world's richest in terms of sights for the visitor. Besides the city itself, the three suburbs, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, and Peterhof are home to three of the world's most spectacularly opulent palaces, former country residences of the Tsars (Lomonosov is home to a less opulent, but also pleasantly less-touristed palace of its own). Pushkin is also rich in literary history, being the site of Pushkin's (the poet) schooling. The island city and naval base Kronstadt makes an interesting day trip from Saint Petersburg as it is home to an impressive and newly restored Naval Cathedral and was closed to all foreign travelers until the late 90's.
English is spoken by very few people in the city of Saint Petersburg ,and just a limited number of people are able to understand English language although they say that they know it. For independent travel it will be necessary to have a basic knowledge of Cyrillic alphabet and a basic vocabulary from your language to Russian.