Geography of city adds to its distinction as a destination
There is nowhere in Russia that is as "breathtaking" as St Petersburg for people on solo holidays, according to an author and foreign correspondent.
Joshua Hammer, who used to work for Newsweek, wrote in the New York Times about his trip to Russia's second city, focusing particularly on how the geography on the area adds to the experience of travelling there.
"St Petersburg was constructed on what originally were more than 100 islands formed by a latticework of rivers, creeks, streams and natural canals that flow into the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the Neva River," he said.
"The Neva, the main artery through the city, snakes an east-west path across St Petersburg, basically dividing it in half."
Among the non-fiction books that Mr Hammer has written are Yokohama Burning: the Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II and A Season in Bethlehem: Unholy War in a Sacred Place.