WASHINGTON, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – Nestled on the Baltic Sea and often described as one of the most Western cities in Russia, St. Petersburg has a new place of honor as one of the top travel destinations in the world, according to the 2013 Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards released Tuesday by the popular online travel website TripAdvisor.
“St. Petersburg is a fantastic destination for travelers with so many places to eat, stay and play,” said Julie Cassetina, a spokeswoman for TripAdvisor.
“St. Petersburg is also very scenic with many beautiful palaces and canals throughout the city,” she added in comments to RIA Novosti.
“Piter,” or “St. Pete” as the city is sometimes called, came in 20th on the list of top 25 destinations around the world, and is the only destination in Russia to be named. This is the fifth year the list has been compiled.
Topping the 2013 list of favorite world destinations: Paris, New York, London, Rome and Barcelona. Top US destinations include New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida.
The rankings are compiled using online reviews from travelers and take into account which destinations are most popular.
“Based on insights from millions of travelers from around the world, the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards help identify the most highly rated and loved vacation spots,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.
“These impressive destinations offer something unique for every traveler type to help them plan their next perfect trip,” she added.
The awards recognize 412 destinations in 38 regions across the globe, including lists for Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Central America, China, Europe, India, Mexico, the Middle East, South America and the South Pacific.
St. Petersburg has about five million residents and is the second largest city in Russia, after Moscow.