The beating heart of St Petersburg, the roughly 3 mile (4.5 km) long Nevsky Prospekt has been the centre of the city’s social life since the eighteenth century. Carved out of thick woodland in 1718, St Petersburg’s main street takes its name from Alexander Nevsky, a thirteenth-century prince who defeated invading Swedish and German armies. You could easily spend an entire day sightseeing on and around Nevsky Prospekt, which includes Kazan Cathedral, a grand edifice inspired by St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The cathedral was used as a museum of religion and atheism by the Communist authorities, before being restored after the collapse of the Soviet Union.Be sure to watch out for the city’s only statue of Catherine the Great, which is on the left side of the street as you walk away from the train station. Other nearby attractions include the psychedelic onion domes of the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood, which was built as a memorial to Tsar Alexander II on the site of his 1881 assassination, and the Hermitage Museum, with its vast collection of art from around the world, including works by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.This landmark street is packed with restaurants, cafés and bars. In the summer, it’s a great place to grab an ice cream and engage in a spot of people watching. In the winter months, hunker down in a cosy eatery with a warming soup. And if that’s not enough choice for you, turn off Nevsky Prospekt and take a stroll down Rubinstein Street (Ulitsa Rubinshteina), home to over 40 cafés, bars and restaurants.