Kronstadt, a suburb of Saint Petersburg placed 19 miles from the city center, is the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet. The town is situated on Kotlin island and you can reach it by crossing the Finnish Gulf — by car over the dam or by a hydrofoil. Unlike the other popular neighborhoods of Saint Petersburg, Kronstadt is not about palaces and the emperor's luxuriance. However, it is still an important and usually overlooked site. Kronstadt is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique fortification exemplar. Long ago, this town served as a real fortress and was the heart of naval science.
Today, visiting Kronstadt feels like walking in a small cozy European town. It is completely different from Saint Petersburg, even though it takes no more than one hour to reach it. It is perfect for calming walks on quiet streets with low-rise houses but it is also a place of beautiful sights: Naval Cathedral with brilliant Gulf of Finland views, Navy School, and scattered forts.