One can walk along the Fontanka from beginning to end, but the part from the Neva to the Nevsky Prospekt with its many museums and sights is the part that is unmissable for tourists. The attractions of the embankment in the warmer months look best from on-board a boat, and the Fontanka is one of the most popular routes for sightseeing excursions.
In contrast to the Neva and its many rivers and canals, the Fontaka has a single embankment running along its seven kilometer course. There are a huge number of buildings here that are of historical and cultural value. Moreover, you can get acquainted with them not only walking along the promenade but also on-board a tour on a boat.
The modern name of the Fontanka River (from the Russian word "fountain") was conceived in 1737 when aqueducts were constructed across it to feed water to the fountains of the Summer Garden. In the 18th century, forests grew on the southern banks of the Fontanka, sheltering bandits that attacked the highways leading out of St. Petersburg. For this reason, there were army and police posts at the intersection of major roads with the Fontanka during that time.
The Fontanka River has gained the love of the city and its visitors not only for its grand architectural masterpieces. Equally popular is the small finch monument, Chizhik-Pyzhik, near the waterline below the 1st Engineers Bridge. This recent diminutive addition to St. Petersburg's public monuments references a drinking song sung by the students of the Imperial School of Jurisprudence. Opposite house no. 132, meanwhile, is a strangely empty pedestal which the locals call "the monument to the invisible man."