Love is… Where to take your Valentine in St. Petersburg

Often called Venice of the North, St. Petersburg is a perfect setting for romance. From beautiful sights to winding canals and intimate inner yards, it’s a place to explore and learn more about each other in the process. You don’t even have to take your date to a theater or a concert, of which there’s plenty. Maybe this Valentine’s Day love is…

… going for a walk

They say happiness is not looking at each other but looking in the same direction. St. Petersburg was practically designed to test that theory by going on romantic walks that can take a few minutes or an entire day. If the weather is nice and you’re in the mood for some scenic views, one route could be from the main ITMO campus on Kronversky Prospect, then over Birzhevoy Bridge to the Spit of Vasilievsky Island then over the Palace Bridge to the Admiralty Embankment. From here you have a choice to turn left,  cross Palace Square and make your way through the “secret passage” of the Capella building over to Nevsky Prospect. Or you can turn right and see the Bronze Horseman and maybe even climb the many stairs to the viewing platform of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Still feel like walking? A few more blocks, and you can hold hands even tighter on an ice-rink in New Holland.

… escaping the cold

Baby, it’s still pretty cold outside! If you’re not planning a tropical getaway, how about a cup of coffee amid palm trees and blossoming flowers? Tavrichesky Garden Orangery, a historic greenhouse  on Shpalernaya, 43, has its own café and is also holding a special concert on Feb. 14.  For a round-the-world trip, plan an afternoon in St. Petersburg Botanical Garden on Professora Popova street, where each greenhouse is its own adventure into tropical, subtropical, and other regions, with beautiful plants from China and Japan.

… sharing a dessert

St. Petersburg has no shortage of great bakeries but some places, like Konditerskaja Sevjer, on Nevsky,44 , are legendary. Around for over a century, Sevjer (meaning “North” in Russian) still carries sumptuous eclairs with traditional butter filling and cream puffs with actual cream. Coffee is rich and frothy and the café itself is cozy and cavernous.

Would the two of you order an even or an odd number of doughnuts?  You can find out at the Pishechnaya (meaning a Doughnut House) on Bolshaya Konyushennaya 25 that serves old-school hot doughnuts dusted with powdered sugar. It’s standing room only and the lines can be long, but the authentic vintage vibe and greasy happiness more than make up for that.

Thinking more in terms of soft pillows and low lights? Tea House on Rubenshteina, 13 will welcome you with warm mugs you’d want to wrap your hands around and dessert tasting plates perfect for sharing.

 

 

… being quiet together

Sometimes we say it best when we say nothing at all. One place to be quiet and gaze at the stars (not always easy in St. Petersburg) is Planetarium 1 that offers daily sky shows and special projection demonstrations, sometimes to live music, on its giant dome screen. Thanks to numerous pixels and sensor screens, you can even go on a magical interstellar ride together.

Would rather stay rooted? “A Cherry Orchard” installation at the Modern Art Museum Erarta will surround you with thousands of crystals and glass bubbles, making it perfect for a romantic selfie. Inspired by Japanese cherry blossoms, it’s a perfect place to think about planting your own perfect garden together.

… kissing for the first time

The first kiss has every chance of being special but even more so on the Bridge of Kisses (Potseluyev Most), legendary in St. Petersburg for connecting sweethearts. Kissing on this cast-iron bridge across the Moika River is believed to make relationships just as secure. The longer the kiss – the longer the happiness.

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