Credit: nat-geo.ru

St. Petersburg Off the Beaten Track

St. Petersburg is world-famous for its gorgeous palaces and canals, but there are many other attractions that are, too, worth visiting. From the city’s maze-like courtyards to its atmospheric cafés with ornate interiors, the city has no shortage of places to go off the beaten path. Spring has sprung and it's time to venture out of the house and explore, so check out this list of cool things to do in St. Petersburg.

1. Discover New Holland: a City Within the City

Credit: nat-geo.ru
Credit: nat-geo.ru

Just a decade ago it was but a rough, uncouth place, but it was recently given a new life and transformed into a perfect space for both leisure and entertaining.

The garden, the walkways paved with stone and surrounded by a sprawling herb garden, and the lush green lawns with stools and chairs make this place a must-visit for nature lovers and peace seekers. If you prefer more dynamic activities, you can also explore the pavilions that host small-scale exhibitions, lectures, concerts, screenings and other events, or grab a bite at one of the island's numerous fancy cafés and bars.

 Credit: daily.afisha.ru
Credit: daily.afisha.ru

Opening Hours:

The territory is open to the public all year long, including the winter season.

Mon-Thu 10:30 am - 10:00 pm

Fri-Sun 10:30 am - 11:00 pm

The admission is free

2. Wander Through the Maze of Small Streets and Courtyards

Credit: KudaGo.com
Credit: KudaGo.com

If you feel like walking, we recommend taking a tour through the historic center of St. Petersburg. But remember that behind the beautiful facades there are many secret places that tourists usually don't know about, such as the Mosaic Courtyard.

Whimsical sculptures covered in dazzling mosaics fill the courtyard, discreetly nestled within a city block. Check it out for an authentic feeling of St. Petersburg. You won't be disappointed!

Metro Chernyshevskaya, Chaykovskogo street, 2/7

Another atmospheric place is the The Wizard of Oz Courtyard, where you can meet your favorite The Wizard of Oz characters immortalized in metal.

Metro Vladimirskaya, Pravdy street, 2-8

3. Visit One of the Most Beautiful Railway Stations in the World

Credit: rs.rbth.com
Credit: rs.rbth.com

A gem for architecture lovers, Vitebsky railway station is the oldest railway station in Russia and a masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture. Upon entering this building you can't help but immerse yourself in the atmosphere of early 20th century. Take a seat on a bench, look around and feel the vibe of the old times, or just hop on a train to Pushkin or Pavlovsk and take a stroll in a park.

Zagorodny Prospect, 52, St. Petersburg, Russia

Metro Pushkinskaya/ Zvenigorodskaya

4. Try the Biggest Milkshake and the Best Coffee in St. Petersburg

Mickey & Monkeys

If you are a sweet tooth, consider yourself lucky because we've got just the place for you! Mickey & Monkeys is a vibrant, eclectic place famous for its “overshakes”: milkshakes topped with grotesque towers of cake, candy, cookies, or even burgers. Yummy!

Gorokhovaya street, 27

Opening Hours:

Mon-Thu 10 am - 11 pm

Fri-Sat 10 am - 1 am

Bolshe Coffee

Credit: the-village.ru
Credit: the-village.ru

When walking through the Alexandrovsky Park on your way to the Peter and Paul Fortress, you’ll see a stone grotto with a lantern hanging by the front door. With a cosy atmosphere, high-quality coffee, delicious pastries, and a summer terrace, this little café is a ray of sunshine. Warning: it is VERY small and VERY popular among locals, so it's best to come in the morning.

Metro Gorkovskaya, Alexandrovsky Park

Opening Hours:

Mon-Thu 10 am - 10 pm

Fri 10 am - 11 pm

Sat-Sun 11 am - 11 pm

5. Pet a cat at the Republic of Cats

Did you know that there is a cat café right in the heart of St. Petersburg? It is called the Republic of Cats, and here you can have a cup of coffee while surrounded by fluffy cats.

Yakubovicha street, 10

Opening Hours:

Mon-Sun 10 am - 10 pm

6. Watch a Film in the Most Romantic Cinema

Credit: nat-geo.ru
Credit: nat-geo.ru

Just look at the picture and you won’t be able to resist the temptation to come in, take a seat in one of these huge comfortable chairs and watch a movie or two. It's an ideal place for a romantic dinner or a party with friends. You can have the whole cinema for yourself! What can be better?

Space for up to 10 people

Metro Gostiny Dvor/ Nevsky Prospekt

Nevsky Prospekt, 32/34

Opening Hours: 10 am - 2 am

7. Visit Some Quirky Museums

Credit: kuda-spb.ru
Credit: kuda-spb.ru

Already been to the Hermitage and the Russian Museum? Don’t worry, there are hundreds of small museums in St. Petersburg that even locals often don't know about. The Universe of Water is one of them. Located in the city’s old main Water Tower, this museum hosts an excellent multimedia exhibition about water in all its aspects that will be interesting to both children and adults.

Metro Chernyshevskaya

Shpalernaya street, 56

Opening Hours:

Wed - Sun 10 am - 7 pm

Another small museum worth visiting is the History of Photography Museum. As its name suggests, it details the development of photography from its very early days until modern times.

Metro Petrogradskaya, Professora Popova street, 23

Opening Hours:

Tue - Sat 1 pm - 5 pm

Closed on Sunday and Monday

8. Listen to Jazz at The Philharmonic Hall

Credit: jazz-hall.com
Credit: jazz-hall.com

For music lovers, The Philharmonic Hall hosts concerts of the best Russian and foreign musicians from Wednesday to Sunday. Come here and enjoy a retro atmosphere and lovely music.

You see, St. Petersburg is full of surprises, so go out and experience for yourself all these unusual things to do in St. Petersburg!

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