10 Things to Do in St. Petersburg As an International Student

Thousands of tourists come to experience St. Petersburg every summer. If you’re here already and staying for the summer, you might as well take this opportunity to explore it like you mean it.

Credit: travel-wiki.ru

Take a boat tour

St. Petersburg is a maritime city, and one of the most enjoyable ways to see it is from a boat sailing down its charming rivers and canals. You can hop on a boat on Nevsky Prospect or at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Tickets cost about 700-800 rubles. Feel the cool wind blowing in your face and look at the city from a different perspective!

Feel the urban vibe

St. Petersburg has lots of cool creative spaces you can explore. For starters, check out Loft Project Etagi. Housed in a former bread factory just a ten-minute walk from Moskovsky Railway Station, Etagi has plenty to keep visitors interested, from art exhibitions and film festivals to workshops and rooftop parties. Make sure to head up onto the roof terrace to catch a great view of the city. 

If you’re looking for a more cozy experience, visit Berthold Center. A cluster of historic buildings and courtyards of a historic foundry complete with cafes and artisan stores, this creative space is the perfect place to mix with the local Gen Y crowd.

 Discover New Holland

The garden, the walkways paved with stone and surrounded by a sprawling herb garden, and the lush green lawns with stools and chairs make New Holland 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.

Get lost in a tropical paradise

Situated in the very heart of St. Petersburg and boasting the fifth biggest collection of plants found all over the world from tropical rainforests to deserts, the Botanical Garden is a perfect place if you want to get a rest from the city’s hustle and bustle and admire the beauty of nature.

 

 Marvel at sand sculptures

There is always something fun going on in the city. For example, the annual Sand Sculpture Festival on the beach near the Peter and Paul Fortress, which is open for the public from May to September. This year’s topic is “The Lost Worlds”, so visitors will have a chance to get a glimpse of Poseidon’s underwater kingdom, travel to the legendary Atlantis, and marvel at all kinds of magical creatures from mermaids to gigantic dragons, all made by hand out of sand!

Attend a music festival

Summer is the perfect time for spending some quality time outside, taking in the rare St. Petersburg sunshine and enjoying new experiences. Check out our rundown of this summer’s hottest events, from film and music festivals to celebrations of food, art, and technology.

 

 Celebrate the Navy Day

St. Petersburg is the city which is most important for Russia’s naval tradition; the Navy Day celebrations here are among the year’s most picturesque events. Traditionally, they take place during the last weekend of July (July 28 in 2019). Be sure to plan your time accordingly so as to not miss the parade!

Get outdoors in Yagodnoe

ITMO University has a lakeside camp called “Yagodnoe” where students can participate in various outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, swimming in the lake and Russia’s favorite summer pastime, mushroom hunting. To take advantage, you need to fill out an application or contact Marina Kuznetzova.

 

 Take a short trip from the city

There are plenty of places you can head to from St. Pete if you fancy a weekend trip. Admire the ancient fortresses of Pskov and Veliki Novgorod, marvel at the medieval Old Town of Riga and Tallinn, or enjoy hiking, architecture gazing and the sea breeze in Helsinki.

 

Or venture out further…

It’s so easy to get to places by train, and it’s such a quintessential Russian experience. The easiest way to get your feet wet is to take a night train to Moscow (or even a fast day train, Sapsan is fun). If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can spend two days watching the countryside as you travel to Sochi and other subtropical towns around the Black Sea. Or instead, go the opposite direction and enjoy the unique beauty of the Russian North by Petrozavodsk, and even further, the White Sea.

By the way, make sure to check out one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world, Vitebsky railway station. 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.

To stay updated about the best events taking place in the city, follow our weekends.

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