Top 7 unusual things to do in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg... a city of bridges and white nights, art galleries and theatres. The cultural capital of Russia, it has a lot of well-known tourist attractions, where thousands of people are going every year. But wouldn’t it be great to discover something different and more special than Hermitage visiting? We asked a local guide to write a list of 7 best uncommon activities which you can do to explore another, unusual and authentic side of the City on the Neva.
1. Russian vodka museum
In this particular museum visitors can learn about the production process of the noble drink, discover traditions and different suspicions about drinking vodka. If you are a huge fan of this Russian national beverage, you are invited to book a full-day tour of Saint Petersburg and Russian vodka museum. Local guides will tell you about its history starting from the ancient times and you will understand why this drink is so important in Russian culture. The excursion will be finished in Soviet vodka room style, where you can taste 3 types of it with comments of your guide, which will explain to you how to degustate vodka properly and to see the difference between different types of it.
Address: 4 Konnogvardeysky Boulevard.
Tel.: +7(812) 9-431-431.
Working hours: opened daily from 12:00 until 19:00, for restaurant visitors until 21:00.
One of the richest ethnographic museums in the world, Kunstkamera is a must-see place if you are in Saint Petersburg. The museum was founded by Peter the Great who started to collect different curiosities such as stuffed animals, tools and astronomical instruments. Today it has a collection of 2 million elements presented in more than 15 different exhibitions. Among scientific items from different countries, visitors can also find here the shocking and probably the weirdest collection of oddities in the world: Siamese twins, deformity of animals and other malformations are presented in flasks with formalin.
You even have the possibility to take a virtual 3D tour before booking your tickets tour before booking your tickets. Note, that you can benefit from a free entrance if you plan to visit the third Thursday of each month (except May, June, July, August). We recommend you to start visiting at the latest early afternoon, to avoid being in a hurry in the end and enjoy all the sides of this strange and particular place.
Tel.: + 7 (812) 328-08-12
Address: 3, Universitetskaya Naberazhnaya.
Working hours: opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 until 18:00 (tickets till 17:00).
3. Upside-Down House
A typical russian apartment with a living room, kitchen, corridor, bathroom, and even a kids' bedroom. Could be normal flat just if… everything wasn’t upside down. All the furniture is stuck to the ceiling, so looks like visitors are defying gravity. It's the best place to visit with your kids or friends and to make funny photos.
Address: 5 Nevsky avenue.
Tel:. +7 (812) 456-06-85
Working hours: opened daily from 12:00 until 23:30.
The concept of anticafe implies to drink some coffee or tea with snacks there, read books, play musical instruments, work with your computer using their wifi and all that… for free. Well almost, because you will need to pay for the time spend there: around 100 RUB per hour. Sometimes different events are organized there, so check out the schedule on the Facebook page before going, and enjoy some live show or poetry reading, otherwise just visit this place to discover the new Russian concept and meet local people.
Ziferburg (Nevskiy prospect, 48) is an anticafe where a lot of interesting and surprising events are organized. A minute there costs 3 rubbles for 1st hour, then 2 rubbles, if you stay more than 4 hours counting stops, so 540 rubbles is a maximum amount you can spend here per a day or a night. Page Facebook: www.facebook.com/ziferburg
Another unusual cafe is Freesteel anticafe is situated on Nevskiy prospect, 11: just say “anti-cafe” and someone will open the door. Go upstairs following signs and after a few flights of stairs, you will arrive at the rooftop terrace which is a pretty nice place especially in the summer. Site Web: fdfree.ru
5. Folklore Show
To be completely immersed in the Russian atmosphere, visit a famous folklore show with a buffet table of local snacks and Russian vodka. Typical dances as Reverance and Cossak, lyrical romances and Russian Orthodox hymns will bring you into the real ambience of traditional Russia. A unique experience not to skip! If you are convinced enough, we invite you to check out more and book a Folklore show here.
Check out more and book this activity: Folklore Show.
6. Metro system
One of the best things to do in Saint Petersburg, and in Russia, in general, is to undercover its majestic underground metro system. Some of the stations look like palaces with paintings, sculptures etc. You can join a 2-hour metro tour to discover more about underground stations. During your guided tour you’ll discover some of the amazing stations of Saint Petersburg.
7. Take a hot air balloon flight
We recommend all the adventure hunters to go for the best adrenaline adventure and take a hot air balloon flight over Pushkin town. Yes, the city of art and the cultural capital of Russia has a lot of things to discover, this time from the air.
The State Hermitage Museum is the country's largest cultural and historical museum, occupying 6 historic buildings, the main among which remains the majestic Winter Palace. Today, the Hermitage has almost 3 million exhibits: paintings, drawings, sculptures,art objects, a collection of numismatics and archaeological monuments.
Peter I's Winter Palace
The residence of Peter the Great in the 18th century was rebuilt into an Hermitage theatre. In the course of restoration, 200 years later, the chambers of the Emperor and Empress were discovered, the dining room, the study and the lathe shop were reconstructed, and their personal belongings and household items were exhibited. Guests are greeted by a "wax parsun", a sculptural portrait of Peter the Great made shortly after his death.
The Menshikov Palace
One of the first stone buildings in Saint Petersburg was the palace of Alexander Menshikov. The luxury of interiors amazed contemporaries and foreign guests. Now here is the exposition "Culture of Russia of the beginning of the 18th century".
Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory
All objects of the imperial family at the first Russian porcelain factory were made in two copies, the second remained in the factory museum. Over the years, there were produced over 30 thousand items, representing a complete retrospective of the development of porcelain art of 18-20 centuries.
Restoration and preservation center "Old Village"
Historical and artistic treasures, rare books, carriages, and collections of furniture from the Hermitage collection were previously inaccessible to the public. Now the storage and restoration workshops are open to the public. Here they have the opportunity to look behind the scenes of museum activities and to see the rare artifacts that are being prepared for placement in the halls of the Hermitage.
9. Trip to Moscow
If you come to St. Petersburg, be sure to visit Moscow as well. This is a city in which there are a lot of interesting and unusual things to do. Cultural events, art exhibitions, noisy parties, local attractions and much more await you in Moscow. Trains from St. Petersburg to Moscow run frequently, at least once an hour. The trip takes about 9 hours. However, there are new modern trains called Sapsan that take less than 4 hours to get from St. Petersburg to Moscow.