12 ideas for winter and early spring trips to Saint Petersburg. Things to do and see in 8 days.
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
#1 New Holland Island
The most fun winter attraction in St. Petersburg, as well as in Russia, is ice skating. I personally consider the most beautiful ice rink in St. Petersburg to be the ice rink on the island of New Holland. Here you can rent skates, as well as a special penguin to help you stay on your feet. You can check the prices on the official website. In addition to the skating rink, the man-made island of New Holland also attracts visitors with its cafes, bars, shops. Family and cultural events, film screenings and festivals are held here.
#2 Sevkabel port
Another cool place is the port of Sevkabel. There is also a skating rink by the sea here in winter, and fun events are held: markets, festivals, concerts and much, much more. You can see the event schedule on the official website.Recently, for example, we visited a market where we could buy farm products.
If you like ceramics or handicrafts, you should definitely check their website and visit at least one fair or market.
What does a traveler do in the first place in St. Petersburg? Of course, they walk along Nevsky Prospect andvisit the Hermitage.The museum complex of the Hermitage consists of 350 halls. Before the revolution, the Winter Palace was also an imperial residence. To go through all the halls, you need to walk for 24 kilometers. There are more than 200 museums in St. Petersburg, so get ready for the trip in advance, look on the Internet for the list of museums, and choose the most interesting ones for yourself.
In addition to museums in St. Petersburg there are a large number of palaces. Personally, I really like the Yusupov Palace. Visitors can stroll around the prince's chambers, as well as hear the mystery of Grigory Rasputin's murder. Yes, the favorite of the imperial family and one of the most mysterious personalities of Russian history was killed here.
The list of other palaces is here.
#5 The Catherine Palace in Pushkin
Coming to St. Petersburg and not visiting the Catherine Palace in the city of Pushkin is the same as coming to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. In one of my videos, I already talked about Tsarskoye Selo, its palaces and parks. It is beautiful at any time of the year, and in winter there are much fewer tourists than in summer. You can see with your own eyes the Great Hall, in which emperors arranged meetings, and the BBC filmed their version of the book War and Peace.The pearl of the Catherine Palace is the Amber Room. The famous Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin studied at Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, there are a lot of reasons to visit the city of Pushkin. It's very easy to get to Pushkin by train from Vitebsk Station.
#6 Matryoshka museum
How about a master class? For example, in the Museum of Matryoshka you can not only learn about the history of the creation of Matryoshka, but also paint your own matryoshka doll.
The master class takes 1 or 2 hours, depending on which matryoshka (1 or 3) you choose. Master classes are going non stop. Come at any time (but no later than an hour before closing).
In St. Petersburg, there are also a huge number of magnificent temples and cathedrals. My favorite is St. Isaac's Cathedral. Its construction took 40 years. You should definitely visit the cathedral inside, as well as climb its colonnade, which offers a beautiful view of the city. Kazan Cathedral is within walking distance from the Nevsky Prospekt metro station. It is free of charge, but you need to keep in mind that it is forbidden to use cameras during the service. The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is At the same metro station, which very much resembles St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow with its appearance. It was at this place that Emperor Alexander II was mortally wounded.
#8 Russian and Soviet cuisine
Restaurants, cafes and bars of St. Petersburg deserve a separate video. I'll just say that you definitely need to visit the most famous Pyshechnaya and pet a cat that lives there. Pyshka is a so-called Soviet donut, I usually get three, but you can take more, and be sure to get Soviet coffee. The bar culture of St. Petersburg is developing at a tremendous pace. Bars on Belinsky, Nekrasov, Zhukovsky, Rubinstein Streets are famous throughout the city and deserve your attention. You get Russian-style pub-crawling here. An excellent selection of craft beers can be found in the Top Hops bar on Fontanka. You should also visit the local liquor bars and try homemade Russian tinctures. In them you will find tinctures made of horseradish, dill, cherry, beetroot and currant. You can feel like a character of the Soviet films and try classic Russian cuisine in themed Soviet cafes, several of them are along Nevsky Prospekt.
No wonder St. Petersburg is called the cultural capital of Russia - there are a lot of theatres. I really like to watch opera at theMariinsky Theater.If you want to watch opera or ballet, listen to some classical music, I recommend buying tickets in advance on the official website of the Mariinsky Theater. And try the eclairs in the theater buffet. They are just incredibly tasty!
#10 The city of Vyborg
Vyborg is another wonderful city of the Leningrad region. This is one of the most beautiful cities in the Leningrad region. We arrived here by train, and now we will walk around the city. Behind me is the promenade, if you look there, you will see the fortress, which was built by the Swedes in the thirteenth century. Since then, this castle belonged either to the Russian Empire or to Finland, and after the Second World War, it became part of the Leningrad Region. Getting here is very easy from Finlyandskaya Railway Station. Give Vyborg one day. With an electronic visa you can freely move between cities of the Leningrad region. Try delicious cakes here.
If you arrived not on an electronic visa, but on a regular tourist visa or any other visa that allows you to freely travel around Russia, and if you have several days, I recommend that youvisit Karelia.You can rent a house on Lake Ladoga and visit the famous mountain park Ruskeala. It was here that marble was mined for the construction of St. Isaac's Cathedral. The nature here is very beautiful, and the Karelian cuisine is a symbiosis of old Russian cuisine and the cuisine of northern Europe.
In winter, as well as at any other time of the year, a huge number of concerts take place. Listen to classical music, enjoy Russian rock and dance music - all this is possible in St. Petersburg.
Your plan for 8 days in Saint Petersburg. The best way to use your e-visa.
Take a walk along the most famous streets of St. Petersburg. Start from the Nevsky Prospect metro station.
Visit famous museums, palaces and temples. Make a list for yourself in advance. Try ice-skating. Go to the New Holland island or Sevkabel port. Eat like a Russian. Try local craft, enjoy Russian donuts, try the dishes of Soviet and Russian cuisine. Go to the theater or a concert. Get your tickets in advance on the official websites. Visit local fairs and markets. Find handmade ceramic fairs, Russian design shops and farmers markets. Paint your own Matryoshka doll. Bring home a souvenir that you made yourself. Explore the Leningrad region. Take a trip to Pushkin, Vyborg, Pavlovsk, Gatchina, Kronshtadt. Take a trip to Karelia. If you love nature and your type of visa allows you to travel among Russia. Get to know Russian people. You will see that the people living in Russia are very hospitable, kind and helpful.