Russia Travel Articles

Free things to do in St. Petersburg, Russia

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1. PETER AND PAUL FORTRESS – This is one of my favorite things to do while in St. Petersburg and it’s completely free. Once a prison for political criminals, now serves as a museum for the public. As you walk over Loannovskiovskiy Bridge and head through a narrow entrance in the red brick wall surrounding the island you feel as if you have been dropped into an old Soviet novel. While you’re strolling along admiring the architecture you will come across the 122.5 meters tall Peter and Paul Cathedral. If you visit in summer you will find the shores packed with people for the sand festival or if you come in winter you can step out and see the Neva River frozen over and cover with snow.

Peter and Paul Fortress during winter

2. PALACE SQUARE – This will be the first thing you find when you do any research on St. Petersburg and straight away you will be able to see why. Up until March 12, 1918, this used to be the capital until it was moved to Moscow and you can easily tell that it used to be. Stood in the middle of the square you have the Aleksandrovskaya Kolonna Monument beside you, the Winter Palace in front of you, and the State Hermitage Museum behind you that can be viewed for free on the third Monday of each month. The Winter Palace costs 500 Rubles to enter but it’s free every third Thursday of the month or you can enter the inner courtyard for free every day of the week.

The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg

3. PARKS – In every city, there are great parks that you can explore for free. The great thing about St. Petersburg is that you have a huge selection to choose from. A must-see park which ironically I only visited in Winter is the Summer Garden, this is the most popular park in St. Petersburg and the most sought after by tourists. Personally, my favorite to stroll through is Mikhailovskiy Sad, it is located right next to the iconic Church of the Savior on Blood which is not free to enter but can be seen for free. Some other parks worth checking out are Kirovs Central Park that is very popular with the locals and Alexander Park that’s centrally located and perfect for a picnic on a summer day.

A park in Russia covered with snow

4. GALLERIES – I must admit I am not a huge art enthusiast but even these galleries got under my skin. Some of the galleries free to enter are Anna Nova, Bulthaup, KGallery, Marina Gisich, and Name Gallery. These are a paradise for art lovers but for those of you not so passionate about art you should still seek some of these out as they do offer really impressive sculptures and portraits, and they’re free! St. Petersburg isn’t blessed with sunshine throughout the year so these are also great stops where you can warm up your bones on cold days or get in out of the rain.

A Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

5. NEVSKY PROSPECT – Normally I wouldn’t use one street as something to do but for this one, I will make an exception. This is St. Petersburg’s main street and it’s 4.5 km long! You could easily spend two hours walking through the heart of the city poping in and out of shops, cafés, parks or cathedrals. Kazan Cathedral which is a must-see attraction can be found around the west end of the street and it’s free to enter. The Monument to Catherine the Great can be found in Catherine’s Garden along with the Alexandriinsky Theatre. Some people will find this too ‘touristy’ but checking out shops like Taste of Russia, near the Leningrad Hero Monument, and seeing the amazing collection of Russian dolls on offer is exciting.

Nevsky Prospect in Russia during Christmas

For more information on visiting St. Petersburg you can click on the link down below.

http://www.visit-petersburg.ru/en/

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