St. Pete museums are more than the Hermitage and the Russian Museum: practically every house has a famous resident, be it a writer, a composer or a philanthropist. Check our routes of hidden museum treasures – if you try your best you would be able to visit them all in a day.
MorningHealthy breakfast in bonch
Laconic and well lit café was named after the nearby Bonch- Bruevich University of Telecommunication nicknamed just Bonch. The menu and interiors are snobbishly ascetic – coffee, desserts, snacks, salads and that's it. They also serve soup of the day and breakfasts in the morning with homemade granola and croissants. The place is not crowded and spacious so start you day here to get the right vibe for the rest of it.
Modern Art at the General Staff Building
The director of Hermitage, Mikhail Piotrovsky can be really proud of this new Museum’s wing as it is a huge leap towards everything contemporary and innovative. Perfectly renovated premises are a forum for modern art and host exhibitions by Russian and overseas artists. It was meant to be provocative since the very beginning, as the first show it hosted was Jake & Dinos Chapman’s The End of Fun that caused quite a fuss. In 2014, the General Staff was home to Manifesta 10 international biennale and was the most visited venue in St Pete.
Bird's-eye view from St.Isaac's Cathedral
Modern St Isaac's Cathedral is the fourth church built on the same spot over the centuries - the previous ones were destroyed due to various reasons. And then came Auguste de Montferrand with his project, and a golden dome designed by him can now be seen from almost everywhere in the city. At a first glance (as well as the second and so on) the cathedral strikes with its hugeness which is not that obvious from a distance. The most exciting part is going up to the colonnade with a classic view on St Petersburg. Be prepared to stand in a long queue, for people from all over the world line here regardless of the weather or day of the week longing to see the fantastic scenery.
Time Traveling at Vladimir Nabokov Museum
All Nabokov-lovers will recognize his house at once. The writer was really meticulous describing it in his Other Shores autobiography. A century later a pinkish house by St. Isaac Square stands almost the same: color of the walls and exquisite facade as if you have travelled back to past. The museum now takes the first floor where the dining and living rooms and library have survived. The exhibition is not big but gives this feeling of belonging to the writer’s world and forgetting about now – just close your eyes and imagine young Volodya coming home from gymnasium.
AfternoonLunch at Obschestvo Chistyh Tarelok
St.Pete is now seeing a real boom of hot venues that pop up like mushrooms after spring rain. This place is one of them. It was opened by Mishka bar founders, as a place to eat after cocktails. The venue has become so popular it's hard to get a table. The menu mainly comprises burgers and salads with several vegetarian options. Alcohol is also here with the focus on wines. If you can't stand tobacco, note they have a smoking zone by the bar. Weekends are DJ time, but if you want some dance Mishka suits you better as it’s hard to party amid pine designer furniture. Or better come after Mishka – they serve food till 6 am.
Art Albums at Dom Knigi
Two-storey paradise for book lovers - not e-books but real paper ones with rustling pages. You can find almost any in The House of Books – on nutrition and meditation, sci-fi and world classics. Some people come here just to read – you can wander for hours along the shelves with Pasternak, Hemingway and Palahniuk, sit on a comfy bench or even take the book you like to the cafe located on the second floor. Stay there for hours and talk literature. This place is a mecca for paperback admirers and those who believe in tactile bond with the books.
Coffee to go from Kofe na Kukhne
This small coffee place has two halls with mismatching furniture: some reminds primary school desks, while some is really giant. The menu is really similar to Bolshekofe and Znakomtes, Joe! – great coffee, sophisticated teas, sandwiches and muffins. Right next door you will find the legendary Prodykty bar – don’t get confused between the shot and the milk shake venues.
NightDiscover Dostoyevsky at the F. M. Dostoyevsky Museum
No one has depicted the gloomy yellow-walled St.Petersburg like Fyodor Dostoyevsky in his iconic Crime and Punishment novel. Anyone born in the city knows that Kolomna and Sennaya and dark places to be walked by quickly to avoid meeting Raskolnikov or the pawnbroker. You will get the appropriate mood after visiting the writer's apartment museum, where he lived and worked. The staff is really passionate, so we recommend a guided tour – the collection is not that big but becomes very meaningful when the guides start telling you new facts and anecdotes from the writer’s life not some routine you’ve learnt at school.
Chill out at Vinny Shkaf
Some night dialogues in St.Pete remind crazy talk: I'm in Immigration (Immigratsia) and what about you? In Rubic (Rubrika) and am moving to Closet (Shkaf), let's play it by ear. Vinny Shkaf (Wine Closet) is a good successor of Rubinsteina Street wine places: a dark venue with rough wooden tables welcomes big companies with original drinks, like trendy Vedernikoff. But better ask your waiter for advice, with a mysterious smile he'll tell you about offmenu wine he can pour you. Here you can meet crowds of giggling girls and solo travelers with a book (usually behind bar counters). Fridays and Saturdays the place is packed.