Saint-Petersburg Expat Guide

Generic text (copy from Moscow)


Things To Do

Museums & Attractions

☦️ Alexander Nevsky Lavra

🎭 Alexander Theater

🏛️ Belozersky Palace

🏛️ Central Museum of Soil Science im. V.V. Dokuchaev

🏛️⭐Central Naval Museum⭐ ★★★★★ ✔

🏛️ Cruiser Aurora❕

🏛️ House of Peter the Great❕

🏛️ Dostoevsky Museum

🏛️ Faberge Museum

🌈 Grand Maket Russia❕

🏛️ Gatchina ❗

🏛️ Icebreaker Krasin

☦️ Kazan Cathedral ★★★★★ ✔

🏛️ Konstantinovo Palace ★★★★★ ✔

🏛️ Kronstadt

— 🏛️ Kronstadt History Museum

— ☦️ Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas

🏛️ ⭐Kunstkamera⭐ ★★★★★ ✔

🏛️ Marble Palace

🏛️ Mariinsky Palace | institution

🎭 Mariinsky Theater ❕

🏛️ Menshikov Palace

🏛️ Mikhailov Castle ❕

🎭 Mikhailovsky Theater

🏛️ Military-Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineer, and Signal Corps ★★★★ ✔

🏛️ Museum of City Electric Transport | museum/city

🏛️ Museum of Democracy Construction im. Anatoly Sobchak

🏛️ Museum of Optics

🏛️ Museum of Political History of Russia

🏛️ Museum of Printing in Saint-Petersburg

🏛️ Museum of Russian Vodka
I have the feeling that this is a tourist trap catering to foreigners, but reviews are generally positive, so who knows.

🏛️ Museum of Saint-Petersburg Metro

🏛️ Museum of Savings (Sberegatelnogo Dela) ❕

🏛️ Museum of Shadows

🏛️ Museum of Stone

🏛️ National Pushkin Museum

🏛️ Nicholas Palace

🏛️ Pavlov Palace ❕

🏛️ ⭐Peter & Paul Fortress⭐ ★★★★★ ✔

~~ 🏛️ ⭐Museum of Space Exploration & Rocket Technology im. V.P. Glushko⭐ ★★★★★ ✔

~~ 🏛️ State Museum of the History of Saint-Petersburg ★★★★★ ✔

~~ 🏛️ ⭐Trubetskoy Bastion Prison⭐ ★★★★★ ✔

🏛️ ⭐Peterhof Palace⭐ ★★★★★ ✔

🏛️ Russian Ethnographic Museum ❕

🏛️ Russian Museum

🏛️ Russian Railway Museum

☦️ Saint Isaac’s Cathedral

☦️ Saint Nicholas Naval Cathedral

☦️ ⭐Savior on the Spilled Blood⭐ ★★★★★ ✔

🏛️ Sheremetyevo Palace – Museum of Music

☦️ Smolny Cathedral

🏛️ Smolny Historical and Memorial Museum ❕

🏛️ ⭐State Hermitage Museum⭐ ★★★★★ ✔

— 🏛️ General Staff | museum ✔

— 🏛️ Winter Palace | museum ✔

🏛️ State Museum of the Defense and Blockade of Leningrad❕

🏛️ State Museum of the History of Religion

🏛️ Stroganov Palace

🏛️ Tsarskoe Selo ❗

— 🏛️ Catherine Palace

— 🏛️ Alexander Palace❕

— 🏛️ Ratnaya Palata

🏛️ Yelagin Palace ❕

🏛️ ⭐Yusupov Palace⭐ ★★★★★  ✔

🏛️ Zoological Museum of Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences ★★★★  ✔
Extensive zoological collection that grew out of the Kunstkamera founded by Peter the Great, it features the world’s only skinned mammoth exhibit, as well as a complete blue whale skeleton and multiple mammoth and elephant skeletons. Though there are plenty of smaller mammals, birds, fish, reptile, and insect exhibits as well. It could do with some more funding – many of the description plaques are decades old, e.g. claiming there are “100 Amur tigers left in the USSR” (reality: there are now ~500 of them in Russia).



Parks, Views, & Curiosities

📍 Admiralty ✔
Inaccessible to the general public, given that it currently serves as HQ of the Russian Navy.

🗿 Bronze Horseman ✔
Probably the most famous SPB landmark, which inspired a famous Pushkin poem.

🏞️ Field of Mars ✔
Wide open space glorifying Latvian Bolsheviks who massacred Russian freedom fighters in Yaroslavl in 1918, and various other communist scumbags. Depressing to have this in central Leningrad.

📍 Five Corners (5 Uglov) ❗

📍 House of Raskolnikov ✔
Where the anti-hero of Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” lived.

📍 House of Singer (Dom Zingera) ✔
Palatial apartments of the Singers – a family of Tsarist-era sewing machine magnates – it now houses social media giant Vkontakte officers and a giant bookstores with lovely views.

📍 Palace Square

🗿Alexander Column ✔

🗿 Solovetsky Stone ✔

🏢 Troll Factory @ Savushkina



Though I don’t generally do bakeries, there’s a good list of them here; in particular, the Bushe chain and the F. Volcheka chains seem to be commonly recommended.

🚬  Bar Laboratoriya 31
This is supposed to be some kind of science!-themed cocktail bar & kalyanaya.

🍺 BeerHERE  ★★★★ $$ ✔
Slightly on the expensive side. Was known as a focal point for local nationalists (at least back in 2017). 

🇮🇱 Bekitser
Highly rated Israeli street food.

☕ Bonch ★★★ $$ ✔
The éclairs are good, but Internet is slow, non-reliable, and staff unhelpful. Avoid if you want to get things done.

☕ ⭐Brodyachaya Sobaka ★★★★★ $$ ✔
Underground cafe with great puddings, coffee, and live poetry readings and performances in the evenings (see schedule). Opened up in 1912, it was closed down by the Bolsheviks, flooded during the bombings in WW2, and only restored to what it once was in the 1990s.

🇷🇺 ⭐Brynza⭐ ★★★★★ 🍟 $ ✔
SPB based semi-fast food chain serving traditional Russian cuisine. You can’t really go wrong here, but the ukha soup is worth trying out in particular.

🇨🇳 Chufalnya ★★★★ $ ✔
Photo menu, check. Exposed kitchen with piles, check. Stacks for drinks, check. Male servers look like they’re from a farm on the Chinese-Russian border, check. Harbin beer, check. 10/10 xiangxiaren.

🇷🇺 Cococo

Coffeeshop Company ★★★★ $ ✔
Chain of coffee shops open 24/7, excellent place to get some work done.

🇷🇺 Dachniki

Decabrist Cafe ❕

🇲🇽 El Copitas

🇷🇺 Harvest ★★★★★ $$$ ✔
Voted one of the world’s top 50 restaurants, this restaurant specializes in fancy interpretations of vegetable dishes, straight from the farm. It was an interesting culinary experience, and very affordable.

🇪🇺 Letuchiy Gollandets
It looks like a tourist trap – I probably wouldn’t visit it, what with the other gastronomic delights on offer elsewhere.

🇷🇺 Lindfors ❕

☕ ⭐Literature Cafe⭐ ★★★★★ $$$ ✔
The food is overpriced and nothing to write home about, but you don’t come here for the food, but for the old-time atmosphere and the wonderful live music (classical piano and singing).

🇷🇺 Mari Vanna ★★★★★ $$$ ✔
Extrapolating from its Moscow affiliate (it also has a presence in London), I assume it is a good place to sample Russian cuisine surrounded in a kitschy Russian atmosphere. But with Harvest almost next door, why bother?

🇷🇺 Marketplace 🍟
SPB-based chain of Soviet-style stolovayas with typical Russian and European food. I haven’t dined at one, but it looks very similar to Moscow’s Mu-Mu chain.

🇮🇳 Namaste ★★★★ $$ ✔
Yet another very solid Indian restaurant, though the Karachi Chicken at Tandoori Nights was better.

🇮🇳 Oh! Mumbai

🇷🇺 Pelmeniya 🍟

🇷🇺 Percoso

🍺 Pivorama 🍟

Republic of Cats ★★★★★ $$$ ✔
You don’t go here for the coffee, but for the cats they rescue and train (19 of them as of Nov 19). If in the mood, some of the cats can do acrobatic and counting tricks for visitors. Originating in East Asia, this was Russia’s first cat cafe. Obviously, this is very much a YMMV venue, but they do have antihistamine tablets for people with allergies.

🇷🇺 Severyanin
I hear it is a good enough  restaurant, though pricey/clearly catering to tourists. 

☕ Stolle ★★★★ ✔

🇯🇵 Taiyaki ❕

🇮🇳  ⭐Tandoor⭐ ★★★★★ $$ ✔
Commonly considered to be the best Indian restaurant in SPB, it features authentic dishes and competitively priced business lunches with a choice of curries.

🇮🇳 Tandoori Nights ★★★★ $$ ✔
Right next to Tandoor, this place serves very good curries (Karachi Chicken was perfect) and naans. 

🇷🇺 Teremok ★★★★★ 🍟 $ ✔

🍞 Troyka
Highly rated confectionary restaurant.

🚬 ⭐Tuman ★★★★★ ✔
Great kalyanaya (hookah) place with a wide variety of flavors, atmospheric surroundings, and a very interesting and engaging bartender/owner.