St. Petersburg is Bigger Than You Think

The picture of St. Petersburg for some people is just beautiful buildings with old and authentic architecture, Nevsky Prospect, and the Hermitage, but there are more places that are worth your attention. I want to tell you about my most favorite suburbs that are actually now parts of our city. Lomonosov, Zelenogorsk… If these names don’t ring a bell, then I invite you on a journey to these amazing places.

Lomonosov. Credit: Victor Malyushev on Unsplash (

We will start with, I guess, one of the most unknown and gorgeous areas of St. Petersburg. Lomonosov is located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland. It was built in 1710 and was originally intended as a country residence for a Russian statesman, Alexander Menshikov. Its historical name was Oranienbaum, which is German for an orange tree. This fact is tightly connected with a legend that orange trees were grown in the greenhouses of the palace complex.

If you decide to visit Lomonosov, I advise you to go to the Grand Menshikov Palace and the surrounding park. The breathtaking views of the Gulf of Finland and the landscapes there will amaze you. You can find a lot of interesting and mysterious attractions hidden among trees and forest lanes. The Chinese palace, a beautiful token of the rococo style, which wasn’t spread anywhere in Russia besides Oranienbaum. Pergolas, the climbing plant canopies, with ruins in the Greek style and a few buildings of the amusement fortress which were made for the Russian emperor, Peter III.

There are various ways to get to Lomonosov. My favorite one is by bus. The road to Oranienbaum is laid along the Gulf of Finland. For example, in spring or summer you only pay 50 rubles for a ride, but get a cheaper tour of the amazing views.

The Gulf of Finland, Zelenogorsk. Credit: Tatiana Zhukova on Unsplash (
The Gulf of Finland, Zelenogorsk. Credit: Tatiana Zhukova on Unsplash (

Sometimes, I get bored with the city life and all these historical sights of St. Petersburg — then, I crave peaceful relaxation in nature to clear my mind. Hopefully, I’m not the only one and if you are feeling it too, I’d recommend taking a day off and going to Zelenogorsk.

Terioki was the original name of the town located in the resort area of St. Petersburg. First, it was a small village in the domain of the Swedish Empire. After concluding the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, the land of "Old Finland", including Terioki, became a part of the Russian Empire. In 1948 this town was given its current name, Zelenogorsk.

Breathtaking views of the bay shore and unique nature — you can find all of that just a few hours away from the center of St. Petersburg. In summer, Zelenogorsk becomes a popular resort area, where you can bask in the glow of the warm sun on the sand beach. Many people prefer this side of the Gulf of Finland for swimming. Also, you can just relax and eat seafood in one of the various restaurants along the bay shore.

The easiest and fastest way to get to Zelenogorsk is by taking a suburban train from the Finland railway station. But if you’ve got a chance to go by car I’d recommend driving via Primorskoe highway. This road runs along the bay coast and offers magnificent views.

All St. Petersburg’s suburbs are worth visiting. You can go to Lomonosov to see breathtaking landscapes and beautiful architectural structures. If you want to take a break from the nasty thoughts in your head and walk along the bay coast, then Zelenogorsk is a perfect place for that. I only covered two parts of St. Petersburg today, but there’s a huge space to explore because this city is wider than you think.

Written by Danil Zmievskiy