There’s nothing like spending time near water as a heat wave starts gripping the city. Luckily, St. Petersburg has all sorts of waterfronts – from slow-flowing rivers and man-made canals to peaceful lakes and even an immense gulf – and while Sevkabel Port and New Holland Island, with its new beach-like vibe, are all the rage now, there are some other by-the-water spots worth checking out.

Hare Island

In the heart of St. Petersburg, this small island is not only home to the Peter and Paul Fortress but also a beloved spot for the city's residents who come to sunbathe by the wall of the fortress. It's a perfect place for taking in the sprawling views of the Hermitage, Spit of the Vasilievsky Island, and the beautiful bridges that span across the rivers. Apart from historical monuments, the island offers a variety of opportunities for summer activities, including a sunny beach with a gallery of sand sculptures, stone alleys with benches, and beautiful green surroundings. 

Where: Hare Island, near Gorkovskaya metro station

300th Anniversary Park

Set on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, the 300th Anniversary Park is the city’s youngest park, laid in 1995, yet one of the most visited, especially on dog days. With its spacious coastline, shady alleys, and fresh air, it’s a perfect place to take a long walk, soak up the sun, throw a picnic, ride a bike, and play beach volleyball – all while enjoying a spectacular view of the seascape. It has all the necessary ingredients for a perfect summer: the water, the beach, and lots of outdoor activities. There, you can also enjoy multiple open-air events, as well as white nights and picturesque sunsets right from the beach. 

Where: Primorsky Prospekt 74, near Begovaya metro station

Suzdal Lakes

Far from being on most people’s radars, the Suzdal Lakes are one of St. Petersburg’s most beautiful natural areas, far enough from the city’s hustle and bustle. And with the opening of the new public space, they are becoming more and more popular now. Stretched along the Verkhneye Suzdal Lake, it offers a number of activities: from sunbathing on the beach and enjoying the relaxation and leisure areas, to admiring nature – there is something for every taste. 

Where: Suzdal Lakes, near Ozerki metro station

Krestovsky Island

Another public place has recently appeared on the south shore of Krestovsky Island. Now, after exploring the beauty of the island, you can head to the Derevyannaya Naberezhnaya (“the wooden embankment”) and enjoy its lovely seating, entertainment, and sports areas. Big or small, you won’t be able to resist unwinding on a comfy bench with a breathtaking view of the Western High-Speed Diameter and Malaya Nevka.

Where: Krestovsky Island, Krestovsky Ostrov metro station

Ostrov Fortov (Kronstadt)

For those who have knocked the other four off this list, there is a nice bonus – the first and largest park dedicated to the history of the Russian Navy. Located in Kronstadt (a bus ride away from the Begovaya, Chernaya Rechka, Prospekt Prosvescheniya, or Staraya Derevnya metro stations), it's an incredible place for relaxation, rejuvenation, and leisure. There are playgrounds for kids, spacious alleys, cozy nooks near a pond, and swings overlooking the Gulf of Finland for all. Among its key monuments are the Alley of Russian Navy Heroes and the Lighthouse of Memory, which immortalizes the names of famed admirals, travelers, and oceanographers.

Where: Tsitadelskoye Hwy. 14, Kronstadt

There is something special about summer in St. Petersburg. Bathed in never-ending light, the city offers a truly magical experience. Enjoy the white nights and find inspiration in our best stories on essential summer activities, boat tours, and a typical Russian summer.