Boating and outdoor dining

There’s a host of activities you can do on a sunny day: for instance, you can rent a boat in a park and explore its premises while also putting your boating skills to the test. My best pick for this is Yelagin Island. There, you can rent a regular boat or a paddleboat from a local rental for as little as an hour or as much as your budget permits and enjoy a relaxed cruise while admiring the island's beauty. The only thing to remember is that boat rentals as a rule ask for a security deposit: on Yelagin Island, it's 2,000 rubles (in cash!).

Unlike sunny days, rainy times call for a stay-at-home pastime – but if you’re adventurous enough, or if you get caught in rain whilst downtown, you may rush into a nearby cafe with a roofed patio and have a meal to the sounds of the downpour. Fortunately, the city in summer is abundant with outdoor dining options, from ground-level venues (Marketplace on Nevsky Pr. – with a view of Kazan Cathedral) to rooftop experiences (Jungle on Griboedov Canal, also with a view of Kazan Cathedral). – Marina

Parisian-style picnics & typical St. Pete activities

A thermos of homemade coffee or tea, some freshly baked croissants from your favorite bakery, and a basket of strawberries… cue the Amelie soundtrack as you roll out your blanket at one of the city’s parks, ready for a cozy lunch out. If you are one for romanticizing every little moment of your life, then this is just for you. Stage a little date night just for yourself or invite your friends out for a fun time with outdoor games in the sun – and don’t forget to use this article for inspiration.

View of Gazprom Arena from Yelagin Island. Credit: Vitali Adutskevich (@vadutskevich) via Pexels

View of Gazprom Arena from Yelagin Island. Credit: Vitali Adutskevich (@vadutskevich) via Pexels

And if it rains? Pretend to be a stereotypical St. Petersburg enjoyer: visit a bookstore or a low-key museum you haven’t been to before! It’s a good thing that many of those now collaborate with coffee shops – all the easier for you to complete the St. Petersburg-er checklist: sit at a table by the window, sipping your strong coffee, leafing through a book, and occasionally lifting your eyes up to stare dreamily into the rain. What a scene – and you get to live it! – Catherine

Enjoying the sceneries

Sun definitely suits St. Petersburg, so I can’t think of a better chance to view the city from a bird's eye perspective. Hidden on tops of bell towers and public spaces, there’re several observation decks scattered around the city center and near ITMO campuses. My personal favorite is located at the Vladimir Cathedral Bell Tower. Besides breathtaking views, for just 300 rubles you can discover if you're actually afraid of heights, learn about the nearby sights with a free audio guide, and make yourself a new profile picture with a unique background.

View from the top of St. Isaac's Cathedral on a rainy day. Credit: Sun452 (@sun452) via Pexels

View from the top of St. Isaac's Cathedral on a rainy day. Credit: Sun452 (@sun452) via Pexels

If it happens to be raining and you don’t feel like watching the bad weather from your window, consider enjoying it from the window of a tram by hopping on one of the scenic routes. For me, this activity is suitable for any mood, and especially for indulging in dreamy melancholy to your favorite music. – Elizaveta

Visit out Experience St. Petersburg section for more articles on various attractions and landmarks in the city, from the new water taxi service and the best food markets to the legacy of Brutalist architecture.