St. Petersburg is a maritime city, and one of the most beautiful and enjoyable ways to see it is from a boat sailing down its charming rivers and canals. Feel the cool wind blowing in your face, ride under the broadest bridge in the city and look at the city from a different perspective!
From daily hop-on/hop-off river cruises and night tours to boat trips to the Gulf of Finland, there is no shortage of options to experience this wonderful way of traveling. One hour tours are probably the most popular among tourists, as you don’t have to book it in advance and the boats are easy to find. You can hop on a boat on Nevsky Prospect or at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Tickets cost about 700-800 rub.
And it’s also a fun way to get to Peterhof. While it takes about an hour to get to the Kingdom of Fountains by bus, a hydrofoil will take you there in just 30 minutes! You can hop on a hydrofoil near the Hermitage or the Bronze Horseman.
Parks and Gardens
If you love the sea breeze and sand between your toes but don’t want to travel far, then there is a place just like that right here in St. Petersburg. One of the newest parks in the city, the 300th Anniversary Park offers amazing views on the Gulf of Finland, St. Petersburg Arena Stadium and Europe’s tallest skyscraper Lakhta Center.
Thanks to Yakhtenny Bridge, it now takes less than twenty minutes to walk from the 300th Anniversary Park to Primorsky Victory Park, which is the biggest amusement park in St. Petersburg. Check out the magnificent view from the Big Wheel or get your adrenaline pumping on the Big Roller Coaster!
Kirov Central Park on Elagin Island is adored by both nature lovers and athletes alike, as it is equally great for having a picnic with friends, admiring flowers, playing tennis, skating, riding a bike or even boating. Boats and paddling boats are available for rent. Please note that you’ll need to provide a passport or a larger payment (about 2-3 thousand rub) as a security deposit.
Best of Urban Living
Loft Project Etagi is one of the most iconic creative spaces in St. Petersburg. Housed in a former bread factory just a ten minutes’ walk from Moskovsky Railway Station, Etagi has plenty to keep visitors interested, from art exhibitions and film festivals to workshops and rooftop parties. It’s also home to the city’s first “container city”, where rows of shipping containers house a varied selection of cafés and shops. When visiting this fantastic place, make sure to head up onto the roof terrace to catch a great view of the city. Entrance is free but some events may include entrance fees.
Ligovsky Avenue, 74
Unlike Etagi with its contemporary urban design, the Golitsyn Hall creative cluster is something completely different. Housed in an 18th-century mansion, it features halls with big windows, marble fireplaces, ornate stucco molding and long staircases and is home to more than 70 cafés, bars, shops, galleries, and studios.
Fontanka Embankment, 20
Compared to Etagi and Golitsyn Hall, the Couloirs creative space located in the very heart of St. Petersburg on Vasilievsky Island is relatively small and more off-the-beaten-track. People come here to watch and discuss a movie, listen to a lecture, attend a concert, take part in some peculiar workshop, make their own ceramic mug, or just drink a cup of coffee and enjoy the atmosphere of art and freedom.
Birzhevaya Liniya, 20
There is always something fun going on in the city. For example, the annual Sand Sculpture Festival on the beach near the Peter and Paul Fortress is open for the public from May 25 till September 9. Masterpieces of Russian and world architecture and sculpture, such as the Moscow Kremlin, the Mayan Pyramids, the Great Sphinx and many more, all made by hand out of sand! Admission fee is from 300 rub for students to 350 rub for adults.
Make sure to check out New Holland Island which is also a perfect space for both leisure and entertainment. They also have beautiful outdoor art installations perfect for photos and hold great summer activities like movies under the stars. To learn more about the island, read our article about St. Petersburg off the beaten track.
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