Can’t tell all the numerous Russian monarchs apart? Don’t know a thing about Nicholas I and Alexander II’s regimes? Worry not. There’s no better place to help you fill in the gaps in your knowledge of Russian history than St. Petersburg, the former capital of the Russian Empire. This Sunday, February 24, the mysterious St. Michael’s Castle (the one where the Russian Emperor Paul I was murdered and where his ghost is said to haunt) hosts the ‘Nicholas I’ exhibition as part of the city-wide initiative ‘Cultural Marathon’. Made up of over 200 paintings, sculptures, and other items, the exhibition sheds some light on the Emperor’s personality and politics, as well as provides insight into the way the Russian society and culture changed under his rule. The exhibition is open from 10am to 6pm. Admission is free.

Do you feel like your life lacks some drive? Visit the international snowboarding competition Stairs and Rails on Konyushennaya Square this Saturday, February 23, when Russia celebrates the Defender of the Fatherland Day, or simply Men’s Day. A unique combination of professional sports and a mind-blowing extreme show right in the heart of St. Petersburg. The tournament will be held from 2pm to 6pm. Entrance is free, so don’t miss out on the fun!

And if you think that there’s enough snow in your life for now and you’d rather enjoy the greenery and some flowers, check out the annual Lilac February festival at the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden. Admire the sea of colorful spring flowers from lilac to tulips and narcissuses, learn about all the different varieties of lilac, master the art of ikebana, try some lilac cotton candy and ice cream, and even create your own perfume! The festival is open for visitors from 10am to 5pm on February 23-24 and February 26-28. Tickets cost 500 rubles and include a tour through the Garden’s truly amazing subtropical route, where you can immerse yourself in a tropical paradise right in the middle of winter!

Whether you want to buy a nice handmade souvenir for your loved ones, get some fancy designer clothes, or just wind down a bit, you’ll find it all the Market by the Sea. Housed at one of the city’s trendiest public spaces, the Sevkabel Port, this fair offers a wide selection of handmade clothes, cool accessories, ceramics, eco-friendly cosmetics, as well as books, honey, sweets, and lots of other foodstuffs! Purchase some unique handmade souvenirs, and enjoy the atmosphere of the former industrial site turned into a new vibrant urban area! The market is open from midday to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance is free.