Perfect Day in St. Petersburg
It’s a beautiful June day in St. Petersburg, and a holiday on top! Here’re some of our favorite ways to spend a great day in the city.
To me, a great summer day in St. Pete would start from the Admiralteyskaya metro station, I'd grab a pastry from Bushe, and a coffee from Bonch, and then make my way to Palace Square where I'd simply enjoy the beauty and enormity of it all. Then I'd pay a visit to the Winter Palace, which houses the State Hermitage Museum. Of course, you could spend days, even weeks there, but time is of the essence. So after enjoying the Malachite Hall, the Throne Room, the Pavilion Hall, and all the grandeur, I'd head to St. Isaac's Cathedral and buy a ticket to visit the colonnade, climb the spiral stairs and enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
Then I'd head around the corner to my favorite Indian restaurant called Tandoor. Because when in Russia, eat Indian, right? They make this very fun Thali dish that gives you a taste of everything Indian.
Next, it's time for a boat ride through the canals and along the Neva River. You can get tours in several languages and they give you blankets in case it gets windy. It's a great chance to see some of the highlights of the city's architecture.
Now, at this point I haven't walked the main street of the city, Nevsky, yet, it's time to head down it, drop by the Kazan Cathedral (which is free by the way, because it's actually used as a place of worship), then visit the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, (which has never actually functioned as a church). The walk along Nevsky is stunning, and the interior even more so. Then I'd enjoy the greenery of Mikhailovsky Park and the Summer Garden. I’d be pretty exhausted by now, but let the day continue! It's time to cross the Troitsky Bridge to the Peter and Paul Fortress and its cathedral (there's a lot of gold to see!). Then I'd grab myself an ice-cream, stop by St. Petersburg's stunning mosque, and now it's time to go home for a rest.
My perfect day in St. Pete starts with a cup of cappuccino and a bowl of hearty oats with honey and pumpkin seeds at the Bolshe Coffee cafe, situated in a stony grotto in the Alexandrovsky Park. I would sit in their amazing summer terrace, sip my coffee, read a book and admire the greenery around me. After that, I’d head to the Peter and Paul Fortress, marvel at the cathedral, walk on the beach and feed the ducks. I’d then cross the Trinity Bridge and take a leisurely stroll through the Summer Garden, grab a pistachio gelato at la Celletta, and then walk all the way down Fontanka River to the Seven Bridges spot, and from there to the New Holland, my favorite creative space in the city.
As much as I enjoy exploring the city, one of my favorite things to do is to take a Meteor hydrofoil from downtown to Peterhof. It departs from the Palace Embankment and takes you through the city, past the new Gazprom Arena stadium built for the 2018 World Cup, past Lakhta Center, the tallest skyscraper in Europe, into the Gulf of Finland and plops your right into the famous postcard view of the Grand Cascade fountains and cream-colored palaces. Why do I love it? It’s a nice way to see the best of the new architecture and a few minutes later step into the imperial splendor. And it’s a fun ride!
I really like how St. Petersburg changes during the night, be it the dusk of White Nights or the cold darkness of winter. So, I’d say that my favourite day in St. Petersburg starts with the sunset, which I really like to enjoy from some of its bigger bridges, and continues into the night when I’m crossing the city towards some distant location (lately, I’ve been having my strolls along the Moskovsky Avenue, towards the Victory Square: I like to watch how the city’s architecture changed over time, and this route offers a great opportunity to do that). I usually take some food with me to enjoy a meal at dawn, and then make my way home to spend the rest of the day dreaming: to my mind, that’s the best way to charge up for whatever’s waiting for you!