SUP surfing

Surfing in the city? Despite unpredictable weather, St. Petersburg, with its massive networks of rivers and canals, offers quite a few aquatic choices for sports enthusiasts, among which is SUP surfing. SUP or standup paddleboarding is the latest sports trend, which provides an exhilarating experience, whether you’re a pro or a newbie. Similar to regular surfing, it allows you to open the door to the world of this exercise and inch your way to bigger waves. With the help of experienced instructors, you’ll be on board in no time and get to enjoy a full-body workout, as well as some beautiful scenery. Catch the waves in the city style!

Where: learn more here (in English), here, or here. Feel free to look up more on your own. Also, don’t miss your chance to acquire a firsthand experience by taking part in the Fontanka-SUP Festival on July 31, 2021.

Running and cycling

Credit: sporlab (

Credit: sporlab (

The easiest way to get started is to put on your most comfy sneakers and head wherever your feet will take you. Being on most New Year’s resolutions lists, running is definitely a sport for everyone with countless advantages: from picking your own pace and route to improving your physical and mental health while enjoying nature, breathing fresh air, and getting the so-needed Vitamin D. The good news is that it’s easy to get into, and you only need a pair of good running shoes to start.

Where: Tauride Garden, Yusupov Garden, the 300th Anniversary Park, Moskovsky Victory Park, Yelagin Island, etc. For more ideas, check our stories on the city’s most popular green areas here and here.

The same is true for cycling. With multiple renting and sharing options available today (for instance, the smart bike service), it’s no longer a problem to start cycling regularly. Hop on your bike and (re)discover the city’s downtown and its outskirts.

Where: the 300th Anniversary Park, Yelagin Island, Moskovsky Victory Park, Primorsky Victory Park, and more.

Beach volleyball

Credit: Miguel Teirlinck (

Credit: Miguel Teirlinck (

This summer, there’s no better place to be than a beach. So why not squeeze in a little workout while you’re there? If you’re a team player, then volleyball is your to-go activity this summer. This is an easy-to-understand game that doesn’t take a lot of skill to start. Playing volleyball is not only an awesome way to stay in shape and improve your hand-eye coordination, focus, and reflexes but also your opportunity to make new friends and boost your social skills. 

Where: Yelagin Island, a public space near Krestovsky Island, the beach of the Peter and Paul Fortress, etc.

Badminton or tennis

Credit: Jones (

Credit: Jones (

Badminton or tennis, be it table or court, are racquet sports that you can pick up within a few minutes of playing. Their appeal is in their simplicity: keep a shuttle or a ball from falling on your part of the court or table and you will win. However, what might seem like an easy game at first is sure to give you a moderate workout. Played usually in twos or fours, these sports are a great high-intensity cardio exercise, as you run, swing, and stretch during the game.

Where: any spacious green and exercise areas you can find, plus Yelagin Island, Sosnovka Park, Pavlovsk Park, and others (for giving tennis a try).


Credit: Jose Vazquez (

Credit: Jose Vazquez (

If you’re looking for a more calming, relaxing activity, grab a mat and head to nature. Yoga is more than just a workout, it’s a full mind-body practice that allows you to feel better from head to toe, keep your muscles toned and relaxed, and tune in with your body and inner self. While doing yoga, you not only go through a variety of stretches and poses but also practice deep breathing and mindfulness – and hence feel better and healthier. A good thing, you can always do it with your friend, if in need of silent company.

Where: also any green and calm areas you can find, plus Tauride Garden, Moskovsky Victory Park, the 300th Anniversary Park, New Holland Island, and more (for free or donation-based relaxation sessions).

From football and basketball to rowing and powerlifting, ITMO’s KronBars has it all, which allows you to embrace your inner athlete while having a vivid student experience. Get more ideas for your bucket list in our stories on spring and winter activities, active and adventure sports, as well as pick up a few tips and drills from our guide to getting in shape.

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