Arkhip Kuindzhi Memorial Apartment-Museum – 2 minutes away

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the works of this great 19th-century artist, there are at least three reasons to visit this museum. Firstly, you’ll get to know Arkhip Kuindzhi better: not only did he capture nature most expressively, but he also managed to depict the illusion of illumination in his art. Secondly, the apartment is located in the attic and offers a panoramic view of the Makarova Embankment and Petrogradsky District. Thirdly, it’s extremely close to campus! 

Vavilov Loft – 9 minutes away

If optics is your first love, you’ll enjoy the historic vibe of the Vavilov State Optical Institute. What was once home to a powerful research center now is an urban space with cafes, bars, workshops, and showrooms. Although it’s not as lively and well-developed as other city spaces, it’s worth a visit at least to explore the former grandeur of the Soviet optics through the size of the building. By the way, our Birzhevaya campus used to belong to this establishment, too, so everything is connected.

Credit: SergeyS via

Credit: SergeyS via

Spit of Vasilyevsky Island – 10 minutes away

This is a touristy one, but what else could you expect from one of the most fascinating architectural ensembles of the city? Formed by the Old St. Petersburg Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns, it’s an outstanding piece of classicist architecture inspired by the Greeks. Once, here, in the place where the Neva River splits into two, used to be the city’s main port. Nowadays, it is a place to walk and catch stunning views of the city and the river or, when it’s warm, join local dancing enthusiasts for a free class. 

Zoological Museum – 11 minutes away

A Hermitage in the world of zoology, this museum is so vast it can’t be covered in one go. The exhibition features species of birds, insects, fish, reptiles, and animals, some dating back to the 18th century when they were brought to Peter the Great from overseas expeditions. It might feel creepy to be around so many stuffed and formaldehyde animals, but it definitely gives you an idea of the abundance of our planet's fauna. The cherry on top is the 27-meter-long blue whale skeleton in the best traditions of the Night at the Museum franchise.

Credit: Alena Korotkova (@alena9669) via Unsplash

Credit: Alena Korotkova (@alena9669) via Unsplash

Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg State University – 12 minutes 

The area around our campus is soaked with education: there's the library of the Academy of Sciences, several research institutes, and three universities, including St. Petersburg State University. Why not peek inside the latter since it hosts one of the few botanical gardens in the city. A fly in an ointment: you can only enter this evergreen world with a guided tour, so keep an eye on their schedule here.

Of course, there’s much more to discover on the island! From famous gastronomic venues, like Vasileostrovsky Market, to mysterious courtyards that make your wishes come true, here’s another guide for your like-a-local outing.