The shortest lane

It meets you first in the city as you step outside the Moscow Railway Station – Peskovsky Lane connects Vosstaniya Square with 1st Sovetskaya St. Though probably not the most appealing by itself, it can be your starting point on an expedition to Peski, a quaint area of St. Petersburg that’s hidden mere steps away from the hustle and bustle of Nevsky Prospect.

The shortest prospekt 

For all ITMO students, this one will hit close to home: St. Pete’s shortest prospekt is Vladimirsky Pr., the one right around the corner (or five) from ITMO’s Lomonosova St. campus. At just 450 meters in length, it unexpectedly changes its name to Liteyny once it crosses Nevsky. They used to be a single entity up until the construction of the Cathedral of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in the mid-18th century. 

Shortest metro ride

While we are in the area… The shortest metro ride you can take in the city is between the stations Ploshchad Vosstaniya and Vladimirskaya (familiar to everyone studying at ITMO’s Lomonosova campus) – it’s just 848 meters – and a 2-minute ride (according to Yandex.Metro). Fun fact: it’s just the length of five regular metro trains. Above ground, the trip will take you 12 minutes.

Vladimirskaya station. Credit: Alex 'Florstein' Fedorov / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Vladimirskaya station. Credit: Alex 'Florstein' Fedorov / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The narrowest street and the smallest square

With its cobblestones and low-rise houses, Repina St. is the city’s narrowest: just 5.6 meters wide. Walk from Rumyantsevsky Garden to Sredny Prospect of Vasilievsky Island to experience the street in full – and then use our guide to explore its enticing surroundings. By the way, don’t forget to visit Fligelnaya Square – the smallest not only in St. Pete, but in the whole country, at just 20 square meters!

The shortest street

Connecting Kanonerskaya St. and Griboyedov Canal, Pastorova St. is the shortest street in St. Petersburg at just 140 meters. On par with other streets in its neighborhood, Kolomna, the street used to have a “professional” name: first, it was associated with ship engineers (its name being Bolshaya Masterovaya, master meaning craftsman in Russian) and later, with cannoneers, who used to reside there (the name then was Kanonerskaya). These days, the street bears the name of Yuri Pastorov, one of the soldiers who defended Leningrad during WWII. Overall, it’s located in a quieter part of the city, though still close enough to various attractions, including the Mariinsky Theater.

The shortest bridge

As many items on this list, Kazansky Bridge, despite being the smallest of its kind in the city, this bridge is no less significant, overlooking the city’s three monument edifices – Singer House, Kazan Cathedral, and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. Quite an achievement for a construction just 18.8 meters long.

Kazan Cathedral. Credit: A. Savin / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Kazan Cathedral. Credit: A. Savin / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The smallest house

With its sunny-yellow facade and arching wooden front door, which looks just like something from a fairy tale, the tiny two-story house on Gagarinskaya St. 3D is one of St. Pete’s many mysteries. Way back when, it used to belong to the Small Marble Palace, located a little further down the street: the wooden door used to be a gate leading to a corridor that headed towards the inside of the palace. It is believed that the gate ceased to exist in the 1930 during active construction in the area. However, what’s left is still magical and appealing enough to imagine dwarfs, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, or some other mystical being living in this tiny house.

The smallest coffee shop

At the intersection of Belinskogo St. and Liteyny Pr., you will find the city’s allegedly smallest coffee shop, Luna – just a few square meters with a coffee machine and a bar counter located in the wall of a house. Boasting a bunch of original coffee drinks, including a cheese raf coffee, the place also offers a small selection of snacks to go with your order. A great place to keep in mind in case you ever need a pick-me-up on your walk!

The smallest sphinx

You might not know it, but St. Pete is big on sphinxes – mainly, the two ancient ones located on Universitetskaya Embankment. Legend has it that they can grant you wisdom, but you should never look them in the eyes – apparently, they don’t like it. However, the city’s smallest cat-like mythical creature is hard to find: it adorns the helmet of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, whose statue crowns the building of the National Library of Russia.

National Library of Russia (peek the statue at the top). Credit: Dezidor / CC BY 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

National Library of Russia (peek the statue at the top). Credit: Dezidor / CC BY 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The smallest monument

Don’t let its size fool you: Chizhik-Pyzhik, a little bronze bird near Inzhenerny Bridge over the Fontanka River, is one of the most beloved monuments in the city. It is said that the name, part of a nursery rhyme, originated by association with the uniforms of law students who used to walk the nearby streets to class in the 19th-early 20th centuries. The uniforms were colored just like the bird siskin – чиж in Russian. And the pyzhik part doesn’t really mean anything, but creates a fun rhyme that sticks in your memory. Anyway, these days, tourists and locals alike test their prowess by trying to land a coin on the bird’s pedestal – for luck!