Apart from Coursera, which has provided free access to many courses for all students, we advise you to pay attention to the National Platform Open Education. Here you can find a collection of free courses in Russian by the country’s best universities.


An equally interesting set of courses can be found on Lektorium. You can sign up for 40 free tracks and take courses, for example, on blockchain and cryptocurrency, photonics and quantum technology, robotics or survival technology. Moreover, Lektorium’s database has more than 5,000 lectures in Russian: from Computer Science to Ethnolinguistics.


This platform specializes in programming and IT. Until March 31, everyone can pick three free courses from the list –  they mainly cover C++, Python and Java. In order to access them, you need to register, fill out a small survey and then choose the courses you would like to take. In addition to the courses, GeekBrains often offers free webinars in different programming languages, and also publishes articles on digital careers.

Yandex Praktikum

Speaking of programming, Yandex.Praktikum offers the first 20 hours of training on any of the programs for free. Future web developers, analysts and designers can get their training there. It is a great way to try your hand at IT.

Bang Bang Education

Up until April 17, the site provides free access to 46 courses in its design library: practical lessons on modular grids, fonts and UX design, as well as theoretical narratives on design history, contemporary art and digital ethics. Then there are courses specifically for managers: how to manage a team of designers, build a digital career and successfully promote yourself. Registration is all you need to gain access.


Netology has opened a library of mini-courses: these are mainly on soft skills and management, but there are also courses on cyber security, marketing and copywriting.

Khan Academy

If you speak English, we recommend a site that is always free, not just over the epidemic. Khan Academy has courses on various subjects ranging from organic chemistry and astronomy to macroeconomics and philosophy. Programming courses are provided in great numbers as well. There are also several art courses created in partnership with MOMA, MET, Tate, the British Museum and others.

Don’t forget to switch your language to English, so that you discover all the treasures.


Speaking of English. If you are not very attracted to art lectures, marketing or programming, languages are definitely what everyone needs.

Good free programs are offered, for example, by the British Council. You can enroll in the Exploring English: Language and Culture course, which started on March 16.

A rich educational program has been prepared by the BBC: there are courses for different levels – both beginners and advanced. There is also a large amount of teaching and learning material about British culture. All of this is free.

If you are interested in German, you can try courses from the Goethe Institute.


Skillshare is one of the most extensive areas of creative courses – drawing, photography, ceramics, design and more. Skillshare gives all new users two full months free of charge –  it’s enough to try your hand in some new area, for example, to learn how to sculpt from clay, film and edit videos or draw sketches. The only limitation can be language – all courses are in English.

However, Mastera Academy operates in Russian – it’s full of free courses for those who want to open a business: from a coffee shop, bar or bakery to the organization of popular science festivals or opening a bookstore.


To prevent the spreading of the new coronavirus infection and not to put visitors at risk, all open lectures have been switched to online mode. The upside of this situation is that they can now be viewed from anywhere in the world.

The editorial staff of ITMO.NEWS has already made a collection of lectures. Let’s add a couple more sites to this list.

Pryamaya Rech (Direct Speech) has opened access to a huge archive of lectures for a week. Among the speakers are Artemy Troitsky, Dmitry Bykov, Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Ilya Kolmanovsky and others.

Arzamas radio offers free subscription to all its podcasts, lectures and courses. We recommend you to listen to a series of podcasts British Music From choir toHardcore, the art-themed What Did I See That For? or learn about the history of communication in  Gutenberg Will Call. To get a free subscription until April 15, you need to enter the promo code “карантин” on this page.

If you are an incorrigible careerist and two weeks of downtime is completely unacceptable for you, then pay attention to the announcements on There you will find a range of webinars and workshops for product scientists, IT and marketing specialists. Many of the courses are free.

Cinema and TV

While traditional cinemas are closed, online cinemas, on the contrary, are open to everyone.

Kinopoisk and ivi

Kinopoisk gives you access to its film library for 45 days with the “karantin” promo code. The offer is valid for everyone who does not have a running subscription. The library contains more than 7,000 films and series organized in convenient editorial selections. It’s also a good opportunity to watch the movies in English with subtitles. Don’t miss out on to boosting your knowledge of the language!

The online cinema ivi offers a 30-day period for one ruble for new users.


Netflix also has a month-long trial period – enough to see their fantastic documentaries. We recommend the series Explained" by Vox – two seasons of analysis of everything in the world: why monogamy and the institute of marriage appeared, how music affects your brain, whether animals have intelligence and other interesting topics.

Documentary Film Center

For lovers of this genre we recommend the documentary platform. By entering “SYSOEVFM” you can gain a month of free subscription. To activate the code, register on the website and go to “Settings”. The offer is valid until March 22. Here you can find both Russian and foreign documentaries, including those you may have missed in the box office. For example, a funny study by Hermann Vase Why Are We Creative?, Sorokin Trip about a famous writer or Brain, The Second Universe by Julia Kiseleva.

For everyone who greatly misses traveling and other outdoor activities, we recommend the My Planet channel. From March 16, the channel has provided free access to its programs and films through a mobile application.



Alpina Publisher has opened access to 70 e-books. In order to get them, you need to go to the website or download their app, register and add the “GIFT_STAYHOME”  promo code. Books on various topics are available free of charge. We advise you to pay attention to Robert Sapolsky: Who Are We? Genes, Our Body, Society, Michio Kaku: Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Worlds, Holes in Time and the Tenth Dimension and Mark Forsyth: A Short History of Drunkenness: How, Why, Where, and When Humankind Has Gotten Merry from the Stone Age to the Present.

Bookmate provides free, unsubscribed access to Individuum, Popcorn Books, Commonplace, Time (until April 15) publishing houses and the Garage Museum.

LitRes provides free online access to anyone who has a library card of any public library. If you don’t have a card, you can apply for it online in the Vladimir Mayakovsky Central City Public Library.

Storytel is a great choice for audiobook lovers – the service has increased its free period for new subscribers to 30 days. It also has a large collection of podcasts. It is available free of charge from March 17.



Spring has gone wrong, but this is no reason to cancel your preparation for summer. How not to lose physical fitness during your isolation? Exercise at home, of course!

If you are upset that your yoga class has been closed for an indefinite period of time, try one of the most advanced yoga apps, Down Dog – it's free until April 1.

Free training programs are available on Nike Training Club app: here you can test your endurance, strength, mobility and flexibility with a total of 185 programs, including those recorded with sports stars such as Serena Williams and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Virtual museums and online concerts

Google Art Project. Credit:
Google Art Project. Credit:

The shutdown of all museums, theaters and concert halls was a great blow for all art lovers. But there are many opportunities to enjoy cultural entertainment online.


For example, the Hermitage promises to broadcast lectures and events on a daily basis on the museum’s official social networks and at On the same website you can also find the lecture archive. You can also take a stroll through the interiors of the palace by watching the recently released film “A one-take journey through Russia’s iconic Hermitage museum Shot on iPhone 11 Pro”.

Many museums in St. Petersburg have virtual tours: the Russian Museum,The Kunstkamera, Erarta and many others. The full list is available at Kultura.rf.

Of course, the Louvre, The National Gallery, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Salvador Dali Museum and other major museums around the world have their own tours.

Google Art Project has a large collection of digitized paintings in ultra-high quality, with detailed analysis and explanations. Several hundred museums are collaborating with the project, including MOMA, MET, Tate, The National Gallery, Guggenheim Gallery, Van Gogh Museum, Uffizi Gallery and many others.


On March 21-22 the Alexandrinsky Theatre will be holding the premieres of Theodoros Terzopoulos’ performance Mauser in an empty hall with online broadcasting. It will be available on the theaters website, on its group and via the Tricolour Cinema and TVapp. Broadcast will start at 7pm.

By the way, the Alexandrinsky Theatre also has a large archive of lectures – all of them are available on its VK page.

Moscow Art Theatre offers seven free audio performances. These are walk-performances, but only one of them takes place in St. Petersburg. However, as stated by the authors, it is not necessary to walk the route. The performances are available on the theater’s app until March 23.

 Berlin Philharmonic online. Credit:
Berlin Philharmonic online. Credit:


International concert stages and theaters are also actively using online broadcasting opportunities. The Vienna Opera broadcasts every day at 9pm Moscow time, and the recordings are available for 72 hours. Registration is required.

The Metropolitan Opera has launched broadcasts as well. On March 21, you can watch Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti, and on March 22 Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky with Renee Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. The podcast begins at 2.30 in the morning, but it can be accessed within 20 hours on the main page.

The Berlin Philharmonic has opened access to six hundred concerts, which were given over a ten-year period and carefully documented. To view them, you must enter the “BERLINPHIL” promo code after completing your registration on the website.

The Bavarian Opera has also provided free access to its performances and broadcasts. April's playbill is available here.

Translated by Pavel Vorobyev