St Petersburg is considered as a federal city and it is a very important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. It is also only second to Moscow when it comes to the area covered. Known as one of the most modern cities of Russia, it is Russia’s cultural capital. All of this being said, tourists flood the city all year round. It could get pretty crowded at times, but fun times are almost always guaranteed. However, St Petersburg has more to offer than that. We’ve taken the liberty of compiling these non-touristy things to do in St Petersburg, for you to enjoy on your next trip. Check them out below.
1. Witness the dazzling minishow of the Peacock Clock
The Peacock Clock at the State Hermitage Museum is a masterpiece created by James Cox. It dates back to 1777. The clock is shaped like a peacock with some moving parts. The minishow starts with some chime music and the owl turning its head. Then the peacock’s neck follows. Finally, the roosters will crow at the end. Afterward, the guests can explore the other exhibits in the museum.
State Hermitage Museum
Address: Palace Square, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
Website: State Hermitage Museum
Opening hours: 10:30am - 6pm (closed on Mondays)
Price: 18 - 30 USD
2. Explore the wonders of Rasputin Museum
The supposed unkillable Grigory Rasputin was put to the test multiple times. However, it was only Prince Yusupov who was able to finally end his life. Such a feat was not achieved within easy means. Rasputin has, somehow, survived eating cyanide-laden food, as well as, four gunshots and a beating. What killed him was being dunked in the icy cold river, or so the legend says. Learn more about this phenomenal character at the Rasputin Museum.
Address: embankment river Moyka, 94, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
Website: Yusupov Palace
Opening hours: 10:30am - 6pm (daily)
3. Explore the weirdness of nature at Kunstkamera
Kunstkamera is a museum which boasts of having a vast collection of odd objects and stuff that has been gathered by thousands of scholars and academicians. Of course, all these items were not gathered during one exhibition. It came into fruition after tens, if not hundreds, of excavations. True enough, the collection will not only satisfy your curiosities but will make your skin crawl as well.
Address: University Embankment, 3, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
Opening hours: 11am - 6pm (Closed on Mondays)
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
4. Understand your anatomy and cleanliness better
Russia’s Museum of Hygiene features multiple exhibits dedicated to better people’s understanding of themselves. The exhibits include the human anatomy, infectious diseases, and even bad habits. On the other hand, do be mindful and prepare yourselves for some possible grizzly exhibits, specifically speaking, the exhibit about sexually transmitted diseases.
Museum of Hygiene
Address: 25, Italianskaya Ulitsa
Website: Museum of Hygiene
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10am - 6pm; Sat: 11am - 6pm
Price: 2 USD
5. Explore the whole of Russia without exploring the whole Russia
Despite its name, the Grand Market Rossiya is actually a museum. Just like any other museums, this has a lot of exhibits regarding various themes. However, what’s unique about the Grand Market Rossiya is it allows guests to explore the whole of Russia without actually doing so. It has an 800-square-meter (8611-square-foot) mini replica of the whole of Russia.
Grand Maket Rossiya
Address: Tsvetochnaya Ulitsa, 16, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
Website: Grand Maket Rossiya
Opening hours: 10am - 8pm (daily)
Price: 5 - 8 USD
6. Fascinate yourself with beautiful mosaic art
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
A masterpiece created by Vladimir Lubenko, Mosaic Courtyard is literally what the name states. It is a couple of blocks filled with mosaic art. However, the great thing about these art pieces is that they are completely dazzling and touches the soul. In addition to that, it is not a popular tourist attraction and is considered a hidden gem. That being said, you’re sure to enjoy your time here without fighting for a spot to take a photo or two.
Address: 2/7, Ulitsa Chaykovskogo, 356, St Petersburg, Russia
Website: Mosaic Courtyard
Opening hours: All day
7. Unleash your inner Beatles fanboy/fangirl
John Lennon Street is basically a clever loophole created by Nikolai Vasin, a diehard Beatles fan. It was supposed to be the name of the street, however, officials did not approve the notion. He then used art to paint and create art that is inspired by the band. Other people then followed. Thus, the present John Lennon Street was formed.
John Lennon Street
Address: Pushkinskaya Ulitsa, 10, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
Website: John Lennon Street
Opening hours: 24hrs
Built by Tsar Paul I of Russia, Pavlovsky Park stands with its rich environment and history. Guests are free to wander about. However, they also have the option to experience a luxurious and royal experience; riding a carriage pulled by horses. Guests may roam around the site while comfortably seated.
The Flying Troika: Russia’s Three-Abreast
Duration: 3 hours
Sledding is definitely and undeniably a very fun experience. However, there are still ways it can improve. Take, for example, adding dogs to the equation. Lo and behold, St Petersburg already got you covered. With a few hundred bucks, you can avail sledding while led by dogs. These guys are not the rabid kind, and they were specially trained for such a task.
St. Petersburg Winter Peterhof Tour and Malamute Sledding
Duration: 6 hours
The Russian Vodka Museum features the great history of vodka. There are multiple exhibits with different figureheads, mythical beasts, and sculptures with one thing in common - vodka. Guests are free to avail admission with a tour or admission without a tour. Guests do not need to worry about their thirst for vodka as free tastings are available for different exhibits. Of course, a gift shop is also located in the museum.
Caviar & Vodka Tasting at Russian Vodka Museum
Come and see the wonders of St Petersburg
Being the second largest city in Russia, St Petersburg is filled with wonderful tourist spots and activities. However, it is more than that. There is a lot more that tourists can do here. We’ve already taken the liberty of listing them down for you guys. So, grab that phone/tablet/laptop and schedule your next getaway now.
Editor's note: In light of the 2022 political and military situation in Russia, Trip101 urges you to be apprised of the latest news if you have any urgent plans to travel to Russia. Do note that some bookings and services have been suspended or may not be available at this moment.
Get Trip101 in your inbox