St Petersburg & Russia

Hermitage Tips

Things to Do!

Tip 1

Light a candle at a Russian Orthodox church service (standing!) at St Nicholas’s church or St Isaac’s Cathedral. Good chance the experience will move you to tears.

Tip 2

If the snow is still on the ground (usually until well into April!) take a sleigh ride in the tsar’s park at Pavlovsk and go for a visit to the palace. Is it art or kitsch; is the restoration beautiful or too beautiful? Then try the massive wooden slide at Podvorye Restaurant and lunch or dine there, like Putin did for his birthday recently.

Pavlovsk, Revoluzhi ulitsa 20, Pavlovsk
www.pavlovskmuseum.ru

Tip 3

Run amid the hundreds of fountains glistening in the sun at Peterhof and look for the tsars’ delightful and highly desirable country houses at the back of the park - with their breathtaking view of the adjacent Gulf of Finland.

Peterhof (Petrodvorets), Razvodnaya ulitsa 2, Peterhof
www.peterhofmuseum.ru

Tip 4

Shop!

Score cheap and cheerful souvenirs at the back of Saviours Cathedral with its typical onion domes (and take a look around the building while you’re there!)

Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ / Our Saviour on the Blood, Naberezhnaya Kanala Griboedova

For expensive labels (or window shopping and to watch nouveau riche Russians spending money): Nevski Prospekt:

Dom Knigi

In the old Singer building on Nevski Prospekt, opposite Kazan Cathedral, is Dom Knigi, Home of the Book, St Petersburg’s version of Scheltema or Donner. Anyone who remembers it from the Soviet period is in for a surprise. In those days you had to ask to view a book, from a selection of about a hundred; these days the shop is full to bursting. As you’d expect in a department store: good coffee and delicious cake.

Nevski Prospekt 28 (Gostiny Dvor/Nevski Prospekt station)

Gostiny Dvor

Gostiny Dvor is still magnificent, even if only for its immense size. A department store, but with an extraordinary lay-out. Originally it was a collection of small shops, and this is still obvious in the design. Today the building is a combination of department store and mall. And you can still find good vodka, caviar and matrioshkas.

Nevski Prospekt 35 (Gostiny Dvor/Nevski Prospekt station)

Kuznetshny Rynok

Kuznetshny Rynok is exceptional: a covered food market. Superb selections of vegetables, fruit, honey, berries and mushrooms. All excellent quality. And to think that it was just as good in the early 1990s, when there was next to nothing in the shops.

Kuznetshny Pereulok 3 (Vladimirskaya/Dostoevskaya station)

Tip 5

If the weather’s nice, take a boat on St Petersburg’s canals, check out the similarities and differences with Amsterdam.

Tip 6

Take a tour of Mariinski Theatre. Wander around the costume rooms and view the gigantic attic in the studio.

Mariinski Theatre and Concert Hall, Teatralnaya Ploshchad 1 / Dekabristov ulitsa 37
www.mariinsky.ru

Tip 7

See a football match, if Zenit are playing at home! Since Gazprom began pumping millions into the team, this has been a leading side. Thanks also to Dick Advocaat. League champions, UEFA Cup winners. The move from the over-large Kirov Stadium to the rather more cosy Petrovski Stadium was a positive change. Though many of the star players move on to bigger clubs, a game at Zenit is always a challenge.

Petrovski Stadium, Petrovski Ostrov d. 2 (Sportivnaya station)
www.fc-zenit.ru

Tip 8

Check out the latest tips on Swetlana’s St Peter’s Blog

Opening hours

Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed on 25 December 2014 and 27 April 2015
Open on 1 January 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

© State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

The Hermitage Amsterdam is located on Amstel 51, Amsterdam

Photo Janiek Dam

More information:
+31 (0)20 530 74 88

More information online ticketing:
+31 (0)20 530 87 55