St. Pete museums are more than the Hermitage and the Russian Museum: practically every house has a famous resident, be it a writer, a composer or a philanthropist. Check our routes of hidden museum treasures – if you try your best you would be able to visit them all in a day.
Laconic and light café was named after the nearby Bonch- Bruevich University of Telecommunication nicknamed just Bonch. The menu and interiors are snobbishly ascetic –coffee, desserts, snacks, salads and that's it. They also serve soup of the day and breakfasts in the morning with homemade granola and croissants. The place is not crowded and spacious so start you day here to get the right vibe for the rest of it.
The General Staff Building
The director of Hermitage, Mikhail Piotrovsky can be really proud of this new Museum’s wing as it is a huge leap towards everything contemporary and innovative. Perfectly renovated premises are a forum for modern art and host exhibitions by Russian and overseas artists. It was meant to be provocative since the very beginning, as the first show it hosted was Jake & Dinos Chapman’s The End of Fun that caused quite a fuss. In 2014, the General Staff was home to Manifesta 10 international biennale and was the most visited venue in St Pete.
St Isaac's Cathedral
Modern St Isaac's Cathedral is the fourth church built on the same spot over the centuries - previous ones were destroyed due to various reasons. And then came Monferrand with his project, and a golden dome designed by him can now be seen from almost everywhere in the city. At a first glance (as well as second and so on) the cathedral strikes with its hugeness which is not that obvious from a distance. The most exciting part is going up to the colonnade with a classic view on St Petersburg. Be prepared to stand in a long queue, for people from all over the world line here regardless of the weather or day of the week longing to see the fantastic scenery.
The Nabokov Museum
All Nabokov-lovers will recognize his house at once. The writer was really meticulous describing it in his Other Shores autobiography. A century later a pinkish house by St. Isaac Square stands almost the same: color of the walls and exquisite facade as if you have travelled back to past. The museum now takes the first floor where the dining and living rooms and library have survived. The exhibition is not big but gives this feeling of belonging to the writer’s world and forgetting about now – just close your eyes and imagine young Volodya coming home from gymnasium.
Two-storey paradise for book lovers - not e-books but real paper ones with rustling pages. You can find almost any in The House of Books – on nutrition and meditation, sci-fi and world classics. Some people come here just to read – you can wander for hours along the shelves with Pasternak, Hemingway and Palahniuk, sit on a comfy bench or even take the book you like to the cafe located on the second floor. Stay there for hours and talk literature. This place is a mecca for paperback admirers and those who believe in tactile bond with the books.
Kofe na Kukhne
This small coffee place has two halls with mismatching furniture: some reminds primary school desks, while some is really giant. The menu is really similar to Bolshekofe and Znakomtes, Joe! – great coffee, sophisticated teas, sandwiches and muffins. Right next door you will find the legendary Prodykty bar – don’t get confused between the shot and the milk shake venues.
The F. M. Dostoyevsky Museum
No one has depicted the gloomy yellow-walled St.Petersburg like Fyodor Dostoyevsky in his iconic Crime and Punishment novel. Anyone born in the city knows that Kolomna and Sennaya and dark places to be walked by quickly to avoid meeting Raskolnikov or the pawnbroker. You will get the appropriate mood after visiting the writer's apartment museum, where he lived and worked. The staff is really passionate, so we recommend a guided tour – the collection is not that big but becomes very meaningful when the guides start telling you new facts and anecdotes from the writer’s life not some routine you’ve learnt at school.