In splendid Imperial St Petersburg tourists are usually tend to follow wider and more spectacular avenues rather than small semidark lanes. But those little streets nestled in between vast avenues can be literraly a treasure box, hiding many sights worth to be admired. We recommend you to pin these streets on your travel map. May be from here you’ll start the most unusual city exploration ever)
1. John Lennon Street
This street cannot be found on the maps, though for the fans of The Beatles it is not a secret where to look for it. If you get a chance to visit art centre Pushkinskaya 10, the oldest street art point in our city, you will find it behind two doors. An immortal Yello Submarine will show you the way.
2. Malaya Sadovaya street
From the first glance Malaya Sadovaya seems to be just another cozy walking street with coffee shops and European charm street lamps. Malaya Sadovaya deserved its popularity among youngsters, street musician and dancers and tourists for a reason. The charm and spirit of old quiet European cities with cobbled streets and intricate facades is definitely there. It offers stunning view to the Alexandrinsky Theatre and Catherine the Great monument that opens from the back end of the street.
And if you turn with your back to Alexandrinskiy theatre at the very start of the street, you will see two cat statues, nestled on the 1st floor moulding. Make a wish and drop a coin, so that it falls and stays on the moulding. If you managed that, the wish will come true. If you didn’t just try again! ) Another monument that draws tourists’ attention here is Bronze Photographer. It was dedicated to the great St Petersburg photographer of XIX-XX Karl Karlovich Bulla, who is often referred to as the father of Russian photo-reporting.
In one of the courtyards you may find a fairy tale characters: perfect gateaway if you are strolling with kids
This street is not frequented by tourists as it’s situated 5 minutes away from Nevsky, while locals truly love for its quietness and coziness. Apart from being a walking street, it encaves some very curious items of art and architecture. This street is actually a prolongation of Bolshaya Moskovskaya Street located near Vladimirskaya and Dostoevskaya metro stations. Start you walk from the subway station, pass by F.M. Dostoevsky monument and be attentive from now on: miracles are happening on every corner here.
In the 18th century it was populated with clerks from Cabinet of his Imperial Majesty. After the October revolution of 1917 it was renamed in honor of the Bolsheviks newspaper Pravda. Nowadays the street boasts not only canonical architecture of XVII century but some masterpieces by modern artists. For instance, sculptures of “Three Angels” commemorate three churches of the district that had been destroyed in the early Soviet Union period. Another unconventional sculpture called “A Blind Man” is located nearby. The only feeling that it evokes is hopelessness.
Near St Petersburg State University of film and television you will definitely notice another curious sculpture called “Propagandist” or “Film Director” (the second one seems more reasonable taking into account its location across cinema and television institution building).
The University’s building is worth mentioning itself as it used to host Educational Council of The Most Holy Governing Synod. We can guess it now by the building’s peculiar architecture and decorative frescoes.
4. Zodchego Rossi Street
A small lane that hides behind Alexandrinsky State Drama Theatre is actually a masterpiece of architecture. It was built in precise proportions. Its width is equal to the height of its buildings (22 meters), and the length is 10 times greater than the width (220 meters). If you love taking symmetric serene pictures, this is a must see place for you! It is an absolute adoration for an architect’s eye.
5. Malaya Konyushennaya Street
Malaya Konyushennaya Street had become the first pedestrian street of St. Petersburg. It is a street with literature related past and bright and festive present. Here you may visit Mikhail Zoshchenko’s museum apartment or take part in one of numerous literature festivals and book fairs. It is also remarkable for amazing view to Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan and some noteworthy monuments. Closer to Nevsky there is a monument to N. Gogol (Russian writer of Ukranian origin) and on the opposite end a monument to the St. Petersburg policeman.
In the middle of the street you may find unique clock which show not only time, but atmospheric pressure and temperature as well.
6, 7, 8. Rubinstein, Belinskogo & Dumskaya Streets: eat out & party in the city
These three sisters are not twins, but they have quite a lot in common. You come here for a certain type of bread and circuses. All three are famous for its bubbly atmosphere and its tenants: restaurants, lounges and bars.
Rubinstein is widely considered to be the main restaurant street of the city. It starts on famous five corners crossroads and ends on Nevsky. Here you will find cuisine from all over the globe for any taste and wallet. Among long-livers Wine Cabinet, Happiness na Rubinsteina, Fartuk and Geografia are definitely worth visiting. All places are completely different by atmosphere. If you feel like eating and partying, go for BarSlona (БАРСЛОНА) or Tesla Bar: the former meets you with cosmopolitan relaxed spirit; the latter welcomes you with a male host wearing desperate skinnies and a steampunk sinister interior. Once you feel like getting harder, get down to rock karaoke Poison: nobody got out from there alive yet. And if you want to get really fancy, high-flown Chinese and Pan-Asian restaurant Tse Fung is waiting for you with its posh velvet couches and crystal glasses. By the way, the holding possessing it also manages Buddha Bar in St Petersburg. I assume, now you understand what we mean by saying “fancy”. By the way, the street is famous not only for culinary delights. Here famous Tolstoy House is is located, which was designed by Fyodor Lidval in the “Northern Modern” style. The street left its mark in the literature as well thanks to world known Russian writer and dissident of late Soviet Union time Sergey Dovlatov. His monument was recently installed here.
Belinskogo acquired fame of a main competitor to Rubinstein, though it’s much shorter and simply cannot accommodate a lot of lounges. But the ones that it accommodates are 100% worth going to. Farsh & Bochka, Pivorama and Tolstiy Fraer are perfect for male companies who love to eat a lot of meat accompanied by lots of beers as well. Pryanosti I Radosti suites like no other for casual lunches and cozy dinners with friends and family. PINCH tapas bar is made for cosmopolitan and open to discussions bohemia and it serves intricate cocktails and simple snacks, while The Hat bar is a delight to pure esthetes and jazz lovers. Here they do jazz improvisations and real jams that literally make the audience take off.
And finally the oldest party Mecca and the craziest street in St Petersburg is Dumskaya. Here you only party hard, other types of partying are not accepted. Among the oldest and the legendary ones pay your tribute to Fidel, Dacha and Belgrade. These places are extremely small and they get really busy on Friday and Saturday. We will not be telling you what to do there; you just have to experience it yourself. More traditional type of nightlife experience is served in Soul Kitchen, Ruki Vverkh and Lomonosov Bar. These are small nightclubs located in former residential buildings, so to get from one dance floor to another you’ll have to climb narrow stairs. Seems like bartenders are working here from the very opening and getting inside is like arriving to cheerful and friendly country or to your friend’s birthday party. Even bigger and newer are Nebar, SSSR and Resident, though they are not as much fun as good old flat-clubs. It is also worth trying to finish your party-hard experience with shaverma (St Petersburg variety of kebab). The fast food points are open all night to keep hungry and tipsy folks alive till the first train departs from Gostiny Dvor metro station.