Unique St Petersburg museums that will make your jaw drop

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1. Museum of Subway: interactive centre of metro history

Get into engine driver’s cabin, see the 1955 trains and learn more about the first subway trains of the city as well as the latest high-tech ones. At the very start you travel back to mid 20th century, as you enter to the ticket office. Here, thanks to high tech multimedia systems and modern audio equipment, the true bustling atmosphere of the subway is created. You may even try to be an engine driver on a simulator! The highlight of the visit is a unique model layout, showing the 1960s wagons moving through the dark tunnels, enter the subway station and go to the depot for overnight. This modern interactive exposition will delight both children and adults.

Location: Ulitsa Odoyevskogo, 29, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia

Website: dosug.metro.spb.ru

2. Museum of Arctic and Antarctic: the spirit of pioneer discoveries

The museum collection includes unique exhibits from Arctic expeditions, including stuffed polar bears and many other inhabitants of both poles. Here you can delve into the history of exploration of the Arctic and Antarctica by Russian researchers.   Take the steps of Russian explorers as they travel through the most severe and fascinating lands on the planet. This museum will be of a special interest for your younger travel companions, and those of you who chases every new issue of National Geographic.

Location: Ulitsa Marata, 24a, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia

Website: www.polarmuseum.ru

3. Grand Maket Rossiya: huge toy for big and small visitors

It is an immense animated, high tech model layout of Russia and its major cities.  Grand Maket Rossiya presents Russia as a great living country. Cars are driving on the roads, trains are going traveling on the tracks, and people are living their normal lives. Here and there you see city lights, the seasons and time of day changes! All these action happens occur right in front of the visitors as they walk through the exhibit. On the model layout you can recognize the Sochi seaport, Moscow Kremlin and Ostankino tower, and beloved St. Petersburg with Peter and Paul Fortress and famous bridges. See the remote corners of Russia without buying a flight ticket. This is the experience not to be missed!

Location: Tsvetochnaya Ulitsa, 16, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia

Website: grandmaket.ru/en

4. Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines: flashback to childhood

Take a journey in time machine to Soviet Union epoch and get more than just a touristic experience through a static museum. Hint: you are actually allowed to play with the antique machines! The Museum is located on Konyushennaya Square near Savior on Blood Cathedral. At the moment it has more than 40 authentic arcade machines from Soviet time. Some of them have historical value and others are pure childhood delights. The museum also hosts a series of cultural events. The museum has a twin in Moscow, check their website for directions.

Location: Konyushennaya Square, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia

Website: www.15kop.ru

5. Museum of micro-miniature art “Russian Levsha”

Can you see this camel caravan in a needle eye? Seems incredible, but it is a handmade piece, that is exhibited in one of the most unusual museums. The Micro-miniature museum belongs to the International Craft Guild of Masters, and is located near the Manezhnaya Square. Levsha is a hero of a Russian folktale. It tells a story about a peasant named Levsha who was such a craftsman that he was able to craft shoes for a dancing flea. The exposition of this museum is absolutely unique because all exhibits are smaller than 1 millimeter. This is something that you will not see anywhere else in the world! You can examine the exhibits only through microscopes. The collection is literally made from gold, silver and platinum dust.  The collection includes the legendary Flea with horse shoes, as well as a collection of state awards set on poppy seeds, miniature cartoon characters and other amusing exhibits.

Location: Italyanskaya Ulitsa, 35, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191023

Website: www.russianmuseums.info/M3113

6. Museum of Political History of Russia

This interactive contemporary museum was founded on October 9, 1919. It presents a collection of more than 90 years of Russian political life exhibits. Some documents date back to the end of the 18th century! The exposition is hosted in 2 architectural monuments of the early 20th century: the former mansions of Matilda Kshesinskaya (ballerina of Mariinsky Theatre in late 19th century), and entrepreneur Vassily Brandt. Besides their striking art-nouveau look, the buildings boast a rich history of life that went on within its walls. Grand Dukes and revolutionaries, stars of the world ballet and notorious writers visited them. Here Anna Pavlova danced, Lenin held his general staff meetings after revolution, and Fyodor Shalyapin performed opera arias.  The museum collection consists of more than 460,000 items and new exhibits are still being added. It reflects the twists and transformations of state structure and political organization of the Empire, through the Union and up to today’s Federation. Soviet propaganda and history of modern Russia is the core of the museum collection.

Location: Ulitsa Kuybysheva, 2-4, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia

Website: www.polithistory.ru/en

7. Planetarium № 1

Recently opened in the former gas-holder “Planetarium № 1” is a record breaking venue. What will make your jaw drop is a dome with a diameter of 37 meters, on which a projection of starry sky is made on. It is the biggest planetarium in the world! In here you really get a 3D experience of the universe, thanks to the construction of a building and modern media technologies. You will see Space in precise details: resolution of images projected on the dome is 256 million pixels! Apart from the space show, visitors can as well visit one of numerous lectures or performances held at the Planetarium.

Location: Obvodny channel embankment, 74а, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia

Website: www.planetarium.one

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