April 20, 2016

Piter's Five Must-Stroll Streets (that are not Nevsky)

Piter's Five Must-Stroll Streets (that are not Nevsky)
(click to expand)

So you have walked all 2.8 miles of St. Petersburg's Nevsky Prospect. You've seen all sorts of beautiful buildings: imperial palaces, art nouveau shopping malls and banks, the old market place, Catholic and Lutheran churches – you name it. But you have only scratched the surface. In fact, most locals tend to avoid Nevsky because it is too touristy and crowded. And if you are looking for the best restaurants and bars, it's time to need to leave Nevsky behind.

And so, here are five must-stroll streets in the Northern Palmyra, once you get off Nevsky (with convenient links to Google Street View, so you can explore the streets virtually too).


Rubinstein Street (Google Street View)

Rubinstein street is the city's “dining heaven.” There is a restaurant, café, bar, or pub in almost ever one of the 40 buildings along this compact street.

If you are up for American food, visit “City Grill” (#4); for Spanish paella, go to Barslona (nope, not Barcelona – get used to it) tapas bar (#25); if you are interested in Jewish cuisine, then Beziker (#40) is your destination. The oldest Irish pub in St. Petersburg, Mollies, is located at #36, just across the street from #23, where Russian-American writer Sergei Dovlatov lived before he emigrated to the US in 1978.

If you are up for a crazy party, don’t miss Poison karaoke bar at #11, where the language for singing is English and all Russian songs are prohibited. Guess that's where the Poison comes in.

The street's architectural gem is Tolstoy House (#15-17), built for Mikhail Tolstoy, a distant relative of the famous writer. Try to sneak into the yard, which has been used as set for many films. [Google Street View] But if you get caught, we had nothing to do with it.


Bolshaya Konyushennaya Street (Google Street View)

Bolshaya Konyushennaya is one of few "green" streets in the city center. It’s perfect for luxury shopping: Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Prada boutiques are at #13 and more world-famous brands are in the DLT department store (#21). You’ll find the Imperial Porcelain Factory shop right across the street from DLT.

If you are interested in looking at the life of Russia's creative youth and hipsters, expore Tsarkhitektor Art Cluster (#9), with its numerous cafes, bars, design and book shops. And don’t miss St. Petersburg's oldest Pushechnaya (donut shop) at #23. It's been there since 1958. [Google Street View]


Bolshaya Morskaya Street (Google Street View)

Bolshaya Morskaya street starts at Palace Square and the General Staff Building, which today houses the Hermitage Museum's modern art collection. Before the Bolshevik Revolution, Bolshaya Morskaya was the city's most fashionable street, as proven by the presence of numerous majestic (former) bank buildings (#3, 5, 15, and 32). Trust us, you've never seen such a fashionable bank.

So it’s no surprise that the Fabergé family, producer of famous jewel-encrusted eggs for the Russian Tsars, had their shop and workshop at #24.

For those interested in the arts, visit Rosphoto Photography Center (#37), or cross the street to the former building of The Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, where local artists are exhibited (#38). Literature lovers should pop into the Vladimir Nabokov Museum; he was born in #47. [Google Street View]


Kamennoostrovsky Street (Google Street View)

Kamennoostrovsky prospect offers many examples of art nouveau architecture, which boomed under Tsar Nicholas II. The street stretches 2.1 miles, but the most beautiful part is located between subway stations Gorkovskaya and Petrogradskaya (on the blue line).

Have a cup of coffee at the café of Lenfilm Studio (#10), which was the Soviet Union's second largest film studio (after Mosfilm). Then admire Austrian Square with its fairytale towers and artistic mansards (starts at #13). For a history lesson, visit the memorial flat of Sergei Kirov (#26-28), the party boss whose murder marked the beginning of Stalin-era Terror.

When you arrive at Leo Tolstoy Square, you can admire the “House with Towers” (#35), which looks rather like a medieval castle, or you can turn left and explore Bolshoi Prospect on the Petrograd side – one of the city's best luxury shopping streets. [Google Street View]


6 Liniya (Google Street View)

Lines 6 and 7 on Vasilyevsky Island are partly blocked off pedestrian areas. The area is a canal that was supposed to have been built in the eighteenth century, but never made it past the blueprints. The closest subway station, Vasileostrovskaya, is due to reopen in June, 2016, but if your travel takes you to the island before that, you can make your way there via the Sportivnaya station as well (purple line).

Make a stop near the monument to “konka” – the horse-drawn trams that appeared in St. Petersburg in 1863 (at the crossing of Line 6 and Sredny prospect). If you would like to try local cakes, visit Sever-Metropol bakery (#25).

Other attractions along this street are the Novy Museum of Modern Art (#29), the Monument to Vasily (Peter the Great's main engineer and artilleryman), St. Andrew’s cathedral (#11) and Andreyevsky market (#9), which has decent souvenir shop inside. Those who would like to feel the atmosphere of prerevolutionary St. Petersburg, should visit the restored Doctor Poehl pharmacy (#16-18). [Google Street View]

Not enough walking for you? Need more? Head over to the Hermitage and stroll its miles of exhibits. Or you can always do Nevsky again in the opposite direction. Whichever way you go, Piter is always bound to give you something new.

You Might Also Like

Leningrad Region
  • March 15, 2016

Leningrad Region

Alexander Solo is documenting "monotowns" in Russia. He shows us a couple in Leningrad Region, where he lives.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567