Carusel Tours
24 September 2021

Where to Stay in St. Petersburg: Complete Guide to Central Neighbourhoods

Ultimate Accommodation Guide to St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg has a very large historical centre, picturesquely scattered across many islands of the city. And each neighbourhood has its distinct atmosphere and flavour.

Depending on where you are going to stay, you might get a totally different impression from our city, especially if you come to St. Petersburg just for a couple of days (which is better than nothing, but definitely not enough). So, please, let me help you choose the neighbourhood of St. Petersburg for your stay with all the responsibility!

But, first…
Islands of St. Petersburg, Russia
How many islands do we have in St. Petersburg?

The city was founded on several large islands, that by the way had already been inhabited, some of them had Russian names thanks to the settlers from the Republic of Veliky Novgorod, the others – Finnish, as the majority of local population was Finno-Ugrian.

During construction and melioration of the city some of these islands were divided by canals into dozens of smaller islands, and most of them got new names. Later, as the city grew, some canals and river tributaries were filled back with earth and the number of smaller islands decreased.

So, now it may be hard for us locals even to tell which island we stay on when we move along the southern bank of the Neva river - we simply think of it as "the mainland"! In fact, most of us only differentiate Islands of Petrogradskaya side, Vasilievsky Island (and we often unite it with adjusting islands that now form its parts) and small recreational islands – Summer Garden, New Holland and Yelagin Island.

And we don't know the exact number of islands in our city – anywhere from 35 to 100, depending on how you count them!
Golden Triangle, most prestigious residential area in St. Petersburg
Golden Triangle
Metro Stations: Gostiny Dvor/Nevsky Prospect

This name was invented by the realtors in the 1990-s to mark the most prestigious area of the city. Why triangle? Because if you look at the map, you will see that this area really looks like a triangle. It is one of my favourite zones for a walk. Golden Triangle includes some of the most beautiful architectural ensembles of central St. Petersburg, its main museums and parks.
Summer Garden
Top Attractions
Winter Palace and other buildings of the State Hermitage Museum

Palace Square

Museum of Alexander Pushkin in the House where he died after the duel

Field of Mars

Summer Garden, Michailovsky Garden and Palace, St. Michael Castle (all of them belong to the Russian Museum)

Arts Square

Fabergé Museum
Despite having the most famous touristic sights of the city, Golden Triangle is much quieter, than other parts of our historical centre. On Moika River Embankment next to the Palace Square some prominent actors, politicians and businessmen live next to communal flat dwellers, so you won't see only rich people there.

It is a privilege to live a step away from the Winter Palace and this area is much cleaner and in a better condition than other old residential districts of the city, so those who own rooms in communal flats or rent them, are not in a hurry to change their address.

I must say, that in general the locals in this area, including communal apartment dwellers, seem to be very educated, artistic and interesting to talk to, so you might enjoy a very nice conversation with them randomly!
Cycling on the ice of Moika River in winter
As for now, around a million of St. Petersburgers live in kommunalkas - communal apartments. This is one fifth of the population of the city!

The majority of communal apartments are situated in the city centre. These are the apartments where a person, a couple or even a family typically has one room and shares kitchen, bathroom and toilet with other dwellers.

The difference with western style flat shares is that in St. Petersburg people often own these rooms, not only rent them. Communal flats are the heritage of the Soviet past and the war. Even though the local government has special programs for the resettlement of communal apartments, in fact they are very hard to resettle! On the other hand, in some communal flats you can still find bathrooms, stoves, fireplaces and pieces of furniture from the imperial past, and it may be interesting to visit them!
In this area, you will see typical St. Petersburg backyards with yellow buildings, palaces of the nobility, Art Nouveau apartment blocks and even constructivist buildings.

Area along Moika River and Millionnaya Street is particularly peaceful and it is nice to stay there. Apart from Moika Kempinski 5* and Belmond Hotel Europe 5*, there is less expensive, but still upper-class category Hotel Pushka Inn 4*, several more budget options and quite a few apartments for short-term and long-term rent.

We can negotiate good rates for above mentioned hotels for you
Cortyard of Pushkin Museum on Moika
Tip: Check backyards along Moika River – the yard of Alexander Pushkin Museum (12 Moika River Embankment), open in working hours of the museum, a cozy backyard with residential apartments on the same side of the street that will follow next (one of its gates is normally open) or pass through the Yards of Capella, that start from the beautiful building of St. Petersburg State Academic Capella right in front of the Pevchesky Bridge (20 Moika River Embankment) and end at Bolshaya Konyshennaya Street.

I always pass through Capella Yards when I walk from the Hermitage to Metro Stations on Nevsky Prospect, as Nevsky itself is too noisy. Have a look at old wooden boxes underneath some windows – these are 19th century "refrigerators" – people stored products in them during the cold months before the real refrigerators were invented. Some apartment dwellers still use them, if they don't have enough space in their fridge.

St. Isaac Cathedral
Around St. Isaac's Square, Bolshaya and Malaya Morskaya Streets
Metro Station: Admiralteyskaya

The Golden Dome of St. Isaac´s is one of the dominants of St. Petersburg and it could have been seen from as far as Peterhof, Oranienbaum and Kronstadt on the south and Northern outskirts of the city up until 1990-s. Now with the massive number of high rise residential blocks it is no longer possible, but you can still see it from most parts of St. Petersburg's centre.
The area near St. Isaac´s Square has the greatest number of 5 star hotels of the city, including two historic ones –5* Astoria Hotel, where Hitler arrogantly planned to stay during his Victory Parade, which fortunately never happened, and the adjacent building of Angleterre Hotel (expensive 4*) where Russian poet Sergey Esenin was found dead.
Astoria Hotel in St. Petersburg
Neo-classical building of Astoria with Art Nouveau details was designed by Fyodor Lidval, and his style in our city is very recognisable.

Read more about Lidval in our articles about Nordic Architecture in St. Petersburg and Nobel Family in St. Petersburg.
Four Seasons Lion Palace in St. Petersburg
5* Four Seasons Lion Palace is situated nearby in the Former Mansion of Count Lobanov-Rostovsky, also known as "the House with Lions", it was designed by the main architect of St. Isaac´s, Auguste Monferrand. The palace, however, was radically rebuilt for the hotel, leaving not many historical features inside.

On the opposite side of the square, on the Moika River Embankment and next to the Mariinsky Palace with local government you will find very trendy Lotte Hotel 5*, opened not long time ago, but very popular already.

In the same area there are also Sofitel 5* and Renaissance Baltic Hotel (expensive 4*).

Let us know if you want us to negotiate good rates for you in all these hotels.
Top Attractions
St. Isaac's and its Colonnade

Vladimir Nabokov's Museum

National Romantic Building of Rosfoto, where exhibitions of various photographers take place (get inside to see the state-of-art fireplaces as in our photos above)

Admiralty (not possible to visit inside)

Bronze Horseman

Manege of St. Petersburg, the most popular exhibition venue of St. Petersburg
There are not many residential blocks in the area, and former communal flats in the backyards of the neighbourhoods are being replaced by offices and restaurants. Before the revolution, it was a very prestigious area, where only very rich people, mostly the nobility, were able to live.

There on Bolshaya Morskaya, 47 you will find the Former House of Vladimir Nabokov, where he lived before the immigration - little boy Volodya came from a very noble and wealthy family. Now it is the museum, devoted to the famous writer.

And the Neo-Gothic Building on Bolshaya Morskaya, 24, belonged to Carl Fabergé, the most prominent jeweller of Imperial Russia. The main shop of Fabergé and the workshops of his masters were also situated in this building, now it is a business centre and you can see some authentic jewellery stands from Fabergé's Epoch on the ground floor of the building.

At the moment, there are several apartments for rent and mini-hotels in the area, that will suit various budgets
St. Nicholas Cathedral and Kryukov Canal in Kolomna St. Petersburg
Metro Stations: Sennaya, Admiralteyskaya (20-25 minute walk)

To me Kolomna is one of the most charming neighbourhoods of St. Petersburg. Maybe, it is because I was born there, but I definitely feel its magical spirit, mixed with its maritime past, theatrical and music traditions, and relative remoteness from the bustle of Nevsky. It is a big neighbourhood, that has a lot of rivers, canals and bridges, all stages of Mariinsky Theatre, Conservatory, New Holland and the cranes of the Admiralty Shipyards in the background!

If you stay in Kolomna, it will take you around half an hour to walk to the main avenue of the city and less – to get to Vasilievsky Island or St. Isaac's Square.

Kolomna has some of the addresses of Alexander Pushkin and there the characters from the White Nights by Dostoevsky walked along its canals during the most romantic season of the year!
New Holland Island
Kolomna started as the area allocated for Admiralty shipyards, and sailors and dockland workers from various countries settled down there. The stunning blue St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, one of the oldest in the city, reminds us about that time. It was one of very few functioning cathedrals in the city during the Communist Era.

In order to facilitate the ship building process and make the area less marshy, several canals were dug there, Kryukov canal and some parts of Admiralty canals survived to our day. They surround an artificial island of New Holland, where the former warehouses of the Admiralty of the 18th century and absolutely round military prison were now turned into a trendy recreational area with a lawn and trees, shops, cafes and a lot of other interesting venues, that are being open every year (as it is still in the process of reconstruction).

Read our Guide to New Holland

This reconstruction is definitely a miracle and it turned the former half-neglected island into one of the must-sees of St. Petersburg! It made Kolomna Neighbourhood more well-known to city visitors and thanks to that a lot of new options for accommodation appeared there.
Kolomna mostly has 3-4 star hotels and various apartments for rent, and the prices for accommodation there are more affordable when in the Golden Triangle or near St. Isaac's. The oldest hotel in the area is Marriott Courtyard Pushkin 4* (as I said, our famous poet used to live nearby at some point) and there is Holiday Inn 4*, Alexander House 4* and some other more budget hotels in and around historical Nikolsky Market of the 18th century.

They are quite popular among musicians, ballet and opera companies who come to participate in festivals, organised by Mariinsky Theatre, located nearby, therefore during the dates of the festivals it may be harder to find accommodation in the area.
Yusupov Palace on Moika River
Top Attractions
New Holland Island

Mariinsky Theatre

St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral and "7 Bridges" nearby

Choral Synagogue

Yusupov Palace

House of Music in the Palace of Grand Duke Aleksey Romanov
Kolomna is also a very Jewish area – Jews historically settled down there and many families with Jewish roots continue to do that, among them there are musicians working in nearby Conservatory or Mariinsky Theatre.

On the corner of Lermontovsky Avenue with Decembrists Street, one stone throw from the stages of Mariinsky there is a beautiful building of Choral Synagogue, hidden behind the children's hospital and the Soviet Glass Box of the "House of Household".

See our Jewish Heritage Tour
Old Kalinkin Bridge Fontanka River St. Petersburg
At the times of Pushkin and Dostoevsky Kolomna was considered to be quite far away from the city centre, but today it is one of the areas of the city centre. What still helps Kolomna to live up to its reputation of "a remote neighbourhood" is the lack of metro station – it turned out that building a metro in this area is extremely difficult due to ground waters.

Therefore, do not be surprised to see a lot of scaffoldings around Theatre Square - the whole area turned into a construction site in recent years –Teatralnaya Station is being built, but at the moment no one understands when it will be finished! In the meantime, getting to the main theatre of the city, Mariinsky, during rush hour is the real problem, but not if you stay nearby! So, for opera and ballet lovers Kolomna is the perfect location for accommodation in St. Petersburg.

Kolomna still has a lot of communal flats, where the conservatory students and young artists of Mariinsky share accommodation with all other types of locals and newcomers.
Tourist Info Center on Sennaya St. Petersburg
Sennaya (Haymarket Square)
Metro Station: Sennaya/Sadovaya/Spasskaya

Sennaya literally means Haymarket and it seems that squares with the same name existed in many European cities. It is located close to the central part of Nevsky Prospect and not far from major historical sights of the city. In the 19th century Sennaya Square and all adjacent areas accommodated many various markets – there locals were buying pretty much everything, from hay for horses (have a look at the old horse drinking fountain on our photo) to fresh food, fish and clothes.
old horse drinking fountain on Sennaya St. Petersburg Russia
If you walk from Sennaya to Nevsky, it will smoothly turn into the rows of Apraksin Yard, another historical merchant galleries and open-air market with less expensive goods, now in a very bad condition and waiting for the reconstruction, and Gostiny Dvor, the main Merchant's Yard of the city and the most expensive one, on the opposite side.
Apraksin and Gostiny Merchant Yards in St. Petersburg
Sennaya Square and Griboyedov Channel around it are described in detail by F. Dostoevsky in his Crime and Punishment, the action of the novel developed precisely in this area. If you read the novel, you can already guess that this was a poor neighbourhood where people of various classes (but not the nobility or rich people) lived in humble conditions – students, those who worked in the markets, artisans, artists and prostitutes.

Dirty lanes of notorious Vyazemskaya Lavra with cheap inns, banyas and brothels was located right behind Sennaya Square, up to the corner of present-day Sadovaya Street with Moskovsky Avenue, and one lane (Pereulok Brinko) actually survived, if you walk past it and read signs in Russian, you will see, that some of these institutions function there in the present time too.

See our Crime and Punishment Tour
Griboyedov Canal Sennaya District
Today Sennaya Square looks empty and unattractive without market and its main cathedral, demolished during Khrushchev's time, but you can still feel its spirit and the area continues to be very populated.

It has a metro station with access to 3 lines of St. Petersburg's metro and it is convenient for travelling around the city, you can also get from Sennaya to many other parts of historical centre by foot.
The area around Griboyedov Channel looks more picturesque and Dostoevsky Fans love strolling around it, counting Raskolnikov's steps and checking out the places, mentioned in the novel.

It is getting more and more trendy too thanks to the gentrification, and you will find plenty of eco-shops and cafes with various cuisines there. There are few small 3 and 4* hotels in the area, such as Ambassador Hotel (4*) or 3* Gutenberg Hotel in the new hipster cluster on Grazhdanskaya Street, right in the area where Dostoevsky himself lived.
Trinity Cathedral St. Petersburg
Around Trinity Cathedral
Metro Stations: Technologicheskiy Institut, Baltiyskaya

Trinity Cathedral with grand blue dome with golden stars is seen from afar and in my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful cathedrals of St. Petersburg. In this cathedral Dostoevsky married his second wife Anna, who helped him finish many of his great works.

The cathedral belonged to the Izmailovsky Regiment, which was located nearby – most present-day Krasnoarmeyskaya Streets (Soviet replacement of Izmailovskaya and other pre-revolutionary names) housed the regiment. Former barracks of the regiment after the revolution were turned into communal flats.
Eclectic Residential Building in St. Petersburg. House with Knights
The city centre was surrounded by various regiments from all sides and today you can see former stone barracks in many areas of the city.
This neighbourhood is rather humble and not very well-known among city visitors, but it has certain charm, one really big hotel from Soviet era, Azimut 4*, and several metro stations nearby. If you choose to stay in this area, you may save on accommodation. A lot of students choose to live there, as there are several universities, such as the one that gave the name to Technologichsky Institut Station, not far from it.
Rubinsteina Ulitsa
5 Corners and Rubinsteina Street, Vladimirskaya Square
Metro Stations – Vladimirskaya/Dostoyevskaya, Mayakovskaya, Pushkinskaya/Zvenigorodskaya

Today it is a very popular area among tourists, mainly because of the tiny Rubinsteina Street, where a lot of bars and cafes are situated. Moskovsky Railway Station where the trains from Moscow arrive, and Nevsky Prospect are also nearby. From this area, you can explore many top attractions of the city by foot and you won't have a problem of finding a place to eat late at night. The downside of the neighbourhood is that it may be too noisy.
Vladimirskaya Church St. Petersburg
5 corners is the informal name of the crossroads of 4 streets - Zagorodny Avenue, Rubinstein, Lomonosova and Razyezzhaya Streets – its dominant is Ioffe House or House with Belltower, that had the first car shop of the city on the ground floor. Presently it has the first and extremely popular Israeli street food bar and several other restaurants.

Beautiful and recently restored Vladimirskaya Church (or Cathedral as we call it in Russian) with golden domes is one of the oldest in the area, it was built near the market, which did not survive to our day, but, thanks God, the church did. Dostoevsky's last apartment in St. Petersburg and currently his museum is located nearby.
Art Nouveau Vitebsky Station
Top Attractions
Vladimirskaya Church

Dostoevsky Museum and Memorial Flat

Rimsky-Korsakov Museum and Memorial Flat

Rasputin's Last Flat

Art Nouveau Vitebsky Railway Station
There are several 3 and 4* hotels in the area, Radisson Royal 5* on Nevsky, and numerous mini-hotels, hostels and apartments for rent.

In the very heart of the district you will find the luxurious Hermitage Hotel 5*, the official hotel of the Hermitage Museum. It is located on Pravdy Street (which translates as the Street of Truth), that seems to be too shady, modest and Dostoevsky-like for such a hotel and I can't help surprising why they chose this location for it.

And if you walk further along Pravdy Street or Zagorodny Avenue in the direction of Vitebsky Railway Station (one of the most beautiful in the city), you will find famous Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov's memorial flat, the place of the mock execution of Dostoevsky and the end of Gorokhovaya Street, where the last apartment of Grigory Rasputin is located, that you can visit now with the tour.

Let us know if you want to get special rates for Radisson Royal 5* or other hotels in the area.
Cat on the Window in St. Petersburg old house
Around Moskovsky Railway Station
Metro Stations – Ploshchad Vosstaniya/Mayakovskaya, Ligovskiy Prospect

You won't be surprised if I tell you that the areas near the main railway stations of the city are usually the least attractive ones. St. Petersburg is no exception. Nevertheless, there are plenty of options for accommodation on Ligovsky Avenue, that end of Nevsky Prospect that is closer to the Moskovsky Station and numerous streets nearby.
In the vicinity of the station you will find Nevsky Park Inn on Goncharnaya-Nevsky (modest 4*), Crown Plaza 4* and Ibis 3* on Ligovsky, as well as plenty smaller hotels and apartments.

The area near Zhukovskogo, Vosstaniya, Mayakovskogo and Nekrasova Street is also close to the railway station (a 10-15-min walk), but it is quieter and more beautiful to live in. You will find there a lot of trendy bars, restaurants and shops and if you want to find accommodation near Moskovsky Station, I would recommend you to stay either in this area, or near Rubinsteina Street.
Mayakovsky Street in St. Petersburg
Poet Vladimir Mayakovsky used to spend a lot of time in the area – he lived first in the hotel on Pushkinskaya Street, 20 and later on the street that now bears his name (Mayakovskogo, 52) - only to be near the love of his life and his muse Lilia Brik, who rented an apartment with her husband on Zhukovskogo Street, 7.
In 1918 and later, Mayakovsky even lived with them in the same flat, in a love affair of three, that was not uncommon for the first years after the revolution.

Annenkirche in St. Petersburg Kirochnaya Street
Metro Station – Chernyshevskaya

Streets near Tavrichesky Garden became very aristocratic in the second half of the 19th century – from that epoch you can see a big number of lavishly decorated houses on Tchaikovskogo and Furshtadskaya streets, that look more like palaces. There some of the consulates of foreign countries are currently situated.

A short, but wide Solyanoy Pereulok with a splendid building of Stieglitz Academy of Applied Arts, Panteleymonov Church and recreational zones where everyone could take a break or enjoy their lunch outside looks particularly beautiful. Panteleymonov Church also faces Pestelya Street and in the middle of the same street you will see domes of the Transfiguration Cathedral, where services were held even during the Soviet era.

In one of the rooms of a communal flat in a beautiful house in oriental style on the corner of Pestelya and Liteyny Avenue lived Joseph Brodsky. Now 4 out of 5 rooms of this flat were turned into Brodsky Museum and expositional space, the fifth room still belongs to an old lady, who does not want to move out for any money.
Transfiguration Cathedral St. Petersburg
In that once upper-class neighbourhood, Dostoevsky placed the characters of his novel Idiot. And now it is time to stop writing about Dostoevsky and talk about influential Russians of our time instead!

Russian president Vladimir Putin grew up in a room of a communal flat on Baskov Pereulok, 12. As the bathrooms in most old houses in the Soviet era were not functioning properly, locals were using public bathhouses every week. Putin went to banyas on nearby Nekrasova Street. His first school was situated on Baskov Pereulok, 8 and he was baptised in the Transfiguration Cathedral. Putin's first major place of work is also located in the area – currently the local headquarters of Federal Security Service on Liteyny, 4.
Summer Palace of Peter the Great
Top Attractions
Summer Garden

Museum of Stieglitz Academy of Applied Arts

Transfiguration Cathedral

Panteleymon Church

Tavrichesky Garden

Brodsky Memorial Flat

K Gallery
If you stay in Chernyshevskaya neighbourhood, you will be able to walk to Summer Garden and Field of Mars in around 10-15 minutes, and the Russian Museum, the Hermitage, Nevsky and Peter and Paul Fortress are all in the walking distance.

To some of the historic sights it would even be easier to get by foot, as the red line of Metro, where Chernyshevskaya station is situated, is not convenient if you want to get to Petrogradskaya Side, for instance, and if you take a bus or taxi, you might waste a lot of time on traffic. On the other hand, all major railway stations of the city are situated on the red line and Moskovsky Station is very close.
There are quite a few mini hotels in the area, and plenty of apartments for rent. The largest chain hotels are Radisson Sonya 4* (I have to mention Dostoevsky again, because its interior is a tribute to Crime and Punishment) and Indigo 4*, both set door to door on Chaikovskogo street.

Contact us for special rates for Radisson Sonya and other hotels in the area.

A lot of really trendy restaurants have been opened in this neighbourhood recently. Belinskogo Street with some live jazz venues and cafes, and Fontanka River Embankment with Golitsyn Loft and some popular galleries are all situated within a walking distance.

And now let us cross the Neva River to explore two oldest parts of the city, both situated on larger islands to the north of the Winter Palace !
Petrogradskaya Storona and Peter and Paul Fortress
Petrogradskaya Side
Metro Stations – Petrogradskaya, Gorkovskaya, Sportivnaya, Chkalovskaya
For Krestovsky Island – Krestovsky Island and Zenit

St. Petersburg, like most other cities, started from a fortress. That is Peter and Paul Fortress on little Zayachy (literally hare) Island on Pettrogrdskaya Side. So, as you can guess, the oldest wooden houses of the city appeared nearby, in the vicinity of the fortress.

None, apart from the wooden house of Peter the Great, situated in the yards of a Brezhnev-Style building on the opposite side of the fortress, survived, but the hectic street layout, non-parallel and non-perpendicular to each other dates back to that time. It is something really unusual for St. Petersburg, where almost each street, with the exception of some river and canal embankments, goes parallel or perpendicular to another and where it is therefore quite hard to get lost.
Kamenoostrovskiy Avenue Petrogradskaya
Petrogradskaya consists of many islands, the largest are Petrogradsky, Aptekarsky (literally- pharmacy) and Kamenny (literally – stone) and it is a large and very picturesque neighbourhood. Several metro stations on different lines make it easy to get to other parts of the city, and, particularly, if you stay close to the fortress, you can easily walk to Vasilievsky or southern bank of the Neva River with the Hermitage and other attractions.

And it would be a lovely and very romantic walk, because you will pass impressive bridges of the Neva River and enjoy stunning views on the major architectural ensembles of St. Petersburg. In such moments, you understand why our city is one of the most beautiful in the world.
Russian Art Nouveau Kamenoostrovsky Prospect
Kamennoostrovsky Prospect is the major "artery" of the district that crosses it from south to the north. Most of the building on Kamenoostrovsky date back to the beginning of the 20th century and they are designed in the so-called Nordic Romantic Style, one of the local variations of Art Nouveau – they are the architectural landmark of Petrogradskaya Side, or Petrogradka, as we call it shortly. Another very popular style is eclectics, such buildings date to the 1910-s.

Read about Nordic Romantic Style in St. Petersburg

Although Northern Romantic Style dominates Petrogradskaya, here and there you will see older stone buildings and even a few wooden mansions that survived from the 19th century. In general, Petrogradskaya is the open-air museum of architecture and you can stroll hours and hours watching bar-reliefs on the facades of its buildings and looking at endless yards behind them, where the local cinema company, Lenfilm, often shoots films and TV series.
Graffiti Backyards of Petrogradskaya Side St. Petersburg
The Benois House on Kamenoostrovsky, 26-28, where currently the Museum of Sergei Kirov is situated and where Dmitry Shostakovich used to live, is particularly famous for its backyards – they seem to occupy half of the island and they form a maze with exits to different streets of Petrogradskaya.
If you find the yard that starts from the second floor of one of the entrances of its main yard (always open), you will bump into a street art exhibition with reproductions of works from the Russian Museum Collection painted neatly on the rows of Soviet garages.

Aurora Cruiser St. Petersburg
Top Attractions
Peter and Paul Fortress

St. Vladimir's Cathedral

Historical Mosque

Museum of Political History

Cruiser Aurora

St. Petersburg Zoo

Wooden House of Peter I

Botanical Garden
Most major tourist attractions of Petrogradskaya are situated near Gorkovskaya Metro Station: Fortress, Mosque, the Museum of Political History (former palace of Mathilde Kschessinska), revolutionary Cruiser Aurora, Zoo and Planetarium.

From mid- Kamenoostrovsky near Petrogradskaya Station you will get to St. Petersburg Botanical Garden, the former Pharmacy Garden of Peter the Great that gave the name to the island that it is situated on, and its lovely surrounding with modern business and co-working cluster with congress centre, cafes and a popular concert venue in the yards of former Leningrad Printing Machines Plant (Lenpoligraphmash). Several universities, including the medical school, have campuses on Petrogradskaya and you will see a lot of students in the area.

There is no lack of restaurants, bars and shops on the main islands of Petrogradskaya, most of them are situated around Bolshoy or Kamenoostrovsky Prospects.
There are a few hotels on Petrogradskaya, the largest is probably Vvedensky 4*, and a big variety of apartments for short-term rent.

4 metro stations on different lines, and a variety of buses connect Petrogradskaya with other historical districts of the city.
Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist
The further you move to the northern side of Kamenoostrovsky, more green areas you will see around. It ends on Kamenny Island where there are only a few apartment houses, built in Constructivism, the rest are beautiful dachas, palaces and country estates from imperial era. There Alexander Pushkin rented his dacha and baptised his children in Red Brick Neo-Gothic Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist.

The island is charming and looks more like a park. There the old wooden Kamenoostrovsky Theatre is situated, now it is one of the stages of BDT, Bolshoi Drama Theatre and the former dachas now belong to rich politicians and businessmen. There are no hotels on Kamenny Island.
Gazprom Arena on Krestovsky Island
Petrogradskaya Side has both stadiums of the city – Petrovsky on Petrovsky Island and Gazprom Arena on Krestovsky Island. These islands have historically had various yacht marinas, as they are situated close to the Gulf of Finland and they now have a lot of so-called elite residential buildings. They are really green, city centre and the park-island of Elagin are very close, so you can see why they are so attractive for realtors.

There are two metro stations on Krestovsky Island, some quite expensive apartments for rent and several SPA hotels. If you decide to stay there, you will be able to get to city centre by metro, but keep in mind that there are no inexpensive cafes, groceries, pharmacies or supermarkets in the area.

Most foreign visitors of St. Petersburg have yet to discover Petrogradskaya as accommodation option and if you stay there, you will mostly see locals or Russian tourists.
Academy of Arts at Sunset
Vasilievsky Island
Metro Stations – Vasileostrovskaya, Primorskaya, tunnel to Sportivnaya

This large island has the oldest stone buildings of the city, its main university and Academy of Arts, as well as world-known architectural ensembles that St. Petersburg is so famous for! It is situated right to the north of the main square of the city, Palace Square, and if you stay in the historical park of the island, you can easily walk to the Hermitage, Nevsky, Mariinsky Theatre or New Holland, depending on your exact location.
It is not clear how the island got its Russian name, but it is older than the city itself. Probably Vasily was a settler from Veliky Novgorod, who came to live there around 15th century. Now we affectionately call this part of the city "Vasya" or "Vas'ka", which is the short name for Vasily.
12 Colleges St. Petersburg University
Vasilievsky is definitely one of the most impressive parts of St. Petersburg – you cannot miss the University Embankment with oldest buildings of the city – Kunstkamera Museum, 12 Colleges, Palace of Peter II and Palace of Alexander Menshikov (rediscovered only in 1970-s). If you walk further in the direction of the sea, you will see Academy of Arts, Sphinxes and early residential buildings of Trezzini.

State-of Art Rostral Columns and Old Stock Exchange remind us that there the port of the city before mid 19th century was situated - the port, that looked more like a palace or a museum even at that time, thanks to its splendour.
Top Attractions
University Embankment: Menshikov Palace, 12 Colleges, Academy of Arts, Quay with Sphinxes


Strelka of Vasilievsky Island with Rostral Columns and Former Stock Exchange

Repina Street

St. Andrew Cathedral

Gorny Institute

Sevcabel Port
Vasilievsky Island from Water
Near Tuchkov Bridge that connects Vasilievsky with Petrogradskaya Side you will see a beautiful Church of St. Catherine with angel on top – this is one of the guardians of the city. The other two guardians are angels on Alexander Column on Palace Square and Spire of Peter and Paul Fortress.

Read about the guarding angels of St. Petersburg

Vasilievsky also has several impressive protestant churches that survived to our day and they remind us, that there were a lot of German settlers among islanders before the revolution.
Cobbled street in St. Petersburg
Vasilievsky Island is crossed by parallel lines and we call them this way, "linias", rather than streets. These lines are wide and they were initially meant to be canals, as Peter I wanted to move around the island on a boat. But during the reign of Empress Catherine II the canals had still not been finished and they looked dirty and marshy – so she ordered to cover them back with earth.

The narrowest street of the city, Repina, is hidden behind those lines and avenues. It is cobbled and cinema people and photographers often come there with their equipment.
Vasilievsky Island, just like Petrogradskaya, has 3 main avenues – Bolshoy, Sredniy and Maly Prospects, literally Big, Middle and Small Avenues. If they are situated on Vasilievsky, they are marked as V.O. (stands for Vasilievsky Island in Russian), if they are on Petrogradskaya, they are marked with P.S. (stands for Petrogradskaya Side in Russian).
Grazing pony in St. Petersburg
Vasilieostrovskaya metro station is small and during rush hours it is often overcrowded, but there are various buses and trams that connect the island with southern part of the centre and Petrogradskaya, and a tunnel with escalator under the Neva River that will take you to Sportivnaya Metro Station on Petrogradskaya.

Primorskaya Metro Station is situated near the Soviet and modern residential districts. That particular area does not have much charm, to be honest, and it is further away from the historical centre of St. Petersburg, so I recommend you to stay in the older part of the island.
As for accommodation, Vasilievsky has it all – there are 3, 4 and 5 Star Hotels on the island, as well as mini-hotels and rented apartments. Probably, the most popular chain hotels are Marriott Courtyard Vasilievsky 4*, Sokos Vasilievsky 4*, Sokos Palace Bridge 5* and Trezzini Palace 5*, and there are a lot of other smaller cosy hotels in the historical part of the island.

Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya 4* is the Soviet Era Building near Primorskaya Metro Station, it is not situated in the old part of Vasilievsky Island.
Sevcabel Port
Former industrial districts of the city are benefiting from gentrification, that slowly turns half-deserted buildings into art clusters and concert venues. The most popular one is Sevkabel Port on Kozhevennaya line on the shore of the Gulf of Finland and it is worth visiting. Sevkabel has bars, cafes, venues for festivals, markets and concerts in former workshops of the factory, and a lovely view on the Western Speed Diameter and port islands of the city.

Re-branding of the Vasileostrovsky Market on Bolshoy Avenue (right behind the Academy of Arts and in front of St. Andrew Cathedral) has been another long-awaited event and now it is the modern food market with a lot of stalls where you will find all types of cuisines, including Georgian, Russian and Dagestan specialities.
Vasiliostrovsky Market
I hope that this article will help you choose the right area for your stay in central St. Petersburg!

Our city is really big, and the accommodation in St. Petersburg is not limited by the neighbourhoods that I mention here. There are old districts on Vyborgskaya Side and at the beginning of Moskovsky Prospect, as well as beautiful royal residences of St. Petersburg, where you can also stay for several days.

We will be happy to help you with accommodation in St. Petersburg, so please do not hesitate to contact us with your request! And have a look at our tours and other guides in a blog.

Text by Alexandra Carusel Tours
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