Winter in St. Petersburg is also an amazing time. The city turns into something different. It’s still a stone monolith on the banks of the Neva, still the city of Russian czars since Peter the Great, still the Northern Capital of the Russian state for more than two centuries. It is the city of palaces, squares and so ancient looking avenues. Even if you do not visit the world famous St. Petersburg museums and stunning palace complexes, you can get an indelible impression of its aura just by walking around its historical center, immersing yourself in its atmosphere.
Which museums to go to?
What theater to visit?
Where to walk?
Excursions around St. Petersburg in winter are full of unique moments. And although winter weather may be not very gently, showing its capricious temper and inconsistent nature, it won’t spoil general impression of this wonderful city, called the Northern Capital of Russia. If you are going here in winter and want to get maximum pleasure, then dress warmly; prepare warm, comfortable and waterproof shoes and come!
St. Isaac’s Cathedral
Many museum complexes are located in the vicinity of St. Petersburg, and for the most part they are palaces and park ensembles, which are best to see in summer. Therefore, a winter visit to St. Petersburg provides a unique opportunity to devote more time to exploring museums of St. Petersburg itself and visiting its magnificent theaters. Even for this alone, it is worth going to Petersburg in winter – as minimum, you’ll have a chance to see them all without any haste and without being pushed by thousands of other visitors. But museums and theaters are not all that the glorious city on the Neva river offers in the winter time. Every year, winter entertainment is increasing, and we can safely assume that the coming winter will delight guests of the Northern Capital with their bright feasts and wonderful New Year and Christmas events. The city of St. Peter is beautiful in any seasonal context, there is always something to see, where to go and what to admire. As a start, we’d like to offer you a museum and theater program of entertainment in winter.
Museum excursions of winter Petersburg
Petersburg is truly a city of museums. There are literally hundreds of unique, specific, thematic and other museums in the Northern Capital! Museums and art galleries of all kinds and periods of art, a variety of military-historical and naval museums, local history, natural science and ethnographic. There is the Museum of Cosmonautics, the Museum of the History of Parliamentarism and the Museum of the History of Money Circulation! There are theatrical and musical museums, cinema and circus art, and more recently the Museum of the Russian TV series has appeared on the territory of the operating film studio. There are museums of bread, chocolate, tea, coffee, glass, porcelain. So if you have already visited the main museums and want something new and exclusive, then dozens of museums are at your service. But if you are in St. Petersburg for the first time or have not yet visited its main famous museums, then our recommendations will be useful to you.
Starting your museum acquaintance with the famous Winter Palace (Palace Embankment, 34), one of the best masterpieces of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. From 1754 to 1762, several thousand of the best masters of Russia, led by a talented architect, built the palace. The huge palace structure is a striking elegance and grandeur. Before you enter the Winter Palace, it is recommended to admire the outside, and at a rather long distance. Its southern facade with a wide entrance and patterned cast-iron gates juts out to the Palace Square. And the northern part stretches along the Neva river, its snow-white columns echo the snow cover of the river. Today, the Winter Palace is the main building of the famous Hermitage Museum, the foundation of which was laid by Catherine II in 1764, when she took as debt from a German merchant in form of 225 paintings. Then Catherine decided to create the largest in Europe collection of art works. At first, works of art were located in the building of a special palace wing, called the Small Hermitage (translated from the French, the Hermitage is a lonely place). Then this name is automatically transferred to the entire museum. In 1864, the gallery of art opened its doors to the general public under the name of the Imperial Hermitage. The collection was replenished from year to year, and now the Hermitage occupies 9 buildings, the main of which is the Winter Palace, which is one of the most visited museum complexes in the world.
A single day or even a week is not enough to see it all in the Hermitage. Therefore, it is better to find out what kind of art and which period is closer to you, and to start from it.
We strongly recommend to visit the Russian Museum (Inzhenernaya Street, 4), the main exhibition of which is located in the Mikhailovsky Palace. Here you can walk through the beautiful architectural palace complex and get acquainted with the wonderful works of Russian art, including ancient icons.
Aivazovsky, Vasnetsov, Surikov, Bryullov, Repin are the names that make each Russian will proud. Aivazovsky’s canvases in the Russian Museum Stand by the world-famous “Last Day of Pompeii” of Bryullov, look into the depths of the “Ninth Wave” of Aivazovsky, get under a magical charm of “Moonlight Night on the Dnieper” of Kuinji. Whatever you admire a visit to the Russian Museum will be a wonderful.
New Year’s St. Petersburg journey.
If you want to plunge into a little-known world, then you should definitely visit Kunstkamera (Universitetskaya Embankment, 3). No, it’s not an anatomy museum of deformities of Cabinet Ruyshe. The Kunstkamera is also a very extensive, informative ethnographic museum with a wonderful collection of exotic exhibits. On its first floor, you will visit North America, Latin America, Japan and Africa. In the halls of the second floor you will get to the East: China, India, Mongolia, Korea, Thailand and many other countries. You will make a wonderful, real world tour!
And you should definitely look into the memorial museum-apartment of Alexander Pushkin (Moika Embankment, 12). The atmosphere of this apartment is permeated with the poet’s special aura. After all, the apartment windows remind us of that fateful winter day when Pushkin went to the Black River to participate in his last duel.
There are quite a lot of great people’s apartments which have become museums in St. Petersburg today, and if you want to get into the atmosphere of your favorite poet, writer, musician or artist, then small museums-apartments of A. Akhmatova, F. Dostoevsky, V. Nabokov, A. Blok, N. Gumilev, N. Nekrasov, Kuindzhi, F. Chaliapin and many others.
It will be interesting to visit the Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic in St. Petersburg in winter (Marat Street, 24 A – m. Vladimirskaya). The exposition of this museum will tell about the weather and the nature of the coldest places of our planet, about their development and study. And you will understand that in St. Petersburg compared to the Arctic is quite warm and comfortable.
Theatrical routes of winter Petersburg
Theatrical Petersburg needs no advertising. The city on the Neva is a core of the most famous theatrical groups, in which many well-known Russian actors, ballet and opera stars serve. Famous Mariinsky Theater, BDT im.G.A.Tovstonogova, Alexandria Drama Theater. A.S. Pushkin Drama Theater Komissarzhevskaya and many, many others. In total, there are about 100 theaters in the northern capital today, among which there are classical opera and ballet theaters, drama and musical theaters, puppet theaters and many others. Therefore, if you are planning a trip to St. Petersburg in advance, then check out repertoires of local theaters.
So, even in the winter time, there is no problem to find an interesting place or event in St .Petersburg. Just decide how you’d like to spend time and start your winter fairy tale in the Northern Capital.