Lets agree, that going to a new place just for cultural experiences may be boring. We all need to have some fun from time to time. Surprisingly, such rich in history and museums city like Saint Petersburg, Russia, can be enjoyed without visiting a single art gallery or castle. Over the weekend in October, I have had the two best days, full of fun activities and great photo shootings. If this is not your first visit and you are in the mood for something a little different (or looking for some fun in the afternoon) – here are some ideas – Alternative Saint Petersburg itinerary for fun weekend!
Big Funny – museums and attractions
We walked in totally by chance, didn’t even plan to go there at first, even though I heard about this place. The weather was getting bad and in order to hide from the rain, we jumped in. This collection of small rooms/tiny museums is part of a bigger group and you can choose to visit them one by one (costs 350P / 5€), or get a combo ticket. We decided to visit 5 mini museums and paid 1000P / 15€ for the ticket. The ticket is valid until you have used up all your visits, no matter if its same day or next day. So in case you decide to get 5 visits, no need to see all at once.
The first one was called the illusions museum, which was basically some rooms with 3D paintings that you can jump in and take cool photos of yourself “in the frame”. I must admit, most of them were quite impressive and professionally painted. We ended up spending almost an hour running from one wall to the other. My favorite ones were the umbrella and toy crane machine and I have also planned to call experts from My House Painter to get theme paintings done in our house.
Next one was the giants house. Just like the name says – it’s a room with huge items, like furniture (how about stretching on a 2m high sofa), the oven that you can hide in, fork the size of shovel and many more. Of course, this place is usually crowded with kids, but nobody is going to look strange at you. We certainly did enjoy it very much.
The next morning we went to the petting zoo, which was a disappointment in terms or how they kept the animals. While some of the animals were cute (like guinea pigs or parrots), monkeys and tiny kangaroo shouldn’t be kept in such small cages. In fact, they shouldn’t be kept in a cage at all.
We also went to glass maze which was fun and great photo shooting place. You need to wear gloves and stretch your hands forward, in order to avoid sudden obstacles. The illusion of endless space was lots of fun. I recommend this maze for some good laughs, although you pass through quite quickly.
The last one we went to was museum of sweets. This museum is located in another building. Despite the expected cakes and candies, it is an Instagrammers’ dream – huge cupcakes, donuts, lollipops, colorful wall paintings, lots of yellow, pink and white colors. All the sweets are plastic, I’m afraid. But the photos turn out quite tasty looking!
Grand Maket Russia
Having heard of this place on many occasions, I knew I had to visit. Getting there is a bit of a pain, so use hotel WiFi to navigate with Google maps and save the directions on your phone (or get a taxi, which is quite cheap with Bolt/Uber/Yandex taxi app). Museum entrance ticket cost 540P / 7€. Despite the high price, it is worth the money. The amount of work put into this project is hard to describe. This miniature world comes alive in front of you – trains, trucks, cars are moving. You can observe different life situations, machinery, production, agriculture and, of course, the big cities. Every 15-20 minutes the night falls and millions small lights turn on, illuminating this little world.
In order to understand it all better, an audio guide can be hired. If you have enough time, you can even take a brake and enjoy light meal/coffee at the small canteen. The photographer takes secret pictures of you, which you can later purchase at the gift shop (magnets). This little museum can be a paradise for modeling enthusiasts as well as kids.
Museum Route 66
Have you ever dreamed of taking a closer look at American retro cars. Well, here is your chance! Right in the heart of St. Petersburg, hidden from everyone’s looks, there is a tiny little museum with 13 (!) amazing cars that you can touch, sit inside and, of course, take awesome photos. Each car has its own theme area, such as Las Vegas, Ghost busters, Batman, zombies, Cars etc. If you love old vintage cars, this place is a must! Entrance fee is 450P / 6,50€.
St.Petersburg state circus
After enjoying two shows at Cirque du Soleil, I got a weird attraction to circus shows. Right in the heart of Saint Petersburg lies the oldest circus of Russia. This circus was founded in 1870s! We booked the tickets online for just 15€/piece and went to see their latest show “Prince of the circus”. Even though I don’t approve shows including wild animals, the performance of the athletes, music and lights were fantastic. The show lasts 2,5 hours and includes all traditional parts, such as clowns, acrobats, tricks and even dancing fountains. It is a wonderful experience and one you will not forget!
Where I stayed?
As our base we chose a place called SuperHostel in the city center, just 15 minutes from the main road Nevsky Prospekt. This so called hostel is in fact a normal hotel with private rooms and en suite bathrooms. The place is clean, quiet and centrally located – ideal for a weekend trip. The price was great, too – we paid 50€ for 3 nights in October.
Eating out – where?
When it comes to eating out, there is really no shortage in the city center. It all depends on you own taste. I’m going to recommend two places that we discovered during this trip and enjoyed. For lunch/dinner we tried out a restaurant chain called Evrazija (Euro-Asia). They offer both European and Asian meals, such as sushi, woks, hamburgers, some central Asian dishes like ploff and many more. During our first visit, they offered to buy their loyalty card which gives you almost 50% discount of most meals. The card actually pays off from the first meal already.
For coffee fix I would recommend a really cool place called Sokol Coffee. This little coffee shop has received lots of attention on Instagram from bloggers for their unique feature – while you wait for your coffee, an artist paints your face on the paper cup for free! We Thought this was really cute, so these guys deserve a good review! In fact, they have become so popular that their franchise has grown all over Russia and might soon reach Europe and US. However, it all began right here, in St. Pete, and you have a chance to visit the place where these guys started out just a year ago.
More stories about St. Pete: