St Petersburg is the northern capital and one of the most visited cities in Russia. Though the peak season in St Petersburg is from May to September, and winter there is usually described as icy, gloomy and extremely cold, it is still a perfect place for Christmas family holidays. Thus, if you are planning your trip to this beautiful and historic city, read our article and find out how to make your winter holidays unforgettable.
Where to eat in St. Petersburg?
If you would like to try classic Russian cuisine, then Chekhov Restaurant is the right place for you. Here you can enjoy such traditional fare as cabbage with apples, jelly pork legs, fried potatoes with mushrooms, ruddy pies and some others. Moreover, only here you can immerse yourself into the atmosphere of Russia’s rural atmosphere of the 19th century with its idyllic atmosphere.
This traditional fish restaurant is located in a very picturesque place in an old wooden house overlooking the lake that is full of fish. The unique feature of this place that sets Russkaya Rybalka from many other restaurants is a unique opportunity for guests to catch their own meal that will be then cooked by the chef.
Located in the heart of St Petersburg this up-scale restaurant is well known for its cosy atmosphere, warm hospitality, and delicious Russian and European cuisine. Moreover, it is also known as a place, where the most famous Russian poet Aleksander Pushkin had his last meal before heading off to the fatal duel that ended his life in 1837.
Regarding price, lunch for one person in one these places will cost around $15, while an average price for dinner is between $30 and $35 per person.
Where should you drink?
St Petersburg is full of wine bars, pubs, sport bars and microbreweries that offer a variety of drinks and live music.
It is believed to be one of the best and oldest night clubs in the city that is located in a very atmospheric Soviet-era bunker. There you can enjoy not only good music and pleasant atmosphere, but also delicious meals and the variety of drinks.
If you are a true wine lover and you are searching for a place with a cozy and family-like atmosphere, then Vinnyi Shkaf is the right place. Here you can try many fine sorts of wine that imported from Portugal, Italy and France, as well as local Russian wines as well.
It is one of the best places for beer lovers, since this bar offers 16 different sorts of draft and more than 400 sorts of bottled beer. The bar is usually full, especially in evening and during Christmas holidays, and its open only until 11 PM.
In average one pint of beer in pubs of St Petersburg costs between $3 and $4, while for a glass of wine you will have to pay between $3.5 and $15 depending on the sort, brand and place.
Christmas fair in St Petersburg
If you would like to combine your gastronomy experience in the northern Russia’s capital with fun, entertainment and Russian old winter traditions, then you are invited to visit one of the Christmas fairs that are annually held and organized in different parts of the city. One of the biggest is the market on the Pionerskaya square that offers its visitors to enjoy the true Christmas atmosphere, to see traditional Russian performances, to try warm dishes and drinks and even to visit the residence of Santa Claus, where the youngest guests can take a photo with a chief magician and tell him about the gifts that they are awaiting for Christmas.
Where to do in St Petersburg on Christmas?
St Petersburg during Christmas holidays is often described as a fairytale city. If you would like to feel like a character of this fairytale and to feel its winter magic, here are some recommendations on where you should go in St Petersburg on Christmas.
The Nutcracker performance in the Bolshoi Theatre
It was previously known as the Kirov Ballet, and today it is considered to be one of the foremost performances in the world, the premiere of which occurred in 1892. No Christmas holidays in St Petersburg would be complete without attending this performance, especially if you would like to learn more about Russian theatre culture.
Troika rides in Pavlovsk
Pavlovsk, located just outside of St Petesburg, is known as a famous royal retreat. It is one of the favourite and most visited places in summer. However, in winter and especially in Christmas time it still has a lot to offer to its guests and tourists. The main winter activity there are troika rides organized in traditional Russian carriages pulled by three horses. So if you want to feel yourself like in a Russian novel, you should take your fur coat and a cossack hat and head for Pavlovsk in order to enjoy your frosty day in a picturesque place.
The Hermitage Museum
Christmas time in St Petersburg is known for its extremely cold weather and low temperatures, which does not allow you to spend much time outside. Fortunately there are still many options for great indoor entertainment. Good examples are one of the most famous galleries in Russia the splendid Hermitage Museum, the monumental Kazan Cathedral that hosts a traditional Christmas service, or Russian Museum with interesting exhibitions.