Light behind the tunnel: Post-Corona plans in St. Petersburg

13 April, 2020

The virus which emerged in Wuhan and colonized and paralyzed the entire world within only a few weeks has transformed most of our busy and passionate life’s into a boring emptiness. We all know about all these activities and hobbies we can start with that free time, just as we know how much of all this is wasted in our beds, contemplating the aimlessness of life, especially in quarantine. Therefore, before starting another existentialist debate, lets focus on the life after, and on the things that await us.

  1. Travel

Russia’s surdimensional size give one the feeling that even with a single-entry visa, one can discover a dozen of countries. So, here is an insight of the must-see places here.

  • Petrosavodsk: This little city, only about five hours by train for Petersburg, is the perfect weekend destination. Indeed, it gives one the opportunity to see the side of Russia beside the metropoles. Also, the finish influence is very palpable there, which gives the city a very unusual touch. The Lake Onega is also worth seeing, providing beautiful views and very tasty fish. You can find further information on a post dedicated to it at this page: https://lidenz.ru/spotlight-karelian-capital/.  If you have even more time, Mourmansk is even better if you want to admire the Arctic ocean, and its ecosystem with a unique fauna and flora. 
  • Kazan: If the city is rather known and more touristic, it is still very important to see in order to understand the Russian culture. Indeed, we often forget about the Muslim influence in the country of tsars, but it is undeniable important. We can feel not that not only in the culture, but also in the inner political decisions, which also need to take into account the Muslim minority which represents 6,4% of the total population (without Chechnya and Inghushestia). Accessible after only two hours by plane, it is a great destination for a longer weekend. Here is a dedicated post: https://lidenz.ru/welcome-to-kazan/
  • The Lake Baikal: this dream destination is located a little more far away from Petersburg, with about 10 hours by plane. However, it is worth it: this “Siberian pearl” has more than 40m of deepness and reunites 20% of the total sweet water reserves. In winter, it is a perfect destination to walk or ride on the frozen lake. 
  1. Bars and Coffeeshops

St. Petersburg’s uniqueness justifies itself among others, with his numerous bars and coffeeshops. Indeed, possibilities to visit alone or with friends to meet the Russian community are endless. Here are some ideas:

  • Rubenstein street: it is the street to go to when you can’t decide what you want to eat, or simply want to have a tasty cocktail with great atmosphere. Here, you will find all sorts of restaurants, is it Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Russian…and bars for all tastes, is it the typical “Rock’n’Roll” type, or the cozy one with low lights for your first date.
  • Ziferburg: if you have always wanted to know what a “Time-Coffee” is, you’re at the right address. When you arrive, you will be given a clock, and from then on you are free to eat and drink whatever your heart (or stomach) tells you to. Offering a great variety of tees and snacks, you also have the possibility to play every possible board game, the guitar or even the piano. This huge place is perfect to relax from a cold day in the city.
  • Soulmate Kotkafe: if you are here for a few weeks or months, and you therefore cannot afford to bring your cat with you, you are at the right place. Following the Japanese trend of coffeeshops with cats, you are at the perfect place if, and only if, you are an unconditional cats’ fan.

You can find even more on the following article: https://lidenz.ru/relaxing-in-st-petersburg-10-cafes/

  1. Bookshops

It came to my surprise that Petersburg is so full of wonderful bookshops…and to less of a surprise when I ahd to give up my last roubles on the extra-weight of my luggage full of books when I left. So if you want to spend wonderful afternoons in movie-like bookshops, there you go.

  • Подписные издания : one of the oldest bookshops in the city inhabits book shelves from the bottom to the top, on every subject possible. If one day you ask yourself why you decided to learn Russian, just go there and you will want to do anything to being able to read one of the wonderful books they offer. However, if you have not reached that level yet, don’t worry, they also offer not many, but very interesting books in English, French and German. Also, a little coffeshop inside will be perfect to provide the hot chocolate you need with the book you just found.
  • Dom Knigi: one of the most famous bookstores in Petersburg. Located in the Singer House on the famous Nevsky Prospekt, this store will be most likely to provide you any book you need. Indeed, being less cozy then the one mentioned above, it has the advantage of offering books on any topic. As a Russian student, I could find a bilingual Russian book, which I highly recommend if you’re not ready yet to read a complete book on you own but strive to.

And if these haven’t satisfied you completely, try on the ones in this article: https://lidenz.ru/the-literary-city-st-petersburgs-best-bookshops/

Kim Schierke

Posted by Kim Schierke

My name is Kim, I’m 21 years old and I just graduated from International Relations at the University of Geneva. I have always been fascinated by Russia, because of its language and its culture. During my studies, this interest has kept on growing and I even ended up writing my thesis about it. Learning the language, therefore, comes as an evidence.

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