Tsiferblat, a place where you can make your time count!
Once upon a time a group of young poetry enthusiasts rented a little flat – “the tree house” – in the heart of Moscow. There, they could do whatever they pleased: reading books, playing the piano, chat with friends, drink coffee and they could do it for free (payment was totally voluntary). Six years have passed and the amazing concept of the small tree house has given rise to a chain of “anti-café” called “Tsiferblat” (clock-face), which are very popular all over Russia.
What is an “anti-café”?
Simple, it’s a place where guests pay for time spent there, rather than for food and drinks. The charge is quite cheap – 2 rubles per minute – and locations, which are furnished in the style of a living room, are very cosy and intimate. As an Italian, I wasn’t used to that concept, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I went to Tsiferblat first time! People were so welcoming and easy going that I immediately felt at home and Tsiferblat has quickly become one of my favourite – no ordinary – places in Piter.
Great for Russian learners!
Above the interesting concept and the cosy atmosphere, Tsiferblat can be the right place to go if you are willing to boost your Russian skills! If you’re in Saint Petersburg or you are planning a trip there, take the time to swing by and get the chance to meet a ton of interesting locals with a special story to tell (in Russian, of course). Like Sasha, 22 years old, who has recently moved from Kazan to Saint Petersburg and during the weekends works at “Tsiferburg” – one of the two Tsiferblat café in Saint Petersburg- located close to the Fontanka river.
“Even if I work as a Graphic designer during the week”, he said, “I really love spending my weekend working there, since it allows me to get away from my work and meet new people”. Talking with him and his friends has helped me to understand more about Russian lifestyle, way of thinking and, of course, has been a chance to test my Russian skills. And if you have just started learning Russian and you don’t feel ready to speak Russian yet, Tsiferblat can however be the right place where doing your homework, reading a book or taking part in one of the many events organised there every month (brunches, plays, concerts, free speaking clubs and much more).
This post was brought to you by Martina Viérin, currently studying Russian at Liden and Denz, St. Petersburg.