Take in the changing of the seasons and see the best that St. Petersburg has to offer in spring. With tips from a local to help you explore the city, you can’t go wrong.
Few know their way around a city like a tour guide, which is why we asked Anna Avdeyeva for her best tips on what to do in St. Petersburg in spring. Anna is one of the co-owners of Best-Guides St. Petersburg and has been working as a tour guide in the city for over 20 years. “St. Petersburg is the most beautiful city in the world. It has wonderful architecture, history and atmosphere, and the citizens are hospitable and the tourism infrastructure is in place. It is also a center of culture and education where you can find almost anything you like,” Anna says. Follow her exclusive advice below!
A Northern city in spring
The arrival of spring varies each year, but St. Petersburg usually starts seeing warmer temperatures from March onwards. “We are a northern city and spring comes quite late. The snow usually melts in April so you’ll need some warm clothes, depending on when you visit,” she tells us. But spring is a wonderful season to visit St. Petersburg, before the summer tourist rush kicks in. The museums see fewer visitors, which means shorter lines and more space to yourself while inside. Anna recommends visiting Catherine Palace and Pavlovsk when in the city. “They are only 10 minutes apart by car and are wonderful places to visit. A walk through Pavlovsk Park when the snow still sparkles on the ground is an amazing experience.” You cannot visit St. Petersburg and not take a ride along the spectacular Neva river, which is especially breathtaking in the spring time.
The hidden gems
Visiting the spectacular palaces and museums, like the Hermitage, in the city is a must. Fortunately Anna is on hand to share best-kept secrets of St. Petersburg with us. “You can take a backstage tour of the famous Mariinsky or Mikhailovsky ballet theaters or see the Peter’s Aquatory, a miniature model of 18th century St. Petersburg. If you’re a fan of museums you should visit the Fabergè Museum or the Erarta Modern Art Museum,” she says. “The small towns of Vyborg with its famous castle and Novgorod, the former capital of ancient Russia, are not far from the city. They’re well worth a visit. Novgorod is a perfect place for those who would like to see authentic Russian architecture,” Anna adds.
For an in-depth look into the hidden gems of St. Petersburg, Best-Guides offers an Off the Beaten Path tour. If you’re a history buff then a tour of the Political History Museum, the Smolny and the KGB Museum as part of their Red Russia tour is ideal.
Tasting the city
Wherever your travels may take you in this beautiful city, you’ll need some food to fuel your day. And Anna assures us you won’t be short of great dining experiences. “In the Ginza project you’ll find many good restaurants. One of the most popular ones is Mansarda, which serves great food and has a nice rooftop view over the city. If you want to try Georgian food then the place to go is Khochu Kharcho. Palkin is also a great restaurant with high cuisine, situated in the Nevsky Prospect, and is perfect for a special dinner,” she says. Be sure to give local street vendors a visit and taste their Blinis, their own spin on traditional crepes.
Wherever your adventures in St. Petersburg may take you, enjoying the company of a local guide who truly loves their city is worth its weight in gold.“A good local guide, with an approach like ours, will always make your tour lively by choosing the best sights, exhibits and sharing our personal experiences. We’ll also be happy to help with some nice tips for further exploration,” Anna says.
Everything you could wish for is within reach in this magnificent city and especially so when staying at the Radisson Sonya Hotel, St. Petersburg. Its stylish rooms are inspired by the classic Russian novel “Crime and Punishment”, giving your stay a unique historical flair.