10 Odd Things To Do In Saint-Petersburg

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - ‘Pyshechnaya’ at Nevsky prospect

A trip to Saint Petersburg is not only caviar and vodka or the Hermitage collection and boat cruise on the tourist list, but a variety of chances to walk the ways the local go and to locate secret corners where St.Petes is making its name. Pulpolocal.com has investigated each and every specialty in town and made a kind of inventory: 10 local tips to do in St.Petes. We do not add detailed illustrations to the article, just to keep you challenged.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - Elisey and Vasilisa1. Detect The Cats.

Saint Petersburg was called Leningrad for some period of time, and those years generated no less legends, monuments, and small stories than imperial ages. While the World War II not only soldiers and tanks helped to save the town from Nazi siege, but also very famous mewing division, and no inverted commas here. Cats were transported to Leningrad from Yaroslavl with high hygiene mission – to protect the besieged citizens from the invasion of rodents. By the moment the blockage was breached no infection was registered in town. People of Leningrad decided to grant a monument to four legged defenders – small cat monuments are set at Malaya Sadovaya street, one for cat Elisey and another for lady-cat Vasilisa. Greet the animals, find their sitting at Malaya Sadovaya and throw them a coin, and don’t forget to make a wish if the coin lands on cat’s sitting.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - ‘Pyshechnaya’ at Nevsky prospect2.  Taste The “Pyshka”.

Move forward along Nevsky prospect, look around and admire. Once you come to Bolshaya Konyushennaya street find there the oldest and legendary donut café or ‘Pyshechnaya’. It will not take you long, there’s a always a promoting ‘babushka’ by the door, and fantastic smell of ready made donuts and powdered sugar. You’ll never miss it! Don’t get embarrassed of the big queue inside, it moves fast. And you should definitely try it with the soviet style Cacao Drink. This will be the taste of soviet child delight!

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - Ostap Bender3. Grab Some Luck.

For some more Soviet icons you should walk up to Italianskaya street, passing fabulous masterpiece of Savior on Spilled Blood Cathedral and crossing the Griboedov Canal right before the Art Square there is a monument for a gentleman with the scarf, smirk face and a … chair. This fiction character – Ostap Bender, a con man of early soviet times, whose dream was to visit Rio de Janeiro wearing the white pants. Every Russian aged over 20 will tell you his gorgeous story. He stepped out form literature pages into the life of each Russian as a scornful example of good luck and what big dreams may come. You can borrow some luck from Ostap himself – sit on the chair and shake his hand. People say you can even get a success even in a crook business.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - Griffins at the Bank bridge 4. Kiss The Griffins.

You can also get some business luck from the Griffins at the Bank bridge. When the bridge was set there was biggest Russian bank next to it, and of course it is well known that Griffins are best guards of gold and treasury. And if you make a wish and kiss the griffins right above the tail, your dreams, especially in finance area, will definitely come true. Some also say that it’s good for your pocket to come to the bridge at midnight and put a hand into the mouth of the Griffin and ask him loudly for exact amount of money. Money will come to you shortly, but be careful for not paying back to the Griffins – put a coin or two on the palm of the Griffin.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - Atlantes of the Hermitage5. Find The Right Toe.

Saint Petersburg is full of mythical legends and creatures that guard the town and help people who come to them with some ritual. Biggest male sculptures at the doors of the New Hermitage at Millionnaya Street will bring you happiness in family life if you rub the left toe of the second one if counting from the Mars Fields. The Atlantes of the Hermitage hold the entrance ceiling of the Palace with the same diligence they hold the heaven’s dome. And if you please them with rubbing the toe of the one of their community, they will also keep your family roof safe.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - Peter the Great in Mikhailovsky castle 6. Please The Angel.

Walking away from the Hermitage over the Mars Fields and up to Mikhailovsky castle, think of another dream you want to come true. Don’t let your attention to be drawn away by the castle itself, as it is a place you should spare yourself and not for the moment, this place of the emperor Paul I deserves a lot more attention. But go right to its main entrance where you find the statue of Peter the Great dressed as the Roman Caesar. It does impress, but your main goal is to find the angel on the bass-relief at the foot of the statue illustrating the famous battle of Gangut. And the shining angel’s heel, if you reach and rub it, will make your wish come to life. The legend says, that when Paul I arranged this statue for his great grand father, he asked the artist to arrange a statue of such grace and beauty that even angels would be filled with happiness.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - Hold the Pinky of Peter the Great statue 7. Hold The Pinky.

Continue your ‘rubbing tour’ at Peter and Paul Fortress where Saint Petersburg began. And that you will hear from any tour guide. But you better look left after passing the gates and entering the cathedral square. And you will see the modern day statue of Peter the Great by Michael Shemyakin, famous local artist. This monument is known as very strange one, as it gives an alternative to the commonly known appearance of Peter I. Apparently, come and meet the new look of the great emperor at night and hold his pinky for more luck and success to come into your life.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg -  Feed the statue of Chizhik Pyzhik 8. Feed The Bird.

Saint Petersburg has a lot more peculiar monuments to boast. At the linking corner of the Moika and the Fontanka river there is small but popular monument to the small bird – siskin. This tiny bird was once a nickname of law school students who wore green coats and yellow stripe, and people called them ‘siskins’, as they reminded those glaring birds. The school was at the Fontanka embankment and across the road from it there was a bar, where those ‘siskin students’ were having lot’s of fun. You have to try and learn a couplet about siskin and vodka drinking, it is in Russian, but very short and you will have a lot of fun! ‘Chizhik Pyzhik gde ty byl?’ – here’s the first line for you. And yes, throw a coin to the copper bird, if it lands on its sitting, it will make one more dream come true.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - Mosaic patio at Chaikovskogo street 9. Hold Your Breath.

Some steps away from the Fontanka river at Chaikovskogo street there is mosaic patio – small but breathtaking piece of modern art. Two artists from the Art Academy contributed to the beauty of the town in their way. You will fall in love with this place and then continue walking all along the backstreets and passages of the town, admiring its beauty.

10 Odd Things to Do in Saint-Petersburg - Go TO Zenith FC game 10. Zenith Yourself!

Tired of walking around! Let your mind rest and soak up some vibrating spirits! To feel the pulse of Saint Petersburg you should visit Zenith FC game at the Petrovskiy stadium which is actually an island. This is amazing experience even if you are not a football fan, you will get much pleasure joining the fans in supporting players, observing white-and-blue atmosphere all around you! Make sure you wear comfortable close and footwear, and don’t carry any bag with you, this will definitely ease you life. And all Zenith matches are alcohol free, but full of game energy and joy!

Welcome to Saint Petersburg! Don’t forget about lunches and dinners, find where to eat with PulpoLocal.com!

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One Comment

  • Sonja Richter says:

    I was in St Petersburg in June 2011, it was lovely. The White Nights were magical. I bought a little brass statue of Chizhik Pizhik near one of the bridges but did not know he had his very own bridge! Now I have to come back some day to toss a coin.I also traveled 5,000 miles in 21 days across Russia, loved it. Some day I hope to come back! Sonja in Seattle, WA

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