The White Nights arrive in St. Petersburg

This photo may or may not have been taken at 11 p.m. during the famed White Nights.

A good guidebook will tell you what to see in Russia: the Hermitage (one of the largest museums in the world), the Mariinsky Theatre (for famous Russian ballet) and of course, you can go further afield to Gatchina (with Pavlovsk Palace) or Pushkin (with Catherine’s Palace and Amber Room) and Petergof (with its fountains). In addition, Metro rounded up the places that locals find cool.

See the city
Sure, you can go on excursions by bus or by boat — but why not try a new, exciting option: a motorcycle guide or moto voyage (www.moto-voyage.ru)? You can choose between “Classic Petersburg” or “Another Petersburg,” the latter a unique tour of the little-known attractions of the city, such as Vasilievsky Island. Also, try the “Dostoevsky’s Petersburg” excursion and check out the flat where the famous writer lived and the house from the novel “Crime and Punishment.”

Where to club
Want to celebrate Russian New Year — every day of the week? You can do it in Club Purga (www.purga-club.ru). There, you’ll also see Russian weddings to which you’re already invited. If you like parties and lounge music, try Soho Lounge (www.insoholounge.com). Or, to have a really crazy party, head to the bar by the name of Torn Off Balls (www.tornoff balls.ru), where you will see barmen and guests dancing on tables. Search YouTube for the sexy proof.

Where to shop
The big malls, Galleria and Stockman, are full of great European brands. If you need something special, you’ll find a slew of local designers in Culterra Space (Prostranstvo Kulturra) (www.prostranstvokulturra.blogspot.com) on the upper floor of Pssazh (www.passage.spb.ru).

Where to stay
You know the W hotel chain; in St. Petersberg, it’s one of the best hotels, situated near the St. Isaac’s Cathedral, only minutes from Nevsky prospect and The Palace Square (www.wstpeters burg.ru).
If you are looking for something budget, try Hello Hostel (www.hellohostel.ru). It’s located in the center of the city, has great views of the Neva river, is very clean, fashionable and really cheap ($25 per person per day).

Where to eat
For a true St. Pete experience, head to Mari Vanna (www.marivanna.ru) and order the borsht, blinis, goulash and other traditional dishes. The restaurant looks like a typical Soviet utility flat. In the corridor, you’ll be met by an old man in slippers and tights and a beautiful gray cat named Asya.
If you’re looking for something more modern, try the fashionable 22-13 (www.22-13.com). The dishes– and furniture — come from all over the world. One room has a Chanel sofa, bought in a Rue Cambon. Also try some molecular cocktails here before hitting the clubs.


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