St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg's cultural life is one of its top attractions. The city oozes musical history, and there's a fascinating and thrilling concentration of the brightest names in classical music here. Russian classical ballet was also born in St. Petersburg and you can almost always catch a performance of Swan Lake at any time of the year.

The city's nightclubs and discos can't compete with Moscow's glamorous establishments in terms of grand scale, pomp, and attitude, but they offer a more laid-back environment and friendlier crowds.

Your best source for information about what's going on is the St. Petersburg Times (www.sptimes.ru), a free, local, independent English-language weekly that's published on Wednesdays. It can be found at airline offices, bars, clubs, hotels, cafés, and other places generally patronized by foreigners or students. The publication has a calendar of events in the Arts and Culture section, with theater and concert listings, a club guide, and a restaurant column.

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  • 1. Shamrock Irish Pub

    Admiralteisky | Bars/Pubs

    A long-standing favorite of local expats, this jolly inn with great pub food, cozy wooden furnishings, and a reasonable selection of beer stands...Read More

  • 2. Daiquiri Bar

    City Center | Bars/Pubs

    Cocktail bars are few and far between in St. Petersburg but for expertly mixed drinks, rely on the talented bartenders here. The music is geared...Read More

  • 3. Datscha

    City Center | Bars/Pubs

    A tremendously popular haunt of expats, bohemians, students, and night owls takes after the merry joints of the Reeperbahn in Hamburg (the owner...Read More

  • 4. Dickens

    Admiralteisky | Bars/Pubs

    This outlet of a chain that originated in Riga, Latvia serves up a lot of Merrie Olde England kitsch. The food is pricey but good. ...Read More

  • 5. Hallelujah Bar

    City Center | Bars/Pubs

    This little bar stands out from the rest by the young, attractive, and friendly crowd it draws in. Always packed at weekends, getting to the...Read More

  • 6. Kneipe Jager Haus

    Admiralteisky | Bars/Pubs

    Designed as a cozy hunting lodge, this German pub is one of the quieter drinking venues in town. It has vaulted brick ceilings, antique bric...Read More

  • 7. KwakInn

    Vasileostrovskaya | Bars/Pubs

    This pint-size Belgian pub—the only one in town—is one of the city's friendliest venues. Within its yellow walls you can get mouthwatering mussels...Read More

  • 8. Mishka Bar

    Vladimirskaya | Bars/Pubs

    Local celebrity DJs spin their favorite discs at this club, which is popular with expats for its international vibe. ...Read More

  • 9. Stirka

    Admiralteisky | Bars/Pubs

    This peculiar hybrid of a bar and a laundromat started life as the graduation project of a German design student. Here you'll find underground...Read More

  • 10. The Office Pub

    City Center | Bars/Pubs

    Style and elegance characterize the atmosphere of this Irish pub located next to Kazan cathedral. It is frequented by a fashionable crowd and...Read More

  • 11. Begemot

    City Center | Bars/Pubs

    A stone statue of a bulky begemot (hippopotamus) decorates the entrance to this loud bar, but despite the name, it's all about glamour here...Read More

  • 12. The Other Side

    City Center | Bars/Pubs

    This comfortable two-room restaurant is run by U.S. expat Douglas Pullar and his capable, friendly team. They serve a good range of well-priced...Read More

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