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. Cabaret

    Vladimirskaya | Live Music

    This gay club has been going for years, in one incarnation or another. Attracting a friendly mixed crowd, the emphasis is on having a good time...Read More

  • 2. Cafe Sunduk

    Liteiny/Smolny | Live Music

    Head to this intimate and quiet little art café decorated in a British colonial style for live jazz, blues and rock. The menu is varied and...Read More

  • 3. Fish Fabrique

    Vladimirskaya | Live Music

    This is a favorite haunt of locals and expats who enjoy drinking and listening to local alternative musicians, or who just want to play table...Read More

  • 4. Griboyedov

    Vladimirskaya | Live Music

    The best underground (literally) club in the city, this small former bomb shelter is usually packed with friendly, down-to-earth hipsters. It...Read More

  • 5. Jazz Philharmonic Hall

    Vladimirskaya | Live Music

    Russia's top jazz musicians, including the Leningrad Dixieland Band and the David Goloshchokin's Ensemble, regularly appear at this venue in...Read More

  • 6. JFC Jazz Club

    Liteiny/Smolny | Live Music

    The most popular jazz venue in town attracts top musicians performing all styles of jazz: acid funk, swing and blues, avant-garde, mainstream...Read More

  • 7. Money Honey Saloon

    City Center | Live Music

    If rockabilly is your thing, or if you simply want to see a country-western saloon in Russia, head to this always-crowded bar for dancing and...Read More

  • 8. The Place

    City Center | Live Music

    Inside an anonymous building in an industrial wasteland far from the center, this chic oasis is still well worth seeking out. Inside, things...Read More

  • 9. Zal Ozhidaniya

    Admiralteisky | Live Music

    This modern and minimalist club, whose name means "waiting room," is part of the Varshavsky Express shopping center and entertainment complex...Read More

  • 10. Shum

    Liteiny/Smolny | Live Music

    The name means noise—and rightly so. One of the best places for live rock, this beehive of a club has good acoustics; some of the wildest Russian...Read More

  • 11. Kitaisky Lyotchik Jao Da

    Vladimirskaya | Live Music

    This club, which has a branch of the same name in Moscow, offers a reliable mix of live rock and jazz and some electronic music. A favorite...Read More

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