Beyond Saint Petersburg – from cave to castle

As awesome as Saint Petersburg is, especially during the white nights, it’s worth it to get out of the city. The imperial residence in Tsarskoe Selo and Petergof’s fountain ensembles are definitely must-see places, but is there life beyond them? If you want to set your foot in less touristy spots, we’ve got a few ideas for a day trip.

Vyborg

A seaside town with unkempt, but all the more authentic, medieval architecture and a history of Swedish rule. The ride takes 2 hours 30 minutes on a regular train, or you can catch a high-speed electrichka, and save yourself an hour. Shoot a bow or try on 15th century-style attire at the Vyborg castle, watch medieval reconstructions or just loaf about the cobbled streets. If you have any luck with the weather, go for a quick swim at the city beach.

Take a train from Finlandsky Railway Station.

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Strelna

You can still visit the Konstantinovsky palace in Strelna, even after it became the President’s Saint Petersburg residence. Go for a wine tasting at czars’ cellars and walk through the gala halls, pretending to be a part of a G8 delegation (groups only). Walk outside, take a deep breath, visit a less formal palace of Peter the Great and finish off with a golf cart or a bike tour of the park.
Take a train from Baltiysky Railway Station

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Zelenogorsk

There’s a long strip of sandy beaches to the north of St. Petersburg that are picturesque, but very shallow and not meant for swimming. Hop on the ferris wheel in Zelenogorsk instead and then stop by a beachside restaurant at sunset – we guarantee you won’t forget the view or the relaxing pine aroma.

Take a train from Finlandsky Railway Station

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Sergievsky park

A huge stone head half-buried in the midst of a lovely park is kind of creepy, but if you’d like to see it up close, get off at the Universitet station, and find your way through the greenery. A crumbling mansion, stone bridges and an equally surprising Sponge Bob monument are all waiting for you.

Take a train from Baltiysky Railway Station

Sablino caves

Whether you’re a gnome, a bat lover or a latent speleologist, we know just the place for you. Sablino is the most well-known cave site in the vicinity, so don’t forget some warm clothes (for the cave exploring) and a swimsuit (for the waterfall bathing). Be prepared to encounter an underground lake, some sleeping butterflies, ancient cave art and other surprises.

Take a train from Moskovsky Railway Station

Saint Petersburg’s 10 greenest cafés
Winters in Saint Petersburg are long and even on a rare sunny day there’s still no lush greenery
Saint Petersburg’s best secret bars
Saint Petersburg is full of watering holes for any taste — from sophisticated cocktail bars to noisy student joints with cheap beer. In some places you need to arrange your visit in advance, speak-easy style.
Saint Petersburg’s 10 greenest cafés
Winters in Saint Petersburg are long and even on a rare sunny day there’s still no lush greenery
Saint Petersburg’s best secret bars
Saint Petersburg is full of watering holes for any taste — from sophisticated cocktail bars to noisy student joints with cheap beer. In some places you need to arrange your visit in advance, speak-easy style.
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