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St Petersburg

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WHAT
WHO
WHEN

St Petersburg

Things we love:

It’s nicknamed the Venice of the North with 42 islands and 93 rivers and canals.

Vodka. The further back in history the posher the vodka – Parliament, Putin, Tsarskaya or keep it simple with Russian Standard.

During White Nights, normally lasting from June 11th to July 2nd, the sun never completely sets. 24-hour party anyone?

Things we wish we’d known:

Don’t go in January. Just don’t. Unless you’re a sadist.

In summer, between 1am and 5am the bridges linking the various islands of the city are raised to let big ships pass leaving you stranded if you’re on the wrong island to your bed. Perfect excuse for another drink and a sleepover.

When the ice melts in April all the dog poo unfreezes. Cue serious smelly times.

Learn a bit of the Cyrillic alphabet so you can read signs (bAP = bar to get you started).

 

Best bars in St Petersburg
Best bars in St Petersburg
Just a sec...
Baltika Brew
Baltika Brew

A stone’s throw from the Hermitage through the Chariot of Glory Arch of the General Staff Building, Baltika Brew is a mega microbrewery (they’re also Russia´s leading industrial brewery, but this stuff is made on site). If Catherine the Great ran Read More

Bar 812
Bar 812

There’s clearly a buzz about 812. The first time we arrived, cameras started flashing outside, and no, they hadn’t heard BarChick was on her way. Head bartender Vladimir had just won a competition in Amsterdam, and the local press was Read More

Big Liver Place
Big Liver Place

The clue was in the title: this is a bar for serious drinkers. BarChick got the tip off about this one from a barman from another joint, and the place was full of bartenders from around all over town. No Read More

Dacha
Dacha

We went out for a serious drinking session on Dumskya. This is like bar central. Under classical arches, each dimly lit shop front acts as a gateway to another drinking den. But one place stands out from the rest: the Read More

Dom Byta
Dom Byta

This is where the trendy types hang out. A grand total of six disco balls hang over the DJ booth – they clearly mean business. After some halfhearted face control at the door (luckily BarChick packed her chat, even if she Read More

Grand Hotel Europe Bar
Grand Hotel Europe Bar

After hovering outside the caviar bar (it’s Russia after all), we noticed there were no windows, or punters for that matter, which made it a little unappealing. So we swapped fish eggs for cocktails and headed for the lobby bar Read More

Kamchatka Club
Kamchatka Club

This place is billed as a bar-cum-museum to the Russian rock legend Victor Tsoi and his legendary band Kino. Never heard of him? Nope, us neither, but who cares when there’s this total time warp of a bar in his Read More

Lichfield Bar at Hotel Astoria
Lichfield Bar at Hotel Astoria

We loved the snap-happy Lord L’s pics of lovely peachy bums leaning on Soviet statues or descending Metro escalators. Good start. This is where to come for a killer cocktail and free grub because like any luxury hotel, nibbles come as Read More

MiXup at The W Hotel
MiXup at The W Hotel

They promise electric views and creative cocktails: check and check. Get to grips with the serious cocktail menu from the eighth floor while looking out over St Issac’s Cathedral and The Hermitage. Nice. It’s mainly full of hotel guests chilling to Read More

Money Honey
Money Honey

First and foremost, THIS IS A ROCKABILLY BAR. Grab your Stetson, your cowboy boots and your cowboy and prepare for the unpredictable. A fiver in at the weekend, this is a theme bar that goes the whole Harley Davidson. It’s Read More

Produkty
Produkty

BarChick had to reassure her date  that we weren’t off to a newsagents (yup, produkty means corner shop in Russia), we were in fact in search of an awesome bar. Located 200 metres from the main tourist drag, this is the Read More

Sever
Sever

The Loft ETAGI Project abides by the first law of hipster: find a disused office block and convert into art spaces, cool bars, Google-style cafeterias… and youth hostels. Okay, the last one is optional, but BarChick knows where she is Read More

Stirka 40
Stirka 40

Stirka is a bar and a launderette. Not like a faux ‘we’re-just-pretending-to-be-a-laundrette-because-it’s-cool’. But an actual launderette. We can’t think of anything more hipster, except maybe gluing a 70s Polaroid onto your iPhone. This is where the cool kids hang out. Rumour Read More

Terminal
Terminal

This really does feel like a train station bar with a very mixed clientele. Long and narrow, the nice dark wood interior reminded us a bit of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks – only with no windows – and at four feet Read More

The Living Room at The W Hotel
The Living Room at The W Hotel

The Living Room does what it says on the tin. Located in the lobby of high-end boutique hotel The W, it is the stylish and luxurious living room you wish you had at home. Grab a glossy Taschen art book Read More