7 things to do in autumn St Petersburg

Prospekt Magazine created your bucket list: What to do in St Petersburg’s golden autumn from open-air museums to the best pumpkin recipe

This might be the time of the year where you start thinking that the outdoor season is over, that winter is approaching and you are better off staying at home. But may I tell you: You are wrong. Rest assured that winter is not yet here and that these last weeks of autumn are the best time to go out without slipping on the frozen streets of the city.

Prospekt Magazine created your bucket list of seven things you have to do in St Petersburg during the golden time of the year.

Street Art Museum in St Petersburg
Street Art Museum in St Petersburg

1.    Visit the Street Art Museum

Before the winter arrives there is one museum in St Petersburg you should definitely pay a visit: the Street Art Museum in St Petersburg. Unlike the State Hermitage, the Loft Project Etagi and the art centre Taiga which are indoor art spaces you can visit all year around, St Petersburg’s Street Art Museum is worth a visit before winter arrives. It hosts a huge private open-air art space located inside the active Sloplast plastic factory just outside of the city centre. Walk around the factory and explore Russian street art.

Insider Tip: The Street Art Museum in St Petersburg is open every weekend from Friday to Sunday, from noon until 8pm. Ticket price is 250 roubles.

Park with the lake close to the town Losevo – two hours from St Petersburg
Park with the lake close to the town Losevo – two hours from St Petersburg

2.    Go hiking!

Can you imagine all these colourful leaves painting the paths of empty parks and forests? It is definitely not too late to spend a day or the full weekend discovering the suburbs of St Petersburg, visiting Pushkin, walking the old town of Vyborg or exploring the forests by Losevo. Go outside and inhale some fresh air, enjoy the colours before everything turns cold and grey.

Insider Tip: Pack your lunch, step on the train and go hiking in Losevo. With a budget of 800 roubles you will have the full Russian hiking experience in this sleepy northern village  including a boat ride. More details here.

In autumn kitchen it should all be about pumpkin
In autumn kitchen it should all be about pumpkin

3.    Cook a pumpkin soup with your friends

Autumn is pumpkin season – also in St Petersburg. That gives you the perfect opportunity to buy a big orange pumpkin from any of the vegetable and fruit stalls throughout the city and invite your friends for a cosy pumpkin night. Pumpkin soup is not only an incredibly tasty dish to keep you warm, it is also really easy to make.

Insider Tip: Peel the pumpkin, one onion, one carrot and one potato and shortly fry everything. Add ginger and garlic according to taste, as well as stock and some cream. Boil everything, blend and add salt and pepper. Pour your friends and yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the evening.

The old Mariinsky Theatre is a must-visit in St Petersburg
The old Mariinsky Theatre is a must-visit in St Petersburg

4.    Delve into culture at the Mariinsky Theatre

Of course you not only go to Mariinsky Theatre to see Swan Lake, Don Quixote or The Nutcracker right before Christmas, but you also go there to discover part of Russian history. The Mariinsky Theatre is always worth a visit if only for taking in the beauty of the old theatre and the stunning architecture of the new building. Visit Mariinsky Theatre the Russian way: walk around the hallways with a glass of sparkling wine and a toast with caviar, take your opera glasses and think about life.

Insider Tip: You can book tickets right at the theatre entrance, online or at any other ticket shop in the city (театральная касса). As a student you get special offers and if you are lucky you can get a ticket starting from 300 roubles. Remember that matinee tickets for shows earlier in the day are usually cheaper as well.

Walking around Udelnaya, not necessarily to buy something but to go back in time
Walking around Udelnaya, not necessarily to buy something but to go back in time

5. Visit Udelnaya before it’s gets too cold

Udelnaya is the biggest flea market in Russia and worth a visit on the weekend. You can spend hours walking around this flea market shopping for some bargain goods or just checking out the knick-knack filled stalls and old memories that will take you back in time.

Insider Tip: The flea market is located close to the metro station Udelnaya. Get some first impressions about Russia’s biggest flea market here.

Go out and buy a book (Dom Knigi, Photo Credit: Alex Florstein Fedorov, Wikimedia Commons)
Go out and buy a book (Dom Knigi, Photo Credit: Alex Florstein Fedorov, Wikimedia Commons)

6.     Go buy a book!

There are these days. And these days will arrive soon. When it is already dark at 5pm and the weather toggles between chilly rain and the brink of winter, you may just want to do one thing: Stay at home, but be prepared and do it with style.

Take your time and find your perfect book for the winter. Russian literature is full of adventures from Russian fairy tales to some must-reads from Pushkin (Eugene Onegin), Turgenev (Fathers and Sons), Tolstoy (War and Peace), Bulgakov (Heart of a Dog) and many, many more.

Insider Tip: Go to Dom Knigi (Дом Книги), the House of Books at Nevsky Prospekt, and find some inspiration for the lazy days in autumn and the cold days of winter. Dom Knigi has both a Russian and an English language section.

Sit, eat and talk. A late Sunday brunch is the perfect way to escape
Sit, eat and talk. A late Sunday brunch is the perfect way to escape

7.    Have Brunch

Picnic time in the park is over, but the foodie time of the year is ripe with options. A late breakfast is the best way to sit together with your friends and enjoy a lazy Sunday with a table full of coffee, home-made blini and syrniki.

Insider Tip: Try your own hand at brunch the Russian way. Prospekt Magazine has some recipes and inspirations for you here. If you prefer to sit on a table ready laid out Coffee 22, Du Nord 1838, Café Bar Bonch or Café Mitte have wonderful late breakfast offers with a fusion of Russian and Western cuisine.

For more inspiration what to do the upcoming week in St Petersburg have a look at Prospekt Magazine’s weekly event digest here.

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