Culture and Architecture
Founded in 1703, St Petersburg was established as a multi-cultural and multi-confessional city. From the very beginning, Tsar Peter the Great intended to build a city of European architecture and invited prominent architects from the most advanced at that time European countries to work here and create this city. Russian architects and engineers worked along with them, quickly enhancing their mastership and contributing to the city’s colorful and eclectic style, ranging from Baroque-style to Soviet architecture, Neoclassical structures to Art Nouveau.
You can hear the story of early St Petersburg and see a model of the city and its famous suburbs at the Scale Model Museum “Petrovskaya Akvatoria”.
St Petersburg is home for numerous museums, starting with the very first Russian museum, the Kunstkamera founded by Peter the Great himself, and all the way to the Memorial to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, the first city museum you meet on the way from the airport. Besides the universally known Hermitage and Russian Museum, there are lots of other less known to foreign visitors but no less interesting to see. Right next to the Russian Museum is the Museum of Ethnography with its half a million items which give you a pretty good vision of the diversity and sizes of Russia and the Russian Empire.
To get a better idea of our country, you can also take a look of its model at the Grand Maket Rossiya national show-museum. It presents an image of Russia, showing various human activities of its people, such as work, leisure, sports, studying, military service, country life, travel, mass celebrations and even an attempt to escape from prison. You can even set things in motion by pushing interactive buttons placed around.
St Petersburg is home to numerous theatres, including the world-known Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky opera and ballet theatres. Though not as known internationally, there are no less worthy theatres, such as SPb Opera, Buff Theatre, Music Hall, and many others. On certain occasions, the amazing Palace Square also turns into a huge concert auditorium.
Enjoy the White Nights! This is something unique, that you can’t see anywhere else in the world. The popular Museum Night also takes place during the early White Night season.
SPbGASU and its dormitory are very advantageously located. Major city attractions are either within a short walking distance, or are easily accessible by metro.
Saint Petersburg has plenty of places to eat: some good, some not so good, some expensive, some a great value. SPbGASU is happily located in this regard as well: you can walk to find practically all types of cuisine both from the university building and the dorm. Ask your fellow students wh ere they like to go and talk to them about their experiences. Below is a brief overview of most typical places to eat.
- Traditional Russian blini are served in fast-food style facilities at city's Teremok or other chains. For delicious home style pies, you can't beat Stolle's, which has lots of locations across St Petersburg and nearby SPbGASU in particular. Freshly baked, everything on offer is sure to satisfy the highest expectations.
- Coffee: There are lots of chains and stand-alone cafés wh ere you can have perfect coffee and deserts, or grab a sandwich; too many to list here, we would only mention the Coffee House and Shokoladnitsa as the ever-present chains.
- Ethnic experiences: you will find much more than just Russian food in St Petersburg. Lots of Georgian food places are highly recommended. You can find any type of food you want in our city: Chinese, Indian, Greek, Italian, Uzbek etc.
- Summer dining: there are many small, decently-priced cafes offering street tables just around the main SPbGASU building; you can stay there as long as you wish with whatever you have ordered.
- Pizza: there are several popular brands of pizza places like Mama Roma, Pizza Hut, and Pizza 22 cm, not to mention Italian places and many other pizza places. With more pizza topping options than you'll likely ever find at home, you can order something you've never had before!
- Cheap and tasty! Very popular with students for its cheap dessert is Pyshki (Donuts) at Bolshaya Konushenaya, 25, which offers 12-ruble fried donuts and 18-ruble cups of coffee. It's a historical venue, operating in the same space with the same interior and pyshki-making process as it did more than 50 years ago. There are other pyshki locations in the city center, just ask and look around!
- Vegetarians: Troitsky Most is a vegetarian chain that offers affordable food that is so imaginative and delicious that both vegetarians and all-eaters would do well to make it a regular eating place. You might also check out HappyCow, a site that runs a world-wide ratings site for vegetarian restaurants.
- Universal brands: no doubt, you will see lots of eateries you’ve met in any country. These are Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc. If you wish, you can stay with this familiar type of food.