What new can Saint Petersburg offer tourists? How to combine the “timeless classics” of Northern Palmyra with the expectations of a modern tourist? What original plots and sights can St. Petersburg and its suburbs offer, including to the “niche” tourist? During the press tour from the Visit Petersburg team for journalists of specialized publications, including the correspondent of the TURPROM infogroup, the guests of the city were presented in detail, the guests of the city were presented in detail what the Northern Capital and its suburbs can offer tourists here and now, how much non-trivial projects are in demand and what awaits tourism in the near future.
It should be noted that the demand for St. Petersburg remains high – both in the current conditions and in the off-season. For example, on the November holidays, the city confidently took the lead among other Russian destinations in terms of the number of tourists striving to go there – routes to St. Petersburg account for about 15% of all railway tickets purchased alone. The situation is similar with trips for the New Year – St. Petersburg also ranks first. Let's add one more fact here – according to VTsIOM data, about 15% of tourists dream of visiting St. Petersburg, and this is mainly a “young” tourist – in the group from 18 to 24 years old, about one in five called St. Petersburg a “dream city for vacation”. That is, this is the tourist who at least needs “additions” to the “classic set” of museums and palaces. In addition, there is a high percentage of “return” tourists in St. Petersburg, who often ask the question “what's new”?
What is Petersburg's response to this? Firstly, the “gray zone” of the city is gradually being involved in tourism: former industrial territories are actively turning into “stylish, fashionable, youthful” spaces. The most striking example of such a “change of image” can be called New Holland, which first opened to tourists ten years ago and has now become a sought-after landmark and iconic point of the Northern Capital. During the press tour, journalists were shown in detail another, younger “point of attraction” with a similar fate – “Sevkabel Port”, a space since 2017 that has been “upgraded” from an industrial zone to a cultural center and a “point of attraction” for young people, including and for tourists. Experts also included in the “new” Petersburg the controversial but original project of the Lakhta Center skyscraper, which is also likely to be “included” in tourism, with the surrounding park of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. Also among the “newcomers” stadium “Gazprom Arena”, sports tourism is a very significant “niche”, even in domestic tourism.
Secondly, the image of the “cultural capital” can also be reinterpreted. St. Petersburg is ready to offer both classical museums, including those not “seen” by tourists, such as the Elaginoostrovsky Palace shown during the press tour, which opened after restoration, and non-trivial proposals for fans of the cultural program. For example, museum-apartments, the number of which in St. Petersburg is in the dozens. During the press tour, probably the most non-trivial such project, Brodsky.Online, was presented to journalists in the museum and cultural space One and a Half Rooms. Enough
to say that this museum does not have a single “ordinary” exhibit – but the “cultural space” is really extraordinary. The theme of the “city of all religions” was supported by the excursion to the datsan included in the press tour – by the way, almost the northernmost one – not every tourist knows that if you want to get acquainted with such exotic things, there is no need to travel far. And even such a traditional point of the cultural program as a theater can be presented in a modern reading – for example, by visiting the sensational premiere of the play “1881” at the Alexandrinsky Theater.
The suburbs of St. Petersburg deserve a separate discussion. In this case, the emphasis was placed on Kronstadt – and not by chance. For the past few years, the former closed city, without losing its “naval” image, has been actively developing tourism projects. Museums located in the building of the former Dutch cuisine – in the most “trump” place of the city, next to the Italian pond and the embankment – museums, in particular, the “Museum-model of the Kronstadt Forts” can become a new point of attraction. Since its opening in the summer season, the museum has already been visited by 60,000 people.
The forts are included in the “tourist life” of Kronstadt and in “natural form”. The journalists were introduced to the grandiose project “Island of Forts Park” – the largest park in Russia dedicated to the navy. It will include not only a grandiose museum – it was there that the Leninsky Komsomol submarine was delivered on October 12-13 – but also the “renovation” of part of the forts for tourist purposes. It is planned to open thematic museums, hotels, etc. in them. Moreover, there are even plans to launch a cable car to one of the forts – Alexander, aka Plague. The deadline for the completion of the project is 2026-27, but it will be interesting for tourists to visit now.
Finally, not only about “spiritual food”. As the organizers of the press tour noted, in just a few years St. Petersburg has turned from a place where it was not an easy task to feed a group of tourists into a gastronomic capital. In the city, you can try dishes of almost any cuisine – be it haute cuisine of “eminent” restaurateurs, national cuisines of almost all countries and peoples, and even Russian classics in a modern interpretation. Moreover, it is worth noting that some of these establishments are not only ready to feed the “suffering” tourist, but are also actively involved in social projects –
this, for example, is the Entrance from the Street restaurant in the Bertgold Center. It is also a fairly popular topic among modern young tourists …
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