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We have curated some fun inspiration for your journey to the cultural center of St. Petersburg!
Saint Petersburg is called “the cultural capital” for a reason: the best museums of the city have gathered true masterpieces of painting, graphics, sculpture, jewelry.
Decoration Ideas & Party Ideas
Use vibrant jewel tones of Faberge eggs and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.
You can also use our Matryoshka nesting doll coloring pages and cut them out to string as garland to hang.
Swap shoes for slippers – taking off your shoes and putting on slippers is one of the most Asian habits Russians strictly observe among other rules and habits that you have to be aware of when visiting a Russian home.
And then, there’s food!
Get ready for some carbs! And make sure your meal includes one or more of the following:
- Russians eat pancakes – better known a Blinis! Russian cuisine was heavily influenced by religious traditions. For example, the custom of baking pancakes has been preserved from the days of paganism: people used to bake pancakes, round, just like the sun. Russian pancakes are very thin and not sweet like French crêpes, but you are encouraged to add any filling of your choice. The Traditional ones are pancakes with sour cream and salmon, caviar or mushrooms, and for the those of you with a sweet tooth – condensed milk or berries. There is even a special holiday, Maslenitsa, which happens every year one week before the start of spring, when for the whole week we, Russians, eat pancakes. Want to make it easy? iHop makes them!
- Dumplings! Or, Pelemi – It is impossible to imagine modern Russian cuisine without such a traditional dish as pelmeni, or dumplings. Many people debate about the origins of this dish as different countries around the world have their own adaptations of it. These are Uzbek manti, and Georgian khinkali, and Jewish kreplah, or Chinese xiaolongbao. Many believe that the recipe came into Russia from China via Siberia and Ural, back in the 15th century.
Just like Pierogies in Polish families, in many Russian families it’s still a family tradition to sculpt dumplings together. The filling of traditional Russian dumplings is a mixture of three types of minced meat – beef, lamb and pork. They are then served in a large bowl with sour crème.
- Make an Olivier salad, or Russian salad, as it’s called abroad. A dish that during the Soviet years came to be associated with winter holidays and the New Year parties. Easy to prepare, tasty, and so nutritious that there’s always some of it left. But it’s not the only Russian party salad – click for more of them.
- Beef Stroganoff – a Russian aristocratic favorite!
- Borscht is a beetroot soup that actually originated in Ukraine and was quickly adopted as a Russian speciality as well. This soup has dozens of ingredients and can take up to 3 hours to prepare. It is full of meat and sautéed vegetables, including cabbage, carrots, onions, and potatoes. It can be served hot or cold and is best served with a dollop of fresh sour cream on top and special garlic bread called pampushka.
- Okay, for your table to be 100 percent Russian, have at least three changes that go like this. Upon arrival, treat the guests to salads, assorted meat and cheese, cold appetizers, and sparkling wine. Second, serve the hot courses like grilled meat, beef stew, fried chicken or fish, and hard liquor… The third change should be dessert – a famous Russian cakes, perhaps, and by all means, tea (not coffee!). And if you think that’s a wrap, think again – tea can sober guests up… so get ready for the real drinking to start after pudding.
- And if you can – don’t forget the vodka!
Passport and Stamp
Crafts to Do
- Here are some simple Russian Crafts
- These Matryoshka Nesting Doll Pockets are adorable
- Make your own Faberge Eggs!
Virtual Tours & YouTube Links
- Click here for our list of videos for music and virtual tours. (Please note that some videos are PG-13 with language.
Movies Set in St. Petersburg
- Golden Eye (James Bond Film) (1995) | PG-13 | Action, Adventure, Thriller
- The Amazing Race Series (2001) | TV_PG | Adventure, Reality
- War & Peace (2016) | TV-14 | Drama, History, Romance
- The Great – (2020) | TV-MA | Hulu series | Dark Comedy, Romance, Drama, Historical (lots of sex and violence but very funny)
- Orlando (1992) | PG-13 | Biography, Drama, Fantasy
- White Nights (1985) | PG-13 | Music, Drama, Dance
- Anna Karenina (1997) | PG-13 | Drama, Romance
- Here is a link to 8 Films that will make you fall in love with St. Petersburg
Explore St. Petersburg in a Novel or Memoir
- Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy, The novel opens the doors of Russia’s noble homes and closely explores the concept of family, all against the backdrop of 19th-century St Petersburg.
- Peter the Great: His Life and World – Robert K. Massie – This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel delves into the life of one of Russia’s greatest, yet controversial rulers.
- Petersburg – Andrei Bely – Set in the years leading up to the Russian Revolution, Petersburg tells the story of Nikolai Ableukov who was ordered by the radical group he is part of to murder his bureaucratic father.
- Midnight in St. Petersburg – Vanora Bennet – This novel tells the story of Inna Feldman who, following the anti-Jewish pogroms in 1911 in the south, flees her home to join her family in the former capital city of St Petersburg.