Parks in Saint Petersburg are as important part of the city, as palaces and museums. They create a unique look of the Northern capital of Russia. We have made for you a list of the parks that represent Saint Petersburg at its best.
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- PARKS IN SAINT PETERSBURG THAT YOU SHOULD NOT MISS
- MUSEUM & LEISURE PARKS IN SAINT PETERSBURG
- WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VISITING PARKS IN SAINT PETERSBURG
Each park in Saint Petersburg has its style and atmosphere. And wherever you go, you will find plenty of picturesque landscapes and city views.
For the list below, I have chosen the parks that represent Saint Petersburg at its best. It is not a list of all parks in the city, it is not even a half of them. But if you visit Saint Petersburg, these are places that you should not miss. You will see the most significant part of the parks and gardens.
PARKS IN SAINT PETERSBURG THAT YOU SHOULD NOT MISS
- Alexander Garden
- Tauride Garden
- Botanical Garden
- Mikhailovsky Garden
- Yelagin Island (Kirov Central Culture and Leisure Park)
- Primorsky Park Pobedy (Victory Park at Krestovsky Island)
- New Holland Island
- Yusupov Garden
- Park of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg
MUSEUM & LEISURE PARKS IN SAINT PETERSBURG
Some parks in Saint Petersburg are parks-museums. Their creation dates back to the imperial era, when Russia was the Russian Empire. They were founded for the members of the imperial or aristocracy families. These are, for instance, the Summer Garden and the park at Yelagin Island.
Other parks in Saint Petersburg are leisure parks. Those are green areas where people can rest in the middle of nature. Leisure parks have sport equipment rental points, children playgrounds, walking areas, cafés and restaurants. These are, for example, Park of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg or Primorsky Victory Park.
Start exploring Saint Petersburg from the Summer Garden. It is the most known park in Saint Petersburg.
The Summer Garden is one of the oldest parks of the city. It was designed by Jean-Baptiste Leblond, a French architect of the 18th century, who also worked in Peterhof.
You will surely fall under the spell of the Summer Garden. Take time to wander in the straight alleys decorated with marble sculptures, wooden arbours, and fountains.
If you look from the Summer Garden across the Neva River, you will see the first palace of Saint Petersburg — the cabin of Peter the Great.
Things to see in the Summer Garden: legendary fence of the Summer Garden that is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, summer palace of Peter the Great, 200+ year-old trees, park pavilions that house cafés or exhibitions, Karpiev Pond with swans.
Address: 2, Kutuzovskaya Embankment. Closest metro stations: Gorkovskaya, Nevsky Prospect.
Mikhailovsky Garden sits in the centre of Saint Petersburg, next to the Church of the Saviour of Spilled Blood and the Russian Museum.
The garden got its name in honour of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, son of Emperor Paul I. Mikhailovsky Palace and Garden were home to this young member of the Imperial family.
Mikhailovsky Garden is a rare monument of landscape architecture, a combination of regular and landscape styles. Though the garden is not large, it looks spacious and airy.
Things to see in Mikhailovsky Garden: white cast-iron bridge, Rossi Pavilion with a pier, a huge 280-year-old oak (considered a natural monument!).
Address: entrance from Griboedov Channel, near the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood • Closest metro station: Nevsky Prospect.
The Tauride Garden is one of the first landscape parks in Saint Petersburg. It was created in the 1780s, during the reign of Russian Empress Catherine the Great. The Tauride Garden was among the most sumptuous parks of the city.
Nowadays, the garden is a picturesque area with trees, ponds, and canals. There, you will meet locals who come for a run, children on playgrounds, and their parents resting in the shadow of the trees.
Things to see in the Tauride Garden: monument to Russian poet Serguey Esenin, monument to Russian composer Piotr Tchaikovsky, monument to Pioneers-Heroes (to children who protected Leningrad during the blockade in World War II).
Address: Kirochnaya Street • Closest metro station: Chernyshevskaya
The Yusupov were an extremely wealthy aristocratic family of the Russian Empire. Some historians say that the Yusupov were richer than Russian Emperors.
The Yusupov Garden occupies a vast territory between Sadovaya Street and the Fontanka River. It is a romantic place with a pond, islands, and bridges.
In the winter of 1896, the Yusupov Garden hosted the first world figure skating championship. The pond in the garden was frozen, and competitions took place on it.
Address: 54, Sadovaya Street • Closest metro station: Sadovaya
Alexander Garden is an old park in the centre of Saint Petersburg. It exists since 1870s. The garden stretches from Palace Square to Senatskaya Square.
Around Alexander Garden, there are many sights: the Hermitage Museum, the Admiralty, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Bronze Horseman (monument to Russian Emperor Peter the Great).
Things to see in Alexander Garden: fountain in front of the Admiralty, sculptures of famous Russian scientists and writers, the rails of the first tramway of Saint Petersburg, the Bronze Horseman, an oak planted by Russian Emperor Alexander II himself.
Address: 12, Admiralteysky Prospect. Closest metro station: Admiraltayskaya, Nevsky Prospect.
Yelagin Island (Kirov Central Culture and Leisure Park)
Yelagin Island is a large island in the delta of the Neva River. Its size is 96 hectares, more than 15 thousand trees grow there. This park is an ideal place for leisurely walks in nature.
Yelagin Island is not only a natural monument, but also a home to one of the Imperial residences — Yelagin Palace.
In summer, Yelagin Island houses multiple open-air events: from sports competitions to opera concerts. But the most spectacular event, in my opinion, is the Festival of Tulips at the end of May.
Nowadays, the park has its soviet-time title — Central Culture and Leisure Park named after Kirov.
Things to see in Yelagin Island: Yelagin Palace, the Art Glass Museum, open-air zoo, the western spit with a view at the Gulf of Finland.
Address: Yelagin Island • Closest metro station: Krestovsky Ostrov
Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Russia.
In 1714, Russian Emperor Peter the Great established an “apothecary garden”. It was a garden for medicinal herbs, as well as rare and interesting “overseas” plants.
This apothecary garden became larger and larger. The growth of the collections and the importance of plant studies led to the creation in 1823 of the Imperial Botanical Garden.
The Botanical Garden has rich collections of living plants in greenhouses and in the park. Visitors can take a tour of the greenhouses to see exotic (for Russia) plants.
The open-air park is also worth seeing. In total, more than 1000 species and forms of plants are grown there: trees, shrubs, semi-shrubs, and creepers.
Things to see in the Botanical Garden: greenhouses constructed in the 19th century, a small rock garden, plant collections and exhibitions.
Address: 2, Professora Popova Street • Closest metro station: Petrogradskaya
Primorsky Victory Park
Primorsky Victory Park was founded in 1945 to commemorate the victory over the Nazis in World War II.
Primorsky Victory Park is one of the best parks in Saint Petersburg and a popular weekend spot for citizens and guests of the city. If you want to have fun, it is a place to go.
In the park, you will find plenty of opportunities to have good time. For example, there is an amusement park Divo-Ostrov with attractions for children and grow-ups. You can also rent a bicycle or a scooter and take a ride across the park.
You will surely love strolling along the central alley toward Gazprom Arena. It is a contemporary stadium that looks like a spaceship.
Things to see and do in Primorsky Victory Park: ride at the Big wheel, meet swans at one of the ponds, try local food at the gastronomic festivals, eat an ice-cream near the fountain, sunbathe at the shore of the Gulf of Finland.
Address: 23, Primorsky Prospect • Closest metro station: Krestovsky Ostrov.
New Holland Island
Park-island “New Holland” is a rather young urban space of Saint Petersburg. It is located on one of the islands in the centre of the city.
Guests of the island can relax outside or opt for one of the cafés. New Holland often houses educational, recreational, and cultural events.
If you are fond of history, it will be interesting to you to see old buildings. New Holland Island has a long history. For 200 years, it was an important shipbuilding yard of Saint Petersburg. There were warehouses, prisons, and even a pool for testing ships and submarines!
Things to see in New Holland Island: old red-brick buildings, Bottle House (formerly, a prison), frigate-shaped children playground, herb garden, café in the Foundry.
Address: 2, Admiralteysky Channel Embankment • Closest metro station: Admiralteyskaya
Park of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg
The park of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg is located at the shore of the Gulf of Finland. It was a gift to the residents and guests of the Northern capital for the anniversary of the city.
The main distinction of this park is a vast sand beach. In hot weather, you can sunbathe and have picnics there. Though swimming is not officially allowed, many people bathe.
Things to see in the park: a view of the new part of Saint Petersburg with contemporary bridges, the stadium, and skyscraper Lakhta Centre, 22-meter-high statue-lighthouse.
Address: 74, Primorsky Prospect • Closest metro station: Begovaya
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VISITING PARKS IN SAINT PETERSBURG
- The majority of parks in the centre of Saint Petersburg are park-museums. It means that certain activities, like having a picnic, are prohibited.
- In April, Saint Petersburg parks close for drying. This is the time when snow melts. The ground paths need drying and maintenance. The “drying” lasts for about 3 weeks. It is impossible to visit parks during this time.
- In summer, in Yelagin Island and Primorsky Victory Park, it is possible to rent a boat/catamaran for an hour or two. If you like water, you will surely enjoy such a tour.
I know that I have left out some great parks. If one of them is your favourite, please, leave a comment explaining why you think it is worth visiting.