9 museums & centers in St. Petersburg that you can visit for FREE

Peter Kovalev/TASS
Walk around the fortress - the same age as the city - and see a unique panel map of the USSR made of minerals and semi-precious stones or look into the most democratic gallery of the city - for free! We reveal where you won't need to buy entrance tickets in the northern capital.

Peter & Paul Fortress

Peter and Paul Fortress, 3

The fortress was laid on the day St. Petersburg was founded - May 27, 1703. A walk around its territory is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the main symbols of the city. You can admire the angel on the spire of the cathedral, listen to the noon shot from the Naryshkin Bastion to mark the middle of the day or make a wish by the tiny sculpture of a hare that escaped from the flood near St. John's Bridge. And, if the weather permits, you can go down to the beach on the Neva River bank: Of course, you can't swim there, but you can visit an exhibition of sand sculptures or just bask in the harsh St. Petersburg sun.

Museum-apartment of Vladimir Nabokov

Bolshaya Morskaya Street, 47

The author of Luzhin's Defense and Lolita was born and lived in this house until November 1917. The museum occupies the first floor of the Art Nouveau mansion: not much of the original interiors has been preserved, but the stained-glass windows on the staircase are impressive. The exposition also includes some of the writer's personal belongings, books and some sketches of butterflies.

Mosaic courtyard

Tchaikovsky Street, 2

The open-air museum of artist Vladimir Lubenko and his students has existed since 1984. Once you get here, you involuntarily look around: is this St. Petersburg, not Barcelona? Bright mosaic panels and art-objects involuntarily bring associations with the Guell Park and Gaudi's works. But Lubenko's works have a special character. Even on the gloomiest day, the courtyard on Tchaikovsky Street is bright in summer.

Lantern Museum

Odesskaya Street, 1

This unusual museum is located on the first street in the world to be illuminated with electric lanterns - Odesskaya Street. It was there that the inventor of the incandescent lamp Alexander Lodygin once lived. Now, there are copies of street lamps of 19th - 20th centuries and the bronze figure of a lantern-maker with a ladder keeps them company. Back then, it was almost the main working tool: before the advent of electricity, lanterns were lit by pouring oil or kerosene into them and climbing up with the help of a stepladder.


13th line of Vasilyevsky Island, 70-72

Museum of contemporary art on the territory of the former musical instrument factory Muzdetal. Galleries are neighboring with artists' workshops, stores, dance and design studios. A good option if you need to recharge and catch a creative mood: in addition to exhibitions, there are poetry evenings, master classes and movie screenings. For example, for its tenth anniversary, Artmuse held an urban sculpture contest.

Artists' attic

Bolshaya Pushkarskaya Street, 10

The People's Gallery opened in 2001 in the attic of a house on Petrogradskaya side and, for more than twenty years, has become a place where you can see art of all directions. Any artist who wants to share his art with the public is welcome there.

‘Feodosy Chernyshev’ Geological Exploration Museum

Sredny Prospect, 74

This is a real Klondike for those to whom the words malachite, quartz and beryl are not an empty sound. This is one of the largest natural history museums in the world - there are more than a million units of storage in it. In addition to various samples of rocks, minerals and fossils, it is worth visitingfor the huge The Industry of Socialism panel. It’s a map of the Soviet Union made of semi-precious stones and gems, which was first shown at the 1939 World Exhibition in New York.

Borey Art Center

Liteiny Prospect, 58

The gallery on Liteiny Prospekt is the oldest in the city. Its extensive collection includes works by young and established artists. At the exhibitions you can see photographs, graphics, paintings of various directions. All together they represent a large cross-section of contemporary art in the city.

St. Petersburg Metro Museum

Odoevsky Street, 29

At this museum, you don't just look at turnstiles and models of escalators, but also get acquainted with the peculiarities of the work of different subway employees, from the postman to the train driver. You will learn how the local subway system control point works, travel on a retro train from the 1960s and get acquainted with the structure of a modern depot.

Dear readers,

Our website and social media accounts are under threat of being restricted or banned, due to the current circumstances. So, to keep up with our latest content, simply do the following:

  • Subscribe to our Telegram channel
  • Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter
  • Enable push notifications on our website
  • Install a VPN service on your computer and/or phone to have access to our website, even if it is blocked in your country



If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

Read more

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies