Unusual Museums in St Petersburg

What are the ABC attractions in St Petersburg? Surely, it’s Hermitage, Russian Museum and some Cathedrals and Palaces. If you want to explore some other letters of the city’s alphabet, there are more than 300 Unusual Museums in St Petersburg for you.

With more culture activities and sophisticated art galleries than Conde Nast could handle, rest assured your travel experience will be unique and one-of-a-kind.

Step into a unique off the beaten path of St Petersburg for a culture taste.


Russian museum

Grand Model Russia.

Grand Maket Russia

On our St Petersburg tours we like taking our tourists to the world’s largest model layout (after Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland). Kick it Russian style and think big, as big as Russia.

This place is admirable in its size. It covers an area of 800 meters and consists of everything we have in our country — rivers, lakes, mountains, villages, small towns and large cities. There are also tunnels and bridges, ports and airports, factories and mills, and even metro stations. The car, trains and people move.

At this exhibition the sun rises and sets, showing life both during the day and at night, you can even hear a thunderstorm in the mountains during the night. There are a lot of well-known Russian landmarks such as Moscow Kremlin, Admiralty in St Petersburg, Kizhi Island in Karelia and many more.

The creators of this model tried to build as many great places of our country as possible. There you can find all Russian regions such as Ural, Siberia, the Far East, Sochi and the seaside, big rivers such as Volga and Don.

Russian Federation is the biggest country in the world and it’s very difficult and sometimes impossible for many people to travel to all regions and cities and see all the national beauty, so this model is the great chance to do this.

St Petersburg Grand Maket Russia by the numbers:

  • Scale 1:87;
  • Layout area of 800 square meters;
  • In the TOP 10 museums in Russia;
  • In the TOP !0 mist photographed places in St Petersburg;
  • Every 13 minutes day turns into night and the lighting of the model changes;
  • 18 minutes – the travel by train from St Petersburg to the Far East;
  • 2500 meters of rails;
  • 500 000 LED lights (first in the world).

Petrovskaya Aquatoria 

Let’s make it as crystal clear as water – all St Petersburg sightseeing should start here!

Historical theatre-model “Petrovskaya Aquatoria” is a history about the beginning of St Petersburg and Russian navy in miniature. There you will see the life of old Petersburg in all its beauty: old parks and palaces, paved streets and buildings.

The main peculiarity of the model is real water area which symbolizes Neva River and the Gulf of Finland, with moving ships of Peter’s times.

Good place for those tourists who don’t have enough time to see the suburbs of St Petersburg, as there you will see not only historical center of the city but also Peterhof, Kronshtadt and Oranienbaum – all in one place.

St Petersburg Petrovskaya Aquatoria by the numbers:

  • Scale 1:87;
  • Layout area of 500 square meters;
  • 20 tons of water;
  • more than 100 ships and small vessels;
  • 305 meters of roads;
  • 1,000 vehicles, and including moving carriages;
  • more than 1,000 buildings;
  • 20,000 LEDs;
  • 25,000 characters.

Perfume Museum

Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.

Perfume Museum shows the history of perfume manufacturing and packaging from ancient times, and how natural ingredients are combined with substances to create modern perfumes .

If you want to find out the secrets of making perfumes, come here to admire antique hand-made scent-bottles and have a look at old magic books with secrets of making scents, the perfume which was used by women in  XIX and XX century. The oldest perfume here is dated from 1848!

Off the beaten path St Petersburg

Photo: Perfume Museum St Petersburg

Museum of illusions

If you want to have a walk along St Petersburg roofs, or escape from zombies you should visit the Museum of Illusion, which actually consists of several museums such as Giant’s museum, Glass Labyrinth and the Museum of Butterflies.

The museum is full of installations which make you feel as if you are among giant objects like Alice in Wonderland in the endless labyrinth or as if you are in the tropical island, because hundreds of butterflies will be your fellow travelers during your visit here.

Unusual St Petersburg museums

Photo Museum of Illusions, St Petersburg

Erarta Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art is full of innovative technologies and new unusual works of art. Permanent exhibitions of Russian Art by more than 140 artists from Saint Petersburg and regions of Russia from 1960th to the present day.

There are 5 floors of painting, graphic art, sculptures, installations and video art, eight museum halls, experimental “U-spaces” and cinema halls, galleries located in the northern wing of the building display original works by artists who may not be represented in Erarta museum, which are for sale.

At the entrance you’ll meet statutes of goddess of Era and Arta. The façade is rather historical but inside it’s completely restored. The overall object of the museum is to collect, exhibit, and popularize most ingenious and skillful works by contemporary artists. You may want to check the art shop on the first floor.

If you take Moscow St Petersburg tours, make sure to drop into Moscow Museum of Modern Art, well worth a visit too.

The Coffee Museum

Did someone say “coffee break”? You’re in the right city for coffee experience!

Saint Petersburg is a city of coffee, and it is the most popular and favorite drink here since its very foundation.

St Petersburg Coffee Museum is the one and only coffee museum in Russia. It’s rather new as it was founded in November 2008.

The private collection illustrates а history of coffee from ancient legends to the late XX century. During the excursion you will witness coffee harvesting, processing and roasting in different countries of the world, learn about the history and the origins of coffee in Russia.

The museum offers guided tours. Beat the heat (or the cold) with coffee tasting shows, recharge and relax here with unusual sorts of coffee and don’t miss the signature drinks in the museum’s coffee shop. You’re on coffee time.

Unusual attractins in St Petersburg

Photo by Coffee Museum in St Petersburg

non-touristy St Petersburg

Coffee Museum in St Petersburg


Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Shostokovich, Brodskiy and many other world-famous writers, poets, composers and artists lived here in Saint-Petersburg.

Embrace your inner poet or artist and visit the places of their living, such as Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum, the literary display devoted to the writer’s life and work: photographs, documents, letters manuscripts etc. The museum’s stage hosts performances by St Petersburg theatres from other cities and countries.

These are not Tsar’s castles that you can see on a Peterhof tour. No, these ones are very cozy and intimate.

Interesting museums in St Petersburg

Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum. Photo by Palytra.com

Creative Galleries and Spaces (Tkachi, Taiga, ArtMuza, Etagi etc)

St Petersburg is full of creative spaces for young artists, architects, designers and other creative people. For example, in “Art Centre” at Perinnye Ryady you can find a unique collection of the best art galleries of the city, reflecting all tendencies of modern and classical paintings, over 300 works by professional artists.

The last floor of “Tkachi” is a a 2000-square-meter creative space for major exhibitions, concerts, fairs and festivals like lively paintings of Aivasovsky, Van Gog or Dali.

St Petersburg museums

Photo by Tkachi Creative Space in St Petersburg

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