Moscow may be Russia’s capital city, it is the center of governance, and the location of its many historic sites such as the Red Square, the Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and Moscow Kremlin.  However, another famous city in the country, St. Petersburg holds the unofficial title of being the cultural capital of Russia, and other European cities. It is also protected by UNESCO. 

However, despite the city’s cultural prominence, there are still many ways to enjoy it without breaking the bank. Here are some of the affordable places in St. Petersburg you can visit. 

Visit St. Petersburg’s Museums for Free or at a Discount

Visiting museums is always a good way to learn more about another culture, especially their history.  As a cultural center in Europe, St. Petersburg is host to over 100 museums spread across the city. No wonder it has earned a moniker among the locals as the “Gord Muzei” or the city of museums. Some of the museums have free admission all year round, while others require an entrance fee. The Sigmund Freud Museum of Dreams, the Vladimir Nabokov Museum, and the city’s Orthodox Cathedrals have free admissions all year round. 

If you are a student, in case the museum you want to visit is not free, there are two ways your museum trip in the city can still be affordable. One is by availing of ticket discounts when you show your student ID and passport. Another way is to visit some of the museums on the days they are free. For example, the most popular museum in St. Petersburg, the State Hermitage Museum, is usually free during the first Thursday of the month. Kunstkamera, the city’s first museum, you can visit for free on the third Thursday of each month. 

Enjoy Various Exhibits or Just Read at the Russian National Library 

Do you love books? How about Russian history? If you love both, then another free activity you may enjoy is visiting the Russian National Library. The library which has been around for more than two centuries now also has in its collection centuries-old manuscripts, books, and other prints written in many different languages. Aside from prints, art objects are also part of the library’s collection. 

Entering the library is free and it is open from Monday to Sunday, except during public holidays and each month’s last Tuesday. If you want to access its reading rooms and books, you need to register for a library card. For foreign students, they need to show all original documents of their valid passport, visa, and other registration documents provided by the National Migration Service of Russia. The library also organizes exhibits and showcases different literature or historical items from various parts of the world. 

Visit Udelka Near the Udelnya Metro Station

If you want to buy unique and interesting stuff but do not want to spend a lot of money, you can visit St. Petersburg’s biggest flea market, the “Udelka” or Udelnaya, found in the northern part of the city. Here you can check out many items dating back to World War II and Russia’s Soviet era. Aside from those artifacts, you can also buy other items such as vintage jewelry, sacred images, porcelains, and items you can use such as books, clothing, and anything you may find useful. 

Knowing the many affordable places in St. Petersburg, plus knowing its cost of living can help students save and budget their money while staying in the country. To learn more about Russia’s cost of living, check out MSM Unify’s article on Cost of Living in Russia for International Students.