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St Petersburg - Activities

St Petersburg Activities

				Peter and Paul Fortress, the oldest building in St Petersburg, on the Zayachy Island in Bolshaya Neva

In summer, a lovely way to while away a day is paddling through the canals and lakes on Yelagin Island. There are also rowing boat rentals at the northern end of the moat around the Peter & Paul Fortress. If you fancy going further afield, take a yacht up to the Gulf of Finland and plant your parasol on the beach. Winter can be just as active if you, like the Russians, enjoy cross-country skiing - Toksovo is a popular resort just north of St Petersburg. You can also try ice swimming, yes that's swimming in icy water (the Neva when it's frozen), if you want to go really local.

Forget the gym, Russians like to de-stress in a banya: a furnace-hot steam room in which they beat themselves and their friends with bundles of birch branches. If you'd rather play sport, the city has many clubs you can join. As for football, St P's team were a shameful lot in the early 1990s but under coach Anatoly Davydov's leadership, they won the 1998 Russian Cup, and made it to the nationals in 2001; you can watch them at the Petrovsky Stadium. Those who prefer smaller balls will be tripping over the numerous billiards places in the city.

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