7 Things to Hate about Saint Petersburg

Petersburg is one of those cities that can cause any kind of feeling except for indifference. However, no matter how loudly some visitors can admire the golden roofs of the “northern capital”, Saint Pete has some sad sides. They don’t devaluate Petersburg as an interesting touristic and historical place, but let’s just follow the principle « forewarned is forearmed », which in our case means “avoiding of a potential deception”.

It is dirty

Putting trash in the garbage bin is not an easy task. And not everyone can be expected to cope with it.  You can’t deny that throwing a bottle or a cigarette in the famous canals is much easier than bothering to find a designated place for this purpose.

Saint Petersburg, Russia Saint Petersburg, Russia

Trash signs

Can’t help thinking about Salzburg, where even the McDonald’s sign was adapted to match with the city architecture. In Petersburg (Moscow and Kyiv too) the concurrence of the commerce is tough, so only the most flashy and aggressive advertisements can win. Huge posters, speakers on the shops, endless leaflets, banners that cut half of the avenue – that’s ridiculous and tasteless.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Wires and cables

Yep. I won’t even bother to remove them in photo editors, they even look kind of authentic.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

More advertisements…

The moment you go round the beautifully clean façade of the sightseeing places, you don’t recognize the city you’ve just left behind. Actually, you find yourself more in a bright yellow-pink-green sea of post-it proposing erotic services 24h. Sometimes they are simply written on the asphalt just under the telephone number of some creepy hostel. Such a tendency is connected to a working migration from the Middle Asian countries.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

The transport system is not clear at all

Except for metro, you’ll hardly get how the buses or trolleys work here. Asking people might be helpful, but only one person out of five will be able to explain anything in bearable English.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

It’s polluted

Every time I went to St Pete, my clothes were literally reeking with the smell of combustible gas. In summertime, I was panicking that I was going to suffocate. Indeed, the air in the city is much polluted, and you can see the thick layer of dirt on most of the buildings. Probably that’s one of the reasons the sky over Saint Petersburg is so heavy and in 90% of cases – dark. As soon as you get out of it, you see the miraculous difference.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Another curse of Eastern Europe – our parking habits. We still live in the illusion that car means freedom, even if it means that the whole old town must be cluttered with this metallic boxes. Taking a picture without a car demands high skills lol, as the parking can be directly near the point of interest. In summer it becomes fatal, when the columns of tourist buses hide Saint Isaac’s Cathedral. Shame!

Check out: Thanks God, we did Iceland by bike!

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia

If it was our goal – to find every tiny fail of St Pete, the list would continue. But it’s not. Petersburg is a great place to visit, but knowing some of the particularities can help from being disappointed. If you think that there is anything else worth to be added to the list, you are welcome to share your thoughts. I excluded all basic tasteless trash that every tourist can face anywhere in the world, but once again, travelers shouldn’t be deceived by well-chosen photoshopped pictures of any place at all.

2017-05-13T13:03:42+00:00 November 19th, 2016|


  1. Greg Kennon Tuesday January 31st, 2017 at 08:53 PM - Reply

    This is awesome! With an abundance of articles written on how great places are, an honest, direct articles about how bad a place is is really needed!

  2. Valeria Chizhova Monday August 21st, 2017 at 08:31 PM - Reply

    First of all hi! haven’t talked to you in ages :)

    As a local and a travelling person I have my objections, really.
    Don’t you think that’s a bit too much, listing all of this solely about St. Petersburg? Like how Moscow is better? There even the metro system is not clear at all)))
    Or I’m just back from Lisboa (not even Eastern Europe), for example, and I’m still shocked at how dirty the city is (even living in SPb that I agree isn’t the cleanest of places :) And from many years ago I remeber tons of variuos litter on evening streets in Italy, with the only difference from Russia – they cleaned it during the night really well.
    Parking of tourist busses has nothing to do with general parking, I would say. Unlike residents, busses 98% of the time park in strictly designated areas, and it’s not their or te city’s fault that there are no other places for them.

    All you’re saying here is mostly true, just why single out St. Petersburg? I could write a similar post about every big city I’ve ever been to, I guess :)

    And the things to hate about SPb are absolutely different :) Like depressingly long and dark winter, that makes you suicidal by mid-February if not earlier.

    • independentpeople Monday August 21st, 2017 at 09:17 PM - Reply

      Оооо, стоило писать этот пост просто чтобы получить такой длинный комментарий :)
      Ну скажем так – чем выше ожидания, тем сильнее обижает реальность. И Питерская зима вполне аутентична и мила!
      А статьи такого формата мы писать перестали – всё же смысл нашего сайта быть скорее красивым фотоальбомом.
      Ты сейчас где и что? Напиши нам на почту!

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