Central (Centralniy) District
Translation by Evgenya Gavrilova
Edited by Erin Swanson
Boundaries: the joint of Obvodny Channel and Neva River; Admiralteyskiy Prospekt; Gorokhovaya Street; Fontanka River; Borodinskaya Street; Zvenigorodskaya Street; Obvodny Channel. Click here for a detailed map.
This is the very heart of St. Petersburg. The main places of interest are the Hermitage, Palace Square and Palace Embankment; Russian, Ethnographic and many other museums; Mikhailovsky (St. Michael’s) Castle, Field of Mars and the Summer Garden. You can also find there an abundance of monuments, palaces and theaters, the Kazan Cathedral, The Church of the Spilled Blood and the Alexander Nevsky Monastery; the embankments of the Moyka and Fontanka Rivers and the Griboyedov and Smolny Channels.
The most interesting part of the district is situated between the Neva, Nevsky Prospekt and the Fontanka. The Smolny area – together with Nevsky and Staronevsky Prospekts (the unofficial name of a part of the Nevsky after Rebellion Square) – are likewise attractive. However the remote area of Ligovsky Prospekt toward the Obvodny Channel has absolutely no interest from a tourist point of view and can be quite dangerous at night.
Central District contains the greatest number of luxury hotels, shopping and entertainment centers, as well as cafes and restaurants with appropriate pricing policy.
For the most part, all the buildings including hotels and apartments are ancient mansions, some dating back to the 18th Century. One-third of the buildings, primarily the hotels, have been renovated or completely rebuilt. It is the Central District where lodging with unforgettably beautiful window views can be found.
The district has all kinds of ground transportation including bicycles and water taxis. You can easily get to the remote districts of the city and the suburbs from here. There is just one thing that may cause a little trouble which is the lack of parking spaces.
The noisiest roads of the district are Liteiniy, Nevsky and Suvorovskiy Prospekts. Having spent two weeks in the Central District of St. Petersburg you will truly feel the lively pace of life of the northern capital of Russia. If you are planning to stay here for a longer period of time and prefer some peace and quiet, you may want to seek accommodations outside the Central District.