Cycling route of the embankments of Vasilievsky and Petrogradsky Islands

If you love biking and exploring, this route of almost 26km of mostly river embankments and parks, has a lot to offer.  

Our ride begins at the Peter I monument (sculpted by Zurab Tsereteli) in front of Pribaltiyskaya Hotel. We’re at the inception of Ulitsa Korablestroitelei, heading north to where it seamlessly flows into Uralskaya Ulitsa. We take Uralskaya to cross the Uralsky Bridge over the Smolenka River, then take a left on Smolenka Embankment, follow it to Makarova Embankment, and cross the Tuchkov Bridge to Petrogradsky Island.  
The park was planted in 1837–1840 to the order of Emperor Nicholas I. In 1841 the Emperor gave Petrovsky Island and a large part of the park as a gift to his son, Grand Prince Alexander Nikolaevich.
Turning first into Novoladozhskaya Ulitsa and then Pionerskaya Ulitsa, we find ourselves on Admiral Lazarev Embankment. We continue on Pesochnaya Embankment past Vyazemsky Sad (the park on our right), crossing Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt.  
We continue down Ulitsa Akademika Pavlova past Lopukhinsky Sad (the park on our left) and then the Botanical Gardens (on the right).  
We continue on Kronverkskaya Embankment as it curves around the Peter & Paul Fortress (bikes are not allowed inside the fortress), riding past the Military History Museum of Artillery, Engineering and Communications on our right.

Ticket office: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
As we pass the Artillery Museum, we hit Mytninskaya Embankment, riding by the Leningrad Zoo on our right. Farther down, we get onto the Birzhevoy Bridge, crossing it to Birzhevaya Square and the Strelka (or Spit) of Vasilievsky Island.

Ticket offices: Mon-Fri 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sat-Sun 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Right behind the Kunstkammer is the main building of St. Petersburg State University, one of the biggest universities in Russia, consisting of 24 specialized schools and departments, including a department for military training, a department for physical culture and sports, a school of medicine, a school of physical culture and sports, a school of economics, and a school of technology.

Past the University, we ride by the sphinxes in front of the Academy of the Arts. On Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment, we pass by the Krasin, the first Soviet icebreaker, berthed at the 22nd and 23rd Lines of Vasilievsky Island. 

Ticket offices: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

We take a right on Lines 22-23, then take a left towards the harbour as we reach Bolshoi Prospekt. “Vasileostrovets” Sad is the park on our right.  
Next to “Vasileostrovets” Park stands the Kirov House of Culture, once the largest culture centre in Leningrad, sized around 22,300 square metres. It is now a corporate centre with offices for rent.  
The monument that comes up past the Kirov House of Culture is in memory of Anatoly Sobchak, the first mayor of St. Petersburg after the breakup of the Soviet Union. It stands next to St. Petersburg University’s School of Law, of which Sobchak was an alumnus.
Riding down Bolshoi Prospekt in the direction of the harbour, we reach the Marine Terminal and the Lenexpo Convention Complex. Here we take a right to Nalichnaya Ulitsa, crossing the Shkipersky Bridge on Ulitsa Shkipersky Protok, and return to Pribaltiyskaya Hotel along the scenic marina shore.  
Aleksandr Demianchuk/TASS

The Botanic Garden was established in the early 18th century, when Peter the Great ordered that an island near St. Petersburg be made into a garden and planted with medicinal herbs. The order was quickly carried out and the garden was given the name “Apothecary”. With time the collection of plants continued to grow and along with the medical part of the garden, a botanic section with “curious and foreign plants” was set up. Later scientists began serious work here: they organised regular expeditions, published catalogues of the plants, created and classified collections of seeds, built greenhouses for heat-loving vegetables and fruits and all kinds of exotic plants. 

Today a walk around the Botanic Garden is one of the most pleasant opportunities in St. Petersburg to be alone. Each year thousands of people come to see the annual attraction: the blooming of the Queen of the Night. This tropical cactus only blooms once a year, at night, and only for a few hours. Usually this happens in June. A week before the blooming, the news reports on the Queen of the Night’s flower buds are published daily by St. Petersburg’s news agencies. On the day that the cactus blooms, there is a huge line at the gates of the Botanic Garden and its doors stay open until 2 am.

Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

The residents of St. Petersburg are no less proud of their Zenit FC than they are of the Hermitage or the local delicacy koryushka fish; a game at Petrovsky Stadium is no less important than the Mariinsky Theatre ballet or half a dozen doughnuts at Pushechnaya/Doughnut shop at Malaya Konyushennaya Street. During the game the city quiets down, awaiting the final whistle. If Zenit wins, the city erupts in car honks, hoots and cries of happiness. If the team loses, the city is in mourning and everyone suffers a personal tragedy. On days of no games or practices the stadium is open for tours and the visitors get to see the commentary booth, team rooms and the tunnel that the players take to get to the field. You will also be told a detailed story of the club and the stadium, both of which appeared in 1925.

Alexander Demianchuk/TASS
The full name of this institution is the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Kunstkamera is a science centre that employs philologists, historians, ethnographers, geographers, folk art specialists and sociologists. This is also an ethnographic museum with an interesting collection of discoveries made by the different expeditions undertaken by Russians from the times of Peter the Great to the present. Kunstkamera also has exhibits of household items, clothes, weapons and sacred objects of very different peoples: from the Native Americans to Ainu, the native population of the Japanese islands.

The greatest wonder of the Kunstkamera is the Globe of Gottorf; 12 people at a time can take a look at the map of the starry sky made in the 17th century.

The items from the personal collection of Peter the Great, who brought curiosities from all of his trips, are also known as the Cabinet of Oddities and form just a small part of the whole exhibition.

Ticket offices: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Aleksandr Demianchuk/TASS
The first building of St. Petersburg. The cabin was built by soldiers of Peter I for the Tsar immediately upon founding of St. Petersburg.

Opposite the cabin on the embankment is the descend to the river. On both sides of the house are giant statues of Chinese guardian dogs Shisa, brought from Manchuria. These toy dogs which were favored by the empresses of the Manchurian Dynasty in reality are the size of a cat.

Ticket offices: Mon, Wed, Fri-Sun 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Thu 1 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Aleksandr Demianchuk/TASS
The only early 19th century cruiser in Europe owhich participated in World War I. In October of 1917 blank shots of Aurora’s cannons served as a signal to begin the assault on the Winter Palace (Zimny Dvorets) by the Bolsheviks.
Aleksandr Demianchuk/TASS
The former College House of the Emperor Peter the Great is a prime example of Baroque architecture: a tower with a steeple, a roof with a “break”, rustic columns (pilaster strips), fine fenestration, two-color wall paint, cartouche with the Emperor’s bust level with the third floor over the main entrance.
× Cycling route of the embankments of Vasilievsky and Petrogradsky Islands
Open map