Smolniy Convent (3/1 Rastrelli Square, daily except Wed 11am–7pm, R150, student R90; Chernyshevskaya), a peerless ice-blue Rastrelli Baroque creation that’s now a concert and exhibition hall (concerts R100–600; exhibitions R70–200), is the focal point of the Smolniy district. The neighbouring Smolniy Institute (pl. Proletarskoy diktaturi 3) is the headquarters of St Petersburg’s Governor, but was built between 1806 and 1808 to house the Institute for Young Noblewomen; Lenin orchestrated the October Revolution of 1917 from here. A statue of the man himself still stands in front of the building, and as you enter the Institute’s grounds look out for the now familiar Communist slogan: “Workers of the World, Unite!” (Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Russia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Baikal: exploring Siberia's epic frozen lake

Baikal: exploring Siberia's epic frozen lake

Anita Isalska explores the frozen surface of the epic Lake Baikal in Russia.  During Siberian winters, the mercury drops as low as minus 35ºC (minus 31ºF)…

12 May 2015 • Anita Isalska insert_drive_file Article
Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?

Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?

Follow us on a whistle-stop tour of the latest travel stories, including news of a super-fast train line between Moscow and Beijing, the suitcase that heats up …

21 Oct 2014 • Steve Vickers insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month