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Why is this site so disorienting?

There are city guides and websites that deliver everything to you on a plate. This is not one of them.

There are websites that make your life easy by dividing their material into tidy categories such as sights, architecture, accommodation, history, ‘things to do’, and so on. This website takes the view that such categories make life too straightforward.

In a city such as St Petersburg nothing can ever be straightforward.

In fact, the very essence of St Petersburg is its warped sense of direction. Its streets may be straight, but the path that you take through them is bound to be anything but – as you are deflected this way and that by chance encounters and events, headlong plunges into history and myth, and harrowing brushes with the city’s literature, a body of texts and characters which are almost as real as the city itself. Which is to say, not very real at all.

This website sets out to capture the above experience. Take care!

The other St Petersburg has no navigation system to nanny you through its streets.

Instead, we invite you to trust to your own sense of direction – and wander. Pick a starting-point, and then head north, east, west, or south to continue your journey.

In emergencies consult our map.