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HSE Campus in St. PetersburgNewsUnique Places to Drink Tea or Coffee in St Petersburg

Unique Places to Drink Tea or Coffee in St Petersburg

You cannot fully enjoy your stay in St Petersburg without going to have a tea or coffee in one of the numerous dedicated places of the city. However, as in any city in the world, St Petersburg has his own original, magical places, where you do not simply have a drink. These places often include anticafés, where the price is not based on your consumption, but on the amount of time you spent on site. Here is a list of these places that you would, beyond any doubt, appreciate spending some time in.

Tsiferburg anticafé (Цифербург) is one of the most famous anticafés in St Petersburg, famous for its comfort and originality. The space is divided into eight zones, called "houses". Their limits are drawn in chalk on the floor. Each zone is said to have some kind of significance. For example, near the "lighthouse" sit those who want to be alone, and next to the "church" usually sit noisy groups. Entering the anticafé, you will have to choose a clock, and bring it with you throughout the experience. It is an original way to know how much time you spend in that place – a reminder to Alice that she is in Wonderland. At night, this anticafe is a very quiet and cosy place, where you can easily find nice musicians, and it is an ideal place for foreigners, as waiters there speak English. The fact that you can choose between various types of natural tea should be highlighted as well  contrary to many other anticafés, which offer only industrial teabags, Tsiferburg provides customers with good and natural ones. 

Cats’ Republic (Республика кошек). Twenty three. This is the number of cats that you can find in this cat cafe famous worldwide. After passing through a kind of ceremony in a cupboard, you will be able to walk around in two rooms dedicated entirely to cats. Apart from the animals themselves, paintings and pictures of cats can be found on the walls of the café. A small game with cats, including riddles, will be proposed to you, in Russian. Beyond any doubt, this place will be appreciated most by cat lovers and the families with children. Yet, there are drawbacks, and it is sometimes criticized for its prices, said to be high. 

Dachniki (Дачники) is ideally located on Nevsky Prospekt. This café-restaurant has been decorated with typical items from the Soviet Union. The place makes you feel at home and nostalgic, even if you never lived in the Soviet Union. In a way, you feel as though you are in a living museum. Indeed, you can find items from the everyday life during the Soviet times everywhere in the café. This is what makes this place so interesting for those born in the 1990s or 2000s. Fun fact: It is possible to play dominos with your friends there. Just ask the waiter for the game and enjoy a good moment of leisure!

Forrest café is one of the most unusual institutions in the city. The creators decided that there should be a corner, a “fairy tale for adults”, in the city. The fantastic interior of Forrest Cafe embodies traditional ideas about the surroundings dense forests of Russia folklore. Tables and benches made from dark wood, a bar in the same style, decorated with floral ornaments, pictures in frames made of branches, all make up the décor, which is definitely fancy and original. The Forrest Cafe menu includes dishes from Russian, European and Georgian cuisines. Forrest Cafe is not only a café-restaurant but also an art space, which regularly hosts concerts. There often are blues, jazz and pop-rock musicians playing there.

These places encapsulate the spirit of St Petersburg  originality, liberty and beauty. Make sure to visit some of them, and be certain to commit these moments to memory forever, so you will have plenty to tell your family and friends!

By Geoffrey Jouanno, an exchange student, Sciences Po Aix-en-Provence, France