The Saint Petersburg Stadium is the second football stadium to be built in the city. Construction started specially in anticipation of Russia hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018. The stadium was designed by a Japanese architect, Kisho Kurokawa, with a vision of a modern, technologically advanced stadium. Adapting to the Russian climate, the stadium is suitable to use during the cold winter weather and has a retractable roof for summer games. The stadium is home to the St Petersburg team, Zenith and, of course, to the many Russian football fans. The stadium was officially opened and tested in 2017 for the FIFA Confederations Cup. It has now remained operational, continuously hosting matches and awaiting the start of its flagship event, the FIFA World Cup.
Fortunately, St Petersburg is not a very big city, so nothing really feels that far away. Although the stadium is located on the Krestovsky Island, there are several ways to get there by public transport. The easiest way is to take the subway to the station Krestovsky Ostrov, located on the purple line. From there it is a direct walk through the park, Primorsky Park Pobedy, towards the stadium. There are also shuttle buses leaving from various subway stations: the S3 from Petrogradskaya station, the S4 from Viborgskaya Station and the S6 from Chkalovskaya station. A family shuttle leaves from Chkalovskaya station and arrives right at the doors of the stadium, a better option for people with less mobility. These buses start running 2.5 hours before the start of a match. Remember, that during the World Cup, Fan ID holders are entitled to free public transport to and from the stadium en route to matches.
Saint Petersburg Stadium, 1 Futbolnaya Alleya, St Petersburg, Russia, +7 812 244 33 33
Where to drink
If the day brings beautiful evening weather, which it is likely to do during the summer, one of the best treats of Krestovsky Stadium is to enjoy the bars by the beachfront. Since the rent on the island is very expensive, there aren’t any small, tucked away bars. Instead, they are all spacious but still welcoming. For a family-like atmosphere, head to Villa Zimaleto or Sunday Ginza. Both are equipped to provide an escape from the city, with beach chairs, beautiful views and even equipment for summer sports. For beers fans, a great place is Karl and Fridrich, the first brewery in St Petersburg. It was established back in the 18th century and remains true to Bavarian beer brewing traditions up to today.
Villa Zimaleto, 8 Yuzhnaya Doroga, St Petersburg, Russia, +7 812 942 74 73
Sunday Ginza, 4 Yuzhnaya Doroga, St Petersburg, Russia, +7 812 640 16 16
Karl i Fridrich, 15 Yuzhnaya Doroga, St Petersburg, Russia, +7 812 633 03 03
Where to eat
The St Petersburg Stadium is located in one of the poshest areas of St Petersburg. Here, the restaurants are not just food, they are an experience. If fishing is your thing, then don’t miss out on the Russian Fishing restaurant. Here, not only do you get to enjoy the seafood, you can even catch it beforehand from the pond. For a more refined experience, Il Lago dei Cigni is the place to go for fine food and exquisite service: a perfect night out for two. Or take the whole family to the Chaika floating restaurant. Here, not only will you get waterfront views, but you will enjoy a meal to the gentle rocking of the waves.
Russian Fishing, 11 Yuzhnaya Doroga, St Petersburg, Russia, +7 812 416 02 84
Il Lago dei Cigni, 21, Krestovsky Prospekt, St Petersburg, Russia, +7 812 602 07 07
Chaika, Naberezhnaya Martynova, St Petersburg, Russia, +7 812 919 42 73