Russians take their football very seriously –there is no denying that. As a result, St Petersburg has learned to accommodate its avid fans in the many bars that religiously screen important sporting events. Join football fans as they roll into these places throughout the World Cup – just make sure to cheer for the right team!
Bar, European, Russian
Strategically located near the Petrovsky Stadium (not one of the World Cup stadiums, unfortunately), this bar has become a popular gathering place for sports fans. The owners of Oh Sports wanted to create the feel of a Soviet bar, meaning you won’t find any imported beer here. All the drinks are locally produced and of high quality. The snacks may seem strange to those unfamiliar with Russian cuisine, but they have all stood the test of time and definitely go well with a cup of frothy beer.
Gastropub, European, Belgian
This Belgian pub transports you to the heart of Brussels with a delicious European menu, Belgian beers and pictures from its namesake city adorning its walls. The atmosphere here is more sophisticated than your average pub and brings a young, hip crowd together on any given day of the week.
Pub, European, $$$
James Cook is easily one of the longest-standing establishments in the city. The interior aims to recreate the feel of a real English pub, with massive wooden furniture, soft couches and, of course, many brews on tap and a large choice of whiskey behind the bar. Major sporting events are regularly projected on their plasma screen.
Bar, Spanish, Tapas, $$$
The tapas bar Barslona has been enjoying great popularity over the past few years and has opened new locations in the city. What’s so special? It’s one of the few – if not the only – tapas bars in St Petersburg to specialise in Catalan cuisine. On a hot summer day their sangria is especially on point and, during sports events, the beer is always flowing.
Pub, European, Irish, $$$
A very laid-back Irish pub with a simple kitchen, but copious choices of alcohol. Foggy Dew may seem pretty ordinary, but it’s a popular gathering place for football followers. The bar regularly screens matches and creates the perfect atmosphere for fans to get together.
Sports' Bar 84
Located in the Sokos Hotel Olympia Garden, Sports’ Bar 84 bar is frequented by foreigners – but it also attracts a local crowd. Sport is the religion here. If the idea of football on a big screen and a drink in hand makes you happy, Bar 84 is a good call.
Pub, European, Irish, $$$
Another reputable establishment for excellent sports on TV and good beer on tap is Mollie’s Pub. Mollie’s, like many old bars in St Petersburg, doesn’t aim for originality – it just sticks to what it’s good at: beer, snacks and good company.