Top ten places to visit in Petrozavodsk

Top ten places to visit in Petrozavodsk Petrozavodsk by e.asphyx

This article was written by Eilidh Oliver, published on 31st October 2012 and has been read 3657 times.

Eilidh is in Petrozavodsk during her Single Honours Russian degree at The University of Edinburgh. Here are ten of her favourite places in and around Petrozavodsk, and she has included restaurants and places of cultural interest, as well as markets and Lake Onega, the most significant landmark in Petrozavodsk.
1. Lake Onega
Lake Onega is the first place I visited in Petrozavodsk. At the end of Prospekt Lenina, the lake looks pretty big, until you realise that what you can see is just the tiniest fraction of the whole lake. I really love going there for walks and to take photographs of the various statues but there are also plenty of beer tents along the shore and a club at the far end.

2. Kivach
Kivach is a bar very close to the university which makes it popular with students (and lecturers). It's open 24/7, does good pizza, has a nice, cheap autumn menu and a relaxed atmosphere. It also has free wifi and the toilets are generally nice (once you've seen toilets here, you will understand why that is a bonus)

3. Sanchez

Sanchez is expensive by Russian standards but the food is good. They do a great hot chocolate which is basically melted chocolate (like spanish hot chocolate but much tastier). The fajitas are also nice. I definitely recommend it for when you fancy eating a meat with a recognised origin, rather than just meat.

4. Indoor Market
My favourite indoor market is just off the main road, on the Kivach junction. If you're walking towards the university, turn right at the crossroads and the market is on your right. It looks pretty small from the outside but has a wide selection of clothes, food and souveniers. The second and third floors mainly have winter coat shops, which are great for having a look at Russian fur coats and practising your Russian.

5. Outdoor Market
In October an outdoor market was held in the square in front of the Musical Theatre. Here they sell lots of vegetables and you can go round and try all the different regions of honey. (who knew honey had regions?) The hats are nice to try on but can be very expensive.

6. Theatres
The theatre is well worth a visit. Petrozavodsk has four - a puppet theatre, the national theatre (in Karelian with Russian through headphones), the drama theatre and the musical theatre. So far, I have only been to the Musical Theatre to see Evgenii Onegin. Although I couldn't understand much of the opera I did really enjoy the music, the costumes and setting. The stage even rotates! Definitely worth a visit. And unlike in the U.K., theatre here is very cheap.

7. The храм

The храм (church) on Alexander Nevskii is amazing. It is the largest church in Petrozavodsk, although smaller than the original which was destroyed during the Finnish occupation. Having never been into an orthodox church before, I was surprised by the lack of chairs. But really loved all the beautiful icons and saints.

8. Kizhi Island
At the beginning of my time here I visited Kizhi Island by ferry. In late autumn the ferry stops due to bad weather and once the winter sets in the only way to get there is by helicopter, so I thought it would be best to go whilst I could. The island hosts a collection of wooden churches and dachas, including those that have been laid out as museums of village life. We visited the largest church, which was being renovated, heard an impromptu bell concert and drank our tea on a wooden pier.

9. Ruskeala
Another great day trip is Ruskeala, an old mine, close to Finland, which is now a beautiful lake. The drive there is rather long but it was well worth it for all the lovely photos.

10. Dachas
Finally, although I haven't yet had the chance to do so, many people have been to a dacha. Some people's host have dachas that they are invited to but if you fancy a weekend with friends you can rent a student dacha or arrange one privately. My friends rented one not far from town where they held newborn huskies, went fishing and had a banya.

Read the Petrozavodsk Mole Diary and find out about a Week in the Life of a Petrozavodsk student.

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