Russian cuisine is just as diverse and vast as the large size of the country. The dishes and their taste actually differ depending on the district of the country with more than 150 nationalities living on its territory.

The main feature of traditional Russian cuisine is determined of course by the lifestyle of the Russian people. Russia throughout the centuries has been an agricultural country with the majority of the population being peasants. The center of the Russian house has always been the stove as the source of heat and the place for cooking. This is what influenced the way food was prepared.


Vinegret Salad | Russian Cuisine

Among the appetizers that are extremely popular include all kinds of pickled vegetables: cabbage, cucumbers – and even garlic, which is absolutely delicious! As the season for growing vegetables was usually rather short, – less than six months in some districts – people pickled vegetables to make them last through the winter. Pickled mushrooms and cabbage are amazing with vodka – the most traditional and famous Russian alcoholic drink. They also serve as a base for some salads among them being a fantastic vegetarian salad called Vinegret, which is very popular even nowadays and is always a part of a festive meal.

To make a Vinegret you need: 1 cooked beetroot, 1-2 cooked carrots, 4-5 cooked potatoes, 3 pickled cucumbers, 100g pickled cabbage, 50g green onion, 4-5 spoons oil, 4 spoons of pees. Mix your ingredients and enjoy a delicious beetroot salad!

Red Caviar | Russian Cuisine

Another traditional appetizer that is popular during Christmas and New Year is caviar. Nowadays black caviar is very expensive so Russian people eat red caviar. It is usually eaten on white bread with butter.

Boiled Tongue | Russian Cuisine

Besides caviar Russian people loved boiled pork and cow tongue. This is eaten with a spicy horseradish sauce and is also very popular during holidays.


Soups have always played a vital part in the life of peasants for it was the main dish, it was very rich and – what was more important in the Russian northern climate – it was hot. None of the cuisines in the world can boast of having such a variety of soups. Even nowadays Russians eat many soups. No wonder that the most well-known Russian dish in the world is of course the Borscht (beetroot soup). Shchi (cabbage soup) is also very common. Borscht is considered to be more a dish of southern Russia, even Ukraine, and Shchi is definitely a more northern dish. Both of the soups you can easily find on the menu in most Russian restaurants.

Russian Borscht | Russian Cuisine

There are different varieties of borscht, but they have one thing in common – and that is of course the beets! Here is a recipe for a so-called Moscow borscht. You will need 500g of pork, 1 beetroot, 300g of cabbage, 1-2 carrots, 1 onion, 2 spoons of tomato souse, 4 teaspoons of sugar, 1-2 spoons of 3% vinegar, 2 sausages, 100g of ham, some sour cream.

Cook a broth from pork (about 1.5 hours)

With a use of grater cut the beetroot and stew it in a pan with oil, tomato souse, vinegar, sugar and some broth.

Separately fry a little onion with carrots in a pan.

Add cabbage, carrots and onion to the broth. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add the beetroot, cut sausages and ham to the broth, make the broth boil.

The ready borsch serve on plates with herbs and sour cream. Bon appetite!

Main dishes

Russian Porridge | Russian Cuisine

Since Russia has always been an agricultural country, the most common food was vegetables and grains. Hence the second most popular Russian dish – and the second most important after soups – was «kasha» (or porridge). Buckwheat porridge is considered to be very special. Usually butter is added into the porridge or different kinds of dairy products. One of the most important sauces is sour cream, which you can put into soups, vegetables – in fact into everything. Therefore, if you want a Russian-style party, you can just buy sour cream and add it to all the dishes! It will make them almost Russian.

In addition, a very popular garnish is vegetables. Vegetables were also cooked or stewed in the stove together with meat or fish. Before potatoes became popular (middle of the 19th century), people ate a lot of turnips. Nowadays potatoes are probable the most popular vegetable, but Russians also love to cook pumpkins, marrow squashes that they grow at their dachas (country houses) and eggplants.

Traditionally Russians didn’t eat many meats because of the numerous religious rites that prohibited eating any. Game was rather widely spread because hunting was rather common. It was cooked in a stove as one piece – rabbits, hares, ducks, etc. Usually game was cooked with different berries or fruit like blueberry, cranberry, sour apples and so on.

Russian Mushrooms | Russian Cuisine

Mushrooms also play an essential part in Russian cuisine. They were fried, stewed and pickled. Mushrooms could be added almost to any dish for flavor or they could be cooked as a separate meal. For example, fried mushrooms with potatoes is still a very popular dish.

Fish dishes are also quite popular. In old Russia they would cook fish soup called ukha from different kinds of fish. Fish soup was prepared in various ways and before the 19th century black caviar used to be so cheap that it was a very common thing to be added in soup.

Beef Stroganoff | Russian Cuisine

Among the most well-known dishes of Russian cuisine is the famous beef stroganoff. It is a dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with sour cream. The dish has a unique history. It was named after a wealthy aristocrat from St Petersburg, Count Stroganoff (if you come to St Petersburg you can still see his baroque-style palace on Nevsky Prospect). According to one of the versions the count’s cook invented the recipe for the “open” dinners when nobody knew exactly how many people would show up. Another legend says that the cook came up with this recipe when the Count became old and couldn’t chew meat anymore.

Here is one of the numerous recipes for beef stroganoff. You will need 50g of onions, 100g of 38% cream, 150g of sour cream and 350g of beef. First you need to cut beef and onions to small pieces, put it into the pan, add salt and pepper and fry it so that it is half-ready. Then you mix cream with sour cream until it becomes smooth, add the sauce into the pan and stew for 7 to 10 more minutes. And enjoy your beef stroganoff!


Traditionally as the country was agricultural the main food was always different types of grain. Rye was more for everyday while wheat flour was used to cook different dainty things like pirogi (all sorts of pies with different filling – berries, apples, meat, and fish). And of course the world-famous Russian blini (pancakes) were also made from flour.

Blini | Russian Cuisine

Blini appear in Russia even before 9th century. During celebrations to mark the end of winter they used to symbolize the sun, hence there shape. Russian pancakes are very thin, almost transparent, that’s why they easily absorb butter and sour cream which makes them juicy and delicious.

Kulich | Russian Cuisine

The main desserts in Russia have always been ginger bread and kulich. The first ginger bread appeared in Russia in 11-12th century A.D. as a mixture of rye flour with honey and berry juice. Later people started to add spices into the dough. Among the spices can be cinnamon, cardamom, mint, ginger, cloves, vanilla. Usually Russian ginger bread is covered with glaze.

Kulich is usually baked for the main Russian holiday – Easter. The dough includes cream, butter, sugar, eggs and yeast. Also a traditional kulich must have some raisins or other toppings.

Pirogi | Russian Cuisine

Pirogi is probably also one among the most famous dishes of the Russian desserts. It is a pie with different fillings that can be sweet or rich. In the past not a single feast could take place without pirogis being served. The fillings can include vegetables (like cabbage or carrots), mushrooms, different grains, fish or meat and different berries or fruit.

Here is a recipe for Russian pancakes. You will need 400g of wheat flour, 1 liter of milk, 5 eggs, 2 spoons of sugar, salt and oil for frying.

Mix the eggs with sugar, add slowly salt and flour. Carefully add the milk and mix it to become smooth. Leave the dough for 20 minutes. Then bake the blini on a very hot pan.


Almost all the Russian traditional drinks are original and are not to be found in any other cuisine of the world. Among them are sbiten, mors, different honey beers and naturally the most well-known Russian drink is vodka.

Sbiten was drunk in Russia before tea became popular. It’s a hot winter-time drink. It is based on honey mixed with water, spices and jams.

Meads are alcoholic drinks based on honey. They also include different berry juices and spirits, which makes them strong.

Kvass is also very popular even today. It is made from black or regular rye bread.

Russian Vodka | Russian Cuisine

Speaking about vodka, the drink we know today actually was invented around 1894 by Dmitri Mendeleev. Before him there was no standard and vodka could be any strength (nowadays it must be strictly 40% spirit and 60% water).

And mors is a very common drink even today. It is a non-alcoholic drink made from different kinds of berries – usually cowberry or cranberry. Here is a simple recipe how to cook mors at home. You will need a glass of frozen berries (better cranberry), 1 liter of water, cinnamon and some sugar. First boil the water with sugar and cinnamon. Add the berries and a minute later turn off the cooker. After mors cools down, filter it and the drink is ready!

If you would like to learn more about Russian cuisine and Russian lifestyle feel free to contact us! We offer a special evening program “Dinner with a Russian Family” where you can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience and taste the best of Russian cuisine! And our guides will be happy to help you to communicate. In addition, our company offers pre-set Russian cuisine lunches which you can enjoy during your tour of St Petersburg!

Kazan Cathedral is one of the grandest churches in St Petersburg with its colonnades of 96 columns embracing Nevsky prospect like the outstretched wings of a gigantic eagle. Kazan Cathedral was  designed and built between 1801 and 1811  by Russian artists, (despite being modeled on St Peter in the Vatican) to house a venerated icon, Our Lady of Kazan.

Chinese Palace which was created at the time of Catherine the Great. It is a unique rococo style residence with a famous bugle work cabinet. It is the only palace in the vicinities of SPb which survived World War II. It is one of the private residences which means that only chosen ones could come there, be one of them. Enjoy this unique architectural miracle, much more impressive inside than from the façade. Feel special as it’s only the second season when you can take pictures inside.

This stunning pavilion was created for the wife of Nicholas I which could relax after grand receptions there. It is located on a man made island and decorated in the style of Pompeii and XVIII century Italian country houses. The pavilion is a dream about Italy, an oasis of Southern paradise in the North of Russia. Only the chosen ones could come here. Join them!

There is a chance to drop to the Amber Workshop to see how masters responsible for the restoration of Amber Room keep creating other masterpieces; there will be a chance to take pictures in the workshop as it is not allowed to do that in Amber Room itself.

A special treasure room with ambassadors’ gifts and private belongings of Russian Tsars-all made of gold and covered with diamonds, rubies and emeralds; it is possible to visit it with the museum guide only, should be booked well in advance

One of the most famous collections of French impressionists and post impressionists outside France is situated in the General Staff Building in St Petersburg – just opposite the main Hermitage Museum Complex ( across the Palace Square) – let us know if you are interested and we will book tickets in advance.

We offer unique, once in your life time experience, which proved to be a climax of St Petersburg visit for many of our guests: a lunch with Russian family in their apartment. Enjoying home cooking and speaking with your host and hostess you will learn and understand a lot about Russian culture, traditions and lifestyle, see the way local people live and discuss with them everything under the sun!

The Pavlovsk Park and Palace ensemble is among the finest royal residences in the environs of St Petersburg. Unlike other famous royal residences Pavlovsk has the unique charm of a private estate. The palace was designed in reserved classical style and will be highly appreciated by true art connoisseurs. During a tour of Pavlovsk Palace you will not only be able to witness stunning state rooms used for official ceremonies and festivities in the palace, but also some private rooms where the family could gather together in the evening.

An interactive museum of Soviet arcade machines that are the core of the collection. There are over fifty of them on display. The ticket includes some tokens to play. The museum will help you to go back in time and learn more about the Soviet Russia. As for your kids, they will be curious to learn what was interesting for their fathers and grandfathers.

One of the coziest and most hospitable museums of our city.

Museum has 12 halls of art space. Interior dolls, theatre dolls, fairy-tale dolls, dolls depicting customs and traditions are on display there. All in all, the museum has over 40000 exhibits. It is guarded by purring spirits – 3 cats that appear when the museum is closed and dolls wake up… The only disadvantage is that you can’t play with the dolls, you can only look at them.

A unique and the first one in Russia art space where exhibits of shadow art are on display. You will learn the history of our city in light and shadow language there, meet Peter the Great, its founder, and even face your own shadow. Are you ready to look at everything and even yourself from a different angle?

Unique monument of the XV century built in Western gothic style. The only civil building in this style that survived in our country. There ambassadors were received, the Novgorod parliament and court sat and the grand dinners took place. Now the Novgorod jewelry collection of VI-XVII centuries is on display there.

Enjoy 14 halls with over 250 Novgorod icons of XI-XIX centuries. Novgorod is one of the centers of icon painting in our country. This exhibition is one of the best collections of Russian icons as it allows to follow the history of icon painting in our Russia.

Stretch your legs and enjoy the public boat ride. You will see views of the Volkhov river and the lake Ilmen which is called the Slavonic Sea because the area round is so flat. It takes 1-1.5 hours.

Kremlin is the heart of the city, the fortress in its center. During the tour you can see St Sophia cathedral, the oldest temples of our country made of stone, the monument to the Millennium of Russia and the place where merchants used to trade which is called “Yaroslavovo Dvorische” – Prince Yyaroslav court.

A functioning Russian orthodox monastery. It was founded in the XI century by Yaroslav, the grand duke who was baptized by St George, hence the name. St George cathedral, a gem of Russian medieval architecture, has unique frescoes and even an ancient graffiti.

Kazan Cathedral  one of the grandest churches in St Petersburg with its colonnades of 96 columns embracing Nevsky prospect like the outstretched wings of a gigantic eagle; it  was built between 1801 and 1811 to house a venerated icon Our Lady of Kazan by Andrey Voronikhin (a serf of Count Stroganov).

Divo Ostrov (the name means Wonderful Island in Russian and the attraction is really located on an island) is the best amusement park in Russia. It was founded in May 2003 and had 17 attraction rides then. Now there are 46 of them. Some of the amusement rides are for adults, some for families and some for kids. Divo Ostrov gives unique impressions to people of all ages. Every adult gets a ticket to his childhood and every child finds himself in the world of his dreams and fantasies.

If you are a passionate train lover, this place is your paradise: it’s the biggest railway museum in Europe, a sort of “Technical Hermitage”.  You can practice driving a train with the help of the simulator here: enjoy 6 real life scenarios! If you come with small ones, there are game zones especially for them. If you finally get bored of trains, you can take a selfie with a sad peasant  in the cold carriage or to practice Morse code with a plaster telephone operator.

Russian museum is the biggest museum of national art in the world and a unique architectural ensemble of the historical center of Saint Petersburg. With its 400000 exhibits it covers the history of Russian art from X century icons  up to XX-XXI century avant-guard art  and soviet  painting. You can see Ilya Repin, Mikhail Vrubel, Mark Shagal, Vasiliy Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and many others there.

An annual festival of sand sculptures on the territory of Peter and Paul Fortress; international team of sculptors from different European countries create sculptures from special sand on the given subject which varies every year; the exhibition will be of great interest for you and your little ones

St Petersburg boat tours offer a perfect way to see the city under a bit different angle – sailing under numerous bridges along rivers and canals, and listening to curious stories from your guide. St Petersburg boat tours are especially majestic during the White Nights season in St Petersburg.

This private museum is a model of Russia made at the scale 1:87. The model is 800 square meters and symbolically shows all regions of our country. It’s the biggest model in Russia and second biggest in the world (after Minjatur Wunderland in Hamburg). It took 100 people 5 years to complete it. The model is interactive, so your children will be delighted to press buttons there.

It’s a museum inside the other museum. This section has 2400 exhibits which makes it one of the most prominent collections of this kind. Our country had the biggest Jewish population in the world at the end of the XIX century. So, this exhibition shows how the Jews lived in the Russian empire. You will know everything about traditional costumes, books, things used in everyday life, holidays, crafts the Jewish took part in, holidays they celebrated, etc.

These stunning pavilions were created in 1830-40 for the wife and daughter of Nicholas I (the daughter’s name was Olga). There the tsarina could relax after grand receptions.  They are located on manmade islands and decorated in the style of Pompeii and XVIII century Italian country houses. These pavilions are dreams about Italy, an oasis of Southern paradise in the North of Russia. Only the chosen ones could come here. Join them!

Agate rooms are a two-storied bath house. The first floor was used to take a bath and the second one had famous rooms where guests could relax afterwards. Their walls were decorated with agate – hence the name.

This unique complex was built by Charles Cameron for Catherine II in the 18th century and was restored only after WWII. It managed to preserve almost intact. Fortunately, this treasure is not as popular with mass tourism as Catherine palace, so if you want to enjoy something truly authentic and not overcrowded, this is definitely your choice.

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The Faberge Museum has the world-class collection of Faberge Masterpieces (including 14 Easter Eggs), gift boxes, Russian enamels etc.The collection is situated in 9 beautiful rooms of Shuvalov Palace. It was opened in November 2013 and founded by the “Link of Times” Cultural Historical Foundation, established by Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg to repatriate lost cultural treasures to Russia.

The fourth tallest dome construction in the world. St Isaac’s Cathedral used to be the main Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Russian Empire. The enormous decoration of the interior of the cathedral, was created in the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.Gilded bronze, malachite and lapis lazuli together with countless paintings, columns, mosaics, will take your breath away.

One of the best private palaces in the Europe .Its real gem is a home theater. Outstanding Russian singers and dancers performed there.In this palace young Felix Yusupov, the heir of the family, and other conspirators assassinated Grigory Rasputin.  During a visit to the palace you will learn about the plot of Felix and how it was brought to life.

Peter and Paul Fortress here our city was founded in 1703.Peter the Great started a fortress to protect the lands won back from Sweden. Now it is one of the most important 18th century fortresses in Russia and Europe.St Peter and Paul Cathedral is the burial place of almost all Russian Tsars from Peter the Great up to the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Many metro station vestibules and platforms are adorned with marble, granite, bas-reliefs and mosaics which makes them look like underground palaces. The very first 10 stations appeared after WWII and have various military and Soviet symbols reminding visitors about the glorious victory over Nazi Germany. Owing to the city’s swampy subsoil, most of the lines were built extremely deep underground.

Peterhof is definitely “a must-see” for any first-time visitor to St Petersburg.It is often called the “Russian Versailles”: it is a real “kingdom of fountains” and true paradise for little children (as well as adults) with amazing cascades, a variety of unique and playful fountains, Grand Peterhof Palace, and other small ones.

Catherine Palace Is a must to visit. Inside you will find a succession of interconnecting rooms in Baroque style and somewhere in the middle of that enfilade is the famous Amber Room which was called by contemporaries “the eighth wonder of the world”. The palace was badly damaged during WWII and amber panels were stolen by the Nazi. But they started restoration in 1979 and finished it in 2003.

St Petersburg Siege Memorialcommemorates the hardship that Leningrad‘s (the soviet name of our city) citizens endured during the siege which lasted 900 days (1941-1943) and took away about 1.5 mln lives. The most striking part of the memorial are the tableaux of soviet citizens facing south towards the enemy. It was designed to be viewed from a distance. In the subterranean memorial hall are relics from the siege.

Offers fresh food from all over the former Soviet Union: melons, tomatoes, farmhouse honey, pickles, sour cream, ham and gherkins, not to mention imports such as kiwi fruit. Most vendors offer the chance to taste a sliver before buying. Outside the market are “babushkas” (pensioners) who sell things they have grown at their dacha (summer cottage) or gathered in the forest.

Hermitage Museum one of the most important and oldest museums in the world. It has one of the largest collections of paintings. If you spent one minute viewing each exhibit of the Museum it would take you11 years to see everything. The collection of the French Impressionists is exhibited in the General staff building which is located opposite the Winter Palace.

Most famous for almost 21,000m² of mosaics that cover both the interior and the façade of the building. The mosaics were created in Russia, which makes them even more valuable. It is the only building in our citybuilt in the style of Moscow churches. The church was built on the place where Alexander II was assassinated, hence the name.

St Petersburg boat tours offer a perfect way to see the city under a bit different angle – sailing under numerous bridges along rivers and canals, and listening to curious stories from your guide. St Petersburg boat tours are especially majestic during the White Nights season in St Petersburg.

Alexander Palace was commissioned by Catherine II for her grandson, future Russian tsar Alexander I and later became the summer home of a succession of Imperial heirs, each of whom left their mark on the building.