St Petersburg Technical Museums

Museum of Railway Transport

The Museum of Railway Transport is one of the oldest technical museums in the country. The displays at this museum include exhibits tracing the history of railway transport in Russia, which include several mechanisms and machines that are still in working order. In addition the museum holds a collection of model bridges, which includes models of the bridges of St. Petersburg.

This is undoubtedly the country's best museum concerned with railways and charts the complete development of railways in Russia and the former USSR, from the very first Russian steam locomotive, built by the father and son Cherepanov team, to the modern railways and engines of today. The museum boasts some incredibly detailed models, most notably one of a cargo station with railway cars going up and down a hill.

The Railway Museum also owns a collection of old locomotives and cars, which is displayed at a separate location, just outside St. Petersburg (from the Vitebsk Railway Station take a local train to Parovozny Muzei).
Address:   50, Sadovaya Ulitsa
Metro: Sennaya Ploschad / Sadovaya
Telephone: +7 (812) 315-1476
Open: Sunday to Thursday, 11am to 5pm
Closed: Friday, Saturday and the last Thursday of the month
Admission: Adult: RUB 150.00. Students/children: RUB 50.00
Photo and video: RUB 200.00
Accessibility note: Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.


The St Petersburg Doll Museum

The St. Petersburg doll museum was the first of its kind in Russia. The museum consists of an unusual display of dolls that are dressed in national and historical costumes from different time periods. The clothing was made by doll-makers in St. Petersburg, and is based on historical documents, works of art, and literature. The clothes are representative of many countries and peoples from around the world as well as from the different regions of Russia.

The first floor of the museum contains a workshop where skilful craftsmen produce dolls as souvenirs and play things to be sent all over the world. The dolls in the museum are familiar to Russians as they are reminiscent of traditional childhood toys. There are traditional Russian dolls, dolls depicting characters from Russian fairy tales and traditional wooden toys. The dolls range in size from being no larger than a man's palm to being life-size.

The display at the doll museum offers visitors a chance to learn about both Russian folk traditions and the different aspects of life in Russia in past centuries. The exhibitions are arranged according to theme or, as the museum staff say, "according to interests". In the first room, for example, one will see scenes depicting festivities, markets and the interiors of peasants' and merchants' houses. Other sections of the museum include theatrical puppets, characters from works of literature, depictions of the famous St. Petersburg sphinx, and groups of dolls arranged to represent scenes from urban life.

Location:   8, Ulitsa Kamskaya
Metro: Primorskaya
Telephone: +7 (812) 327-7223, +7 (812) 327-7274
Open: Daily from 10 am to 6pm
Admission: Adult: RUB 150.00. Students/children: RUB 70.00
Accessibility note: Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.
Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology

Of the several museums housed in the Peter and Paul Fortress, this is one of the most interesting, although it appears to have the least connection with its historic surroundings. In fact, these particular buildings were used in the 1930s to house one of the Soviet Union's first military rocket research laboratories.

Located in the Ioannovskiy Ravelin, the museum, which has been open since 1973, traces the history of the development of rocket technology in the Soviet Union and Russia. Among the exhibits, visitors will find a number of historic rocket engines, as well as a Soviet era re-entry capsule, cosmonauts' space suits, and a flag of St. Petersburg that was hung from the Mir Space Station for 161 days, before being returned to the city in time for the 300th Anniversary celebrations in 2003. The museum's simply presented exhibits still have the power to thrill, especially for those who remember the heady days of the Soviet-US space race.
Location:   3, Petropavlovskaya Krepost'
Metro: Gorkovskaya, Sportivnaya
Telephone: +7 (812) 230-6431
Open: Thursday to Monday, 11 am to 7 pm. Tuesday, 11 am to 6 pm
Closed: Closed Wednesdays and the last Tuesday of each month
Admission: Adults: RUB 50.00. Children/Students: RUB 40.00
Accessibility note: Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.
Oktyabrskaya Railway Museum

This museum is located a few steps from the former Warsaw Station (Varshavskiy Vokzal), now a shopping and entertainment centre, and part of the exhibition includes a great collection of old steam engines, coaches, and other rolling stock on the disused platforms and tracks behind the station. Indoors, railway buffs will find a treasure trove of Soviet and Russian railway uniforms and other train-related memorabilia, but the pride of the collection is the Scalpel (SS-24) rail-mounted missile system.

Address:   114, Naberezhnaya Obvodnogo Kanala
Metro: Baltiyskaya, Frunzenskaya
Open: Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Telephone: +7 (812) 768-2063
Admission: Adult: RUB 60.00. Students/Children: RUB 40.00
Photo and video: free/included
Accessibility note: Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.


Museum of Civil Aviation

Located in the south of St. Petersburg (on the road to Pulkovo Airport) and attached to the St. Petersburg University of Civil Aviation, this straightforward museum has only one plane (ironically, a MiG-31 fighter jet), but contains a wealth of interesting displays charting to the history of aviation in Russia and the USSR. Among them are two fully reconstructed cockpits (of an IL14-M passenger jet and Yak-18A sports plane), a collection of black boxes, a huge range of airplane instruments, and a fascinating series of antique wall-hangings depicting Louis Bleriot's 1909 flight across the English Channel. The museum also contains separate displays devoted to key figures of Soviet aviation, and a large number of badges and flags from different airlines.

Location:   38, Ulitsa Pilotov
Metro: Moskovskaya
Telephone: +7 (812) 704-1520
Open: Daily from 10am to 4.30pm
Closed: Weekends
Admission: Visit by prior appointment only.
Accessibility note: Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible


Submarine C189 Museum

Built at St. Petersburg's Baltic Factory and launched in 1954, the C-189 is a 613-class diesel-electric submarine that saw 35 years service in the Soviet fleet. Decommissioned in 1990, the C-189 eventually sank in the harbour at Kronstadt, but was rescued in 2005 by a local businessman and former submariner, who decided to turn the vessel into a museum.

The submarine has been fully restored, and guests are free to wander the length and breadth of the vessel, and to touch whatever they want. Entertaining guided tours (in Russian) are provided by former submariners. Visiting with a guide is advisable.

Location:   Peer, Naberezhnaya Leytenanta Shmidta
Metro: Vasileostrovskaya
Telephone: +7 (812) 312-0977, +7 (904) 613-7099
Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm. Last admission at 6 pm.
Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays
Admission: Adult: RUB 300.00. Student: RUB 200.00. Children: RUB 100.00
Accessibility note: Not suitable for wheelchair-bound or motion-impaired visitors