Traveling around St. Petersburg is available to everyone. We tell you which St. Petersburg museums and theaters have special conditions, excursions and programs for tourists with disabilities.
ST. PETERSBURG IS ACCESSIBLE FOR EVERYONE
Everyone should see St. Petersburg. As Sergei Korneev, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg, emphasizes, the city is open to all tourists at any time of the year. Conditions for guests with disabilities have been created in the Northern capital.
“St. Petersburg has all the resources for a comfortable stay for tourists, taking into account the physical condition of people. For this, special routes are being developed in the city, museums, attractions, exhibition centers, gastronomic establishments, transport and other infrastructure are being adapted for visiting. Information about such projects is presented on the Visit-Petersburg.ru portal in the “Accessible Environment” section, says Sergey Korneev.
The St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee has developed 8 accessible tourist routes for the disabled and people with limited mobility.
These are the routes “Grand Petersburg”, “Country residences of the Romanovs”, “Tsarskoye Selo walk” (a route for a blind group), “Confessions in St. Petersburg” (the tour is conducted in Russian sign language), “Siege of Leningrad” ( for children), “Tsar's fun” (for children), “Great Petersburg”, “Where the city begins” (route for the blind group).
Tourist trips to Tsarskoye Selo are available for travelers with limited mobility. Photo courtesy of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg
Specialists of the City Tourist Information Bureau (STIB) have compiled another inclusive route. It passes through the center of the city and is called “Around Zero Mile”.
By the way, the STIB offices are also accessible to people with limited mobility. For example, in the pavilion on Palace Square and in the office on Sadovaya 37, roll-up ramps have been installed.
Intercoms are available in the pavilions on Palace Square, Vosstaniya Square, in Aleksandrovsky Park (next to Ioannovsky Bridge), in the offices on Sadovaya, 14/52 and Sadovaya, 37.
Signs “Calling an employee” are located in the pavilion on Palace Square and in both offices on Sadovaya.
SEE THE INVISIBLE
Almost all popular museums of St. Petersburg are available for guests of the city with disabilities. Special excursion programs for tourists with disabilities, including excursions with sign language translation, are available in the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the Russian Ethnographic Museum, the Faberge Museum, the Peterhof, Gatchina and Tsarskoe Selo museums, the Museum of Music in Sheremetevsky Palace, the State Museum of the History of Religion, the Museum of the Defense and Siege of Leningrad, the Museum of Bread and the historical park “Russia – My History”.
It's not just about special ramps in front of the building or maps and signs in Braille. The museums of the city have developed truly unique and exciting programs that allow people to get the maximum experience and feel the real St. Petersburg hospitality.
So, in St. Isaac's Cathedral, visitors with limited mobility can use a special elevator to climb in a wheelchair to an observation deck located at a height of 37 meters. In the reviews after such a rise, people write that this visit to the cathedral was one of the most vivid impressions of a trip to St. Petersburg, because they managed to see such a beautiful city from a height for the first time.
The route “From sensations to feelings”, designed for tourists with visual problems, is absolutely incredible in terms of content and details.
The route “From sensations to feelings” is designed for tourists with visual problems. Photo courtesy of St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee
It is laid out in such a way that those visitors who cannot see the cathedral get a complete, as far as possible for a blind person, idea of where Isaac is located in St. , sculptural.
To do this, in working with tourists, relief-graphic images, a collapsible model of St. Isaac's Cathedral, elements of the interior of the temple, intended for tactile inspection, are used. For example, several fragments of the mosaic icon “Apostle Peter” introduce blind tourists to various mosaic technologies.
The route “From sensations to feelings” is thought out to the smallest detail: it is complemented by a detailed audio tour, the text of which was prepared taking into account what to listen to the tour will be blind people. Also, along with an audio guide, each blind visitor is given a route map in Braille. A museum staff member will accompany a special guest during the tour.
According to the same methodology, the excursion route “See the Invisible” in the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood was developed. The route points are located along the perimeter of the temple in a certain order, and a person gets the opportunity to first realize how the temple is located in the urban space, learn the history of its construction, then touch and “see” its layout in this way, and then get acquainted with the features of the decoration. The layout of the temple is made in the proportion of 1:135 from wood and glass beads.
The routes in both Isaac and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood are built in such a way that a blind person does not have to go as part of an excursion group, he can go through them on his own with an audio guide. This is important for the development of inclusive tourism, because in this case, people with disabilities can visit museums themselves.
WHAT OTHER SIGHTS IN PETERSBURG ARE ACCESSIBLE FOR TOURISTS WITH DISABILITIES?
For citizens with hearing impairments, the Educational Center “Languages Without Borders” regularly organizes exciting excursions in Russian Sign Language (RSL) to museums and the city for a nominal fee. You can sign up by phone: +7 (921) 995-53-26.
Popular theaters and concert halls are available for tourists with limited mobility. Among them are the Mariinsky Theatre, the Academic Chapel of St. Petersburg, the Petersburg Concert, the Variety Theater named after Arkady Raikin, the Baltiysky Dom Theater Festival, the St. Petersburg Masterskaya Theater.
In addition, the State Special Central Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired operates in St. Petersburg. Her collection of books is available to everyone, regardless of visual acuity.
THE PROJECT “MULTIDIMENSIONALITY OF CULTURE” IS IMPLEMENTED IN PETERSBURG
It should be added that since January 2022, no having analogues in Russia, a special project called “The multidimensionality of culture”.
It provides everyone with the opportunity to become a full participant in the cultural life of the city, regardless of the state of health. People with disabilities who wish to take part in this project need to register to attend events in theaters, museums, galleries and concert halls of St. Petersburg.
Learn more about tourism traditions, routes and cultural events, entertainment and shopping in St. Petersburg is possible on the official city tourist portal Visit-Petersburg.ru, on its official VKontakte page and Telegram channel. And also – in the special project #DiscoverYourPetersburg.