A guide to the Petersburg bridges

A guide to the Petersburg bridges
23 June 2016

The bridge system in Saint Petersburg can be confusing to say the least. If you’re visiting in winter, when the rivers and canals are iced over then you have nothing to worry about. However, in summer, all the main bridges across the Neva, the Bolshaya Nevka, the Malaya Neva, and the Bolshaya Neva are drawn up to allow for boat traffic. While watching the bridges go up is a popular tourist attraction, it can be a pain if you live on one of the islands and find yourself stranded at 2am after a few drinks in the city centre.

Here is out cheat-sheet to when the bridges are up and down! Many bridges have two raising times – hence the two times given.

Over the Neva

  • Volodarsky Bridge; 2:00-3:45, and then 04:15—05:45
  • Finland Railway Bridge; 02:20—05:30
  • Alexander Nevsky Bridge; 02:20—05:10
  • Piter the Great Bridge (former Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge) 02:00—05:00
  • Liteyny Bridge 01:40—04:45
  • Trinity Bridge (former Kirov bridge) 01:35—04:50

Over the Bolshaya Nevka

  • Sampsonievsky Bridge; 02:10—02:45, and then 03:20—04:25
  • Grenader Bridge; 02:45—03:45, and then 03:20—04:50
  • Kantemirovsky Bridge; 02:45—03:45, and then 04:20—04:50

Over Malaya Nevka

  • Exchange Bridge; 02:00—04:55
  • Tuchkov Bridge; 02:00—02:50, and then 03:35—04:55

Over the Bolshaya Neva

  • Palace Bridge; 01:25—02:50, and then 03:10—04:55
  • Blagoveshchensky Bridge (former Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge); 01:25—02:45, and then 03:10—0

Watching the opening of bridges is considered a ‘must see’ of the city during summer. There are many boat tours that you can watch them from, but if you’re quick on your feet, walking along the embankments can often mean you see more than you would by boat – and save yourself 800 odd roubles! The Palace Bridge is often said to be the most impressive to watch open.

So make sure you don’t get caught out and stranded this summer! Either aim to cross the bridge before it opens, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, go out with the knowledge of your bridge times and just stay out until they close again.

Elara Shurety is currently studying Russian and interning at Liden & Denz.

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