St Petersburg bookstores are like any other bookshops in the world, a cosy place to retreat from the digital world and delve into your favorite literature, on this occasion Russian.
St Petersburg as in the whole of Russia, is home to an impressive collection of engaging and extensive bookshops open from morning till late that celebrate the country's extraordinary literary history and culture, for which it is famous worldwide.
I have no doubt that any type of reader browsing through the aisles of St Petersburg bookstores will be able to find what they need, as well as enjoy a cup of coffee in serenity, or even buy a Russian souvenir or a postcard. From classical and contemporary
literature, to political journalism and cooking, or fiction and much more, there is no lack of choice.
The only downside for a foreigner could be the language barrier! Unfortunately, the majority of books lined up on the shelves of the city's bookstores are written in Russian. But don't despair! There are also a few shops where you can buy books in English.☺
If you’re a book lover like me, or you simply want to spend a few hours visiting antique and second-hand bookstores in search of that Russian classic that’s been on your must-read list to Russia, here’s a list of the best central St Petersburg bookstores featuring a selection of foreign language books, and worth a stop in.
Below you can find a list of my favorite St Petersburg bookstores worth visiting.
Address: Nevsky Prospect, 28| St Petersburg 191186, Russia | Phone (+7) 812 448-23-55
"Books for Everyone"
This landmark bookstore known locally as Singer House (Dom Knigi) is in a beautiful building with a gorgeous Venetian style interior and is always busy. Over 150,000 books are stocked ranging from fiction to political journalism, nature, philosophy, children’s books, maps, guide books, art and culture albums, cook books, foreign books (in many languages), movies – in fact every genre imaginable. There’s a café where you can take a book to read while you enjoy refreshments, a souvenir section too, and the building has enormous panoramic windows for you to enjoy the view of Nevsky Prospect. If you are looking for some unique and classy gifts this is the place to go.
Address: Nevsky Prospect, 28| St Petersburg 191023, Russia | Phone (+7) 812 640-44-06
"A Charming Bookstore with Competitive Prices"
Knizhnaya Lavka Pisateley is one of the
oldest bookstores not only in St Petersburg but in the whole of Russia. The name hasn’t changed since it was founded
in the 1930s and the shop is protected by the government. No rent is paid so their prices are
significantly cheaper than other bookshops. Through its history this has been the place where famous poets have
held poetic readings and they continue to do so today. Step in for a look, sit and enjoy the charming atmosphere.
Address: Liteiny Avenue, 57| St Petersburg 191014, Russia | Phone (+7) 800 500-25-09
This is a family specialist bookstore established in St Petersburg in 1926. The store is filled from floor to ceiling with an interesting selection of literature some from lesser-known publishers, as well as rare books. They have children’s books, publications on art and design, contemporary non-fiction and classical and modern literature. They also sell unusual notebooks, souvenirs of their own production, badges, and other novelties. A coffee house (“Meet Joe”) inside the store is where you can leaf through your favourite book while enjoying refreshment.
Address: Fontanka River Emb., 38| St Petersburg 191025, Russia | Phone (+7) 812 579-82-84
"For Queen's English Books"
Anglia British Bookshop, handily situated in central St Petersburg is the place to go if you can’t face reading Chekov’s plays in Cyrillic. Expats and tourist flock to this bookstore where you’ll find a large selection of books, both fiction and non-fiction in English (and a few other foreign languages). Children’s books are here too, and whether you’re looking for a reference book, a dictionary, a Russian study guide, or just anything in English then you’re sure to find some reading material here.
Address: Nevsky Prospekt, 46| St Petersburg 191186, Russia | Phone (+7) 812 244-96-52
"The Largest Chain of St Petersburg Bookstores"
Bookvoed has a huge assortment of books and even some comic books in Russia (Marvel/Manga). Not only is there a library area, but school provisions, gifts, souvenirs, and hobby and writing materials too. The café out back hosts free guitar sessions, poetry readings and wifi. They even have a second-hand book section and a children’s section. A sizeable English language section has some paperbacks to stock up on for your upcoming journeys. All manner of books (over 2 million) can be ordered from Bookvoed’s on-line store in all world languages.
Address: Italyanskaya Street, 33| St Petersburg 191023, Russia | Phone (+7) 981 702-02-28
"Greeks Welcomed Here"
At 28-OY you’ll find a huge and nice selection of comics and graphic novels from well-known publishers, many in their original form, i.e. not translated to Russian. The staff love geeks who love comics and it’s a magic place to shop. Their website is a delightful design that encapsulates their comic spirit and items can be purchased via their website. In addition to comics they also sell T-shirts emblazoned with motifs from your favourite comic strip. Badges, vinyl records, unusual notebooks can also be purchased.
Written by Davide C.