St. Petersburg is the second largest city in the largest country in the world. Bordering the Baltic Sea, next to the Neva River, St. Petersburg is known as a center for history and culture. Saint Petersburg is sometimes called the West of Russia because of its similarities to Western culture in its look and feel.Photo credit: HBarrison.
With all of the history and art in St. Petersburg, this is the perfect place for a creative volunteer! There are a variety of ways to help in St. Petersburg’s art world - from teaching art classes to working at a museum to restoration, find a project that’s right for you.
St. Petersburg’s rich history makes it a great place to learn while you volunteer. Take a course in Russian and history while you give back to the community. Learning about the local culture and language while you serve is a great way to become even more immersed in Russian life as well.
UNESCO has a strong presence in the center of St. Petersburg because of the many historical buildings there. Even so, a surprising number of the 8,000 architectural monuments have been destroyed in recent years. Volunteers have been working to restore the beautiful architecture, especially museums. Lend a hand to restore these beautiful and historical structures.
Best known for its beautiful architectural monuments, St. Petersburg boasts many first-rate cultural attractions. St. Petersburg also has a robust music, art, and nightlife scene to keep you busy during your free time.
Most volunteer programs in St. Petersburg don’t require you to know Russian but it’s highly recommended. The city has a great rail/subway system for getting around, which is also a great way to save money instead of taking taxis. Formal greetings and conservative clothing is common. It’s also respectful to keep eye contact.
Questions to ask before volunteering: What kind of accommodations are right for me? What is my budget? How will I be contributing to the local community? Is my project sustainable? Do I need to know Russian?
Best Places to Volunteer in St. Petersburg: Try volunteering at a museum to get immersed in history and culture at the same time. The most popular museum in St. Petersburg is the State Hermitage. Founded in 1764, it’s one of the world’s oldest and largest art and culture museums.
Health and Safety of Volunteers in St. Petersburg
Although you may have heard about safety issues in St. Petersburg in the past, it has become a much safer place since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The city center is considered the safest part of the city. Always use common sense when it comes to your belongings and also traveling at night. Camera left is especially common in St. Petersburg.
Health isn’t usually a problem for travelers. Water isn’t entirely sanitary because of the old pipes in the city. Be sure to boil or filter water or use bottled water. Several hospitals in St. Petersburg have English-speaking doctors if you have an emergency. MD Travel Health recommends some basic vaccinations before traveling, including: Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, influenza, and more. Be sure to always have bug spray in the summer for the many mosquitoes!