Best Kayak Tours in St. Petersburg

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Kayaking is one of the best things to do in St. Petersburg, Russia. With miles of rivers and canals running through this port city, you can see many of its sights by water. Incredible views make for an unforgettable kayak tour in Russia. There are over 186 miles of waterways in the city.1 Some of the best to tour by kayak include:

Kryukov Canal

The Kryukov Canal is a narrow waterway that connects the Moyka and Fontanka Rivers and Griboedov Canal. From the water, you can see the Marlinksy Theatre, the St. Nickolas Naval Cathedral’s bell tower, and New Holland, a man-made island that appeared when the canal was being created in the early 1700s. Later on, the island was built up with red-brick warehouses, while a neoclassical red brick arch denotes its waterway entrance. The canal is crossed by six bridges, five of which are three-span stone bridges; all have been preserved in their original form after repeated rebuilding and reconstruction.

Moyka River

Originally the first boundary of St. Petersburg, the Moyka River now borders the artificial Summer Garden Island. Much great architecture can be seen along the river, including the concert hall Glinka State Academic Kapella, Yusupov Palace (constructed in 1760), the Pushkin Museum, Stroganov Palace, and 15 bridges. These include The Blue Bridge, the widest in St. Petersburg, and The First Engineers Bridge. The Moyka River flows through the oldest part of St. Petersburg, where imperial palaces and historic shipyards and warehouses can be seen on Russian tours here.

The Neva River

The main waterway in St. Petersburg, the Neva River is also one of Europe’s largest rivers by volume, although it’s just under 46 miles long (about 18.6 miles are in the city). It connects the Baltic Sea to Lake Ladoga. Historically a major trade route, it’s presently a place you can see most of St. Petersburg’s major attractions, making it great for a kayaking group tour. The Neva helps give the city its nickname, the Venice of the North. Kayaking the river provides views of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, Smolny Cathedral, and the Summer Garden. It is a major tourist route in the summer and often used during warmer winters when the river doesn’t completely freeze.


Fontanka River

At about 4.3 miles long, the Fontanka River borders many historical and cultural buildings. A boat tour can provide views of the Summer Palace of Peter the Great, the Mikhailovsky Castle, and Sheremetev Palace. The Fontanka’s embankment is lined with grand architecture. It is crossed by some of the city’s most beautiful bridges including the Anichkov Bridge, the Egyptian Bridge, and Staro-Kalinkin Bridge, a draw bridge that has not opened in more than a century. Smaller attractions include the finch monument, Chizhik-Pyzhik, a more recent addition that is located below the First Engineers Bridge.