Personally, I like Avenue Liteiniy. Every time I walk there I can imagine it’s 100 years ago and Anna Akhmatova is still alive and all the air of Liteiniy is full of poems and sorrow. The other activity related to this avenue is touching and buying books – many years ago I came to St. Petersburg from Moscow to walk, relax and buy some unusual literature.
This tiny but cozy room full of old-fashioned subscription editions of famous Russian writers is really welcoming – in the USSR it was very cool to have broad collections at home of nicely decorated volumes of, say, Pushkin or some other famous writers. Turning their pages from time to time or reading something aloud for the family in the evening, while a snowstorm was gathering outside and you had no smartphone to tweet with, was a way to show a high cultural level.
Today, this venue is interesting not only because they still sell those subscription editions (the name of the shop is literally “subscription editions”: “Podpisniye izdaniya” in Russian); they also have lots of children’s and adult books. On top of that, they create and sell funny city-related stationery, fridge magnets, pens, and notebooks. Come and browse.
Or you can try the coffee with some pastry. They managed to get a coffee-and-bakery three-table cafe here!