How do you find peace and quiet in a major city? You go up.
There`s a pretty special place down on Ligovsky Prospect. When you come out of the metro turn right, head down the road to number 74, turn into the courtyard through the big archway and you`ll see it. This is the Loft Project (По-русски – Проект Этажи). The project is technically an art centre and there is certainly a lot to see here. Exhibits are spread over different floors but the biggest gallery (which is, at time of writing, hosting a Japanese art exhibition) is on the fifth floor. There you willl find strange cork creatures, flocks of origami cranes, bizarre paintings of post-apocalyptic rabbit themed technology and much more. Where descriptions or explanations for exhibits are given they are usually accompanied by an English translation so the galleries are beginner level friendly.
There is however, a lot more besides the artwork to explore in Этажи. Spread across its 5 floors are various different types of shops and cafes. If you`re looking for handcrafted clothes, soap, candles, clocks and other odd bits, you`ll find them here. Similarly if you`re hungering for pizza, ice cream something nice to drink, you`ll not be short for choice either.
But by far the best thing to see at Этажи, at the least in my humble opinion, is the roof. Access costs 250 roubles, but that`s a small amount to pay for the amazing views of the city you get. Beside amazing views, which, by the way, only get better at sunset, the rooftop also has a chill out area with AstroTurf and bean bags. It`s a great place to go to escape the hustle and bustle of the city below; when you`re up that high you even leave the noise of the traffic behind to a degree. At the end of a long day of studying, homework and touristy things, it might be just what you need.