Nikolskiye Ryady and other famous markets of St. Petersburg

Nikolskiye Ryady and other famous markets of St. Petersburg

Markets occupy a special place in the history of St. Petersburg. The first stalls with goods in the northern capital appeared under Peter I. The emperor actively built the city and attracted merchants to develop trade in a new place.

Nowadays, the ancient markets have either ceased to exist, or have turned into modern shopping malls. However, this will not prevent you from arranging a mini-tour of the former and existing markets of St. Petersburg and imagining how life used to boil here.

Nikolskiye Ryady

Sadovaya Street, together with Nevsky Prospekt, was important for the city. The first estates of nobles, state institutions and mansions of rich merchants appeared on it. For the latter, the attractiveness of the street was especially obvious.

If you look at the map of the city, you will see that the building where the Express Sadovaya Hotel is now located is located near Fontanka and at a short distance from the Neva. In addition, it is surrounded by canals on both sides, which allowed merchants to freely bring their goods. So the Nikolsky market appeared in this place.

Food, overseas fabrics and labor were traded here. Nikolsky market was a kind of labor exchange, where you could find builders and other handymen.

Now Nikolskiye Ryady is a modern cultural space with hotels, bars and restaurants. Creative events are held in the courtyard of the former market.


The Haymarket is considered to be the very first market in St. Petersburg. At the beginning of the 18th century, hay and firewood were traded here, which is why its name came about. Gradually, the range of the market increased. Residential quarters and roads began to be built around it.

Nevertheless, this place had a bad reputation. “In broad daylight” people disappeared here, theft was considered a common event. Therefore, the locals tried not to go to the market unaccompanied.

Nowadays, the Hay Market continues to work. It has become more modern and safer.

Apraksin yard

The modern market square was formed from two parts previously owned by different owners. Merchant Ivan Shchukin built the Shchukin Dvor market on one half, and Matvey Apraksin put wooden benches on his territory and began renting them out to merchants. So Apraksin yard appeared. It was the second name that caught on among the people, and a few decades later, by order of Nicholas I, both markets were united with the name "Apraksin Yard".

The markets of St. Petersburg have been able to survive to this day. Some continued to perform their direct functions, others turned into cultural spaces. In one of these, in the building of the former Nikolsky market, is the Express Sadovaya Hotel. Book a hotel room and spend your vacation in the historic building of St. Petersburg.