Lonely Planet review for Kresty Prison
Kresty is St Petersburg’s main holding prison; if you’re busted here, Kresty’s where they take you to await whatever it is that awaits you. You wouldn’t want to find out: conditions are much better now than when the prison was at its most crowded, but it is still hardly a pleasant place. Kresty is the oldest working prison in Russia, built in 1892. Tours visit the holding areas, the grounds and a small museum. This definitely constitutes a unique day out in the city. You will have a chance to see the six-bunk cells and the frightening solitary-confinement closets. Inmates are on site – working, walking or peeking out at you through slats in their cells. Guests are advised not to interact with them. The little museum has exhibitions on past residents (like Noi Trotsky and the entire Provisional Government from 1917), as well as art made by prisoners with lots of time on their hands. Each tour can accommodate up to 25 people, so it’s worth arriving early and claiming your spot in the queue (your passport must be shown on entry). Tours are in Russian only, although several tour operators organise excursions in English.