Exterior of Loft Project ETAGI cultural centre in St Petersburg.

©Ksenia Elzes/Lonely Planet

Loft Project ETAGI

St Petersburg

This fantastic conversion of the former Smolninsky Bread Factory has plenty to keep you interested, including many of the original factory fittings seamlessly merged with the thoroughly contemporary design. A young creative crowd flock to the mazelike space that includes galleries and exhibition spaces, eye-catching shops, a hostel, a bar and a cafe with a great summer terrace all spread out over five floors. In the yard, converted shipping containers house yet more pop-up clothing shops, record sellers, cafes and eateries whipping up creative street food.

Keep an eye out for stores like Krakatau for stylish men's wear, and Laser B, which sells T-shirts, dresses and accessories featuring bold graphic works. In the summer months the roof of the building is open 24 hours a day for views overlooking the city; there are also occasional open-air concerts held here. Enter through the doors to one side of the main gate and you'll find ETAGI in the courtyard.

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