Radio has been used since the early 20th century for art, entertainment, social value, information sharing, political purposes, and more. Alexander Popov, a key player in the invention of radio, made his discoveries in Kronstadt, an island town in the St. Petersburg municipality. From rebellious Soviet young adults trying to pick up static-filled Voice of America and Radio Free Europe broadcasts during the Cold War, to the soothing sounds of a metronome broadcast during the Nazi blockade of St. Petersburg, radio has a strong and enduring legacy in Russia.

In 2009 New Zealand scientists published a study citing frequent exposure to a language’s sound patterns, even without fully understanding what is being said, “will dramatically boost your ability to pick up the language and learn new words.” A more recent Swiss study showed that listening to recently learned foreign words in your sleep helped participants memorize those words better. Of course, passive listening will never make you fluent, but supplementing regular studying with casual listening can be significantly useful. Additionally, radio is a way to practice listening without the help of body language and other contextual clues. While purely audio-oral communication has declined in recent decades, telephones are still widely used by most people, and you’ll definitely need those non-visual listening skills when ordering delivery sushi!

The story of 2006 film "Piter FM" centers around a radio station

The story of 2006 film “Piter FM” centers around a radio station

Radio can also be a great way to find out about events happening in your area- concerts, free shows, weekend parties, festivals, etc.

Ways to listen:

If you are in Russia, you are lucky, as not all local stations are available online. You can pick up a small AM-FM radio at Media Markt or M.Video (there’s one in Galleria shopping mall, metro Площадь Восстания/Ploschad’ Vosstaniya) for around 800 rubles. If you’re living with a host family, they will likely have a radio.

If you are outside of the St. Petersburg area, you can listen to radio online. Of course, there is a huge variety of stations to listen to. Russian language broadcasts are found in most countries of the former USSR and it is especially interesting to compare radio broadcasts from Moscow or St. Petersburg to those from regions like Dagestan or Siberia! Some good websites are Tunein.com and Piter.fm.

Now to the good stuff: here is a list of the radio stations available in St. Petersburg with my personal descriptions and reviews. I encourage you to spin the dial and give these stations a shot!

 

St. Petersburg’s Radio Stations
(for more on Russian Media, click here)

66.30

Radio Rossii

Talk and news

69.47

TRK Petersburg

Talk and news

71.66

Radio Orphey

Classical

73.10

Radio Grad Petrov

Religious

87.5

Dorozhnoye Radio

Classic Russian/Soviet pop music

88.0

Retro FM

Oldies

88.4

AvtoRadio

Older pop music and disco

88.9

Yumor FM

Russian Pop Music, talk, and comedy

89.3

Vesti FM

Local news and talk

89.7

Radio Zenit

Rock music and coverage of local sports (Zenit is the St. Petersburg soccer team)

90.1

Radio Hermitage

Jazz / Blues

90.6

Radio For Two

Older pop Music

91.1

Keks FM

Dance/club music

91.5

Echo of Moscow

Talk, mostly political opposition, fairly anti-Kremlin

92.9

Russian News Network

Talk, official state news broadcast, high quality

95.0

NRJ

Dance / Pop Music

95.9

Neva FM

American/international pop music, mostly 2000’s and beyond

97.0

Radio Dacha

Russian pop music, 90s, 2000s, and today, popular in cafes

100.1

Radio Vanya

Older Russian pop music

100.5

Europa Plus

Pop music from around Europe and the United States

100.9

Radio Piter FM

Shanson (unique Russian genre)

101.4

Eldoradio

Oldies (note the pun on Eldorado)

102.0

Radio Roks

Classic rock

102.4

Radio Metro

Pop Music / Dance / R&B

102.8

Maximum

Rock, mostly 90’s and beyond

103.4

DFM

Popular club/dance music, mostly English, some Russian and other foreign language pop and dance songs

103.7

Detskoye Radio

For children; interestingly, they go quiet at night while the “children sleep”

104.0

Nashe Radio

Russian rock, alternative, a really good station overall

104.4

Radio Shanson

Shanson

104.8

Radio Baltika

Russian Pop Music, but not necessarily top-40

105.3

Love Radio

Russian and English pop music, sponsor lots of concerts/events

105.9

Radio Monte Carlo

DJs who take on English-sounding names, obscure dance music

106.3

Radio Record

Dance music, lots of remixes of American pop songs

107.0

Radio Mayak

Classic Soviet station, news and talk *note the tone they frequently play, many people strongly associate the jingle with Soviet times

107.4

Business FM

Business and financial news and talk

107.8

Russian Radio

Modern Russian pop music with lots of advertisements- many for local concerts, festivals, and other events; my beloved daily dose of cheesy pop music, energetic DJs, and the incredibly catchy “Всё Будет Хорошо” jingle

Samantha Guthrie

Samantha Guthrie

Samantha Guthrie attends the University of Virginia, class of 2016. She is a double major in Foreign Affairs and Russian and Eastern European Studies. A Boren Scholarship recipient, she plans to work for the US government in a career related to national defense intelligence or international aid. Her research focuses on the relationship between Russians and Caucasians. She spent spring and summer 2014 in St. Petersburg with SRAS Russian Studies Abroad and Russian as a Second Language.

Samantha has attended Russian Studies Abroad
View all posts by Samantha Guthrie

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