The Okhta River flows through the district while the Neva defines its southeastern border. There are many lakes in the district, most significant of them being Lakes Lembolovskoye, Kavgolovskoye, Khepoyarvi, and Voloyarvi. The landscape is mostly flat with in the south and east and hilly in the west and northwest. Altitudes range between 170–180 meters (560–590 ft) above sea level in the north to less than 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) in the south.
Low moraine ridges with the relative height of 10–20 meters (33–66 ft) are located parallel to the shore of Lake Ladoga, and along the coastal lowlands are the coastal dunes which reach the height of 3–5 meters (9.8–16.4 ft). About 60% of the district's territory is covered by forests, mostly pine. Swamps occupy another 3.6%.
Originally, the area of the district was populated by Finnic peoples, and historically was changing hands between Sweden and Russia; in particular, at some point it belonged to the Novgorod Republic, and from the 15th century, it was annexed together with all Novgorod Lands by the Grand Duchy of Moscow; it belonged to the Vodskaya pyatina, one of the five pyatinas of Novgorod Lands. In 1617, according to the Treaty of Stolbovo, the west of the area was transferred to Sweden, and in 1721, according to the Treaty of Nystad, it was transferred back by Russia.
In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, the area was included into Ingermanland Governorate (known since 1710 as Saint Petersburg Governorate). In 1727, it became a part of Saint Petersburgsky Uyezd, and in 1755, Shlisselburgsky Uyezd was established, and the current area of the district became split between the two uyezds. In 1914, the uyezd and the governorate were renamed Leningradsky. On February 14, 1923 Shlisselburgsky Uyezd was merged into Petrogradsky Uyezd. In January, 1924 the uyezd and the governorate were renamed Leningradsky.
On August 1, 1927, the uyezds were abolished and Leninsky District, with the administrative center in the settlement of Vsevolozhskoye, was established. The governorates were also abolished, and the district was a part of Leningrad Okrug of Leningrad Oblast. It included parts of former Leningradsky Uyezd. On July 23, 1930, the okrugs were abolished as well, and the districts were directly subordinated to the oblast. On August 19, 1930 Leninsky District was abolished and merged into newly established Leningradsky Prigorodny District with the administrative center in the city of Leningrad.
Another district established on August 1, 1927 was Pargolovsky District with the administrative center in the settlement of Pargolovo III. It was a part of Leningrad Okrug of Leningrad Oblast and included parts of former Leningradsky Uyezd. On August 19, 1930 Pargolovsky District was abolished and split between Kuyvozovsky District and newly established Leningradsky Prigorodny District.
On August 19, 1936 Leningradsky Prigorodny District was abolished and split between the town of Leningrad and Krasnoselsky, Slutsky, Mginsky, Vsevolozhsky and Pargolovsky Districts. Krasnoselsky, Slutsky, Vsevolozhsky, and Pargolovsky Districts were established on that day to accommodate the areas previously belonging to Leningradsky Prigorodny District.