The best time to visit St. Petersburg

Tourist season in Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad region is in summer + late May and early September, because of (relatively) warm weather: fountains are turned on, people have vacations and one doesn’t need to wear too much clothes. But we do have beautiful and interesting things not only in summer.

9th of May

The day of Victory (over Nazis). You can await fireworks in the evening, decorations in the city and region, military vehicles, parade, young people reenacting historical looks and other things that frighten foreign politicians so much (well, probably numerous tanks and military vehicles that are transported via Ring Road to celebrate the Day of Victory look like troop transfer or resurrection of Soviet Union).

9th of May in city centre

White nights & the day of St. Petersburg

White nights (also known as midnight sun) is a natural phenomenon, when the Sun remains visible at midnight. In St. Petersburg & Leningrad region white nights are not that «white» as they are to the North of Arctic circle (when the sun shines brightly in your window). White nights of St. Petersburg look like a twilight, while the day seems to be very long – good option for those, who want to walk more.

White nights in St. Petersburg occur from the end of May to the beginning of July.

The day of St. Petersburg (also, «birthday») is on 27th of May. So fireworks doesn’t look that gorgeous as they could be, if the sky was dark.

For locals (and me too) white nights is rather tough time. First of all it’s hard to fall asleep. So make sure that the hotel you’ve booked offers curtains with blackout effect or jalousie. Otherwise you’ll suffer from insomnia.

Don’t forget to keep track of time. Pay attention at how you feel yourself. You may become tired of walking, but the sun will still be high – don’t be fooled by these tricks of nature. We have too many sights and it’s impossible to see everything in 1-2 weeks. You’d better come the next time, if you did like our city & Leningrad region.

White nights
2 a.m., 12th of June

Movable bridges

Bridges in Saint-Petersburg are opened to let water traffic pass. So when the navigation is over, they won’t be opened. Trial openings are held since the end of March. While navigation period is usually between 10-15 of May and 1-6 of November (depending on weather).

Open Dvorzovy (Palace) bridge, SPb
Dvorzovy (Palace) bridge

«Scarlet Sails»

Celebration for school graduates that includes fireworks and massive water show with beautiful (in last years Swedish) sailing ship with scarlet sails. Usually it is held on Saturday between 18th and 25th of June (check the dates in advance).

I should confess: though it is 2019, I still didn’t visit “Scarlet Sails”. It’s too crowdy there, literally millions of people, many drunk teenagers and tons of rubbish – what can one await when so many people gather in one area?

Golden autumn

If you want to see golden autumn that looks like a fairy tale, you should go to St. Petersburg not earlier than on 1st of October (in Leningrad region the leaf fall begins ~1 week earlier) and not later than on 15th of October (there’s a risk that all leaves will be already on the ground).

The main advantage of this time is that tourist season is low: parks are not overcrowded and queues for tickets are not that long. The disadvantage is that dry & sunny days in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region don’t occur often. Take waterproof shoes and enough clothes to change with you.

Golden autumn in St.Petersburg
Yelagin island

New Year

A winter with a lot of snow (like it was in January and February of 2019) occurs in St. Petersburg rare. Usually you will see our city with only some snow. More snow you will see in Leningrad region – it’s a bit colder there, but anyway you won’t find deep-deep snow like in Siberia.

New Year in Saint-Petersburg is about beautiful decorations of the city. The decoration of city starts on 1st of December. One can see it in full beauty from 15th of December to 15th of January. Later decorations are removed. But there’s still a chance to see some of them until February.

New year decorations, city centre
Gostiny Dvor
Troizky bridge, New year decorations
Troizky bridge

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