"St. Petersburg: a City for all Seasons" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Petersburg by sennaya

Saint Petersburg Travel Guide: 3,614 reviews and 7,797 photos

Exploring St. Petersburg

White Nights in Summer!

Precious Summer in Saint Petersburg!
The fountains are running, days are long, nights are bright and short and an exuberance of life flows through St. Petersburg. Warm days, green lush grass and more blue skies, summer overflows with optimism!

And in Winter ...
The New Year includes Christmas customs in Russia and December is a month of lights and festivities. Between European Christmas Dec. 25, Hanukkah, and old Russian new Year Jan. 7 creates about two weeks of holidays. Temperatures are around freezing and occasional snow or rain, but mild. Real winter comes later in January or February. Canals are freezing over, bridges are closed for ships and people are out on the town in holiday spirits.

Halloween has become popular in Russia in the past 5 years. Many clubs and restaurants have special parties and you come in costume and get free entrance and see other fun-loving people celebrating this holiday.
The younger generation seems to like to dress up and have a fun holiday and a new tradition is started in Russia. Despite a ban on Halloween in Moscow schools by orthodox church and education officials, it is growing.
And of course you can celebrate at home just as easily, you can find pumpkins and some decorations in big grocery stores.
Trick-or-treating where children go door to door is not done, but children can go to organized events at places like Krestovsky Ostrov and celebrate a fun time in costumes and get free candy!

Things everyone must see in St. Petersburg:

The Hermitage, Palace Square and the Alexander Column, Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, The Peter and Paul Fortress, Summer Garden and Mars Field, Rostral Columns, The Admiralty, St. Isaac's Cathedral, The Bronze Horseman (Peter the Great), Nevsky Prospect, Kazan Cathedral, Russian Museum, The Bank Bridge, The Lion Bridge, The Palace Bridge - White Nights, Monument to Catherine the Great.

White Winters: Ice and snow glow in the night .

The Peter and Paul Fortress during a long winter night across the Neva River. There is a magical glow from the dim lights across the snow and ice.

St. Petersburg was ordered out of the Neva River delta swamps on May 27, 1703 by Peter the Great. Everywhere are rivers and canals, making the city's nickname the Venice of the North.

Things to see if you can:
The Cabin of Peter the Great, The Menshikov Palace, The Mariinsky Theatre, Gostiny Dvor, Smolny Cathedral, Academy of Fine Arts Museum,
The Applied Art Museum, Arctic and Antarctic Museum,
The Cruiser "Aurora," St. Nicholas' Naval Cathedral, Central Railway Museum, Museum of Artillery, Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum, Icebreaker "Krasin," Central Navy Museum, Alexander Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment, Russian Ethnography Museum,
The Stroganov Palace, Aleksander Suvorov Memorial Museum, The Yelagin Palace, The Yusupov Palace, Zoological Museum Natural History, KunstKamera, Alexander Garden, Botanical Garden, Leningrad Zoo, Park of Victory, Tauride Garden, Kirov Central Culture and Leisure Park. Krestovsky Ostrov, St. Sampson Cathedral, Trinity Cathedral, Catherine Garden, St. Sampson Cathedral, Transfiguration Cathedral, Vladimir Mother of God Icon Church, Monument to Fiodor Dostoyevsky, Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, The Narva Gate, The Moscow Gate, Monument to Peter the Great Rastrelli, abstract Monument to Peter the Great Shemiakin, The Tsar Carpenter, Monument to Nicholas I (St. Isaac Square), Monument to Alexander III, Statue of Goethe, Statue of Gogol on Malaya Konyushennaya, Chizhik Pyzhik - the smallest monument, Statue of Turgenev, Statues of Mikhail Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolley, Mikhailovsky (St. Michael's) Castle, Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery, Alexander Nevsky Bridge, Anichkov Bridge, Blue Bridge, Egyptian Bridge, Leutenant Schmidt Bridge, Lomonosov Bridge, Trinity Bridge, Exchange Bridge, Italian Bridge, American Bridge, Trinity Bridge, First Engineer Bridge, Tuchkov Bridge, Volodarsky Bridge, Lower Swan Bridge, Alexander Nevsky Monastery and cemetary.

White Nights: a beautiful glow in the sky ...

Any time of year is fascinating in St. Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia. The most famous time is the White Nights of June and July when the sun barely sets and the weather is mild.
After midnight the bridges are raised and there is a festive atmosphere each night as the bridges rise and the islands of St. Petersburg are separated for some hours. Make sure you stay on your own island if you want to get home to sleep!

You can squeeze two days into one. In winter you are wise to reverse the scenario and squeeze two nights into one :)

Must see sights outside the center:
Peterhof, Palaces of Pushkin Tsarskoye Selo), Gatchina Palace, Pavlovsk, Lomonosov-Oranieumbaum, Cottage Palace in Peterhof / Petrodvorets, Vyborg, Finland Gulf...

There is so much to see, try to spend 6 months if you can!

Here is a clip of some walls in St. Petersburg on YouTube:


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:So much Culture in one place!
  • Cons:Challenges and greatness all mixed together
  • In a nutshell:Everything cultural and Russian has a tie to St. Petersburg
  • Last visit to Saint Petersburg: Mar 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (344)

Comments (36)

  • Tom_In_Madison's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2011 at 4:33 AM

    Hasppy birthday, Spilled Blood church looks fantastic!

  • erendilight's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    a brilliantly nice and informative page.. st petersburg is my second stop for my world travel after tbilisi:)) it looks as if st petersburg will make me forget all the impressions of tbilisi...:) thanks for sharing the info with us..

  • greekcypriot's Profile Photo
    Sep 24, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Nice presentation on all tips, beautiful photos. Coming next month...probably we can meet??

  • Jun 28, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    We arrive by train at 10 pm...is it easy to take taxi to hotel?

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    A wonderland - wealth of culture - I have only begun to see Saint Petersburg with you and will return until I have seen it all. Thank you David and Maria for extraordinary work here. Carol

  • mumymama's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2009 at 4:41 AM

    This is just wonderful! Thank you for the picture:)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2009 at 10:52 AM

    The off the beaten path information was wonderful. Good job on your presentation

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    Someday, I would love to take a stroll on Nevsky Prospect in Saint Petersburg.

  • johngayton's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    Hi! and tx for the "warnings and dangers" - both the useful and the amusing. Cheers, John.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2008 at 7:00 AM

    Great page, David + Maria, thanks! I miss that city still... See you in St.Petersburg some day! Congratulations on your #1 top five!

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