Still don’t know what is the best time to visit St. Petersburg, Russia? Our city, being considered the cultural capital of the country is beautiful in any season! But for those of you who is looking for a real Russian experience we truly recommend to come to St. Petersburg in winter! Described in many books and showed in numerous movies St. Petersburg in winter impresses deeply even the most demanding travelers! See how the city lives on at the coldest time of the year!
What comes to your mind first when you think of Russia? Russian colds, of course! It’s by far not a secret that in some parts of Russia the winter temperatures fall down to -40 degrees Celsius (-40 Fahrenheit) or even lower! Surprisingly, in St. Petersburg this is the time when the cultural life of the city goes at full blast! The theaters have already started their best shows and they will run the whole winter, all of the museums relax from summer crowds and remain almost empty waiting for you! Look out of the window of your hotel – the views are amazing! Grab a scarf and nice warm mittens and start your winter experience now!
One of the best advantages of the winter in St. Petersburg is that the museums are not that crowded. From November till March it’s a low season for tourism, which means that you can come and enjoy world’s best museums without any stress. There are no lines to the entrances and you can spend as much time face to face with Da Vinci’s Madonna as you like. And there will be no one else in the hall! It is a great chance to visit the Hermitage museum – one of main tourist attractions of the city. Some museums offer special extended itineraries during low season. For example, the Catherine Palace opens extra halls (private rooms of Alexander II) that you will never see during summer. However, it also has a plus – you will not be pushed by huge crowds. These are just a couple of St. Petersburg top museums. There are hundreds of others – and they are all yours!
New Year is a family holiday for Russians and one of the biggest celebrations at a time. Holiday preparations start long before the day. People buy presents and gifts for friends and relatives, decorate their houses and, of course, the New Year tree. However, different events and celebrations last for the whole New Year’s Eve. Late at night on 31st December families and friends gather together at the festive table and at 11.55 p.m. president’s speech appears on TV screens. And it’s just the beginning! The whole night is brightly celebrated: some stay with their home parties, while others prefer to have fun out. All the main streets and squares are decorated with garlands, ornaments and New Year lights, which creates a spacial fairy spirit. New Year is a national holiday and the first week after that is always very relaxed – many offices and business are closed, people go out to meet friends and relatives, watch New Year shows and fireworks and just have fun activities together. Isn’t it the perfect time to visit St. Petersburg?
The best way to warm up in the winter take is to take a heat session in the Russian banya! Still don’t know what it is? Learn more about the Russian banya in our special article.
Find more winter activities in our article Russia seasons: Winter activities (part 2).