Saint Petersburg is the Cultural capital of Russia and the most European city in this big country. Take advantage of having a long day to enjoy the most of it during the White Nights in this wonderful city.
White nights in Saint Petersburg is the most loved time of the year by the locals and tourists. It is a period of a few weeks during late May, June and beginning of July when the nights are short and there are many hours of day light. This is the loveliest and whether wise most comfortable time to be there.
The historic centre of Saint Petersburg is full of beautiful buildings, many of which were projected by Italian architects. It is one the cities that is called Northern Venice and should be not only looked at from the ground, but also from the water.
Neva is the main river of the city, but there are many smaller rivers and channels that cut through the centre of the city that can be admired from the embankments and hundreds of stylish bridges. It is a big city, so plant to stay there for at least 3 full days.
First of all go for walks in the centre of the city both during the day and night time. Everything is big in this city, so be prepared for long walks or take a cab from one to another significant place and look around. Nevsky prospect is the main street of the city and you will enjoy strolling along it all the way to the Palace Square where the famous Winter Palace and the Hermitage museum are. The experts say that if you would spend one minute in front of each exhibit in the Hermitage, you would have to spend there for about 8 years (some say more, some less, but the fact is that it is a lot to see). It means that probably at least half a day you will dedicate to the museum. Another must to do activity especially during the summer months is to take a river boat tour. It starts from one of the channels on Nevskiy prospect and takes you through the channels and rivers to the Neva river. During the night time you can also take a jazz cruise on Neva and enjoy the view on the famous architectural ensemble, the music and good food. There are plenty of churches and cathedrals that are interesting from both cultural and historical aspects. Take your time to visit at least 2 of the most significant ones, Isakievskiy and Kazanskiy Cathedrals, both are absolutely impressive. The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood will amaze you with the colours, mosaics and unique Russian style of architecture. The most special activity during the white nights is to see the opening of the bridges on the Neva river.
Many locals and guests of the city come to the embankment of the river to watch how the giant bridges one after another open up to let big ships pass through the city. If you are there in June the midnight it is as bright as during the day time, but it feels different, the colours and the air and the whole atmosphere are somewhat special.
Dedicate one evening to enjoy the famous Russian ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre, both the theatre itself and the show are spectacular. If in the Hermitage you mainly see the amazing collection of exhibits from all over the world, The Russian museum is specifically focused on the Russian art. It is worth going there as well to embrace the richness of the culture.
Saint Petersburg is a city of palaces, that used to be private residences of the Tsar’s family and the people form their closest circles. You might visit some of them like Mikhaelovsky castle and Anechkov palace. If you like Russian literature then you might want to visit a small museum in Dostoevskiy’s apartment or take a tour following the steps of Raskolnikov, the main character of the “Crime and Punishment”.
Food is a bit part of Russian culture and you will find many good places to have traditional meals as well as food from the former Soviet Republics like Georgia or Uzbekistan. Borsh and solyanka (soups), the Olivje and Selyodka pod shuboi salads (that all Russian eat on every festive occasion), Kholodets, bliny (pancakes), syrniki – try each of those at least ones.
Besides Russian vodka, that you would be offered with your dinner, taste the local drinks Kvas and Mors.
Enjoy your stay and come back.