St Petersburg's famous White Nights, which lasts from the end of May until Mid-July, are a truly legendary experience. Because of St Petersburg's northern location, the sun does not fully set and the city never truly reaches night. This constant brightness creates a vibrant feeling in St Petersburg and the streets are alive with people constantly. This is when the city nightlife is at its most active and there are also a number of festivals and events.
Summer is definitely tourist season so popular sights and attractions will be extremely crowded, make sure to book as much in advance as possible. Towards the end of June many sights and experiences will be taking their annual break until September so be prepared to factor this in.
What should I do?
You can't visit at this time of year without making the most of the White Nights festival, a particular high point is the Stars of the White Night festival which is a fantastic classical music festival. It's attended by a host of international stars and local talent from the opera and ballet companies of the Mariinsky Theatre. There is also the international musical olympus festival, a unique event which gathers together young up and coming musicians with well-known performers.
Summer is the perfect time to visit the Tsarist palaces, the famous fountains at Peterhof, which are officially turned on in June, and admire the glorious parks in Pushkin and Pavlovsk.
Be aware though, these are very popular attractions so if you don't like crowds you may want to try and visit very early in the morning.
Best Summer Excursions:
White Night Bike Tour
Ride through the moonlit skies of Belye Nochi and see St Petersburg in all its majesty. During the white nights, the palace parks, rivers and elegant canals glisten as the bright lights of Belye Nochi shroud the magnificent city. Cycle through the never ending sunset, passing iconic sights your guide will tell you about.
Palace and Gardens of Pavlovsk and Pushkin
Travel to both Pushkin and Pavlovsk and see the sights of the quaint suburbs of St Petersburg. You'll get to admire the sights on the way to Pushkin as you learn about the history of Tsarskoselskiy ensemble and the tragic destiny of Ekaterininskiy Palace under fascist occupation. When you reach Pushkin, you'll visit one of the most magnificent monuments of Baroque architecture, Ekaterininskiy Palace.