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When the city does not sleep: The White Nights in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a real cultural pearl of Russia and one of the most popular tourist cities of the country. Annually thousands of guests from various countries gather to admire the surprising architecture, to visit one of the largest museums, to see with their own eyes magnificent imperial palaces and gardens and, of course, to look at one of the most amazing phenomena – the White Nights! At this time the entire City comes to life and the line between dark and light daytime is erased – Petersburg does not sleep and sparkles in thousands of fires, sounds in hundreds of musical instruments and joyful voices. The city celebrates without stopping, and this show is one of the most impressive and colourful in Russia!

Do you want to see the White Nights with your own eyes and to plunge into the round-the-clock fun of the historic town? We will tell you how to be prepared for a trip to St. Petersburg, and where to go to get the maximum of positive emotions and impressions!

What is the phenomenon of the White Nights?

It is worth specifying at once that the White Nights have nothing in common with an infinite polar day. During a polar day The Sun does not leave for the horizon day and night and just moves along it. This phenomenon is well noticeable in Norilsk, Usinsk, Vorkuta, Naryan-Mar and other subpolar cities. The Sun leaves for the horizon in St. Petersburg, but it is absolutely nearby, and instead of usual night the long twilight passing into dawn begins. All objects are well visible at this time even without additional lighting, and the unique romantic atmosphere is created. It annually attracts thousands of guests to the city.

The White Nights come in St. Petersburg approximately on the 11th of June and last till the 2nd of July, and the lightest night drops out usually for the 22nd of June. It is the time of a summer solstice when, probably, only St. Petersburg's local residents sleep at night, the rest of the city is noisy and epic. Numerous festivals, concerts, festivities are held. All streets are filled by the musicians and street actors who entertain pedestrians.

Several important tips for tourists coming for the White Nights

• The number of tourists increases almost three times at this period therefore it is desirable to reserve a room in hotel or the apartment beforehand, otherwise after arrival to St. Petersburg you risk not to find any available room;

• Also because of a big tourist flow it is desirable to book in advance the tickets for all events that you want to visit. The tickets will be much more expensive right before the beginning or not available at all;

• The downtown has quite serious traffic jams during days off and on holidays. Therefore, it is better to use underground transport or just to walk;

• If you got used to sleep in the dark and light serves you as an irritating factor, do not forget to take a special sleeping mask, it for sure will be useful. Moreover, if your hotel is located in the downtown, earplugs can be required. During the White Nights St. Petersburg celebrates day and night;

• Weather in St. Petersburg is very whimsical and changeable. Therefore, even in the warmest day do not forget to take a warm jacket and an umbrella on a promenade in case of rain or cold wind;

• Be ready that during only one trip you will not manage to get acquainted with all sights of St. Petersburg. Needless to mention Hermitage, that will take at least a week to see all of its main exhibits. Choose several main places for one visit and alternate excursions to walks around the city and festivals. Therefore, you receive many impressions, and at the same time will not be tired of too dynamic rest!

Where and how it is possible to have a good time during the White Nights

During the White Nights the city literally does not sleep. The streets are awake around the clock. At the same time the bulk of entertaining actions which is really worth visiting falls on the "dark" time of day:

1. Sounds and colours of the White Nights

The Children's international festival which is held annually with assistance of the creative association "Triumph". Young actors compete in vocal and choreographic talents. Master classes, tours and other competitions are conducted. The holiday brings together not only guests from different corners of Russia, but also the audience from other countries.

2. The Stars of the White Nights

The festival is held annually since 1992 and is dated for the City’s birthday. Within the festival concerts and performances are held for the audience & creative workshops work. Everyone can study the plan of holding an action on its official site.

3. The Swing of the White Night

The festival of jazz music is held in the city annually since 1994 and lasts for the whole three days! The concert brings together the audience and performers from the Russian Federation, Europe and America, and traditionally the first two days are spent in Philharmonic halls of jazz music, and the last day turns into a colourful open-air at Arts Square.

4. Scarlet sails

This holiday is proved to be called the brightest event of the White Nights. The night of graduates is conducted since 1968 and includes the big dramatized festival and a grandiose multimedia show in the water area of the river. The holiday is spent not only for graduates, but also for all comers. Many inhabitants and city visitors dream to see arrival of the ship with scarlet sails, and a guest of honour of the event is traditionally the President of the Russian Federation!

5. Museum Nights

Once a year all museums of St. Petersburg open the doors for all comers for one night only. They conduct thematic tours, show special expositions and entertain guests of the temple of art in every possible way.

6. Opening of bridges

Bridges is one of the main symbols of St. Petersburg. You can see the way how multitoned designs easily soar up into the sky, passing the ships under itself, after one o'clock in the morning every day. The main thing is to appear in time on your very coast, otherwise it is necessary to wait up to 5 o'clock in the morning to come back home.

7. Excursions to St. Petersburg’s roofs

Roofs is the present hallmark of St. Petersburg. They attract not only residents, but also tourists. What a stunning view on the city opens from a height! A set of the organizations conducting such tours with full compliance with safety measures exists in the city. Bright impressions are guaranteed! By the way, it is possible to hold even a romantic evening on a roof. Your soulmate will remember such a gift for a long time!


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