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In order to fully appreciate St. Petersburg, you must visit during the winter months. There is no better time to see the city than when the sun eventually rises over freshly snow-covered streets, even if it is chilly and gloomy.
The streets and everything in their vicinity is encrusted with ice sheets. Icicles dangling from building roofs and tree branches in the gardens — St. Petersburg transforms into a magnificent paradise in the winter. Winter in Saint Petersburg is a must-do, and we explain why.
Throughout the season, the finest St Petersburg winter activities include strolling around the streets to see the winter wonderland, where contests are conducted throughout the city and you may enter as well.
During the winter season, this entire area transforms into a winter wonderland, with the snow lending it a fairy-tale appearance.
Weather in St. Petersburg in Winter.
St. Petersburg's winters are often gloomy and frigid due to its proximity to the Arctic Circle. From the end of November to the beginning of March, it is winter in this area. During this time, the rivers and canals remain frozen and only begin to thaw in the spring.
In the winter, St. Petersburg has lows of -8°C. That doesn't stop the residents of this lovely location from leaving their warm, pleasant homes and having a blast regardless of how cold it is outside!
Especially around Christmas, the entire city is decked up in twinkling lights, and strolling across one of St. Petersburg's many bridges is a magical experience, especially when you see the lights reflecting off the sea.
What to Bring to St. Petersburg in the Winter
The fear of going to Russia in winter is strong in some people, while others are excited by the prospect of braving the country's subzero temperatures.
To guarantee seeing snow in St. Petersburg, plan your visit for early February or at the very least, for mid-January. In addition, February is the coldest month of the year in Russia.
Consult the weather prediction a few days ahead of time, and then plan your activities appropriately. In really cold weather, a heated jacket such as this one might come in handy. A long parka like this one, on the other hand, would be ideal.
Bring warm socks, gloves, and a cap with you also.
Now that you know what to bring to St. Petersburg in the winter, let's move on to the amazing stuff to do in St. Petersburg in winter!
15 Wonderful Things To Do In St. Petersburg In Winter.
From ice skating to ice fishing to ballets, winter in St Petersburg has it all. Therefore, dress in your warmest clothes and explore this wonderful city, especially if you are visiting Russia in January.
Visit the Winter Palace of Peter the Great, also known as the Fairy Palace.
To be sure, the season's name is also included, and not without cause. The Winter Palace was the winter residence of Russia's royal dynasty.
It appears to be incredibly beautiful, wrapped in swirls of snow. It served as both a residence for the Tsar's or Tsarina's family and a place for entertaining significant guests throughout his or her reign.
With several ballrooms, chambers, and dressing rooms, the inside is as regal as it gets. The façade of the castle is eye-catching, and many people consider it to be one of those fairy-tale palaces. This palace is one of the must-see attractions in St Petersburg.
The palace is constantly bustling with visitors and residents alike eager to catch a glimpse into the lives of bygone royals. The State Hermitage Museum presently resides there.
You won't feel guilty if you spend the entire day at a museum while it's bitterly cold and dreary out. As one of the world's largest museums, the Hermitage may easily be seen in a single day, with both permanent and temporary displays. Since the Hermitage used to be a palace, several of the exhibit rooms are rich and stunning.
Even in the dead of winter, visitors visiting the Hermitage face enormous lines. Instead of spending time queuing, you may enter the museum right away thanks to the purchase of a skip-the-line ticket combined with a tour.
Winter Ballet: A Stunner of a Show.
The Classical Russian Ballet is one of Russia's most well-known exports, and the St. Petersburg winter festivals feature several Ballet performances. Notable is the winter season of the Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre in St. Petersburg, which presents well-known Tchaikovsky ballets, including “Romeo and Juliet,” as well as other favorites.
Even more charming is that the Congress Orchestra provides musical accompaniment. A must-see in St. Petersburg during the winter is the Mariinsky Theatre, which presents a variety of ballets, the most famous of which is The Nutcracker. Attending a ballet performance in Saint Petersburg is an unforgettable experience.
A Visit to the Banya.
When it's really cold outside, you may escape the chill in a very hot area; a traditional Russian sauna called a banya. Russian banya culture is rather distinctive.
I propose paying a visit to the banya on Degtyarnaya street; it has been renovated and looks fantastic. There are also people who speak English there, so you will not feel lost.
A Freezing Adventure on the Neva River: Ice Fishing.
You may not be familiar with this name, and that's OK. The Neva River in St. Petersburg is one of the few sites where you may participate in this activity.
There is ice-fishing in the city's rivers and canals in the winter since the weather is cold. Seeing it in action will make you ecstatic to the point of elation.
To find out what to do in St Petersburg during the winter, you might try your hand at fishing. However, you need to bring along a local who knows all the tricks to obtain the best catch. Make no mistake: Winters in Saint Petersburg are bitterly cold. Make sure you have dressed appropriately.
An Enticing Game of Ice Hockey.
Utilize the many resources at hand, such as the ice that forms throughout the winter in this area of the planet. If you're wondering when it snows in St. Petersburg, the answer is between December and January, when ice-skating is quite popular in the city.
Ice-skating may be the most popular winter sport, but it's not unheard of for people to also like ice hockey. The excitement one gets from seeing their favorite team go head-to-head on the ice is unmatched and cannot be matched. Enjoy Saint Petersburg's winter to the fullest by participating in this activity.
A trip to this ‘chilled' city wouldn't be complete without seeing the Ice Palace, the team's home arena.
When the games aren't on, rent some skates and see if you can't beat the locals in a game that they play all season long. This is a must-have for any visit to St. Petersburg during the winter.
Visit a traditional Russian village Shuvalovka.
Another enjoyable winter activity in St. Petersburg is a visit to Shuvalovka, a typical Russian hamlet located between Strelna and Peterhof. However, this is not a genuine Russian hamlet; rather, it is an artificial village constructed as an attraction primarily for children and young people to educate them about Russian village life in the past and how Russia looked prior to the Revolution and in the nineteenth century.
If you have children, they may participate in a couple of workshops where they can paint clay figures or construct some clay creatures. In general, it's a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. If you have some spare time and are going to see something more conventional in Saint Petersburg, pay this village a visit.
Learn How To Ice Skate At One Of The St. Petersburg Skating Rinks.
Skating on the ice is a lot of fun in the winter in Saint Petersburg. St. Petersburg has indoor skating rinks that are open year-round, as well as lots of outdoor rinks in the winter. Because indoor ice is better, I suggest going to an outdoor skating rink if you're just starting out on the ice. It's possible to go to the outdoor skating rink if you've already experienced ice skating on indoor ice. In front of the TUZ theater near Pushkinskaya metro station, there is a wonderful outdoor ice skating rink at the St. Petersburg Christmas Market to enjoy.
Explore The Dom Knigi's Variety Of Books (House Of Books).
If you're wondering where to go in St. Petersburg during the winter to buy books and souvenirs, I recommend going to Dom Knigi, which translates to “House of Books.” The address is Nevsky Avenue, 28).
The bookstore occupies three floors of the Zinger building, directly across the street from the Kazan church. Even if you don't plan on buying any souvenirs or books, it's a fantastic location to escape the cold. If you want to buy a guidebook to Saint Petersburg in any language, you may do so at this location as well.
Take A Bus Tour Around St. Petersburg.
If the weather is very chilly in St Petersburg, I recommend taking a bus tour of the city to avoid being outside. Bus tours are advantageous since they educate you about the city's history and take you to the city's most prominent attractions without requiring you to conduct your own study beforehand.
If you're unsure which trip to take, these are two of the city's best-rated bus excursions.
Explore The Beautiful Metro Stations In St. Petersburg.
The metro system in Saint Petersburg is amazing! It connects nearly every area of the city and has been redesigned and embellished. The metro stations are open from 06.00 to 24.30. Additionally, it is rather warm in the winter.
The metro station is accessible via bus or cab and is located near all of St. Petersburg's railway stations. “Primorskaya” and “Vasileoostrovskaya” metro stations are the closest to St. Petersburg's harbor.
Metro tickets can be purchased using a token (zheton) or a rechargeable, contactless card. The price of a St. Petersburg metro ticket is 60 rubles (or roughly 80 cents) when paid with a token, or 41 rubles when paid with a Podorozhnik-card in 2021. (2021).
In the ticket office, you may purchase a card or a single ticket for “Zeton” (етoн). Ticket offices are located in the hall immediately after the metro station's entrance. Additionally, vending machines are available for purchasing and recharging transit cards.
Visit the Museum of Russian Art.
The Russian Museum is another must-see attraction in St Petersburg in January. The Russian Museum is located in the city center, adjacent to the Mikhailovsky Theatre, on the Arts Square.
The Russian Museum is one of the most significant museums in St. Petersburg. However, unlike the Hermitage, it focuses only on Russian art.
If you're unfamiliar with Russian art or painters, this is an excellent place to start. They are home to some of history's greatest works, such as the 9th Wave or Pompeii's Last Day. To bypass the queue, you can purchase tickets online.
Participate In An Old-fashioned Soviet Arcade.
As an interesting side note, the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines is located in St. Petersburg's historic core right adjacent to the Saviour on the spilled Blood Church.
It's a functional arcade, not a museum, technically. There are a lot of arcade machines there for you to play with! To participate, you must pay an admission fee of around 450 RUB and receive 15 or 20 tokens to use in the game.
Because it gets so packed on the weekends, it's best to go to the Soviet Arcade Machine Museum early in the day on a weekday.
Experience The Finest Russian Desserts.
The fact that it's January and the weather is chilly and snowy outside is no reason not to experience Russian deserts. Although Pavlova is probably the most well-known Russian desert, it is by no means the only one. They're in plenty, to be honest.
You must taste the honey cake Medovik if you only have time for one dessert in Russia. It's best to get the Russian marshmallow Zefir if you must buy something from a store.
Take A Tour Of The Stunning Catherine Palace.
If you've ever seen the animated film “Anastasia,” you've probably seen a depiction of the Catherine Palace. It is, in fact, this magnificent mansion, complete with a gilded dance hall. The palace with the golden hall is still there, so that's good news for you.
In fact, you are welcome to go see it and take pictures while you're there. The Amber Chamber at Catherine Palace is also well-known (it's been dubbed the “8th wonder of the world”). Catherine Palace in winter is a must-see if you only have time for one palace visit in Russia.
A visit to St. Petersburg in the summer, especially Peterhof, is a must to view the palace and its famous fountains. Even though Peterhof's fountains are off in the winter, I recommend seeing the Catherine Building instead because the actual palace is even more spectacular in that season.
There are public transportation options for getting there.
Participate in Street Parties: Festive Spirit.
Winter is the ideal season for visiting St Petersburg. There are several things to do in St Petersburg during the winter; street parties take place across the city, and you may even catch the ‘fever'. Food and Vodka will be circulating around the city, and you will be unable to get enough of them.
The streets are filled with all things warm and cuddly, from costumed residents to cafés urging you to sample some wonderful ginger biscuits.
Winter in Saint Petersburg is as wild and exciting as it gets! Indeed, Maslenitsa, the Russian equivalent of Pancake Day, is observed for a whole week in February.
Throughout that week, a variety of familial and religious customs are observed, as well as several enjoyable events. Without these customs, Christmas in Saint Petersburg would be incomplete.
You could also encounter your favorite fairy tale characters strolling along the streets, and you'll have plenty of photo opportunities if you spend your winter holiday in Saint Petersburg.
That concludes our coverage of St Petersburg Winter: 15 Wonderful Things to Do in St Petersburg in Winter. If you like this piece, you may if you like this post, you may also like:
Frequently Asked Questions About St Petersburg Winter.
Q. Does it snow in Saint Petersburg?
A. Saint Petersburg receives snowfall in December, which transforms the city into something magnificent. The city's canals ice, giving it a fairy tale appearance.
Q. How cold is Saint Petersburg during winter?
A. Temperatures in Saint Petersburg can drop to -10 degrees Celsius. While it is extremely cold, it is not as nasty as the rest of Russia.
Q. How can I keep warm in Saint Petersburg?
A. You should wear boots that are both warm and waterproof, as the area is completely blanketed with snow. Additionally, you should wear thick woolen socks with caps and gloves.
Q. What is the best time to visit Saint Petersburg?
A. The months of mid-June through September are the optimal time to visit Saint Petersburg.