-15 °C (5 °F), snowdrifts, ice-covered roads and icicles hanging from the rooftops… Why ever coming here in winter? Here are the 9 reasons:
Usually, the first snow falls in Petersburg in November. When was the last time you’ve seen the snow? Have you ever seen it at all? The city under snow is amazing, it’s magic by itself, under the sun- or streetlights. The palaces and parks covered in white are no less beautiful than drowning in green in the summer! More photos!
2. Fewer tourists
Walking through half-empty Hermitage, Peterhof Palace or Catherine Palace without queuing is a special pleasure, making you feel like you’re a VIP and the palace was opened for you only. You can stand and look at Da Vinci’s Madonna as long as you want and not to be afraid of being knocked down by a mass of tourists. A museum in wintertime is paradise for introverts and persons who don’t like to be touched. Sometimes Chinese tourist groups can bring you back to reality (with all due respect to the Chinese who come to learn about Russian culture in winter, too, the groups are just really big), but believe, museums in summer and in winter are two different worlds.
3. Low prices for tickets and accommodation
Sure, transport companies and hotels lower the prices for their services in the wintertime, trying to involve more tourists. St Pete Private Tours organizes the tours even when it’s cold, and we’ve met experienced travelers from such far and warm countries as Australia, New Zealand and Thailand – they do know how to reap the benefits!
4. Winter activities
Have you ever had a snowball fight, madden a snowman, tried ice skating? What about a stroll down the frozen Neva river (in the photo)? All these are the experiences that couldn’t be provided by a warm St. Petersburg (sure it’s possible to go down the rivers in the summer, but you will be on a private boat and the boat will sail above the water)
5. Don’t worry, you won’t get cold!
It’s enough to get warm clothes, in particular warm and non-slipping shoes. If they’re hard to find in the place where you live, you may get from the airport right to a shopping mall and buy all the necessary items there. Maybe you’d like to try on a Russian boyarina look, to buy a bright “babushka” scarf or a downy shawl, ushanka-hat, valenki or even a fur coat? Russian warm clothes will be very useful in the wintertime, for sure. Then, the heating indoors is good and outside there are a lot of cafés, so, if during a walking tour you feel cold, you can always a quick stop for tea or coffee. Not mentioning our driving tour – in the car with a/c you will keep warm as long as you stay there.
6. Russian traditions
Winter is a perfect time for meeting Russian culture, as many fests are held on these months: New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Epiphany… St. Petersburg is beautifully decorated, the citizens celebrate, eat festive food and have fun, there are markets and celebrations everywhere! The city doesn’t neglect the other counties fests: St. Valentine’s and St. Patrick Days are also celebrated here! (there’s snow in March also) Add some special winter events – for example, the Festival of the Ice Sculpture on the territory of the Peter and Paul Fortress.
7. Local cuisine
It’s in the wintertime, when coming to a restaurant from the cold, one can truly enjoy hot Russian soups, tea and other traditional dishes! And we’ve selected places to try all that, so you may include a traditional lunch in any of the tours chosen!
8. Get ready for Siberia
During FIFA-2018 many tourists told us about their dream: to do the Trans-Siberian railway journey! So, before coming to the east of Russia (where it’s REALLY cold), it’d be better first to try how you can handle cold at warmer St. Petersburg.
9. It doesn’t rain in St. Petersburg in winter
Frequent rains are the principal claim brought against this city. In winter there’s no such problem.
And remember that St. Petersburg doesn’t care about a calendar, thus the snow may lay here until the end of March – the beginning of April. In July 2017 it hailed in +16 °C (60 °F)! So, whenever you come here, take the warm clothes, waterproof shoes and go ahead, to meet this incredible city!