St PetersburgWinter in St Petersburg is like walking into a Russian novel. If you are seeking a real winter wonderland, filled with snow then this unique city steeped in history could be the one for you.
It has been said that to truly experience St Petersburg, then you must visit in winter. It pays to come prepared, and you should expect to tackle a city steeped in snow, with temperatures you may never have felt before, at times hitting minus ten degrees celsius. That aside, it is truly one of the most beautiful cities and the harshness of winter casts a romantic spell over the entire city, creating a beautifully unique atmosphere. Despite the weather, St Petersburg is in full swing in winter, with festivals and parties aplenty around the city. Christmas in St Petersburg isn’t actually celebrated on 25th December and operates as a working day. They take their traditions from the Julian calendar and celebrate their Orthodox Christmas Day on 7th January, where you can expect the city to shut down.
Things to see and do
It wouldn’t be a trip to St Petersburg in winter without attending a performance of The Nutcracker in the very theatre it premiered back in 1892. The ballet company responsible for the production, Mariinsky ranks among the foremost in the world, and they take their performance of The Nutcracker seriously. It is a truly spellbinding experience, and you can even relive the old fashioned experience using theatre binoculars to watch.
A visit to the St Petersburg Christmas market is a must, where you can ice skate under snowfall while enjoying a hot mulled wine, or shot of vodka! It is held each year in Pionerskaya Square, near Pushkinskaya metro station. The market consists of around 70 stalls for you to browse and catch up on your Christmas shopping.
Read more in the December issue…