The Spring in St Petersburg Russia doesn’t come at the end of March as it should, but rather it starts in the middle of April.
During Spring the imperial city gradually comes to life after the long frozen winter and, despite the residual cold, most of Petersburg residents tend to wake up in a good mood. As the snow packs and ice blocks melt, and the first rays of sun make the days brighter and warmer, the city of Peter the Great casts off its winter mantle and embraces the spring sunlight.
The Spring in St Petersburg can be considered also the right time to visit the city, if you're looking for a way to cut down your travel costs and avoid masses of tourists. However, keep in mind that it will be cold, rainy and even snowy.
In fact, over this time expect the first signs of warm weather in May, when the temperatures begin to rise to 10°C/50°F. Before that time, don’t be surprised if it is still cold and snow covers the ground with 5°C/4°F maximum. For Russians it's a common sight!
With temperatures reaching a high of 9°C/48°F in April and 15°C /60°F in May, the city is chilly; so you may still feel cold, especially in March and April. But don't worry!
If you do come during the springtime, we can assure you that you won’t catch a cold if you wear warm clothes, and you will get to see the beauty of the first blossoms peeping from the charming parks in St Petersburg...
...You will enjoy being embraced by the shining sun and entertained by the haunting notes of diverse Russian street musicians while walking on the large boulevard Nevsky Prospekt.
Maybe, during this season you will also feel a vibrant sense of re-birth as the days grow longer and Russian people start to go out filled with joy because the Russian winter has ended and the summer is coming.
Interested in coming during Spring? If so read more below...
Because it's relatively cheaper than in the summer and the streets are not packed with tourists.
That's true! Spring in St Petersburg is not a bad time to come: the snow packs melt, the frowns of winter turn into the smiles of spring, and religious and cultural events in the city carry on at a frantic pace. Meanwhile, the number of visitors swarming in on the city center is small compared to the summer months.
The two nicest months of spring are April and May. This two-month period hosts a large number of Russian holidays and several celebrations such as the Russian Orthodox Easter, Victory Day, St Petersburg City Day, and the Spring and Labour day, just to name a few.
Along with these Russian celebrations you will find also several music festivals such as the Jazz Spring International Festival, the Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival, the International Festival of Military Brass Bands and the cool Musical Spring International Festival.
So if you love listening to a range of music from early baroque to contemporary, or if you want to see the decorated Russian Easter eggs and, much better, try traditional Russian food or see the sight of the ice from Lake Ladoga floating down the city's waterways out into the Gulf of Finland, then you should come in April or May.
On the other hand, if music or folkloristic celebrations aren't your cup of tea, then you can always take a tour around the city, stroll in the fascinating parks and gardens or see hundreds of Russian museums and cathedrals in relative peace.
In fact, during the spring in St Petersburg, but mainly in March and April, you’ll have plenty of time and space to see everything you want to see and won’t feel herded around with a crowd.
Wondering what to do during the spring in St Petersburg Russia? Go for a cultural day trip outside the city or enjoy religious celebrations and festivals!
The spring in St Petersburg is a perfect time to come if you are a big art connoisseur - museums are nearly empty compared to the summer days. So you can walk through the museum taking most of it.☺
If you are more of a culturally minded visitor, then maybe you should come at the end of May and take part in the remarkable event called "Saint Petersburg’s Night of Museums". During this event the museums of Saint Petersburg open their doors for visitors in the evening and at night, preparing special programs, such as daily exhibitions, concerts, plays, master classes and even historical reconstructions.
Spring in St Petersburg is also the right time for festivals, religious celebrations and concerts. For example, don't miss the popular Shrovetide (Maslenitsa) celebration in March and the Russian Orthodox Easter; both are important and interesting holidays.
The folkloristic Maslenitsa celebration, a folk holiday dating back to Pagan times, is all about eating Russian pancakes. Over this time, for one whole week, starting on 17 March at the Kirov central park of culture, Russians look forward to mounds of buttery bliny, swing rides and the burning of a Maslenitsa effigy.
In comparison, the Russian Easter celebration is much more focused on the religious aspect; although, as it marks the end of Lent, there is also a fair amount of eating involved too. Perhaps because of the long Russian winter, Easter is celebrated more enthusiastically here than in the West.
During this time, Kulich, a raisins cake, Paskha, a cottage cheese cake, and painted hard-boiled eggs are eaten everywhere. Bells begin to ring out across the city, Russian families go to church and then meet together to eat decorative meals and celebrate this event.
If you will come in the sunny spring, take also some time to walk down the famous Nevsky Prospekt and visit some of the many cafes, restaurants and shops strewn along the streets to refresh your mouth, stuff your stomach or buy some Russian souvenir. For more information see our walking tours, perhaps you may find something you like!☺
Wondering what to bring during the spring in St Petersburg? If so, read on.
Spring in St Petersburg can be fickle and unpredictable. In fact, it can still be very chilly until the middle of May with temperatures ranging from a distinctly cool 0°C to a comfortable 15°C, and the chance of heavy snowfall.
So to prepare yourself, you should bring along with you comfortable warm shoes and warm clothes, such as a polo neck sweater, a woolen overcoat, waterproof footwear, and hat and gloves, just in case.
For ladies, thick tights and a long-sleeved cardigan to wear with a smart dress is good.
If you plan to come at the end of May, then it would be a good idea to pack a pair of T-shirts, a spring jacket and cozy footwear.
Also bring with you an extra sweater for any sudden dip in temperature, which usually occurs in the evening time.
As the spring in St Petersburg brings with it rainy days, make sure to bring a raincoat or umbrella, plus tough shoes or boots to cope with the mud that unfortunately is everywhere in April as the snow gradually melt.
Although St Petersburg Russia is a city for all seasons, if you want to take the most out of your trip to Russia, then you should come from May to early October to enjoy
its full beauty, the historical St Petersburg attractions and different activities while the temperatures are mild.
However, if you plan to come in March or April, or at the beginning of May because you want to avoid the tourist rush of the summer, remember that you won't be able to see the popular Peterhof fountains at this time - one of St Petersburg’s main tourist attractions with over 200 bronze statues - or to cruise on the large Neva river.
Because the fountains are turned on only in the middle of May and the Neva River is still frozen.
But, on the other hand, if art, culture and history is what you like most, then you have a wide range of museums open over this time of the year. Moreover, you can always visit the Mariinsky or Mikhailovsky theaters - two of the best theaters in town.
Lastly, spring in St Petersburg is also a good time to come, not only because there are less tourists, but also because of the low season hotel rates. So you can save money and explore the cultural capital of Russia quietly and cheaply.☺
Written by Davide C.