Summer in St Petersburg is very unpredictable, but the city is in full swing and nicely illuminated by almost 24 hours of daylight - plus everybody is having a good time.
If you are visiting Russia's Northern Capital in the Summer, expect a bit of any kind of weather conditions - sometimes even within the space of a day. It can be gloriously warm and sunny, hot and
miserably humid or, especially in June or end of August, chilly and
Honestly, our favorite season is summer because it is sunny and the days are warm and long, especially during the popular White Nights - when there are plenty of activities to do and places to see both in and around the city. Also, everyone is out and in a good mood!
From the middle of July to the end of August, when all the buzz is almost over, many Russians head to the beaches on the Gulf of Finland, go swimming in the nearest lake or go to their country cottages (known as Dachas) in the forest.
In our case, we prefer to avoid going to our dacha at this time because I "Davide" can't stand the mosquitoes.☺
However, for us, and maybe for you too, the Summer in St Petersburg is the best time to relax on a cosy terrace overlooking the bustling Nevsky Prospekt. This is also the perfect time to take a Russian river cruise or a canal boat tour through the historical center of the city.
That said, the Russian weather in the Summertime varies from year to year, but generally it's warm with temperatures between 18°C/64°F and 25°C/77°F. July and August are considered the hottest and wettest months (80% humidity), though from the middle of August onwards you will start to feel cooler and see more frequent rain showers.
In fact, even when the weather in St Petersburg is really hot and dry, there is almost always a chance of rain! There is 550-600 mm of precipitation a year, most of it in August. So don't forget to take your umbrella with you.☺
Interested in coming during Summer? If so read on...
Every summer in St Petersburg the days are magic, lively, full of people and virtually everlasting, as night hardly falls.
From early June through the end of August, the city of Peter the Great, is an all-night town. The streets are packed with people, both locals and tourists, right through till morning. Various boats cruise the rivers and canals day and night and the city's nightlife is very active and vibrant with several music festivals, cultural events, cabarets show, underground raves, smoky jazz bars and strip joints open until morning.
In addition to that, the summer in St
Petersburg Russia offers amazing evening firework shows, many sculpted parks and gardens where you can go for a walk, including remarkable historical sights and Russian monuments that you can see at any time of the day, some for free, some not.
So the choice is pretty wide, and the reasons for coming here are many, and of course different.
However, most visitors usually come in summer because of the magic White Nights and the White Nights festival, which is one of the best music festivals in the world. Summer is also good because visitors can do and see more things than in any other Russian season.
Therefore, be prepared to see crowds of tourists walking up and down Nevsky Prospekt.
Speaking of this, if you are planning a visit to St Petersburg at this time, then make sure to book your flight, hotel, and tour, including the museum entrance tickets well in advance since this is by far the busiest time of year for visitors.
Plenty of low-priced activities such as picnicking in the park or engaging in a white night walk mean that the city of St Petersburg can be an inexpensive place to visit. However, as mentioned above, the months of June and July can be extremely busy.
For this reason, if you are hoping to take part in some slightly more sophisticated activity, such as the ballet at Mariinsky Theatre or a guided tour of the Hermitage, you must be prepared to deal with crowds.
Wondering what to do during the summer in St Petersburg? Simple! Enjoy the legendary white nights with its long summer days, cultural events and music festivals.
From the end of May through to the middle of July, you should definitely see St Petersburg's annual White Nights Festival and enjoy the celebration of the summer solstice with parades, dances, fireworks and ornate sailboat demonstrations on the large Neva River.
The White Nights festival is renowned as one of the best classical music festivals in the world. Hence, if you are among the millions of people worldwide who suffer from the “winter blues”, a trip to St Petersburg may be just what the doctor ordered.☺
Apart from that, if you love music, then you should go to one of the many open door midnight music concerts and open-air jazz festivals hosted in the famous Palace Square. You could also find a seat at the International Musical Olympus Festival, often called “The Parade of Winners”.
Here, you will listen to 27 young musicians from 14 countries who have recently won prizes at the most prestigious international music competitions, performing alongside international artists and big names.
If later on, you would like to float down the many rivers and canals of St Petersburg, just take a boat tour.
If you wish to admire the famous flap bridges, take a midnight boat tour or just walk over the river. From here, or from the boat, you will see the magnificent spectacle of the bridges opening one by one.
You won’t regret it! We’ve been there and done it many times!☺
Alternatively, if you are in a romantic mood and love colors, why not come in August and September when the open bridges are illuminated with colorful lights and the sight is even more splendid.
Summer in St Petersburg is also a great time to kick back on the grass in the hip New Holland area, or maybe go for a walk in the famous summer gardens. This is also the time to enjoy a picnic or go by bike in the parks, visit the sandy beaches north of the city, or bathe in one of the many wooded lakes in the surrounding Russian countryside.
If you stay longer, you could also take the hydrofoil and visit the luxurious Tsarist Palaces at Oranienbaun or Gatchina, see the famous trick fountains at Peterhof and admire the glorious parks in Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk.
Of course, going for a walking tour along the famous street Nevsky Prospekt - where you can go shopping, have a coffee at a local cafe or try Russian food in one of the many Russian restaurants - should not be missed.
Wondering what to pack? If so, read on...
If you decide to travel to St Petersburg in summer, then you will need to pack a variety of clothes for this period as the summer in St Petersburg can be both hot and humid as well as cool and cloudy.
Both for men and women short-sleeve shirts and fashionable
shorts are ideal for the warmer days; while jeans, cotton trousers, sweaters
and a light jacket are best for the cooler days and evenings. Of course a nice top, high heels and maybe a sexy skirt are a must for all ladies going out at night.
Since rain is very unpredictable at this time of the year, don’t forget to pack a light raincoat or an umbrella.
Moreover, as you will be doing a lot of walking, make sure to bring light and comfortable footwear. A cozy, good pair of shoes are really ideal for strolling through the main flat streets of the city and the picturesque suburban parks.
Lastly, it is a good idea to take a pair of sunglasses and a light hat to protect you from the sun’s rays as you enjoy the summer in St Petersburg.
Although summer in St Petersburg Russia is high season, it certainly is a magical time to come; but it is also expensive and full of tourists.
Expect long queues at the Hermitage, St Isaac Cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fortress, Church on the Spilled Blood, Peterhof and Tsarskoye Selo, and at many similar St Petersburg attractions.
We recommend you that you book your flight, hotel and even your private tour guide at least 3 months before your departure. Planning your trip to Russia ahead of time will save you money, stress, and will guarantee you the best hotel in St Petersburg with the best position.
If you enjoy being outdoors we recommend going out to the Russian countryside to visit St Petersburg's imperial suburbs, walk around the city or take a boat tour at night, when it is cooler and the city is all lit up.
We usually love to do that!
Alternatively you may also consider visiting the naval island fortress of Krohnstadt or the fortress in Vyborg.
Do you usually have a bad reaction to mosquitoes?
If so, as a precaution keep the windows of your hotel closed at night or take an electric deterrent just in case. And, if you walk in the park or plan to go to the forest, lakes or a Dacha, then make sure you bring a good insect repellent to protect yourself.
The summer in St Petersburg brings a lot of mosquitoes since this Russian city was a swamp in the past.
Lastly, keep in mind that from the end of July onwards not a lot is happening in the city. All of the main Russian celebrations and cultural events have ended, some of the Russian museums are close and the Mariinksy Theatre and some other venues take two months off before the start of the new cultural season in October.
Written by Davide C.