Culture & Sightseeing
Dazzling Days and Luminous White Nights: The Brilliance of St. Petersburg in Summer
A glorious time to visit Saint-Petersburg is during the full illumination of the sun-bathed days and shimmering evening glow of the White Nights. Beginning in May with the first full blooming of flowering trees and peaking during mid-June, the sun lowers to a slow, teasing resting place each evening, but barely sets. During this magical time each year in these northern latitudes, the nights are lit by a continuous and rich translucent white aura.
Throughout these magical weeks, locals and visitors alike bask in the direct daytime sun and enjoy reveling and relaxing in the casual café lifestyle. At night, everyone gathers to enjoy concert performances, festivals and endless celebratory partying. On your magical White Nights visit to this grand city, you will enjoy the beauty, elegance, luxury, excitement and sheer joy of its many unique and mesmerizing sites and events.
Exhilarating Boat Cruise Through Saint-Petersburg
Experience a thrilling boat cruise on the Neva River and glide through the virtual heartbeat of the vibrant city nightlife of the season. A spectacular, enduring tradition of the White Nights is viewing the river's impressive bridges parting in the middle like giant, spreading arms to admit nighttime boat traffic. Although this event can be easily viewed from the riverside, on a cruising boat, it is truly an incredible, riveting sight.
If on foot, you may find yourself on the opposite side of the river from your hotel or other guest accommodations in the city. If this should occur, simply relax and enjoy celebrating throughout the remainder of the night and the bewitching wee-small hours, knowing that the metro closes at midnight and the bridges maintain their open-arm position, welcoming nocturnal boaters until 5:00 a.m.
Private Excursion to the Hermitage in Evening
No visit to St. Petersburg would be complete without time spent at the Hermitage amidst its immense collection of exquisite artworks, the regal elegance of its staterooms and its seemingly infinite grandeur. As one of the world's most highly valued collections of fine art, the Hermitage is housed in the Winter Palace. This expansive green, white and gold building is located beside the Neva River and represents Russia's ardent passion for art and culture. A private evening excursion to this ornate palace home of world-renowned art will be a brilliant highlight of your St. Petersburg stay.
This museum contains the most extensive collection of paintings in the world, and its total number of artworks is estimated at around three million. Created in 1764 as the treasured private collection of Catherine the Great, the Russian Empress, this exceptional art collection became a public exhibition in 1852. Highlights of the museum today are its Renaissance collection that includes works by Raphael, paintings by Cezanne, Monet and other famed Impressionists and the works of the 20th century artists, Picasso, Matisse and Kandinsky.
Intriguing Peter and Paul's Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Designed by Domenico Trezzini and constructed between 1706 and 1740 as a major fortress, it was used as a jail for many ill-fated prisoners by the Bolshevik government as late as the 1920s. Although this fortress marked the birthplace of the city as the first structure built in St. Petersburg, its historical use varied widely from a military base, government center, imperial burial ground and center of scientific experimentation to a sinister jail with numerous prominent prisoners.
While touring this major landmark, you will no doubt feel the reverberating impact of some of its foreboding history and celebrated inhabitants. Today, the nearby beach offers a lighter atmosphere as home to sunbathing walruses and human picnickers along with concert and festival attendees.
Unique Summertime Energy, Ambiance and Artistry of St. Petersburg
Since 1993, when the world-famous Stars of the White Nights Festival was founded by Valery Gergiev of the Mariinsky Theatre, this extraordinary festival has been held in St. Petersburg every year from the last days of May until the middle of July. Nearly every day during the festival, there are superb performances of ballets, operas and classical music concerts with top-tier, featured international artists at this celebrated theatre.
Throughout the White Nights festivities, the city hosts many excellent outdoor concerts and events, offering visitors an enchanting mix of high energy, calm, soothing ambiance and exquisite fine artistry to please one and all. A very special White Nights moment is the Scarlet Sails of late June, including a mock pirate battle on the Neva River, an extravagant fireworks display and the arrival of a tall ship with red sails as the ultimate symbol of White Nights in St. Petersburg for locals and visitors alike.
For further information concerning a fabulous White Nights excursion to St. Petersburg, contact Fontanka Travel LLC.