The best time to visit St Petersburg. How long to stay in St Petersburg?
What is the best time to visit St Petersburg, Russia? And how long to stay there? These are some of the most common questions that I see all the time. I decided to share my ideas with you.
Because of the cold and rainy climate, the majority of people come to St Petersburg from May to September. Normally it’s the busiest and the most expensive period, especially the time from the end of May till the end of July. June and even mid-July are always super busy as we have the White nights period – the time when the night is almost as bright as the day. It’s very romantic and unusual for tourists, but also very crowded and prices at hotels skyrocket – be prepared.
If you want to beat the crowds a bit, I would recommend to visit St Petersburg from the very end of April to the first half of May or from the end of September till mid-October.
If you are not afraid of possibly bad weather, the period from November to the end of April is very quiet (except for Christmas and NY time), you can save a lot on accommodation and enjoy the museums without crowds. The only real disadvantage of that time is that the fountains in Peterhof won’t be functioning.
Even if you are visiting St Petersburg in summer, don’t forget multilayer clothes and a rain jacket or an umbrella. Even the first half of June and the end of August can be quite cold – about 14 C if you are not lucky.
How long to stay in St Petersburg?
As for the length of your stay, I would say that even if you are short of time, you will need at least 3 full days just to see the basics of St Petersburg. And you have to be a very active person to do that. You will need 5-7 days to see more at a relaxed pace. Of course, everybody is different and you can easily spend more than a week here.
St Petersburg is big and spread out, many famous attractions like the Catherine palace or Peterhof are situated in the suburbs that are about an hour drive from the city center and from each other. So, just a trip to Peterhof will take most of your day, the same is true for the Catherine palace.
Don’t overwhelm yourself and don’t try to squeeze everything you saw in a guidebook into 2-3 days like some people do. It’s just impossible. If you have doubts, ask me and I will help you to plan your trip to Saint-Petersburg.