Of course Christmas is a wonderful time to visit St. Petersburg because it is winter and the area is very beautiful in the winter. What should not be expected is the typical Christmas celebration because of the fact Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January. This is about 2 weeks later than the Western Christmas and is seen as a time of religious focus and not festivities and events.
If you are looking for a festive winter holiday in St. Petersburg, you can remain in the area until the week after Western Christmas and enjoy the New Year’s festivities. New Year’s is when you will see many of the elements of a Western Christmas with the Santas, light, decorations, and New Year’s trees. This is a very festive time of the winter and a time in which the number of people on the streets increase exponentially to enjoy the fun. If you would like to combine celebrations with cultural visits, you should know that major museums are open until the 31st of December and will open again on the 2nd of January.
New Year’s in St. Petersburg
It is fair to say that New Year’s in St. Petersburg is like entering into a Russian wonderland. It is the most festive holiday of the year. Rather than giving presents at Christmas, the tradition is to give presents during the New Year’s celebration.
As for what to do, the first five days of the celebration involves an elegant champagne reception with four of the days being spent enjoying the glorious city. There are some rather amazing theaters featuring ballet and opera performances. On day 6, you can go to the Czar’s Ball, donning a tuxedo with champagne glass in hand as you ring in the New Year.
Obviously there is a lot to do this time of year, making it the ideal time to visit. These festivities last from December 25th until January 10th, which means there will be crowds. And while you are visiting the city, you can go to Moscow where you can visit the Kremlin and a number of historic sites and buildings. If you cannot come during the New Year’s celebrations or you do not wish to wade through crowds, there is still a lot to do after January 10th.
Early December in St. Petersburg
If you decide to visit St. Petersburg in early December, you will be welcomed by hotels offering 50% off or more on rooms. You may also find an apartment at a significant discount if you decide to stay the entire month and need such lodging. The crowds are also sparse, so you will not find yourself fighting crowds when shopping or when looking at all of the beauty the city has to offer.
Just make sure that you dress warmly, as the temperature is below 0°C on average. This means you will need items that include a parka, wool cap, scarf, gloves, and boots as you walk through the snow. When you’re dressed comfortably and you have a plan as to what you want to do when you go, you will have a great time visiting this historic city.
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