The weather in St Petersburg, Russia, in July and August is amongst the best of the year. These months have the highest average temperature, and during the daytime, the mercury should hover between 20 and 25C.
However, there is some variation between the two months. If you visit during early July, you’ll be able to experience the famous White Nights – the summer days where dusk blends almost straight into dawn, and it seldom becomes dark. The White Nights are punctuated with parties, concerts, plays, festivals, and even midnight swims in the river.
If you visit at the end of August, then you’ll experience St. Petersburg at the beginning of autumn, rather than the height of summer. Although the days will still be long, the temperature will be dipping, and the White Nights only a happy memory.
Of course, anytime within the two months will be a wonderful time to visit. Summertime excursion from cruise port or hotel can include trips to the Peterhof Fountains, and the fabulous grounds of the Pavlovsk Palace. There are also some excellent parks, pavement cafes, and the opportunity to take a cruise on the canals, which freeze over in the winter. There’s also a general spirit of joie de vivre – the people of St. Petersburg love making the most of the summer, as it helps them to balance out the long northern winter.
You might be wondering what to pack, if you are visiting St Petersburg in July or August. You should pack some light clothes – shorts, t-shirts, dresses, and sandals. However, although July and August are the warmest months in St. Petersburg, don’t expect it to be reliably sunny. You should also pack an umbrella or a light waterproof jacket, jeans, comfortable shoes, and possibly a light cardigan or fleece, and a small, light rucksack to carry everything in. While you’re not going to need the sort of heavy gear you’d need in winter- you can safely leave your thermal underwear at home – you should make sure that you’re not going to be uncomfortable if it is raining or overcast, or if there is a strong breeze.
There is one big drawback to visiting St Peterburg in July and August. As they’re the best months, weather-wise, and all the attractions are open, and it’s the school holidays, many other people want to visit at this time too. Therefore, it’s important to book a tour of St Petersburg as far in advance as possible, to guarantee a space.
Tours will also, whenever possible, give you the option of purchasing “queue jump” tickets. These often cost a little more than the normal tickets, but save you spending most of your visit standing in lines at various ticket offices. They’re well worth it, as they can greatly maximise the time you get to spend enjoying your visit.
So, for weather as well as for sightseeing, July and August are excellent months to visit St. Petersburg.
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