One of the best times to visit St. Petersburg is during White Nights, when the sun never really sets and the city comes alive with festivals and concerts. A boat cruise is a great way to experience this magical time—here's what you need to know.
What are the White Nights?
For about 80 days from May to July, St. Petersburg experiences the White Nights, enjoying late sunsets and early sunrises, with twilight lasting throughout the night. It’s one of the most popular times of the year to visit Russia, allowing travelers to take advantage of extra daylight.
Ways to Experience the White Nights
- Take a midnight cruise to see the Palace Bridge and more than a dozen other illuminated drawbridges get raised over the Neva River.
- Visit the Russian Vodka Museum for a vodka tasting, followed by an evening canal cruise through the city.
- Take a boat trip down the Neva River to Peterhof Palace, famous for its hundreds of ornate fountains.
- Enjoy views of the Yusupov Palace, Anichkov Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and the famous Winter Palace, home to the Hermitage Museum, as you cruise along the Neva, Moyka, and Fontanka rivers.
- Join a St. Petersburg cruise with an art historian tour guide to learn about the city’s history and architecture, or pair your experience with a city tour.
Things to Know
- Tours may depart from and return to your hotel or a central location in St. Petersburg, such as the Nevsky Prospect area.
- Most boat tours last two to three hours.
- On-board guides provide commentary about the landmarks passed during night cruises.