White Nights in St. Petersburg 2020 — Dates, Festivals, Tips

St. Petersburg white nights have become a symbol of the city. This short period is the most popular among tourists. Every year, millions of people come to see the natural phenomenon and admire the beauty of the beautiful city.

White Nights in St. Petersburg

Trinity night white night St. Petersburg

The white nights are a natural phenomenon, during which natural light remains high, and the whole night consists of twilight from dusk to dawn. During this period, the solar disk doesn’t actually go beyond the horizon line. The time of the white nights and their duration depends on the geographical location.

St. Petersburg off-the-beaten-path tour is a good opportunity to see the real city, which is hidden from the view of million tourists behind the magnificent facades. We have drawn up a perfect program that includes a maximum of unusual places that you will never visit on your own.

The famous art masterpiece Amber Room, which disappeared during World War II, was restored in 1997. During the tour, you will see not only the Amber Room but also other wonderful halls of the Catherine Palace. After this, you will walk through a landscape park with lots of interesting sights.

The official period of the White Nights in St. Petersburg is from June 11 to July 2, although in fact, the sun in the city and its suburbs don’t go beyond the horizon from May 26 to July 16.

June 22, the day of the summer solstice, it begins to get dark at 22:23, sunset and dawn coincide — 00:02. On this day, the sun actually doesn’t leave the St. Petersburg sky, and you can admire it for 24 hours.

Arriving in St. Petersburg during the White Nights you can plan excursions and sightseeing architectural sights at any convenient time. Walking through the streets of the city you will see all the landmarks as well as during the daytime. Nevsky Prospect, the Moika Embankment, Palace Square appear in a new light. Photo lovers won’t have to use flash to get good shots. The horizon line is very clear, and for a careful sightseeings of architectural monuments, you do not need artificial lighting.

The bridges of St. Petersburg deserve special attention. There are night excursions by boat on the rivers and canals for tourists. Guests admire the drawbridges directly from the water in a pleasant atmosphere, to the sound of light music.

Lifting the wings of bridges in St. Petersburg

White Nights Festivals

Special events dedicated to the beginning of the white nights have become a long-standing Russian tradition. They pass since the founding of the city by Peter the Great. Numerous music and theatre festivals are organized in St. Petersburg today:

  • Children’s international festival “Sounds and colours of white nights” for young talents from all over Russia.
  • “Stars of the White Nights festival”, which includes musical and theatrical performances.
  • Jazz Festival “White Night Swing”, in which a concert of famous world performers takes place in the centre of St. Petersburg in the open air.

Scarlet Sails

Scarlet Sails

One of the most important events of the White Nights every year is the graduates festival “Scarlet Sails”. The event includes a great theatrical concert at the Palace Square and a music multimedia show on the Neva water area. The culmination of the festive night is the ship with scarlet sails which going along the St. Petersburg embankments.

The grandiose multimedia performance on open water annually gathers from one and a half to three million viewers. Not only school graduates can attend the holiday, but also anyone who wishes. Residents and visitors of the city strive to see a beautiful sailboat with scarlet sails, the appearance of which is the most spectacular and romantic moment of the festival.

The exact date becomes known 2 months before the event. It is celebrated at the end of the school year after passing all exams. However, you can calculate the date yourself.

Scarlet Sails takes place in the second half of June on Saturday or Sunday, so there are not so many options in 2020: June 20 and 21, or June 27 and 28

Earlier, the date of the event was the night of June 21-22. However, this coincidence with the date of the start of World War II in the Soviet Union was not approved by many city residents and officials.

The show in the waters of the Neva traditionally includes several performances:

  • Grand Pyrotechnic Show
  • Performances with boats, yachts and aquabikes
  • Light show on the walls of the Peter and Paul Fortress
  • Musical accompaniment of world-famous performers


During the period of white nights, the number of tourists in St. Petersburg increases 2.5 times. Going on a trip, pre-book a hotel room. It is recommended to begin the preparation process after the New Year holidays, especially if you are planning guided tours. By the way, you can book Private Tours on our website. Just follow the link petersburg.expert

Going to visit St. Petersburg during the white nights, don’t forget:

  • As in any tourist city, prices in hotels, restaurants, and bars in the high season are rising
  • Due to a large number of tourists, buy tickets to popular city attractions in advance. It will be especially difficult to get to the Catherine Palace. The Hermitage is easier, but there is no need — crowds of tourists and endless queues won’t let you enjoy the beautiful masterpieces.
  • There are a lot of cars in the city centre on weekends. There is a high probability of getting into a traffic jam. Check road congestion on Google maps and use the subway when the city is busy.
  • If age and health prevent you from sleeping with light — take a sleep mask. Daylight from curtains is a strong annoying factor for many people.
  • White nights is a movement 24/7. While you are going home tiredly, someone full of strength is going to a party in the centre of the city. If you are interested in a quiet sleep — make sure that your hotel isn’t in the busiest places, such as Rubinsteina, Belinskogo, Dumskaya streets and so on.

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White Nights in St. Petersburg 2020
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St. Petersburg white nights in 2020: join the festivals and events, revel in the outdoor cafes. The most beautiful time on the Neva banks.
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