White Nights in St Petersburg

White Nights in St Petersburg

 

Studying in St Petersburg means that you get to witness the magical White Nights or Beliye Nochi. At their peak in mid-June, daylight is practically never-ending so you’ll never get a wink of sleep. And you won’t want to either, since there are all sorts of opportunities not to be missed.

 

Late night progulka

One of the best ways to appreciate the Beliye Nochi is to go for a walk or progulka, at night. Walking down Nevsky Prospekt at 3 AM in broad daylight is an unforgettable experience. It really does feel like it’s the middle of the day; there are so many people out. If you fancy appreciating the more mysterious side of the White Nights, then pretend you’re in a Dostoevsky novel and roam some of St Petersburg’s quieter side streets. Head to the Dostoevsky statue near Dostoevskaya metro station for some inspiration. For your own safety, you’ll want to bring a friend. But no Russian’s going to turn that down. The progulka is one of the top social activities in Russia!

 

Late night boat trip

When you’re tired of walking, take a trip on a tourist boat. Make sure to get the last boat as you’ll want to see the bridges go up. Floating down the city canals is so pretty and relaxing. However, before you know it your miniature waterway will join the mighty River Neva, and you’ll feel very small and rather cold – it’s time to wrap yourself up in a blanket! After a while of moseying down the Neva, admiring its great expanse and the pinkish half-light, you’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by other tourist boats. Everyone is jostling for the perfect spot to see the bridges go up. It’s an impressive site, as is the hype with hundreds of people lining the banks going wild with their cameras.

 

Aliye Parusa or Scarlet Sails

Aliye Parusa is one of the biggest events during Beliye Nochi. It’s a celebration for all the school kids who have graduated that year, and is based on a fairy tale of the same name (check it out for some Russian reading practice). The main spectacle starts at midnight: a ship with huge red sails floats down the Neva, and some seriously impressive fireworks are set off in time to Tchaikovsky. Importantly it isn’t just for school kids. Often so many people attend that Nevsky Prospekt is pedestrianised!

 

Party

Make the most of those extra hours of daylight and party hard! Preferably find yourself a party in a location where you can appreciate the endless daylight, perhaps a sophisticated beach bar on Krestovsky Ostrov. But hey, if you end up on Dumskaya, just make sure to take a break from the dancing and surprise yourself by looking outside.
Enjoy!
Team EBC