You can and should come to St. Petersburg at any time of the year. But, perhaps, it is during the New Year holidays that the hospitable city is especially atmospheric. Go to St. Petersburg together, with a large group of friends or with your family. We found the TOP 7 compelling reasons for this, apart from just being in a good mood.
THE WHOLE CITY IS LIKE A FESTIVE PHOTO ZONE
In St. Petersburg, they know how and love to celebrate the New Year. This year, the city will return to the tradition of festive festivities in the center. The main points of attraction will be Nevsky Prospekt and Palace Square, where the main New Year’s concert will take place. The audience is waiting for a show program in which stars of several generations will take part. The New Year’s concert will also take place on Malaya Konyushennaya Street.
By tradition, the most beautiful and tallest Christmas tree in the city will be installed on the Palace Square. In full decoration, the main symbol of the New Year will appear before the public on December 20.
The New Year’s beauty will be decorated in a retro style: the toys will resemble antique jewelry. These are figurines of horses, nutcrackers, snowmen, and sweets. It will not do without bright light bulbs, balloons, garlands in the form of flags and, of course, stars on top of the head. A festive photo zone with a mailbox will appear next to it, from where you can send a greeting card.
Palace Square in St. Petersburg in winter. Photo: visit-petersburg.ru
THE LIGHT SHOW ON DVORTSOVAYA
There will be another reason to come to Dvortsovaya. During the New Year holidays, the main square of the Northern Capital will turn into a single virtual open-air space. The facade of the General Staff will become a giant canvas for the works of “digital” artists.
With the help of modern technologies, the great history of the country will come to life on the facade of the building – from Alexander Nevsky, Peter the Great to the present day, the most important stages of construction and development of the city. Come to the city center and look at St. Petersburg in the “It Was – It Became– It Will Be” format. You will be in time for sure: sessions from December 23 to January 8 will be held every evening, from 19:00 to 23:00.
And yes, do not forget to charge your phone and other gadgets properly: you will definitely want to take pictures of all this beauty, as well as classic views of the elegant Palace Square, St. Petersburg bridges decorated with New Year’s illumination and iconic sights.
CHRISTMAS FAIRS AND NEW YEAR’S BAZAARS
The main events will unfold in 3 squares of the city at once. So, from December 9 to January 8, the main fairground will be located on Manezhnaya Square near the big New Year tree, the Christmas Slide will delight guests on Palace Square during this period, and Christmas fairy tales will be on Moscow Square.
The center of St. Petersburg is very beautiful on New Year’s Eve. Photo: visit-petersburg.ru
The main entertainment events will take place on Manezhnaya Square: a miniature square with decorative facades of houses will open here, behind which retail outlets will hide. A beautiful Christmas tree, a Santa Claus house, a large two-story carousel and stylized photo zones will help you remember your childhood. A large ice rink will be flooded on Maple Street. And don’t be afraid to freeze or get hungry: food trucks with cuisines from around the world will work nearby: hot mulled wine or invigorating coffee will help to keep warm and cheer up.
New Year and Christmas markets will traditionally open in other popular points of the city. What’s not a reason to walk around New Year’s Petersburg and get around them all? Each place will be atmospheric and beautiful in its own way.
For a festive mood and gifts, you can go to New Holland, Nikolsky rows, Sevkabel Port and Elagin Island. Various souvenirs, crafts, candles, sweets and New Year’s toys will certainly please with their sweetness.
ICE RINKS, SLIDES, CURLING AND SKIING
In St. Petersburg, especially everything. Even the city ice rinks. Because they open in the most atmospheric places of the city, and each of them is decorated in its own style. New Holland is probably the most entertaining ice rink. Skating can be combined with dancing: there is a stage for performances of musicians nearby. The ice rink covers an area of more than 2000 m2 and works even at plus temperatures.
There are several ice entertainments in the Nikolsky ranks this season. Here you can play curling or ice mini golf, ride a flying high slide, a fabulous Venetian carousel, and, of course, ice skating.
Skating rink in St. Petersburg. Photo: visit-petersburg.ru
Do you remember that there is a sea in St. Petersburg? If you want a romantic ride with a view of the sea, go to the ice rinks in Sevkabel Port and to the Flagpole space at Gazprom Arena, where the largest ice rink in the city will be flooded.
You can also ride in the open air in one of the most beautiful landscape parks of the city on Elaginthe island. It is especially romantic here in the evening when the lights are on. Thanks to the cooling system, the rink also works at plus temperatures.
Ice rinks will also open in the Tavrichesky Garden and the Moscow Victory Park. Choose where it is more convenient and closer. Going to the ice rink is a great way to cheer up and feel the atmosphere of winter St. Petersburg.
Skating rink in St. Petersburg. Photo: visit-petersburg.ru
By the way, in St. Petersburg you can skate not only, but also ski. A ten–minute drive from Zelenogorsk is at the Pukhtolova Gora ski resort. The resort has four ski slopes (the maximum length is 350 meters), two slopes for cheesecakes, a snowmobile area and an ice rink. All necessary equipment – downhill skis, snowboards, cheesecakes – are available for rent.
NEW YEAR’S EVE PERFORMANCES AND THE “NUTCRACKER”
There is always a rich cultural and event poster in St. Petersburg during the New Year holidays. The choice of where to go is big. This includes a circus, ice shows with the participation of figure skating stars, theatrical performances with special New Year’s readings, and, of course, loud performances in famous St. Petersburg theaters.
“The Nutcracker” can be viewed in the Mariinsky. Photo: visit-petersburg.ru
The legendary “The Nutcracker” will be playing at the Mariinsky throughout December. By the way, the ballet of the same name is also on the poster of the Mikhailovsky Theater staged by the Spanish director Nacho Duato. And classical choreography to the immortal music of the great Tchaikovsky will be shown at the Anichkov Palace, as well as on the Alexandrinka stage. So there will be no New Year’s story in St. Petersburg without the “Nutcracker”.
UNIQUE EXHIBITIONS AND A WALK AROUND THE “ISLAND OF FORTS”
During the winter holidays, do not miss the grandiose exhibition of Surikov at the Russian Museum. The museum’s collections have returned the artist’s masterpieces that adorn the permanent exhibition of the Mikhailovsky Palace: “The Capture of the Snow Town”, “The Conquest of Siberia by Ermak” and “Sibiryachka”, as well as other paintings and sketches for famous paintings.
Going to an exhibition in St. Petersburg in winter is a great idea. Photo: visit-petersburg.ru
Visitors will see more than 120 works by the master, including paintings from the Tretyakov Gallery, other museums and private collections in Russia. Surikov’s last comparable exhibition was held almost 90 years ago.
Be sure to plan a visit to Tsarskoye Selo, because the exhibition “Brighter than the Sun” cannot be missed. For the first time, the Catherine Palace presented Russia’s largest amber collection: more than 100 unique items.
The exposition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the completion of the reconstruction of the Amber Room covers the period from the XVII to the XX century. Among the rarest amber products are a board for board games, presumably belonging to Elizabeth Petrovna, a casket with figures of Venus and Cupid by master Gottfried Turau, caskets, an hourglass, an ink set, paperweights, medallions, hookah mouthpieces, shaving items and other rarities. Naturally, you will be able to admire the Amber Cabinet itself, which has been restored for almost 25 years.
You can continue diving into history in the museum and historical park “Island of Forts” in Kronstadt, where the Museum of Naval Glory opened in July. Its central exhibit is the first Soviet nuclear submarine K-3 Leninsky Komsomol.
Legendary underwater spoon K 3. Photo: visit-petersburg.ru
K 3 is not only the legendary ship from which the history of the Russian nuclear submarine fleet began, but also an unparalleled exhibit — nowhere else in the world will you see a hundred—meter underwater nuclear-powered vessel located on land in an indoor area.
CHRISTMAS DISHES AND ST. PETERSBURG CUISINE
New Year and Christmas brunches, special dishes and drinks – the variety of menus of St. Petersburg restaurants will not leave anyone indifferent. The choice will be difficult, but certainly delicious.
In the Northern capital, you can also try local specialties. So, in the gastronomic establishments participating in the projects “Petersburg cuisine” and “Petersburg Breakfast”, dishes are prepared according to ancient and very tasty recipes.
“Eliseevsky”, located on Nevsky Prospekt, can serve as a real museum of world gastronomy. Photo: ATOR
Try Nicholas II’s favorite porridge or pancakes according to the recipe of nanny Pushkin? Why not! Especially in the New Year! Remember, there is such a sign – when you try a new dish for the first time, you must make a wish. Make a list of the most cherished, come to St. Petersburg and try everything!
We are sure that the desires will end faster than the dishes on the menu of St. Petersburg gastronomic establishments. One wish is sure to come true: This is the next trip to St. Petersburg, a city that you want to return to again and again.