St. Petersburg is the place miracles are made. Today, Russia’s second largest city is known for its stunning tsarist architecture, fashionable restaurants, shopping and electric nightlife, all set along the beautiful Neva River. But St. Petersburg is also the site of some of the most pivotal moments in Russia's history, most notably the Siege of Leningrad. Many inhabitants of the city have a family member who lived through the siege and it is still remembered vividly, though the city has prevailed and lived to tell its story.
One of the most awesome spectacles you can see once you've stepped off a flight to St. Petersburg are the “white nights” that occur in the city in the summer. Find cheap flights to St. Petersburg in June and July and watch in awe as the city glows from the prolonged twilight. The sun never drops far enough below the horizon to create the usual nighttime darkness, so the city is constantly lit up under the miraculous white light.
St Petersburg climate
Plan for the unexpected when you book your cheap flight to St. Petersburg, because although the weather is mild for the most part, it’s often unpredictable. Seldom hot, the weather ranges from freezing in the winter, to high 60’s in the summer.
Best Time to Fly to St Petersburg
Peak Season: June, July, and August are the most popular months to book St. Petersburg flights due to its pleasant and warm weather. Typically mid 60’s, it’s not your average scorching summer, reaching maximums in the low 70’s. August brings heavy humidity and rain along with the heat, so over-packers should focus on weather-specific clothing like rain boots, umbrellas, and versatile layers.
Off-peak Season: Ready to brave the cold? A flight to St. Petersburg in the winter will release you into a land so frigid that typically temperatures can bottom out even lower than 10 degrees. Icy winds and weighty snowfall make January and February the bitterest months. If you’re looking to save money and the cold weather doesn’t bother you, this is the best time to find cheap flights to St. Petersburg.
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Getting around St Petersburg
Head out on foot to best experience Saint Petersburg’s sights and architecture. There are plenty of public transportation options for those who don’t feel like walking. You can still get great views of the city by taking a cruise on the Neva River. The metro is a very popular option for both residents and tourists. It’s cheap and fast, but can get very crowded during the day. Buy your tokens or multiple-trip tickets at the station. You can also ride a bus, tram or trolley car. Buses cover the areas the subway doesn’t. Trolleys are the slowest option. Purchase tickets for any of these from the drivers or at kiosks beforehand. Make sure you validate them when boarding. Marshrutky are minibus shuttles that you can flag down on the bus route. Pay the driver and request a stop when you get to your destination. There are also plenty of taxis, which are inexpensive as well. Private cars often act as non-metered taxis, so negotiate a fare before you get in. Avoid driving yourself if you can. Roads are often in disrepair, traffic is congested and street signs are in Cyrillic.
St Petersburg Travel Information
Bridges: Beautiful picturesque bridges are all over St. Petersburg crossing the Neva River. Most of them lift in the afternoon to let boats pass, so be careful to check schedules before you plan on crossing a bridge during your commute. Two of the most common: The Volodarskiy closes from 2:00-3:45, and 4:15-5:45, and the Liteiny closes from 1:50-4:40. Be sure to check local listings once you get there for other bridge closing times.
Drinks: If you prefer shaken and not stirred, your long flight to St. Petersburg may call for an aperitif. The MTV generation in Russia has taken to American cocktail trends including Margaritas and Terminators, but the most common drinks of choice revolve around beer and vodka. A St. Petersburg microbrewery produces unfiltered beers, and locally produced brands like Baltika and Nevskoe are popular. Liviz distillery makes vodka for $6 a liter and is available at almost any time, anywhere.
Theater and Concerts: Although sometimes rivaling Moscow, St. Petersburg has recently held a reputation for being the arts and culture capital of Russia. Complete your St. Petersburg travel agenda by adding art galleries, palaces, and museums to your list of things to do. Ballet and opera shows, as well as classical and folklore music concerts are plentiful and make for a perfect night out at the Mariinsky Theater.
Rock Clubs: St. Petersburg conceived many a rock band in recent decades, and the diverse live music scene caters to the breeding ground of budding artists coming to attention on stage night after night. Concerts and clubs are affordable compared to other European cities. Dance the night away at two of the most famous clubs, Adams and Koniushenniy Dvor. No matter what’s streaming from your iPod on your flight to St. Petersburg, you’re guaranteed to be entertained by this upbeat and edgy genre.