In December everyone in Russia is getting ready for the most splendid winter holiday — New Year’s Eve. If you walk around the historical center of St. Petersburg, you’ll realize that the magic is really in the air. Elaborately decorated New Year trees, lightning across the streets, spicy smell of mulled wine, imperial palaces glowing in the dark, icy rivers, majestic light-flooded bridges and embankments, falling snow — festive vibes are throughout the city! Let’s see what to do in St. Petersburg to catch the New Year mood:
Go To An Open Air Skating Rink
Open air skating rinks allow not only to have fun, but also enjoy fairy-tale surroundings. The rink of the New Holland Island is probably the most fashionable skating rink in St. Petersburg. As New Holland is not only an island. It’s a creative space with a lot of cozy restaurants and cafes, local designers shops, research laboratories, exhibition spaces, etc. The skating rink will be open until March, 17 — due to special cooling system, the ice don’t melt even if the weather is warm.
Location: New Holland Island, Admiralty Canal Embankment, 2
Open every day.
Price: 1 hour ~2-5 USD (visitors can also rent skates)
Participate In Ded Moroz Running
Ded Moroz is Russian colleague of Santa Claus — the symbol and the main wizard of New Year. On the December, 22 about 5000 participants dressed as Ded Moroz will run a distance of 2 km (300 m for kids). You can watch or — why not! — participate in the running: all interested, regardless their age, citizenship or level of training, are welcome. Organizers provide all necessary clothes: jacket, hat, trousers, belt and beard.
Participation price: 15 USD
Start Location: Palace Square
Date: December, 22
Find Unique Gifts At Local Design Markets
Local design markets are the right place for unique handmade gifts. Jewelry, ceramics, accessories, home decor, postcards, beauty products, toys… Magnet for fridge is a good souvenir, no doubt, but what if you find something really extraordinary?
Have you ever tried buckwheat ice-cream? +1 reason to go!
Location: Creative Space Lumiere Hall
Obvodny Canal Embankment, 74A
Open: 22–23 December, 12:00–21:00
Entrance is free
Christmas Charity Market
Location: Annenkirche (St. Anne’s Church)
Kirochnaya Street, 8B
Open: 20–23 December, 12:00–20:00
Watch The Nutcracker Ballet In The Mikhailovsky Theatre
Without a doubt, The Nutcracker is one of the most magical ballets of the New Year season. The story of wooden doll who became a prince. And found his princess. A splendid tale of good and evil, jealousy and courage, magicians and fairies… I’d suggest watching The Nutcracker in Mikhailovsky Theatre, one of the oldest Russian ballet and opera house. Be sure to enjoy not only the costumes and plastique of the dancers, but also elegant decorations and, of course, the theatre itself. Not to mention the mesmerizing music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky…
Location: Mikhailovsky Theatre
Arts Square, 1
Ticket price: 15-150 USD
Visit The Museum Of Old New Year
A real trove of vintage New Year memories: handmade decorations for pine trees, masquerade masks, postcards, old books, costumes, letters sent by soldiers during World War II…
Location: Sadovaya Street, 28-30, building 18
Entrance is free, but a small tip is always appreciated
Usually December in St. Petersburg is not very cold (-5 – +5°C), though it could be rainy or snowy. Be ready to everything! 🙂 Choose proper clothes and boots which could protect you from winds and don’t hesitate to take a coffee to go from time to time!
If you’ve decided to spend New Year’s Eve in Saint Petersburg, but have no idea what to do, check the post Guide To New Years In Saint Petersburg