Things to do in Saint Petersburg in summer are various and numerous. To tell the truth, to make the full list of all the St. Petersburg events is almost impossible. The cultural summer life is so dense and eventful that often it’s difficult to decide what exactly to do. As a cultural capital of Russia, Saint Petersburg proudly hosts grandiose shows, pompous festivals and magnificent exhibitions.
- 1. Music Festival “Stars of the White Nights”
- 2. Music Show “Singing Bridges”
- 3. Music Festival “StereoLeto 2019”
- 4. Exhibition of the Paintings by Fyodor Konyukhov
- 4. Street Art Exhibition “Or Stand, Or Fall”
- 5. Flower Festival
- 6. Festival “Opera — For All”
- 7. “The Scarlet Sails”, the Most Spectacular Fest
- 8. Naval Parade on the Navy Day
- 10. International Motorcycle Festival St. Petersburg Harleys Days
I’ve made a list of the biggest things to do in Saint Petersburg for summer 2019. Check the dates and if you’re lucky to be in the city during one of the events, don’t even hesitate to attend it!
Things To Do In Saint Petersburg:
1. Music Festival “Stars of the White Nights”
Festival “Stars of the White Nights” is one of the biggest cultural events which has already become the hallmark of Saint Petersburg. 27 years ago, during first festival seasons, the program lasted only a few days. Nowadays the festival lasts a few months! During this time, spectators will see more than 200 concerts and performances.
The name of the festival — “Stars of the White Nights” — depicts the idea of the festival: during the White Nights, world stars of opera and ballet are performing in Saint Petersburg. The most talented artists of the planet will show their best performances in numerous operas, ballets and concerts.
It’s highly advised to book tickets beforehand (for example, on the website of the Mariinsky Theatre)
When: May, 22 — July, 21
Where: Mariinsky Theatre
2. Music Show “Singing Bridges”
The concept of the sound show “Singing Bridges” is Philharmonic under the open sky. The show begins at night — at 1.10 a.m. — at the same time as the wings of the Palace Bridge begin raising. The musical accompaniment creates an emotional tension for the audience before the upcoming action.
The sound show “Singing Bridges” is a non-commercial cultural and educational project. People can listen to the best examples of Russian symphonic music. The project presents works by Leningrad and Saint Petersburg composers who have become symbols of the era, country and city.
There are different playlists which change weekly. Each show lasts about 20-25 minutes.
When: May — September
Where: Palace Bridge
3. Music Festival “StereoLeto 2019”
“StereoLeto” (which can be translated as StereoSummer) is an independent annual music festival in Saint Petersburg. It exists for 18 years and has become a symbol of Saint Petersburg’s summer. Since 2001, the festival forms its lineup of artists who are at the forefront of the modern music industry. During 18 years of the festival, more than 700 Russian and foreign musicians have performed on StereoLeto. Among them Franz Ferdinand, Royksopp, Massive Attack, Morcheeba, Air, Bueno Vista Social Club, Regina Spektor, David Byrne, 5NIZZA and Ivan Dorn.
When: July, 6-7
Where: Sevkabel Port
4. Exhibition of the Paintings by Fyodor Konyukhov
Fyodor Konyukhov is known all over the world as an intrepid traveller, aerial and marine explorer, discoverer. Since his childhood, Fyodor strived to travel and to discover the world and its infinite diversity. He accomplished his first expedition at the age of fifteen, having crossed the Sea of Azov in a rowboat.
Besides being a voyager, Fyodor Konyukhov is an extraordinary artist. His exhibition in the Mikhailovsky Castle includes about 50 paintings and drawings. In his paintings, the artist often shows the images of his expeditions: oceans, mountains, whales, iceberg…
When: March, 18 — June, 13
Where: St. Michael’s Castle (Mikhailovsky Castle)
4. Street Art Exhibition “Or Stand, Or Fall”
In case you are looking for some unusual things to do in Saint Petersburg, pay attention to unordinary museum and exhibitions. For example, why not to visit street art museums and to get to know contemporary artists?
This new exhibition project “Or Stand, Or Fall” in the Street Art Museum is inspired by the idea of the shock from what is happening around. The exhibition united world-known gallery artists, local street artists, graffiti painters and tattoo masters. On the territory of 9000 square meters, visitors could see not only objects of street art but also public art, canvases, audio and video installations.
When: May, 18 — October, 13
Saturday, Sunday, 1 — 16.30 p.m.
Where: Street Art Museum
5. Flower Festival
The Flower Festival is dedicated to the Day of Russia (June, 12). It will take places in the heart of the city — at the Palace Square. For 3 days, residents and guests of the city will be able to enjoy a competitive program, daily exhibitions and magnificent flowers procession along Nevsky Prospect.
When: June, 11-13
Where: Palace Square
6. Festival “Opera — For All”
In the middle of summer, the soloists of Saint Petersburg theatres are not averse to singing in the open air, and the spectators — to see the performances in an unusual setting: on the squares or in the parks. All the performances are free.
The performances of the festival “Opera — For All” are traditionally held in the most beautiful architectural ensembles of Saint Petersburg. Thus, not only everyone can come to hear opera but the city itself takes part in stage action — as a decoration.
When: July, 12-21
Where: Cathedral Square of the Peter and Paul Fortress, Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), and other locations.
7. “The Scarlet Sails”, the Most Spectacular Fest
Among all the things to do in Saint Petersburg during summer, the Scarlet Sails fest is undoubtedly the most spectacular.
The Scarlet Sails is a graduation celebration for those who have just graduated from school.
The Scarlet Sails is one of the main symbols of the Northern capital. The grand spectacular event attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.
The fest is held at the night in different places of Saint Petersburg. There is a concert at the Palace Square but it will be possible to get there only by invitations. There is another concert for all on the Spit of Vasilievsky Island.
The most spectacular part of the fest is undoubtedly the appearance of the ship with scarlet sails on the Neva River. The ship with scarlet sails symbolizes a dream and a hope for a better future.
The fairy tale Scarlet Sails ship’s passage on the Neva River is accompanied by stunning fireworks and water show.
When: night from 23 to 24 of June
Where: Palace Square, Palace Embankment, Spit of Vasilievsky Island, the Neva River
8. Naval Parade on the Navy Day
Not a secret that many tourists (and Russians too) would like to watch live the Victory Day Parade which takes place on the May, 9. But there is also one grand military parade in Russia — the Naval Parade in Saint Petersburg.
The Naval Parade in Saint Petersburg is a new event. It took place only a few times but immediately became an important part of the city’s cultural life.
The Naval Parade is one of the most grandiose Saint Petersburg events. In 2018, 41 military ships, a submarine and 38 aircraft took part in the naval parade held in Saint Petersburg and Kronstadt. It seems that this year spectators will see something new including a special naval show.
The parade takes place in the morning in 2 locations. The 1st location is the Neva River in Saint Petersburg. For better observation spectators better stand along the Palace Embankment.
The 2nd location is Kronstadt, a city and port in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg.
Usually, some ships stay after the parade on the Neva River and can be seen and photographed all day long. In the evening there is a concert on the Palace Square and fireworks over the Neva River
When: July, 28
Where: 1. Neva River (Palace Embankment), Saint Petersburg | 2. Kronstadt City
10. International Motorcycle Festival St. Petersburg Harleys Days
The motorcycle parade taking place during the festival is recognised as the most beautiful motorcycle parade in Europe. Besides, the program of the festival includes more than 20 activities, live music, entertainment and show programs, contests, tours of the city and suburbs of Saint Petersburg, a solemn moto parade along the main streets of the city.
When: August, 1-4
Where: Ostrovskogo Square
Things to Do in Saint Petersburg — What to Choose?
As you see, multiple outdoor activities supplement permanent museum exhibitions. Saint Petersburg is a Northern city and the summer is not so long. That’s why, when I see the list of the local events, I have a feeling that the rich summer season is a quintessence of high-quality cultural life.
You’re lucky if you spend at least 5-6 days in Saint Petersburg. Besides seasonal events and activities, must-do things in Saint Petersburg include visiting the world-known attractions. You can check posts about TOP 10 Saint Petersburg’s attractions list and a full guide to royal palaces in the suburbs of the city.
By the way, you can join me on Facebook to know more about things to do in Saint Petersburg (and other Russian cities too).