What places to visit when there are white nights in St. Petersburg? Why does this phenomenon occur and how long does it take?


The period of white nights in St. Petersburg is especially fascinating and attracts tourists. When twilight envelops the city, it literally comes alive at this time. Everyone wants to enjoy this unusual natural phenomenon, and it was then that various cultural events are held. When there are white nights in St. Petersburg, what is it, why does this magical time occur and how long does it take?

White nights: what is it?

This phenomenon, when the sun sets over the horizon for such a short period of time that it does not have time to completely dark. The evening twilight is gradually replaced by the morning dawn. In this summer season you can watch the extraordinary beauty of nature paintings. You can stroll until the morning with uncrowded streets, contemplate the nightlife of the city, admire the ancient architecture, watch the ships passing along the Neva banks.

White nights are a true symbol of St. Petersburg. At this time it is necessary to conduct various entertainment programs and cultural events. St. Petersburg and without it is a very beautiful city, but the streets, shaded by the twilight of mystery and riddles, illuminated by the rays of almost no setting sun, produce a particularly attractive and amazing impression.

Why are there white nights in St. Petersburg?


This city is located at 60 parallel, which is six degrees away from the location of the Arctic Circle to the south. This is a conditional mark, where in summer there comes a polar day. At this time, the sun almost never sets. The reason for this phenomenon is the inclination of the Earth’s axis to orbit. In summertime, the northern hemisphere of the Earth is tilted towards the Sun, which explains a very long day at the end of the first summer month in northern latitudes. The sun, only having time to hide behind the horizon, begins again to go out because of it. That is why St. Petersburg has white nights. And beyond the Arctic Circle there is a time when the sun does not set at all beyond the horizon!

The axis of the Earth is tilted, so a different amount of light falls on different areas: in the winter, the North is almost not illuminated by the Sun, while in the summer a large amount of light and heat hits it. The period of white nights is called in science "civil twilight" - a period covering the time from sunset to the horizon until the sun reaches several degrees below the horizon.

When to observe the phenomenon?

There is no one to give an unequivocal answer to the question of when it is white nights in St. Petersburg. One says that the first phenomenon can already be observed on May 25-27. And there is a rational grain in it: approximately in these numbers the beginning of the night does not have time to occur, since you can only see the bright twilight, which gradually passes into the morning dawn.

Others argue that the first white night in St. Petersburg comes only on June 11. This date is the official beginning when in St. Petersburg there are white nights.

They came to the unambiguous opinion that June 21-22 are days when the night is the brightest: the sun hides behind the horizon only a few degrees, and the day lasts almost 19 hours. It is noteworthy that while the sun gives enough light in order to take good photos without using flash. During the white nights you can clearly observe and capture the famous bridges over the Neva River and the ships passing by. Photographs created in this magical time can convey the atmosphere of mystery and romance.


Officially, the last day of the white nights is considered the second of July, but, according to the observations of witnesses, this phenomenon can be admired until July 17.

Celebrations in this period

The tradition to celebrate the white nights in St. Petersburg has come since its foundation by Peter I. Now the beginning of the festive events falls on May 27th. All residents of St. Petersburg are eagerly awaiting this holiday, since it is then that mass celebrations are held, various exhibitions, concerts and festivals are held.


What places to visit?

St. Petersburg is rich in picturesque places, but among them there are several worthwhile attention that they acquire incredible beauty during the White Nights.

The Spit of Vasilyevsky Island is considered one of the most colorful places in St. Petersburg. From here you can observe the movement of ships, peering into the dormant shores, decorated with the light of lights.

When there are white nights in St. Petersburg, do not miss the opportunity to go to Palace Square. You will see an amazing view of an unusually early dawn, illuminating the top of the Pillar of Alexandria, and the facade of the Winter Palace sinking in the morning gloom.


The park of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg is also an excellent option for night walks. The Gulf of Finland, on the shores of which it is located, creates the illusion of even greater lightness around. From this place offers a breathtaking urban landscape and a view of the sea.

The Scarlet Sails festival is a grand celebration that is organized on a white night. The most interesting thing happens deep in the night: a frigate equipped with majestic scarlet sails under the bright flashes of lights and salutes plunges into the waters of the Neva. All this action takes place simultaneously under the morning and evening dawn.

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