White Nights Festival

26 May 2017 - 23 Jul 2017
Various locations in St Petersburg

Experience the best of Russia's cultural capital at the White Nights Festival, a three-month showcase of opera, ballet and classical music events.

  • When? 26th May - 23rd June 2017
  • Where? Various locations in St Petersburg
  • Price: Varies depending on individual event.

New York City may be the City That Never Sleeps, but St Petersburg is the City Where The Sun Never Goes Down - at least in the summer anyway. Between May and June every year the sun barely dips below the horizon, meaning 'White Nights' where the sky is awash with purples and blues but never black, and keeps the city awake. To celebrate this amazing phenomenon, locals gather in the city's theatres and music venues for a series of classical ballet, opera and music events. 

Performances are held at the Mariinsky Theatre and Mariinsky Concert Hall almost every day from late May to late June, beginning with the 'Stars of the White Nights' where tickets must be booked months in advance.

In addition, you can catch actors dressed in period costumes re-enacting famous scenes from Russian history in Peterhof gardens and head to the banks of the Neva River to watch the Scarlet Sails festival. High-school students flee to the river's edge after graduating to watch the scarlet sails of a huge ship float along the water, a symbol of future dreams and ambitions. This is accompanied by fireworks and free theatrical and musical performances, all of which sets the city alight with energy and hope. 

You might need to buy an eye mask and some ear plugs to stand a chance of catching a few winks.

  • Get there: Fly into St Petersburg then take a taxi to the city centre.
  • Stay: Find somewhere which is centrally located so you'll be able to get around with ease. The city is extremely busy at this time of year so try and book accomodation and buy tickets well in advance.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!