Rocco Forte Hotels

During the summer months, the sun never fully sets over St Petersburg, leaving the city bathed in a warm glow. The annual White Nights phenomenon celebrates this magical time of year with a wealth of cultural activities. Embrace Russian culture, food and fun from dusk until dawn with a stay at St Petersburg’s elegant Hotel Astoria.

Enjoy the great outdoors

What could be more romantic than a sunset stroll along the banks of the Neva River or the lush, fountain-studded Summer Garden? Those seeking an enchanting day trip destination should make the most of the long daylight hours and take the short train ride to the forests of Lake Ladoga—we’d recommend packing a picnic.

Eat, drink and be merry

During the day, cool down with a scoop of Russian morozhenoe (ice cream) or a slice of watermelon. At night, however, it’s time to indulge in long, lazy al fresco dinners that stretch on for as long as the vodka stays chilled.

Watch the Neva bridge openings

Watching the illuminated Neva River bridges open at 90-degree angles to let the boat traffic flow through is an iconic White Nights experience. Join locals and tourists alike on the riverbanks to catch this wonderful spectacle.

Go on a canal cruise

St Petersburg is woven with waterways, making a cruise the perfect way to see the city. During the White Nights, fireworks often light up the rosy-hued sky—best appreciated à deux with a chilled bottle of Champagne.

See a performance at the Mariinsky Theatre

While the famed Mariinsky Theatre is lauded year-round for its program of ballet, opera and classical concerts, the theatre becomes nigh-on unmissable during its Stars of the White Nights Festival. There are hundreds of productions to enjoy—some of which are outdoors—featuring the most accomplished Russian and international performers.

Join in with Scarlet Sails

The biggest festival in Russia, Scarlet Sails is the pinnacle of St Petersburg’s White Nights. Over a million people joyfully attend to watch the fireworks, performances, dancing and more that take place along the banks of the Neva River. Scheduled for the 20th-21st June 2020, this is an essential White Nights experience.

The Hotel Astoria is the perfect base from which to experience the White Nights festival. To book your stay, call +7 812 494 5757 or email

Image Credit:

Church of the Savior on Blood © iStock/poladamonte
Neva Bridge © ?
Neva River © iStock/AleksandarGeorgiev

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