The White Nights in St. Petersburg are one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! Last June, I left Moscow for a weekend to go to St Petersburg. Because St. Petersburg is situated more than 60 degrees above the equator, this means that as from the second half of June it never gets completely dark. The magnificent White Nights are the spectacular result of this specific location.
Beautiful skyline of St. Petersburg
I arrived exhausted in St. Petersburg after a sleepless night on the sleeper train between Moscow and St Petersburg. People were snoring all the time and I actually preferred looking outside to sleeping. Fortunately, the city is so beautiful, that soon I forgot about the fatigue. After walking around all day, I decided to go to bed at 10 p.m. and set my alarm at 0.30 a.m. to look at the White Nights. It was pretty strange to fall asleep at 10 p.m, while the sun made it look like it was still noon. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I did not really want to get up. Thank God I dragged myself out of bed!
I left the hostel and was welcomed by the most beautiful horizon that I have ever seen. I just stood there for a few minutes, staring open-mouthed. The magical light gave the city a surreal glow. You could really see the bended horizon with its wonderful blue, yellow and red colors. The longer I was outside, the more beautiful it all looked. I walked to the statue of Peter the Great on his horse and admired the skyline of St. Petersburg. The most recognizable landmark of the skyline is the sharp point of the Peter and Paul Fortress. (You can see all pictures in full size by clicking them, a must … it looks even better in full size!!)
White Nights and open drawbridges
At 1 o’clock at night, all drawbridges were opened. The image of the White Nights in St Petersburg with these open drawbridges is very typical. I was expecting the White Nights to be incredibly beautiful … but this even exceeded my expectations. Jeroen unfortunately wasn’t there, so I had to make my own pictures with an old camera. Even a substandard photographer with a substandard camera was able to shoot these pics… all thanks to the beautiful light!
Why am I giving you this travel tip, while you only can admire the White Nights in June ?! Well, let’s say that getting a visa will take you some time and requires perseverance. Begin the visa process, therefore, at least one month in advance. But hey, with a view like this it’ll be all worth it right? Those who only want to visit St. Petersburg, could possibly try reaching the city from Helsinki by ferry or train. If you’re staying no longer than 72 hours, you can even enter visa-free. No paperwork and still being able to see that beautiful White Nights?! Absolutely possible!
White Nights are not unique to St. Petersburg. For example, I saw them once before in Stockholm … but it was by far not as beautiful as in St. Petersburg! It really gets under your skin! Have you ever seen White Nights or the midnight sun?!