Winter in St Petersburg
What is the Coldest Month in St Petersburg?
January has historically been the coldest month in St Petersburg with average temperatures of -9C to -4C.
Historical December and February average temperatures are below zero C as well.
I am writing this post in February. Temperatures are approximately -15C to – 20C these days.
People walk on the Fontanka river ice.
What Should I Wear When it Snows in St Petersburg?
Here is my list of essential things to pack for the Russian winter.
- A good down coat with a hood. I would say, the hood is compulsory to protect you from snow, rain, and wind. Choose a longer parka coat, that covers your hips.
- A hat, preferably a lined one, that will cover your ears. If you haven’t packed one, you may get a Russian-style fur hat shapka ushanka from one of many souvenir shops in Saint Petersburg. They mostly come made of artificial fur, but real rabbit fur can be found as well.
- A good scarf.
- A good pair of thick gloves.
- A pair of waterproof boots with thick soles and a good grip. Roads and sidewalks are often icy. Nice leather shoes can be damaged with chemicals used for melting snow. It is better to choose snow boots.
- I like to pack a light down vest and carry it around in my backpack. It doesn’t take a lot of space, but saves me when it gets extra cold.
- A pair of snow pants. I find that on a particularly cold day, it is too cold to wear just jeans and snow pants were quite comfortable, especially for your day trips out of St Petersburg.
- Thermal underwear.
- Warm socks.
- Something nice – like a blouse or a shirt or even a winter dress that you can wear to a theater or to a concert. Russians like to dress up for their nights out. There is a cloakroom in the theater where you will be able to leave your coat.
- Palm and foot warmers. When I plan to be outside for a long time, I stick them to my socks. They do work!
Do Russians Like Snow?
What to Do in Saint-Petersburg on a Snow Day?
- enjoy museums or go to a theater to see Russian ballet. Snow gives me inspiration to see the Nutcracker or Swan Lake.
- Go skating at an ice rink. My favourite ice rink in the center of Saint Petersburg is at the New Holland. Another nice ice rink with an amazing view is at Port Sevkabel (at Vasilievsky Island).
- Walk the alleys of the Catherine Park. In the parks outside the city snow remains clean.
- Rent cross-country skis or sleds in Pavlovsk. See the Park and the Palace. You can rent them near Teatralny or Nikolaevsky gate as well as the entrance near the Pavlovsk train station from 10 am.
- Husky dog-sledding in a winter forest.
- Hire a troyka and immerse into the spirit of Russia’s fast horse carriage ride.