I know at least 5 reasons to go to St. Petersburg, Russia in March – I mean in addition to all the amazing places you can see there. I guess they are also applicable to other cities in most parts of Russia :-p
- Although it was already the beginning of spring, I could still feel the winter vibe, including the snowfall, melting ice and everything covered in white, without the typical extremely low temperature of Russian winter. When I was in St. Petersburg in the third week of March, the temperature was around -3ºC to 3ºC in the day time with pretty high humidity and less wind. The relatively high humidity made it feel slightly ‘warmer’ to me than the actual temperature. It made walking around more bearable for someone like me who had never even seen snow before. Of course this does not happen every year and I was well-prepared with my kind-of-winter costumes.
- The plane tickets were of of course slightly cheaper compared to those in spring or summer time.
- It was easier to find nicer hotels within my budget. Unlike in spring or summer, there were not so many tourists at that time and I managed to stay at Hotel Solo Panorama in Admiralteyskiy area at less than €45 / night. It was not a fancy hotel but it was clean, (looked like) recently refurbished and most importantly, secure. It was only 5-minute walk to The Hermitage and St. Isaac’s Cathedral and there were many restaurants nearby.
- No queue in most of the major tourist spots, like the museums and palaces (with the exception of Catherine’s Palace!). There were still considerably a lot of visitors inside, but it was nothing like what I see in the pictures during summer (people lining up outside the buildings).
- The cold weather and snow that covered everything in white everywhere I looked were somehow pacifying to me. It was physically numbing my nose and fingers sometimes, but I felt it also ‘muted’ all the noises around me. On my last night in St. Petersburg, I was at Dvortsovaya ploshchad (Palace Square) and there were only some people there. The ice had melted. I could feel the cool breeze on my face as as I was gazing at the shining light-covered Winter Palace. The quietness was so soothing and peaceful. And I realised that going here alone was one of the best decisions I have ever made so far. 🙂