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Helsinki, St. Petersburg, & Moscow -- in early May?

Helsinki, St. Petersburg, & Moscow -- in early May?

Jan 4th, 2013, 05:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Helsinki, St. Petersburg, & Moscow -- in early May?

My husband and I are thinking of flying into Helsinki and then taking the train to St. Petersburg and Moscow, then flying back out of Moscow. I have read the best time to go to these areas, and it sounds like May is on the cusp. Would it be silly for us to visit these areas in spring? We have time in April and May. If this sounds crazy, then we'll head to Greece!
kate7ann is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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I have enjoyed some nice May trips to Helsinki. Cool sometimes. Rain sometimes. Days reasonably long. I have not visited in April.
Kay2 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 11:55 AM
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May should be the best time of year to visit these places. Most probably you will encounter nice, springlike temperatures, but be also prepared for cool temps and rainy days. You never know. May is warmer than April.
traveller1959 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 05:39 AM
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May is good time to visit St. Petersburg, especially late May when the white nights period starts. The fountains in Peterhof will be functioning (they don't begin until May) and it will be worth visiting the parks around the summer palaces.
19cruise80 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 06:08 AM
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Moscow should be nice, but expect a COLD wind blowing off the sea in St Petersburg.

May I suggest doing the opposite?

Fly to Moscow, take a sleeper car on the late train(to SP. This pushes back your SP days and avoids a hotel night
FrankS is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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19cruise80-We'll be taking a riverboat cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow May 24-June 4. Can you tell me about white nights? I've never heard of it, but sounds like we'll be there for it. Thanks.
1965 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2013, 12:21 AM
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I had to look this up, we too will be in Russia but too late for this event. We're in Moscow for 4 nights from April 29, train to SP and then 4 nights there.

The White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia is an annual international arts festival during the season of the midnight sun. The White Nights Festival consists of a series of classical ballet, opera and music events and includes performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians and actors.

aussiedreamer is offline  
Feb 9th, 2013, 01:40 AM
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IMO it's never a silly time to visit these places. There isn't a spring season as such, it seems to go almost straight from winter to summer and summer comes early. May is a holiday month for Russians and some businesses close for the first two weeks, or at least are limited. The sun doesn't set until about 10pm early May in St Petersburg and then gets later and later until it doesn't set until midnight but there is light all night long. This is the time to party and if you get stuck on one of the islands partying, you might not be able to get back to your hotel until after 5am when the bridges open again.
Odin is offline  
Feb 9th, 2013, 08:40 PM
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Visiting St. Petersburg during the White Nights is very special - but can be very expensive!

The description aussiedreamer gives is undoubtedly correct, but I believe the thing that really defines the White Nights is what Odin mentions - the near absence of dark.

I was fortunate enough to be there during the longest days of the year, and had the disorienting experience of seeing the sun set in a position that seemed more like the north than the west, and then to see it rise a a few hours later just a bit further east. It never got completely dark - there was just a prolonged period of dusk merging into dawn. People were out enjoying themselves and their beautiful city well into the early hours of the morning. And there was some kind of fluffy white seed-like thing - I think from a kind of tree that is common in the city - that burst out almost like dandelion around that time. Youngsters and teenagers and even some people a bit older were gathering it up and then setting a match to it -- it would vanish with a POOF.

For sunset and sunrise times, see:

IMHO, if you have the chance to visit St. Petersburg at any time, do. If you have the chance to visit St. Petersburg during the White Nights, do it!!!
kja is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 02:07 AM
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It's from a poplar tree, it covers the cities like snow in summer.
Odin is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 09:57 PM
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Thanks for the info, Odin. It did seem like snowfall!
kja is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 06:04 PM
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We did the same trip last May. We arrived in Helsinki on April 26 for two nights and then took the train to St. Petes and then Moscow. It was crisp to be sure in Helsinki and St Petes but blue skies and we just wore appropriate clothing.

We purchased wool coats at our local second hand store and then left them in Russia so as not to lug them to Turkey with us, as it was of course much warmer there. That worked out perfectly for us.

We loved Russia!.
live42day is offline  
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