Winter Fairs in St. Petersburg

Winter is here, and so is the festive spirit. Throughout December, numerous fairs, festivals, and meetups will pop up all around St. Petersburg. Here’s a handy guide to the most notable ones: from classic Christmas-y festivities and food fests to Soviet-style New Year’s celebrations.

Pionerskaya Square Christmas Fair. Credit: life.ru

Pionerskaya Square Christmas Fair (December 22, 2018 – January 7, 2019)

The Christmas Fair on Pionerskaya Square is arguably the city’s biggest and most well-known winter fair. Each year, representatives of several dozen countries from around the world and regions of Russia come together for a celebration of all cultures. Traditional crafts, rare delicacies, hot drinks, and great food from all over the globe are on display here. Pop over to the Israeli stall for a juicy falafel, grab a samosa from the Indian spot, finish off with a sweet Czech trdelnik or Tatarian lokum, and buy some genuine Siberian caviar for later. There’s also an ice rink where you can rent a pair of skates and a fun fair where you can compete for prizes, or even meet the Russian Santa Claus, Old Man Frost, at his cabin.

New Year at Dom Kultury (December 15-16, 3-8 PM)

Before you go and stuff yourself, how about taking a trip to the past? A Soviet-style “yolka” - a holiday celebration - is going to be held at the Ivan Gaza House of Culture on Prospekt Stachek 72. Aspiring young entrepreneurs, craftspeople and charities will sell handmade goods, vintage clothing, souvenirs, accessories and snacks, all accompanied by a live concert.

Picturesque view of the Gulf of Finland at Sevkabel Port. Credit: vk.com/sevcableport
Picturesque view of the Gulf of Finland at Sevkabel Port. Credit: vk.com/sevcableport

Market by the Sea (December 15-16, 12-10 PM)

This year’s trendiest space in St. Petersburg, the Sevkabel Port, is not pulling any punches for the New Year. With a market, sprawling food court, dancing, choir performances, and workshops, the Market by the Sea promises to be a very fun event. And, of course, nothing can beat the view of the frozen Gulf of Finland right outside.

Cocoa Fest (December 14, 7-10 PM)

Who doesn’t think of wintertime when sipping hot cocoa? On December 14, the Ziferburg time cafe is hosting a celebration of all things Cocoa. For the entrance fee of 350 rubles, you get to enjoy cocoa, snacks, jazz music and more for the entire evening. If you’re feeling especially daring, you can even order a trendy cocoa “freakshake” topped with a mountain of sweets. One thing, though: you have to bring your own cup/mug/vessel! Get tickets here (or pay 500 rubles on the day).

Christmas Fair at Annenkirche. Credit: https://vk.com/ccm2018
Christmas Fair at Annenkirche. Credit: https://vk.com/ccm2018

Christmas Charity Market at Annenkirche (December 20-23, 12-8 PM)

The Lutheran Annenkirche church on Kirochnaya St. 8 is reminding us that the holidays are a time to do good things unto each other. At the Christmas Charity Market, you can enjoy Christmas carols, stock up on presents for your loved ones or find a rare antique, all while contributing to a good cause: part of the proceeds from the market will be donated towards the Church of Ingria’s efforts to repair the fire-damaged interiors of Annenkirche.

ETAGI Loft New Year’s Market (December 22-23 and 29-30, 11 AM - 9 PM)

The traditional Grand New Year’s Market at Loft Project ETAGI provides an opportunity to find unique presents of any kind: from clothing and accessories to cookies and homemade jams. Situated near the Ligovsky Prospekt metro station, ETAGI is a great place to spend the day during the holidays: countless stores, cafes, restaurants, and exhibitions spaces offer a variety of ways to spend your time (and money), while the famous ETAGI roof is a great place to take in the view of central St. Petersburg from above.

The winter edition of O Da! Eda! promises to be just as delicious as its summer counterpart. Credit: allcafe.ru
The winter edition of O Da! Eda! promises to be just as delicious as its summer counterpart. Credit: allcafe.ru

O Da! Eda! Food Festival (December 22-23, 12-9 PM)

The summer’s biggest food event is coming back early for two days of festive gluttony in December at the newly-reopened courtyard of the Gostiny Dvor on Nevsky Prospect! The list of participants has not been made public yet, but if the previous installments are anything to go by, this will be every gourmet’s heaven.

Wherever you choose to go this holiday season, we hope you’ll make the most of it – and have fun in the process!

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