2019 Guide to May Holidays in St. Petersburg

Wondering how to spend May holidays in St. Petersburg? Wonder no more! Here’s our curated guide of the best-of events happening on this very long weekend.

Credit: fiesta.city

ColorsGO marathon

Even in our day and age abounding with podcasts and sneakers way more comfortable than your actual slippers, some people are still convinced that running is as boring as watching paint dry, only with more effort involved. The organizers of ColorsGO want to prove them wrong on both of these points. Taking place at the Babushkina Park on May 2 from 3pm, this is a running marathon where every couple of hundreds of meters you accomplish is celebrated by your being splashed in a powder of a new color. The running fun is then continued by a proper party, with music and food and what have you. Tickets start at 200 rubles.

Spirit of the Streets festival

The Sevkabel Port creative space always is a place where all the cool kids are at. But this will be especially true on May 2, with the Spirit of the Streets festival kicking off there at midday. The program touts skaters, graffiti art, local artisan clothes market, lots of street food and live music from the hippest peeps in town, and a presentation of an eponymously named book that no one in your friendship group has ever heard about because they’re so mainstream; and this is only a small taster of what’s to come. Free admission.

Credit: fiesta.city
Credit: fiesta.city

Market by the Sea fair

Whether you want to buy a nice handmade souvenir, get some fancy designer clothes, or just celebrate the arrival of spring and wind down a bit, you’ll find it all the Market by the Sea. Housed at the Sevkabel Port, the fair abounds with a myriad of fascinating objects, form a pair of cute extraterrestrial earrings (aren’t they gorgeous?) and a selection of lavender sachets to stunningly stylish handmade brooches and high-quality handcrafted ceramic mugs that will make a perfect addition to cozy rainy days (as the saying goes, dig the well before it rains, which can’t be more true for St. Pete). The market is open from midday to 10pm on May 2-3. Entrance is free.

The Sevkabel Port. Credit: vk.com/portsevcablemarket
The Sevkabel Port. Credit: vk.com/portsevcablemarket

Free tours through Vasilievsky Island

Thinking about experiencing St. Petersburg off the beaten track? What about wandering through the maze of the city’s small streets and courtyards, peeping into the most gorgeous lobbies on your way? The St. Petersburg’s Lobbies Festival through Vasilievsky Island will take you back in time to the pre-revolutionary Russia and give you an insight into the history of our magnificent city, its architects, and the lifestyle of its inhabitants. The tours kick off at 10:30am, 12:30pm, 5pm, and 7pm on May 3. The detailed schedule is available in the event’s VK group. Admission is free.

Credit: rasfokus.ru
Credit: rasfokus.ru

Water Lantern festival

On May 3-5, the Yusupov Garden will host the annual Water Lantern Festival, turning the park into a kingdom of glowing lotuses and water-lilies! Apart from setting off the lanterns, the festival’s program includes a magnificent laser light show and a concert of classical music. The celebration starts at 8pm. Tickets cost 600 rubles and can be purchased here (or 800 rubles if bought at the entrance to the garden right before the event); a set of two lanterns is included in the price.

Water Lantern festival. Credit: fiesta.city
Water Lantern festival. Credit: fiesta.city

Icebreaker festival

May holidays usually are the time that Russia kicks the winter goodbye. (Usually, because s...now happens.) This is celebrated by the St. Petersburg Icebreaker Festival, which this year takes place on May 4-5 and aims to celebrate the history and successes of the Russian shipbuilding industry and navy in general. Participating in the festival will be the icebreaker colossuses Kapitan Sorokin, Ivan Kruzenshtern, St. Petersburg and Krassin (learn more about this gigantic icebreaker-turned-museum in this article by ITMO.NEWS).

Icebreaker Krassin. Credit: fiesta.city
Icebreaker Krassin. Credit: fiesta.city

The grand opening ceremony is on May 4, starting from 1pm at the Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment (opposite the 18th and 19th Lines of Vasilievsky Island).

“About Classic” classical music concert

Hosted by a collective of local music enthusiasts, the About Classic concert series brings classical music to unclassical spaces in unclassical performances of unclassical interpretations of age-old masterpieces. Basically, you can’t be more unclassical than that, an asset the organizers use to lure in classical music skeptics and make them change their mind about the whole thing.

Taking place on May 4 from 11.30pm in the Tropical Orangery of the Tavrichesky Garden, the May holidays’ performance will focus on the dynamic and elegant compositions by Ludovico Einaudi, Erik Satie, Astor Piazzolla, and Johann Pachelbel. Tickets cost 800 rubles for one and 1,400 rubles for two, so don’t be shy to rope in a friend to get a little discount.

Credit: vk.com/aboutclassic
Credit: vk.com/aboutclassic

Tours to lighthouses

Want to spend some quality time outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Just embark on a day trip to the lighthouses of the Leningrad Oblast, including one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Russia, Shepelevskiy lighthouse. A bus tour to the lighthouses will kick off at 10am on May 5 from Chyornaya Rechka (Черная речка) metro station and offer you a unique opportunity to learn about the history of these wonderful buildings, walk along the coastline, gaze at the sea, and feel the spring breeze in your hair! Tickets cost 1,500 rubles and can be purchased here. Make sure to book your trip well in advance (meaning now!) as the seats are sure to sell out quickly.

The Shepelevskiy lighthouse. Credit: vk.com/lighthousetrips
The Shepelevskiy lighthouse. Credit: vk.com/lighthousetrips

Written by Anastasia Krasilnikova and Anastasiia Labunskaia.

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