Be festive: discover the top 5 Christmas markets in St Petersburg

Photo credit: Maria Michela D'Alessandro

Christmas is coming and all you can do during the days that remain is to stroll about one of St Petersburg’s Christmas markets, drink mulled wine and look for special gifts. Come with us to discover the top five Christmas markets in the city where you can meet Santa Claus and see a special St Petersburg lighted up and decorated for the holidays

1. New Holland Island

New Holland Island’s New Year’s Bazaar is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon with friends or family. Numerous stands will be offering a dazzling array of products for Christmas shoppers; from food, wine, jewelry, books, and bags, to children’s clothes, toys, and Russian wooden handcrafts. During the days of the Bazaar the island’s pavilion will host workshops for children and for St Sylvester night there will be a special countdown to the new year.
When: 17 December to 8 January. Weekdays from 4pm to 10pm, weekends and holidays from 10.30am to 11pm
Where: New Holland Island, 2 Admiralteysky Canal Embankment, St Petersburg, 190000
Price: free entrance

Photo credit: Shima Vezvaei

2. Moskovskaya Square

Gifts, Christmas decorations, sweets and other products will be sold at the Christmas market in Moskovskaya Square. The festive mood will involve adults and children who will have the chance to meet Ded Moroz (Russian Santa Claus), see ice sculptures (paid entrance) and gingerbread houses, and also the chance to listen to Christmas carols and play games.
When: 24 December to 8 January from noon to 8pm
Where: Moskovskaya Square, St Petersburg, 196135
Price: free entrance

Photo credit: РОЖДЕСТВЕНСКАЯ ЯРМАРКА на Московской площади/VK

3. Elagin Island

In the Elagin Island Park, the tradition of the Christmas and New Year’s markets continues. Unique Christmas gifts, decorations, souvenirs, handcrafted objects, gingerbread, toys, and more are waiting for you. Do not get put off by the cold and get ready for a unique Christmas atmosphere.
When: 16 December to 30 December from 4pm to 8pm (on weekends from 1noon to 8pm), 3 to 8 January from noon to 8pm, 13 to 29 January only on Fridays from 4pm to 8pm and weekends from noon to 8pm.
Where: Elagin Island, St Petersburg, 197110
Price: free entrance

(Photo credit: Elagin Island website)

4. Pionerskaya Square

For the 10th anniversary of this Christmas fair, the Bryantsev Youth Theatre will host a special market where visitors can taste dishes of local cuisine from different parts of Russia, and see, buy and create traditional souvenirs. Visitors can also get acquainted with other cultures and countries and discover how Christmas is celebrated outside Russia. Have a look at the house of Santa Claus, and do not forget to write and leave a message to your family or friends.
When: 24 December to 8 January from noon to 10pm
Where: Bryantsev Youth Theatre, 1 Pionerskaya Square, St Petersburg, 191119
Price: free entrance

Photo credit: Санкт-Петербургская Рождественская Ярмарка/Facebook

5. Gatchina Palace

During the winter holidays Gatchina Palace, the family home of four generations of Romanov Tsar, will offer special tours, concerts and host a Christmas market in front of the palace. Almost 50 km from the city centre, Gatchina is the perfect place to spend a day outside the city and re-experience imperial times. The program features dances, games and contests with Santa Claus and a concert on December 31 to ring in the new year.
When: 30 December to 8 January from noon to 7pm
Where: Gatchina Palace, 1 Krasnoarmeysky pereulok, Gatchina, 188300
Price: free entrance

Photo credit: Gatchina Palace website
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