The best time to visit Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world, encompassing 11 time zones on two continents. It is therefore not surprising that weather conditions vary from region to region. Nevertheless, there are some common tendencies in seasonal weather changes. For example, December, January and February are typically the coldest months everywhere. Below you may find some information about 4 seasons in Russia. You will know what are the best months to visit different regions.

Summer (June, July, August)

Summer is an excellent time to travel around Russia. It is pleasantly warm and sunny. Sometimes it can be hot, but in most Russian regions it happens rather rarely. All trees are green. You can walk long hours enjoying comfortable weather. When you visit museums, there is no need to take off your overcoat, like people must do in winter.

In summer, there are less people in Moscow, because many Muscovites have vacation this time of a year or go to their dachas in the countryside. That’s why if you visit Moscow in summer, you can avoid traffics and crowds of people in subway.

Many people also prefer to visit Saint Petersburg in summer because this time of a year it rains not so often. There are more sunny days. All parks look wonderful and you can see famous Saint Petersburg fountains which do not work in cold season. Besides, in June and July Russian northern capital has endless days when the sun doesn’t fully set. This period is called the white nights.

Summer and the beginning of Fall are the only seasons when one can have a beach holiday in Russia. The sea on resorts of Russian South get warmed only in the middle of June.

If you don’t want to experience the harsh conditions of Russian northern winter, it would be also better to visit the Russian North in summer. Moreover, sometimes it could be difficult or more expensive to reach some places in any other season. For example, in summer you can reach Solovetsky Islands by ferry. In any other season the only way to get there is to take a plain.

Thus June, July and August are most popular months for visiting Russia. Although it should be noted that for certain regions not all summer months are ideal time for visiting. For example, in Altai (Siberia) June is generally the peak time for tick activity. On Russian South, it may be too hot in July and August, that is why more and more people prefer to go there not in summer, but in the beginning of Fall, when the water is still warm, but it is not too hot.


Fall (September, October, November)

The early fall is also a good time to travel to Russia. It is still rather warm. On Russian South the weather is even more comfortable than in summer.

The sun is still often shining. Leaves begin to change their color. If you visit the Russian North, the Golden Ring or Siberia this time of a year, you will make excellent photos. Besides, there are less crowds and prices on everything decrease.

But by the middle of Fall the bad time for visiting Russia begins. All trees are already without leaves. At the same time, there is no snow yet. It all makes scenery grey. The sun is shining rarely. The sky is covered by black clouds and it is raining often.  

It makes sense to go somewhere only if your main purpose is visiting of the museums.  In Saint Petersburg at the end of October and November it can be 3 times cheaper to book the hotel, in comparison with high season, and there are no lines anywhere.

Winter (December, January, February)

Despite the freezing temperatures, winter is a magical time to visit Russia. It is the second most popular tourist season in Russia after summer. Everything is covered with snow and you could see breathtaking winter landscapes. Days are often gloriously sunny. Many foreigners want to visit Russia this time of year, especially those who are going to see snow for the first time in their life.

To enjoy your holiday in Russia, make sure you bring the right gear. Waterproof boots with nonslip soles, warm coat, sweater, cap and gloves are essential for winter. In Central Russia temperature usually fluctuates from 0 to -10 degrees Celsius (from 32 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit). But sometimes it can be up to -20 degrees Celsius ( -4 degrees Fahrenheit) and more.

It is a good idea to visit the Golden Ring. Small ancient towns in winter look fantastic. Different festivals often take place there during winter holidays.

In Siberia you could see even more magnificent landscapes but it can be extremely cold there.

Those who like active tourism, can go to one of the Russian skiing resort. Many of them now have a developed infrastructure and offer a wide variety of activities for guests. Russian best ski resort is Rosa Khutor, located near Sochi (Russian South). It takes only 2 hours to get there by plain from Moscow.

Moscow is always decorated before the Christmas. Visitors are usually impressed by the light installations if they come during the New Year Holiday.

Spring (March, April, May)