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Best Time to Visit Russia (Bright Lights & Winter Wonderlands!)

Plan your trip to Russia with our guide on the best times to visit for natural beauty, fewer crowds, and ideal weather. Perfect for eager travelers!

Tobi Miles
August 19, 2022
Best Time to Visit Russia (Bright Lights & Winter Wonderlands!)

Popularly known for being the largest country in the world, this beautiful destination has over forty state parks and is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes everywhere you turn. Enjoy the exciting culture of Russia, with a social scene comparable to New York City. From fabulous art to its historical charm, Russia is simply a country worth experiencing.

May, June and September are the best times to visit Russia, due to the milder climate that allows you to comfortably sightsee all day long. With far fewer crowds than the busy summer season, you will have no trouble going to each attraction. It's the ideal time for events and adventuring without inclement weather interfering as well. For colder weather, visiting in January through March can also provide you with a crowd free experience, and a lower cost on accommodations overall.

Best Time to Visit Russia: Natural Beauty & Stunning Landscapes Await

Russia is most certainly a country that experiences the four seasons. While the average temperature is roughly 65°F (19°C), each month can vary greatly. The coldest month of the year is January, without a doubt, sometimes going as low as 18 F (-8°C). During the summer, you can experience daily temperatures as high as 86 F (30°C) or warmer. If you’re looking to visit during a milder climate, your best bet is to visit during the late spring. May, June and September offer ideal weather that allows you to sightsee comfortably all day long.

Best Time to Avoid Crowds

Keep in mind that the busiest season for traveling to Russia is May through October. Summer is the peak time for touring the country and admiring all the beauty it has to offer like the fountains of Peterhof. With that being said, late spring and early fall tend to be a bit easier when it comes to handling the crowds of tourists.

While winter temperatures can be brutal, it is an easier season for tourists. No crowds and waiting and easier access to all of the attractions. Even if you’re looking to escape the cold, Russia has more to offer than you think during the bitter, winter months.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Germany

Cheapest Time to Visit Russia

While you may already know the time of year you’d like to visit, it's good to know what to expect when it comes to cost. With summer being the most expensive and popular travel time, your best bet is to opt for November, January through March or late August for a cheaper flight. The beginning of October can also provide you with a more cost-effective option.

The Best Time to Visit Russia - A Monthly Breakdown

January: A Winter Wonderland

The average temperatures range between 16°F ( -6°C) and 25°F (-4°C) throughout the month of January. There will typically be twelve days of precipitation, so expect snow covered grounds. Bundle up because it's about to get chilly!

Enjoy a beautiful winter wonderland when you visit Russia in January. Snow brings an additional, unmatched beauty you simply have to experience. With several attractions that stand out during winter, you are sure to love embarking on adventure even in the coldest month of the year.

Venture out to these nearby attractions or participate in the many Russian holidays during the month of January. Don’t forget to enjoy the magic of Russian Christmas, celebrated on January 7th of each year.

  • New Years
  • Sviatki Events
  • Russian Christmas
  • Trans-Siberian Rail Journey
  • Gorky Park

Related Read: Germany: Travel Budget Calculator

February: Pancake Week & Ice Trekking

The average temperature during February is roughly 19°F (-7°C).  in Russia during this cold, winter month. Russia will typically see sixteen days of snowfall, so prepare to be sightseeing in warm and snug, waterproof boots!

Adventure in beautiful Russia with virtually no crowds when you visit in February. There are lots of fun events and activities that will add that bit of excitement to your trip.

Not to mention, this is one of the more cost-effective months for travel prices when you venture internationally to Russia.

Embark on snow filled adventures and enjoy the natural beauty of Russia in the winter.

  • Maslenitsa Festival (Pancake Week)
  • Trans-Siberian Rail Journey
  • Ice Trekking
  • Husky Sled Ride
  • Ice Fishing

March: Month of the Golden Mask Festival

The average temperature in March stays around 3F (1°C). Russia is getting a bit warmer once you reach this winter month.

March can be a month of excitement with lots of places to go and events to attend. The Golden Mask Festival is perfect for lovers of art and culture.

Visit the Festival of the North to watch exciting sled and snowmobile races if you're into the competition of outdoor sports.

With so much to visit and participate in, March can be a great month to visit Russia. Here are a few fun ideas for visiting in March:

  • Bolshoi Theatre
  • Festival of the North
  • Golden Mask Festival
  • International Women's Day Events
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

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April: Moscow Easter Festival

Weather in April tends to remain between 28-40°F ( -2°C). While still a bit chilly, this is decent weather for sightseeing comfortably for extensive hours.

April is an exciting month to visit. With events and attractions, in addition to warmer weather, this is the perfect transitional weather before a hot summer.

Pack your winter coat because it will still be chilly, but you can spend long hours sightseeing without freezing your toes off. Avoid the crowds and snag a cheaper flight ticket during this off season.

Join in the celebration of Moscow's Easter Festival, should it fall in April the year that you visit. Cosmonautics Day is a widely celebrated holiday that toasts to the history of space exploration in Russia. Here are some events and attractions you should check out:

  • Cosmonautics Day
  • MAPIC Russia Expo
  • Moscow Easter Festival
  • Bolshoi Ballet

May: Victory Day & Night at the Museum

Temperature highs in May average between 60°F (16°C) and 64°F (18°C). This makes for comfortable sightseeing weather, with flowers abloom and surrounding beauty.

May is a great month to embark on adventure in Russia. With so many events and attractions during this warmer weather, you will simply love visiting this time of year.

The Night at the Museum tradition brings all ages together to enjoy a fun evening with a themed museum experience. You can join in on the patriotism and celebration of Victory Day as well.

With a vast display of cats, a widely known symbol in Russian culture, what is not to like? May is an exciting month to check out some of these fun events:

  • St. Petersburg Night at the Museum
  • Victory Day
  • Day of the Hermitage Cats
  • The Smelt Fish Festival
  • Fountain Seasoning Opening at Peterhof

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June: The Scarlet Sails

The average temperature in June is around 74°F (52°C), though it is not uncommon for it to get as high as the mid 80's. Summer weather makes for perfect beach visits and fun in the sun.

Let Summer commence! June is bringing you warm weather, sunshine and an unforgettable experience. Embark on a beautiful celebration when you visit during the Scarlet Sails.

This tradition boasts a party complete with a circus, concerts, fireworks and more that you simply can't miss.

If music is your jam, come to Russia during STEREOLETO, a music festival featuring Franz Ferdinand. This group of events will add excitement to your trip:

  • The Scarlet Sails
  • White Nights Festival
  • Russia Day Events

July: White Nights Festival & Beach Season

The average July temperatures are frequently between 71°F (22°C) and 77°F (25°C), although they can jump much higher on occasion.

It's beach season! In July, you can enjoy the hotter temperature and hit the beautiful beaches in Russia. The Black Sea Coast in Sochi has all the nightlife and coastal views you could ask for.

The White Nights Festival continues so you view all the magic of the lit-up cities during this incredible tradition. Mir Sibiri is a popular folk festival, known popularly for its worldly music.

With so much to do and see, July is a great month for visiting Russia. Check out the following:

  • Mir Sibiri
  • White Nights Festival
  • Sochi (Beach Attractions)
  • Mariinsky Theatre
  • Herring Festival

August: Afisha Picnic

Summer is coming to a close but in Russia, there is still opportunity for those hot beach days. The average temperatures averages 19°C (65°F) but still often surpasses 30°C (86°F).

Lots of excitement await when you visit in Russia. Lovers of music can participate in the beloved event, Afisha Picnic. This music festival is widely celebrated and looked forward to in Russia.

If you're up for a bit of competition head to Tuvan Naadym for four full days of sports such as wrestling, archery and horse riding.

Here are some of August's best attractions and events to visit when you adventure to Russia:

  • Afisha Picnic
  • Tuvan Naadym
  • Black Sea Coast
  • Ural Mountains
  • Golden Ring Tour

September: Moscow City Day

September is bringing a milder climate, perfect for sightseeing and visiting all the beauty Russia has to offer. Typically, the average stays around 60°F (15°C) in all the main areas of Russia.

Enjoy the excitement of Russia's Moscow City Day. Throughout the month of September various parades and firework displays with celebrate Moscow City Day. In addition to milder temperatures, you can embark on longer sightseeing ventures and check out some of Russia's best landmarks.

Don't forget to head to the fountains of Peterhof before they close in the winter! Here is a list of things you need to check out if you visit Russia during the month of September:

  • Moscow City Day
  • Kizhi Island
  • Golden Ring Tour
  • Fountains of Peterhof

October: Autumn Fair & Interregional Exhibition

Autumn has peaked and the average temperature highs are roughly around 42°F (6°C). While it's a bit chilly, the seasons are changing and it's a great time to head to Russia and avoid the crowds of tourists for sightseeing.

Autumn Fair is about to ensue during the beautiful month of October. This fair trade event offers artisan quality items and businesses throughout Russia all venture to be there to sell their products.

The Interregional Exhibition, though similar, specializes in antiques and collectibles at this popular fair held in October. For a list of events of attractions, see below for all the exciting happenings in October:

  • Interregional Exhibition
  • Autumn Fair
  • Moto Expo Show
  • Free Museum Days
  • Ensemble Labryinthus

November: Revolution Day

Average temperatures are falling around 39°F (1°C) during the month of November. Though a bit cold, there is so much to do and see in beautiful Russia during this chilly month.

Lovers of history and patriotism will love participating in Revolution Day, widely known and celebrated in the month of November. It's time to gather for some winter activities- ice skating, trekking, and more await for those ready to embark on adventure.

Now that its off-season, you can avoid the crowds and indulge in some fine arts and culture. Here are some of Russia's greatest attractions during the month of November:

  • Bolshoi Theatre
  • Revolution Day
  • Ice Skating
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

December: Winter Festivals & More

With December dropping below freezing, you should expect the average temperatures to fall around 26°F (-3°C) daily.

December is one of the coldest months but boasts festivals galore. The Russian Winter festival starts in late December and goes into the New Year. From culture to music, this festival has it all and is something to see if you visit Russia in the winter.

December Nights Festival is another gathering that takes place at the Pushkin Museum that offers food, music and more. Here are some of Decembers best attractions:

  • December Nights Festival
  • Russian Winter Festival
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
  • Ice Skating/Trekking/Fishing
  • Bolshoi Theatre
Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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