It is hard to decide what the best time to travel to Russia is. Russia is the largest country in the world, so not surprisingly it has a varied climate. Depending on the kinds of activities that interest you, and even your favourite season, you should carefully consider when you plan to travel to Russia. To truly enjoy the sites and culture of this breathtaking country, you want to be sure to travel when your interests are going to be met. Some of us are winter lovers, and Russia will not disappoint with outdoor activities – though the air will be a little chillier. If you prefer milder weather, spring and summer in Russia offer some astounding scenery and exciting activities.
The Vacation Season
July and August are the warmest months in Russia, and as such they represent peak tourist season. The days are long and warm, and in St. Petersburg you can enjoy 24-hour daylight for part of the year. During “White Nights” as it is known, the city is vibrant, but crowded. Summer temperatures can reach 30 degrees Celsius or more, but be sure to check the weather of your destination as temperatures vary widely in such a large country.
Winter is arguably the least busy tourist season in Russia due to the harsher weather. In early winter, you should expect a lot of snow throughout the Russian Federation. Still, newly fallen snow is a beautiful and peaceful site and many tourists choose to travel Russia for its winter activities. Travel a horse-drawn sled (known as a troika to the locals), ski the slopes, or skate on outdoor lakes. Plus, as winter is the off-season in Russia, you’ll find great bargains on hotels and travel as well as better service. Still, March and April are probably months you want to avoid in Russia as melting snow causes roads to be slushy, muddy, and significantly more dangerous.
Spring and Fall
Late spring (May and June) and early fall (September and October) are possibly the best times to visit Russia. The peak tourist season is either yet to begin or just coming to a close, and there tend to be fewer crowds. You’ll find great festivals and concerts to attend in Moscow and St. Petersburg in May and June as the locals get set to welcome the summer. Entertainment options include the International Ballet Award Festival, the Chekov International Theatre Festival, and the Sobinov Memorial Festival of Music. Come early fall, seasonal changes take hold and the many parks in Russia display brightly coloured leaves.
With respect to airfare, the cheapest months to visit Russia tend to be November, March, and late August. Unfortunately, with the exception of August, the weather during these months tends to be unpredictable.