What is the best time to visit Russia? The answer highly depends on what you want to do. Every season has its advantages and disadvantages. Some summer activities and sights are not available in winter. But I’m sure that visitors will find plenty of interesting things to do in Russia not depending on the time of their visit.
In this post, I give my own opinion, based mostly on weather conditions. The warmer the weather is, the more pleasant the trip could be, as for me. Feel free to agree or to disagree.
May — September: The Best Time to Visit Russia
Personally, I think that the season from May to September is the best time to visit Russia.
Advantages are multiple: good weather allows to spend much time outside, as well as to enjoy summer terraces of restaurants. Boat trips, like a boat trip on rivers and channels in St Petersburg, for instance, are a summer must-do. Famous white nights in St Petersburg can be seen only from May to August. Concerts on the squares, open-air festivals in the parks… What else can I say to encourage you to come to Russia in the summer?
The only disadvantage: all the touristy places are very busy. Crowds at the entrance to popular museums (and inside the museums) are sometimes scary. However, there are some tricks which could help to avoid long lines and crowds:
- go on a tour with a private guide. Usually, private guides book entrance tickets in advance, so you don’t have to wait in line for tickets;
- avoid most popular museums, opt for less known hidden gems (for example, if you visit Peterhof, skip the Grand Peterhof Palace and go to the Monplaisir Palace situated at the same park);
- spend your time outside, opt for parks, not for museums.
September — October: The Most Romantic Travel Season
September and October are the months of golden autumn. Trees become yellow, orange, and red and look fantastic!
Golden autumn is the best time for romantic walks in the parks of Saint Petersburg. Moreover, I am sure that at that time you will take stunning pictures which will make your friends die of jealousy.
If you visit southern regions of Russia (Krasnodar or Sochi, for example), be sure to eat the new harvest of local fruits and vegetables.
Keep in mind that autumn weather is changeable, days could be rainy and windy. That is why it’s important to wear proper clothes and shoes. Take on a cosy sweater and a nice coat — and you’ll be absolutely ready for golden adventures!
November — January: The Most Beautiful Winter Days
November, December, and January are the best time to visit Russia if you like Christmas and New Year atmosphere. Days are short, but cities look picturesque even after dark.
First preparations for the most fun, loud and widely celebrated holiday — New Year — start in November. I can’t describe how beautiful the streets are at that time: lights, New Year trees, sparkling snow, frozen rivers, colourful markets! The holiday spirit is in the air.
Besides, museums are not overcrowded, so you can easily go wherever you want. Keep in mind, that fountains in Peterhof park (and statues in many other parks) are closed, but palaces are waiting for guests at any time of year.
February — April: No Tourist Crowds
It’s the time when I want to leave and spend these 3 months somewhere in Africa or on the sunny Spanish coast. Because I’m looking forward to spring to come, but it’s cold outside. I have to admit, it’s still a good time for museums, theatres, local cuisine restaurants and hot tea chill-outs in cafés (and warm hugs, especially if you’re not travelling alone 😏)
Or visit southern Russian regions: Sochi, Krasnodar, Crimea — and enjoy stunning maritime and mountainous landscapes, fresh air and local cuisine.
… And then comes May — and life restarts! 🌿
Now it’s up to you to choose which is the best time to visit Russia. If you want to see snow, then come in winter. Proper clothes will save you from cold (but nothing can save from cold your camera, keep it in mind too).
If you prefer wandering outside, then late spring, summer and early autumn are the best. If you’re dreaming of ice and snow, then opt for winter vacations. In any case, I am pretty sure wherever you come, you’ll find lots of interesting things to do and to see.