The info on this page is based on historical averages and might not reflect current conditions. Check with local authorities for the latest travel advice.Read more
The best time to visit Russia is between May and September. The country’s vast size means the temperatures can vary greatly depending on where you are. But in the major cities, you can expect mostly warm weather and long days.
Temperatures hit their highest in July and August. If it gets too hot, cool off on the Black Sea coastline, or head inland and north to milder climates. The warmer weather—a far cry from the often icy Russian winters—makes it easier to explore the country in the open air, be it to see the glowing White Nights in St. Petersburg, check out the top sites in Moscow, or lay on the pebbly beaches in Sochi. You’ll also be here just in time for a host of festivals—spanning music, tech, food, and more—all best enjoyed in the summer months between May and September.
Monthly weather and travel tips for Russia
For the most part, Russia in January is cold. Very cold. However, if you can brave the sub-zero chill, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful snow-covered scenery, natural light shows, and winter festivities. Russia’s largely ice-cold climate and northerly location mean there’s a chance of spotting rare phenomena like the aurora borealis – known more commonly as the Northern Lights. Your best bet for a glimpse of a glowing green aurora is high up north in cities like Murmansk and Arkhangelsk.
While many other countries will have packed away their Christmas decorations by now, Russia is just getting started on the winter celebrations. The first week or so in January is a national public holiday in Russia, so prepare for long lines to major attractions in Moscow and St. Petersburg – all the more reason to wrap up warm.
The winter chill shows little sign of warming up in Russia in February, so pack plenty of thermal underlayers, thick gloves, and socks as well as the warmest coat you can find. Temperatures in the major cities are likely to be below zero for most of your time there – except for in places further south like Sochi, where it averages a brisk 43°F.
Once you’re suitably protected against the elements, it’s worth venturing outside for photos of beautiful snow-capped cathedrals, and potentially the chance to see light pillars – natural optical illusions appearing when light reflects through ice fog, creating otherworldly vertical beams up into the sky. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get a glimpse of the pillars, there’s a much greater chance you’ll see fireworks around on February 23. The country comes together to celebrate Defender of the Fatherland Day, honoring the Russian Armed Forces with parades, commemorative ceremonies, and fireworks displays in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities around Russia.
Spring is (very) slowly starting to arrive in Russia in March. While the good news is that temperatures slowly start to increase, places like St. Petersburg tend to stay below freezing, and Moscow becomes a city of slush as the snow starts to thaw.
The adverse roads and wet weather forecasts make March one of the least popular times to visit Russia – but it’s not all doom and gloom for locals or visitors who want to take advantage of the low tourist season. March 8 is when men all over Russia buy chocolate, flowers, and champagne for the ladies in their life to mark International Women’s Day. Elsewhere in the country, winter is still in full swing around the Arctic Circle area – cue snow sports, ice hockey, and reindeer in Murmansk’s Festival of the North.
April in Russia has temperatures averaging around 41°–50°F in most major cities. The brown slush that covered Moscow’s streets in March finds its way to St. Petersburg as the snow finally starts to thaw.
For many, visiting Russia in April isn’t the most appealing idea, but the off-peak tourist season means you can join locals making the most of the State Hermitage Museum, the Kremlin, and the variety of museums available. April is a big month for ballet buffs, with both the Mariinksy Ballet Festival and Dance Open International Ballet Festival kicking off in St. Petersburg. The Moscow Film Festival also rolls out the red carpet around this time of year, making April a decent month to visit for culture vultures who don’t mind getting their feet a bit wet.
By May, most of Russia—even cities in Siberia—will have reached a more comfortable climate following the cold winter and slushy early spring. With flowers in bloom and the days getting longer, the events calendar starts to fill up with parades, holidays, and festivals.
Some museums and attractions will be closed for the May Holidays, which start on May 1 with International Labor Day, and run until Victory Day just over a week later. Take this time to watch military parades and fireworks in Moscow’s Red Square or in St. Petersburg. If you miss these festivities, you’ll have more chances to party in St. Petersburg later in the month. The majestic fountains at Peterhof Palace officially open with a grand ceremony, and the city celebrates its birthday with classical music, parades, and fireworks on May 27.
Save for the occasional chilly spell, June in Russia is mostly hot during the day and cool at night. In St. Petersburg, however, nearly 24 hours of sunlight mean day and night often merge into one, so it’s best to carry some extra clothing in case you get caught in the cold.
The natural phenomena known as the White Nights season bathes St. Petersburg in a surreal twilight well into the early morning hours. This can start as early as April, but June is when the city comes alive with celebrations like the Stars of the White Nights Festival, and a huge fireworks display over the Neva River for the Scarlet Sails festival. Once you’re done soaking up the atmosphere with “nighttime” strolls around the city, a sleep mask is a good idea for when you do finally want to get some shut-eye. Other notable events elsewhere in Russia include Kinotavr Film Festival held in Sochi and the folk festival of Sabantuy, celebrated in Kazan and all over the Tatarstan region.
The weather reaches its peak in July in Russia. The hot and humid climate in Moscow sees many locals escape the city to cool off by the Black Sea or Caspian Sea coastlines. Pack clothes for hot weather in the major cities, and something for the occasional chilly evening just in case.
The summer sun makes July the perfect time for outdoor festivals here. There’s a handful of them around Moscow, like Park Live and Nashestvie, as well as international headliners at Alfa Future People, Nizhny Novgorod’s electronic music festival. The temperature drops very slightly as you head farther north towards St. Petersburg, where you’ll find plenty of July activities too. The Open Look festival showcases contemporary dance from around the world, the Usadba Jazz festival plays the St. Petersburg leg of its Russia tour, and boats and naval officers sail down the River Neva to celebrate Navy Day.
While marginally cooler than July, temperatures in August in Russia still remain high, averaging comfortably in the 70s in most regions. A lot of the locals will be away on vacation around this time of the year, but an influx of tourists does mean the major cities can get busy. Thankfully August has a fairly quiet cultural events calendar and extended opening hours for tourist attractions, so you should still be able to see plenty during your time here.
The capital’s main event in August is the Spasskaya Tower Military Music Festival, a week of marching bands, military parades, light shows, and fireworks in the famous Red Square. The celebrations start late in the month and run through September.Russia’s nature often puts on a show in August too. The Burlinskoye Lake—close to the north-east border of Kazakhstan—changes from its usual blue hue into a beautiful flamingo-pink color at this time of year, thanks to the population of microscopic shrimp peaking in the summer.
September is arguably one of the best times to visit Russia. Some of the major cities’ sweltering summer temperatures start to cool, the school vacation season is over, and there are plenty of festivals, celebrations, and ceremonies to keep you entertained.
September’s smaller crowds make it a great month to visit must-see landmarks like St. Basil Cathedral, Catherine Palace, and the Hermitage Museum. While peak season may die down in September, the cultural events calendar certainly doesn’t. Moscow celebrates its birthday on the first weekend of September, then later puts on a spectacular laser and pyrotechnics show for the Circle of Light festival. Meanwhile in St. Petersburg, Queerfest celebrates LGBTQ+ culture with a series of talks, exhibitions, and concerts, while the Earlymusic Festival showcases classical music from ancient eras with performances at venues around the city. Down in coastal resorts like Sochi, the quieter beaches and still hot climate make September an ideal time to soak up some Russian sun.
October in Russia has an autumnal feel for the first few weeks, before the fallen leaves make way for snow towards the end of the month. The days get progressively colder, so much so that average October temperatures in Moscow and St. Petersburg are roughly half those recorded in September.
Despite the colder weather, Moscow still has plenty going for it around this time of year. The city is less crowded than during peak season, and there are plenty of indoor attractions—like famous museums and the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament—if the weather takes a turn for the worse. One area less affected by the dropping temperatures is Sochi. You might not get perfect beach weather, but the Black Sea is still fairly warm and the city also turns into the home of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
Freezing temperatures mean most of Russia is well into winter in November. Some southern cities still manage to hang onto average highs of 59°F, but you’ll want warm clothes and an umbrella in cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan, where you can expect temperatures around the freezing mark.
The colder months can bring with them some rare natural phenomena, too. Flying saucer-like lenticular clouds sometimes appear above the mountains on the Kamchatka Peninsula, caused by moist air being blown over a mountain range. You might also be able to see the Northern Lights in Murmansk in November. While freezing temperatures aren’t directly related to the aurora, the longer, darker nights in winter do increase chances of spotting the spectacular natural light show.
December in Russia means short days, long nights, and below-freezing temperatures. It’s still well worth heading out into the cities at this time of year though. Wrap up in your warmest winter wear and you’ll get to see Russia’s famous cathedrals, buildings, and streets topped with fresh layers of bright white snow.
Moscow certainly knows how to put those long December nights to good use too, during the aptly-named December Nights Festival. This event consists of classical music and art throughout the month, at the fittingly grand Pushkin Museum. St. Petersburg celebrates music too, with orchestras and opera during the Arts Square Winter Festival. If you’re looking to come to Russia for Christmas, you’re a month early. The country celebrates the Yuletide season in January, following plenty of parties and fireworks to welcome the New Year.
You’ll find the best weather in Russia between May and September. The below-freezing temperatures seen in many parts of Russia in winter are gone by then, making way for sunny skies and long days in the major cities. This is particularly true in St. Petersburg, where the White Nights phenomenon bathes the city in an ethereal sunlight for nearly 24 hours a day during May, June, and July. Average temperatures creep up slightly as you move down toward Moscow. Here you can expect mostly warm weather, but prepare for both some cooler, rainy days and the occasional heatwave. You’ll get similar conditions in cities farther inland like Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, and Yekaterinburg. Down in the more southerly Russian regions, beach-side cities such as Sochi enjoy hot summers, with climates closer to that of Turkey across the Black Sea.
Cost of stay in Russia
Want to travel smart? Here you can check out the average cost of accommodations per night in Russia.
The best places to visit in Russia
Check out some of the most popular cities, places to visit, and things to do in Russia!
Popular in March
Architecture, Sightseeing, City Walks
Popular in March
Sightseeing, City Walks, Architecture
Popular in March
Mountains, Seaside, Nature
Popular in March
Nature, Mountains, Parks
Popular in March
Mountains, Clean Air, Nature
Popular in March
Sightseeing, City Walks, History
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SPB has the largest consistent 1750 to 1900 style "old city" in Europe It must not be ruined due lack of priority or refusal to request funding from Europe. The "old city as a whole" is the favorite, no particular spot.
Everything was amazing, the local food is super delicious, the landscapes are breathtaking, there are a lot of stores, local people are super welcoming and kind.
In the town there are a lot of stores and you can find almost everything, we even could buy contact lenses for my wife, but client service wise there is a lot of work to be done, of course you kind of ignore all that when around you there is such an amazing landscape. Nearby the ski resort everything is more modern and more tourist friendly
Historical city with many good restaurants and cozy coffee shops.
The main thing that has got me in love with the city was that it had been able to save its old face - the old buildings and historical sights. Moreover, the people here are friendly as well. Even though one thing that had got my attention was that there are too many expats in here.
Отличная возможность сбежать от московской суеты.
Irkutsk is standard city; access to lake Baikal was good. Beware of Russian taxi drivers.
Surprising, easy to enjoy. Loved the underground/metro circuit. Beware Russian taxi drivers: worst I've met anywhere.
Very nice Siberian city! During the summer, it is excellent here! SO MUCH to see and explore here!
Очень чисто. Отличная работа коммунальных служб.
Отличное место для отдыха. Обязательно приедем снова
The accommodation was perfect and the breakfast was really good but not always hot. Even first thing in the morning it was not hot but warm. The restaurant is not part of the hotel but provides free breakfast for hotel guests. The property provides entertainment at the weeks during dinner.
it was perfect. just percfect for the stay with my friends. We had a really good time.
I did not visit Armavir for sightseeing. I was trying to leave RF territory/cross the border ASAP because of the war and Armavir was a convenient location for overnight stay en route to Georgia.
Во Фрязино бываю только в командировках. Для этих целей, с точки зрения инфраструктуры, Фрязино - удобный город. Кафе, столовые и прочие магазины - с этим проблем нет.
Вежливый персонал,замечательные бассейны.
Love it. Would love it more if there are more attractions not connected to skiing/nightlife
I can certainly recommend it to young ski fans who are not looking for luxury services. Internet connection was fast and reliable which is a plus for people working online.
Soviet like city but some history remained. Shopping centers are effort-able and some cinemas offer nice attractions.
A city "must" to visit! So much history and beauty!
Place where Beauty talks to Excellence in the mixed languages of Arts, Music and Architecture.
The best city ever. Food, people, expenses! And nature! I am in love with Kislovodsk!
много вариантов спортивной активности во все времена года!
Прекрасный город для культурного отпуска. Но по сравнению с 2018годом все значительно подорожало. Невероятно красивое место для отпуска за невероятно большие деньги.
A quiet, calm city away from the busy city life . The beach walks were great and peaceful ! The weather was great !
When you like history, this is definitely a place you have to visit. I recommend you to book a guide, in order not to miss any important museum about the Second World War in Volgograd. Next to the historical experience you can also enjoy a gastronomic experience, since there are a lot of nice restaurants and bars you can visit.
Velikiy Novgorod is one of Russia's oldest and greatest towns. Its history is fascinating, going back to the 6th century AD. It has beautiful architecture, ancient churches with phenomenal frescoes, the Chamber of Facets, full of great artworks, connected with the history of Russian Orthodox church. The Volkhov River, the Kremlin with its walls and churches - this town is unforgettable.
Чистый, гостеприимный, ухоженный, уютный город с высоким уровнем сервиса.
More than expected from Russian small city. It makes sense to visit in Summer.
A nice town. There are lots of ancient churches and monasteries inside and around. Visit water park. See Kremlin.
How could anyone say anything more about Saint Petersburg. Every tourist should go at least once to the queen of cities.
Санкт-Петербург супер город👍👌 крутая атмосфера, творческие люди В Санкт-Петербурге люди более свободные чем в целом по России, и свободнее чем в Москве. И архитектура, особенный домашний быт и близость к Европе тоже впечатляют.
During the winter it’s a wonderland with lights and the city coming alive!!!!!
I love this city dearly! If I have a chance of going there even for a couple of days, I always do that!
Beautiful city, rather try compared to Moscow but the atmosphere is great. enjoyed my stay there.
It's a beautiful city with a to of contrasts. I definitely recommend visiting Kazan. Lots of places to visit and sights to see.
Замечательный город Плес. Необыкновенно красивая природа, величавая Волга, доброжелательные люди. Интересные музеи, чисто. Очень понравились прогулки по набережной, посещения музеев, магазинов на Торговой площади, уютных кофеен.
I wouldn’t recommend to go there without experience of being in totalitarian country; they can smile, show hospitality, but nevertheless you feel yourself as an alien.
Красивейший город! Очень понравился Толгский Монастырь, а также Стрелка, путешествие по Волге на катере, Тверицкий песочный пляж, ресторан Собрание. Передвигались на такси, цены и обслуживание на 10 баллов! На экскурсионный катер места надо заранее занимать!
Очень понравилась набережная. Воздух превосходный хочется дышать полной грудью . А вот вода на море огорчила-грязная. Даже на некоторых пляжах пахнет она канализацией. Это больше всего разочаровала всех. Нас было трое и маленький ребенок.
Saint Petersburg is one of the only places worth visiting in Russia. The time I spent there didn't feel like Russia at all.
Nice city with historic architecture buildings. A lot of cafes and places to eat. Fresh air form the sea. Just for late spring getaway, before it become too hot.
В этот раз как-то Углич особенно "зашёл",хорошеет.И дороги постепенно понемногу улучшаются.Волга прекрасна,погода шикарная.
In St. Petersburg people are used to tourists and service in English is more widely available than elsewhere in Russia. Good cuisine easy to find, I recommend Georgian and Armenian. You never run out of places to visit.
The city center is beautiful and easy to travel throughout using scooter-sharing and metro. There are too many orthodox churches everywhere.
Чистый, уютный город. Прямые улицы - через пару дней начинаешь неплохо ориентироваться в городе.
We loved the town. It has a special character, quite different from other small towns in vicinity of Moscow as it has a bit of Muslim culture mixed in. Very picturesque location on the bank of Oka with excellent swimming everywhere. The main street, Sovetskaya Ulitza, with its shops and the Thur/ Sat markets is quite unique too to small Russian towns. Try konskaya kolbasa, horsemeat sausage, a local delicacy at the market.
Clean rooms, everything new in the rooms, and there's all necessary things. Breakfast is good and served from 5 am. Though I didn't like coffee much at breakfast
One of the most beautiful and safe city i have ever been.
Moscow is clean nice city , full of magnificent site seen , historical places , countless restaurants. Be Sure to visit that city , you will enjoy
здесь очень хорошо отдыхать с детьми - и море неглубокое и из песка можно строить что угодно, и с питанием нет проблем. не будут скучать и родители, масса развлечений и днем и вечером
Very quiet and peaceful city. Old churches and monasteries. Bells tolling and good kitchen. Will come here for a weekend again for sure.
Small but beautiful town. You should definitely spend a few days here. Just walking by the lake is wonderful.
Absolutely stunning ! Great people , grand museums, theaters , amazing food!
Long travel. Such as took us 45 minutes after landing to exit the gate. Personnel are helpful though. Not all travel lines worked.
Interesting city, people were friendly, taxis very reasonable, good subway system. Good shopping
Уютный город с богатой историей. Хочу посетить это место вновь с семьей и изучить достопримечательности получше. Одного дня явно не достаточно.
Nice quiet town, lots of historic objects, small but decent museum.
Окружение - живешь в комфортном домике в лесу. Ресторан вкусный со средними ценами. Недалеко поселок с продуктовым магазином - можно купить фруктов/вина/снэков.
Город не большой, не очень ухоженный, плохие дороги. Много мест где можно поесть и перекусить, цены достаточно большие. Основные достопримечательности находятся за городом. Советую к посещению парк Монрепо и прогулки на катере.
The weather was much more moderate than I anticipated. In late October the flowers were still blooming. Some days had some wind but nothing like the Colorado late Fall/Winter, that I am used to. Great walking City. The sights are truly beautiful and memorable.
Lived here for a couple of years and I return to StP every now and then. Probably the most "European" city Russia has to offer, without giving up its own cultural intricacies. Hence, also the most exotic city you can visit in Europe probably in my opinion. Russia may be scary to some but StP does everything right where the rest of Russia fails.
Гостиприимный город, своя культура. Самое главное, местная кухня это бомба))
Nice city. Clean, safe , many attractions such as theaters and museums. Nice restaurants and cafés.
Not far to the center walking distance. Good bus service here! Many nice restaurants and cafes here in Rubtsovsk. Also a couple VietNamese restaurants! The Rubtsovsk train and bus stations are located side by side.
The really modern capital of Russia, much more modern and rich, than all other cities in it. Just cool in all of it!
Magical city to visit in winter or summer. Beats expectations every time in entertainment, culture and amenities. Truly gorgeous city!
excellent i enjoy during my stay. people are friendly help full. they are willing to help for foreigners /
Beautiful, amazing architecture! Need to go back in the spring when it is not quite so cold!
Moscow is Big, you must have a direction of the location you are going to before you set out, ofcours Red-square and its environ is a most visit! Good Restaurants both international and local
good proximity to the Aeroexpress Terminal. In overall it was a good solid option for me to sleep over for one night. Breakfast was fine and the staff was friendly. Thanks