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Russia – the largest country in the world, almost two times bigger than the USA or China. Russia used to be quite closed country but now you have a chance to explore its land of striking beauty and diversity, from magnificent capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg, to the measured life of Siberian cities. Nowadays Russia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It has unique natural wonders, rich cultural heritage, exceptional Eastern Orthodox church architecture, and the famous Trans-Siberian train line. The weak ruble and cheaper services are encouraging more foreigners to venture to the country’s shores: actually, it is reaching record high numbers lately of around 25 million foreign visitors per year.
The main destinations for foreign tourists and travelers are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Golden Ring cities, Ekaterinburg, Sochi but when is a good time to visit these places? With the deeper review of Moscow and St. Petersburg, this article shows the best time to visit Russia weatherwise and depending on cheap time to visit.
Moscow is the capital of Russia and the center of economic and cultural life in the country. Thousands of tourists flow to the city at any time of the year because of the variety of events, museums, galleries, restaurants, tours and other forms of entertainment.
For the true Russian experience, the best time to visit Moscow in January, when everyone will amble around with their extravagant furry coats. Yes, it is the coldest time of the year, but it is a good time to visit because of New Year celebrations. Russians celebrate it on December 31st with the rest of the western world and then have their own Old New Year in the middle of January. For visitors, just like you, it is a great opportunity to jump into Russian traditions, try national dishes and maybe warm yourself with a glass of Vodka.
Moscow has warm and humid summers and long cold winters with an average temperature of ~18-20 Celsius degrees during summer and temperature usually below zero in winters. Moscow’s weather chart ranges from temperatures as low as -9 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius all through the year, and the humidity level is relatively high. The hottest month in Moscow in July. It is the sunniest month of the year as well. The wettest month is June and the coldest is January.
Royal and poetic city of St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia. Its luxurious architecture, rich cultural traditions, and history, valuable art collections help to keep St. Petersburg its position as one of the most visited and most-worth visiting cities in all country. St. Petersburg has quite warm summers and freezing winters.
The best time to visit St. Petersburg is White Nights, which usually last there from June 11th to July 2nd, but all the warm season is a good time to visit while the weather is pleasant, fountains are on, there are plenty of nice events and concerts and the city starts to shine in all the most beautiful colors. There`s a time in the year when the city doesn`t put the lights on during the nights. But don`t worry, it’s completely safe! They don`t put it because they don`t need it, as the mentioned phenomenon of White Nights occurs and the sun doesn’t set at all. Just imagine how many things you could do during your visit! And it also gives the city a very romantic atmosphere. Also, during this time of the year the city organizes White Nights festival with many musical performances, carnivals and the famous “Stars of the White Nights” – series of classical ballet, opera and orchestral performances at the Mariinsky Theatre and the Mariinsky Concert Hall.
Although, if you are looking for the cheapest time to visit St. Petersburg, you should avoid the period of White Nights, while it’s the most popular time to visit. Hotels and city tours most likely will be more expensive than on the other times.
St Petersburg has short, mild summers with long days and long cold winters with short days. The hottest month of the year is July and it is also the sunniest time. The coldest month is January and you can expect October to be the wettest month.
Weatherwise Russia variates a lot because of its enormous size. Country`s size and the remoteness of many areas from the sea result in the dominance of the continental climate, which is prevalent in European and Asian Russia except for the tundra and the best extreme southeast. Tundra is in the Northern European Russia and Siberia, and it has a subarctic climate. So the biggest part of the country, including the cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, has warm to hot and humid summers and cold winters. The Russian tundra and Russian Southeast part is in different climate zone and has mild summers and long, very cold winters. It’s seriously very cold: the Oymyakon in the Sakha Republic in Russia is the coldest inhabited place on Earth! It’s hitting its highest lows in months of January, February, and March.
If you want to enjoy some outdoor activities, do sightseeing and in general enjoy pleasant weather, the warmest time and the best time to visit Russia weatherwise is from April to September. If you don`t mind colder weather and want to see all the beautiful architecture of Russian cities covered in snow, the period from December to March is the right time to visit. Just remember that winter in areas as Siberia, Kamchatka, Yakutsk or Magadan can get really extreme and might be suitable only for prepared and determined travelers.
As usual, the cheapest time to visit a particular country is the low season. And in Russia, the low season is between summer and New Year festivities. High season in Russia starts around May and ends around October. Most of the tourists flow to the country during this time and all the prices reach their highest peak. January is also a very popular time to visit because of New Year celebrated on December 31st and Old New Year which Russians celebrate in the middle of January. The cheapest time to visit Russia because of dropped prices of hotels and tours would be fall or early spring.
The cheapest time to visit Russia flights depends on where are you flying from. The cheapest time to visit if you are flying from New York in March. The cheapest time from India in April. The cheapest time to fly from Australia in July. The cheap tickets from the UK are usually in February.
So you see that the best time to visit Russia is from May to September due to the warmest time of the year. Especially if you are traveling from Australia because you can find some cheap flights during that time as well! For travelers from the USA and Europe, it is cheaper to visit Russia in winter. But winters in Russia usually gets very cold, so you need to be prepared for that. On the other hand, you can expect a lot of snow during winter, so it is really nice to spend the most beautiful holidays of winter in this kind of atmosphere.