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State Hermitage Museum

When is the best time to visit Russia?

State Hermitage Museum

The best time to visit Russia is during their summer, between June and August. Evenings are long and light, while temperatures are a balmy 68°F-77°F. It’s also the best time to travel to Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

However, it’s also possible to visit in spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). The lack of crowds gives you a glorious opportunity to explore the country at a slower pace. Travel in late spring or early fall for the most comfortable temperatures — between 57°F-66°F in May and 57°F-68°F in September.

Travel in winter is possible, but only if one is properly prepared for the colder weather and snow. Temperatures can plummet to an icy -2°F in some parts of the country.

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Russia Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Irkutsk 5°F 0" 14°F 0" 30°F 0" 46°F 1" 63°F 1" 72°F 3" 75°F 4" 72°F 4" 59°F 2" 43°F 1" 23°F 1" 10°F 1"
Kazan 16°F 1" 18°F 1" 30°F 1" 48°F 1" 66°F 1" 73°F 3" 77°F 3" 73°F 2" 61°F 2" 45°F 2" 30°F 2" 21°F 1"
Lake Baikal 0°F 0" 7°F 0" 25°F 0" 41°F 0" 57°F 1" 68°F 1" 73°F 3" 70°F 3" 57°F 1" 41°F 1" 23°F 1" 9°F 1"
Moscow 21°F 2" 23°F 1" 34°F 1" 50°F 2" 64°F 2" 72°F 3" 73°F 4" 70°F 3" 59°F 2" 46°F 2" 34°F 2" 25°F 2"
Novgorod 21°F 1" 23°F 1" 32°F 1" 46°F 1" 63°F 2" 70°F 2" 72°F 3" 68°F 3" 57°F 3" 46°F 2" 34°F 2" 27°F 1"
St. Petersburg 23°F 1" 25°F 1" 34°F 1" 46°F 1" 61°F 2" 70°F 2" 72°F 3" 70°F 3" 59°F 3" 46°F 3" 36°F 2" 28°F 2"
Ulan-Ude -2°F 0" 7°F 0" 27°F 0" 45°F 0" 61°F 1" 73°F 2" 77°F 3" 72°F 2" 59°F 1" 41°F 0" 19°F 0" 5°F 0"
Vladivostok 16°F 0" 23°F 1" 36°F 1" 48°F 2" 59°F 3" 63°F 4" 72°F 4" 75°F 6" 68°F 5" 57°F 3" 39°F 1" 23°F 1"

Month-by-month guide for traveling in Russia

The Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia

Visiting Russia in January - February

January and February are among the coldest months in Russia, but the scenery is idyllic, with snow covering much of the landscape and frozen waterways. Hotels are always well heated, the cuisine is warming and the hot chocolate in St Petersburg in particular is fantastic. Russian Christmas is on January 7, so you may find that restaurants and shops are closed over a few days. However, this means that you can still visit Christmas markets in early January. This is 'low season' for visitors, so attractions will be relatively uncrowded.

Events & Festivals

  • Winter Festival (mid-December to mid-January): Winter Festival sees the Christmas markets spring up, as well as a celebration of Russian winter traditions such as troika rides, ice sculptures, ice skating and Russian cuisine.
Yurev Monastery, Novgorod, Russia

Visiting Russia in March

March is typically still snowy, with the snow only melting in Moscow and St Petersburg toward the very end of the month. Though still cold, temperatures are not as low as they are from November to February, so instead of snow falling you may find sleet or rain.

Kizhi, Russia

Visiting Russia in April - May

As temperatures increase, the snow and ice melts, so from early April onward the rivers and canals can be navigated by boat again. Easter is very important to Russians and celebrations — both religious and chocolate-based — are quite pronounced. Spring flowers begin to emerge in April and May, making the parks and gardens of the cities quite beautiful. The fountains in the gardens of Peterhof open in May.

St Petersburg, Russia

Visiting Russia in June - July

June to July sees numerous cultural events and firework displays take place, making St Petersburg a gloriously vibrant place to visit. It is also the busiest time of year, so hotels raise their prices accordingly and availability is scarce; you should therefore book well in advance. Temperatures are pleasantly warm in June and can be quite hot in July. If you are visiting St Petersburg then you should take mosquito repellent; particularly if you are near canals and rivers. June through to August are also the wettest months of the year.

Events & Festivals

  • White Nights Festival (June and July): A celebration of the midnight sun period held annually in St Petersburg. Various cultural events are held throughout the city, as well as evening fireworks. Read more
The Hermitage Theatre, St Petersburg

Visiting Russia in August

August's climate is similar to July's, but if you are visiting St Petersburg the city will be slightly less busy, as you'll be out of the White Nights period. From mid-August to mid-September the Mariinsky Theatre closes.

Peterhof Palace

Visiting Russia in September - October

September and October are Russia's autumn months, when the trees take on attractive rust and gold hues. The cities are less crowded, making exploring the museums a more pleasant experience. The fountains at Peterhof close at the end of September, while toward the end of October you may encounter the first snowfall.

Events & Festivals

  • Moscow City Day (early September): Moscow's birthday is celebrated with military tattoos, firework displays, musical concerts, creative workshops, educational lectures and street theater performances over several days. Read more
Peter & Paul's Fortress, St Petersburg, Russia

Visiting Russia in November - December

November and December are cold, often snowy months across the country. During daylight hours (which are limited during these winter months) it is often sunny, although temperatures across the country are likely to be well below freezing.

Events & Festivals

  • Winter Festival (mid-December to mid-January): Winter Festival sees the Christmas markets spring up, as well as a celebration of Russian winter traditions such as troika rides, ice sculptures, ice skating and Russian cuisine.

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