Being the most visited cities of Russia, Moscow and Saint Petersburg traditionally meet their high touristic season in summer, and this is quite explainable: warm weather during late spring and summer allows tourists to have long strolls down the beautiful lanes and enjoy suburban breakaways. However, what if your vacation has to be organized at a different time? No worries — Russia can offer you plenty of treats during the whole year and around the entire country!
Let’s start with the easiest one: the summer season gives you plenty of opportunities! We’ll talk about what shouldn’t be missed and is not available during other months.
First, if you are visiting Moscow and Saint Petersburg, draw particular attention to the beautiful suburbs of these two capitals. Moscow is famous for its numerous parks: Sokolniki, Gorkiy Park, Kuskovo, Kolomenskoye. It might be too cold to enjoy nature in winter or autumn, as temperatures in Moscow can reach 25-30 degrees below Celsius, so don’t miss this pleasure if you are lucky to be here during warm days!
Many people are aware of how unpredictable the weather is in Saint Petersburg; that is why people tend to choose the period from May till September for their vacation here — this gives more chance to catch sunny days. What is more, only in this period you can try a boat ride along the Neva river and take a picture in Russian Versailles — Lower Park of the Peterhof in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg. Walking in Pavlovsk, Gatchina, or Catherine park is also more pleasant when the weather is clear, and the trees around are green.
There are also popular destinations of Russia, which seem more attractive in summer: Sochi as a beach resort; Transsiberian routes that include Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg, or Baikal Lake breakaway.
Why can autumn time in Russia be attractive for tourists? Firstly, the weather in the most touristic regions remains agreeable for walking outdoors. Besides, if you come in late September, you will see the period, which is usually called ‘The Golden Autumn’ in Russian classical literature, when all trees and bushes are covered with red and yellow leaves. Don’t forget to take your raincoats and umbrellas, though.
Autumn can also be a successful season for Moscow and Saint Petersburg visitors, addicted to the theatre: the theatrical season is still on, but the tickets are much easier to get, and you can find cheaper options for Bolshoy, Mariinskiy, Mikhailovskiy, or the Hermitage theatre.
Many visitors try to avoid winter seasons in Russia in fear of being frozen to death — but you’d better pack your warmest clothes and get every gem of this period.
Firstly, this is a perfect time for museum-lovers: no crowds, no rush, no lines — and the 360-degree view of every hall of the Hermitage or the Armory in Kremlin. Just try to avoid the first ten days of January — being a national New Year holiday, this period is more expensive in terms of hotel accommodation and quite popular with Russian tourists from all regions.
For the active holiday lovers, you can combine your trip to the must-see Moscow and Saint Petersburg with less popular, but rather peculiar regions. For instance, Sochi is a famous skiing resort; to be precise, there are four ski resorts in the district of Sochi called Krasnaya Polyana. The most popular is Rosa Khutor resort, with its 102 kilometers slopes and the hotel complex for a comfortable stay.
Lately, the Kola peninsula became rather popular for winter tourism; the most obvious reason is the Northern lights that are very to be seen there, but also you can visit never freezing Barentz sea in Teriberka village, have a breakaway in modern igloos on the lake bank, try winter fishing, snowmobile riding and try dog sleighing. (The latter one can be easily organized in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, provided there is enough snow). Also, Kirovsk town welcomes its ski resort and has the lowest price for skiing in Russia for the quality they offer.
If you want to experience the delights of winter nature in Russia, you can take a fast train to Saint Petersburg, and in five hours you will find yourself in Petrozavodsk, the Karelia region near the Finnish border. Here you can try a winter barbeque in one of the cozy cottages or suburban hotels, have fun with snowmobiles and sled dogs (not just 15-minute rides, but long routes for one or two days with camping experience), or just take your time walking in Ruskeala canyon or Sortavala town.
The last month of spring is usually considered to be the start of the summer season, so be careful when you make a reservation. The period from the 1st till the 10th of May is usually the busiest one due to the long national holiday; on the 9th of May, Victory Day, most streets of Moscow and Saint Petersburg are closed for vehicles due to the parade. You can partly watch the parade from some points, but be ready that you will not have an opportunity to have a city tour of visit Moscow Kremlin on this day.
Early spring can generally be similar to winter, and most winter activities are still available. One peculiar thing you can do in the beginning or middle of March is to visit Baikal Lake. Walking on the frozen surface of Baikal, along with the music of the cracking ice, is something you will remember, not saying of astonishing pictures you can take. You can also plan such a trip for February, but mind rather low temperatures in the region, though.