There is not really one perfect Russia travel time. Of course, you can spend your vacation in Russia all year round and see the many Russian sights. However, you can’t expect summer weather all year round. Some regions are more worth visiting at certain times of the year. Therefore, the best time to visit Russia depends on your planned activity. Thus, in addition to our extensive Russia travel tips, we have listed here the best time to travel in Russia with the respective activities.
Best time to visit Russia for city tourism
The most beautiful cities of Russia are popular destinations especially in summer. Since it can get very hot here even in summer, we recommend going to Russian cities especially in spring and autumn. May, June, August and September are perfect months when the climate is pleasant and the cities are not overcrowded. However, it depends on which region you are going to spend your vacation in Russia.
City breaks in Russia, but when?
There is almost nothing better than enjoying the White Nights in Saint Petersburg. However, it is then that many tourists are in the city and the hotel prices are correspondingly high. This also applies to popular seaside resorts such as Sochi in the south of the country, which is also well visited as a popular winter sports resort in the cold season. As you can see, due to the sheer size of Russia, it is difficult to say when and where you should go on vacation in Russia.
Vacation in Russian cities in winter
Basically, you should think twice before taking a city break in Russia in winter, given the sometimes arctic temperatures. Masses of snow, slush and short days are not exactly the ideal conditions for a city trip to Russia in winter. In Siberia, the climatic conditions in winter are even more severe, you should really consider whether it makes sense to start a city exploration in minus 30 degrees. In addition, between the years, and that means in Russia in the first week of January, many institutions are closed throughout the country.
Best time to go swimming in Russia
Bathing in Russia? Probably few people think of beach fun when they think of a vacation in Russia. However, Russia’s south on the Black and Caspian Seas has a subtropical climate. Everybody knows Sochi since the Olympic Winter Games. Palm trees grow here and you can relax on the beach with a cocktail. Of course, this is also true for other places on the Black Sea. But also the neighboring Sea of Azov is a popular destination, which is not yet internationally known. In Taganrog, for example, a beautiful beach combines with the flair of a big city. Since the Sea of Azov is often called the shallowest sea in the world, it is ideal for families. As a travel time for a Russia beach vacation we recommend the months of July and August.
Best time to go hiking in Russia
Whether in the mighty Caucasus, in the Altai Mountains, in the environs of Sochi, in the border region with China, on the Kamchatka Peninsula or in Karelia – there are so many places in Russia for dreamlike hikes. But when is the perfect Russia travel time for a hiking vacation in Russia? In this case, it depends very much on the local climatic conditions. Of course, summer is ideal for hiking, but snow hiking in winter with an experienced guide also has its appeal and there is hardly anything more exciting than going on a ski hike or a trip with sled dogs in search of the Aurora Borealis or on snow-covered mountains in the Urals. Inform yourself in time and prepare well, then nothing will stand in the way of year-round hiking in Russia.
Best time for winter sports in Russia
The Caucasus has become a popular winter sports region and especially around Sochi and Krasnodar the infrastructure is ideal for a vacation in Russia in winter. Whether downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding or ski hiking, almost paradisiacal conditions prevail here. Skiresort.de lists 118 skiing areas in Russia. Most of them are located in the Caucasus, but of course not only there. The Urals and southern Siberia are just as popular winter sports resorts as Karelia. But when is the best time for winter sports in Russia? As always, it depends on the region. But you can roughly say that between the beginning of December and the beginning of May you have a good chance of snow, if not a guarantee of snow.
Best time to go on a cruise in Russia
There is probably no other item on our list where we can give such a clear answer as when it comes to a cruise through Russia. Whether you’re cruising the Volga, the Don, or the mighty Yenisei, do it from May to October. Then the temperatures are ideal. Most cruises are not offered in winter. They usually start in May and last until October. The days are much shorter then, but the prices are often much lower than in July and August and you don’t have to deal with mosquitoes.
Best time to travel by Trans-Siberian Railway
For many, a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway is a childhood dream. And actually, a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway is an experience all year round. However, we recommend a trip in early or late summer. The days are long and you get to see a lot, and the temperatures are very pleasant. In midsummer, on the other hand, it can get very hot and, depending on the train, you may feel like you are sitting in an oven. In winter you have the advantage that the trains are much less crowded, but the long Siberian winters as described above are no bed of roses. However, a trip is then also very cheap.
Book recommendations for your vacation in Russia
Now that you know the best time to visit Russia, you can prepare for your vacation in Russia in a variety of ways with one of the books we recommend!
This international bestseller is a true masterpiece and gets very close to what people reffer to as the “Russian sould” by focusing on the cultural history of the country.
- Bingel, Markus (Author)
Planning a trip to Russia? Then the Lonely Planet travel guide with lots of information about tourist attractions in Russia and many practical tips is a good choice.
- Johenning, Heike Maria (Author)
You want to feel the magic of Saint Petersburg and its surroundings? This book is full of information and beautiful pictures and take you to the glorious past of the Tsar’s empire.
- Brammerloh, Susanne (Author)
Beautiful book about Soviet metro stations, that are among the most fascinating in the world