When to Come and Where to Travel in Russia

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 05 Jan 2010)
We can't really recommend any specific time of the year when it's better to travel to Russia, because it really depends on what you want to do. Every season has something special to offer. Spring can be great if you want to go to do sightseeing and to party. The prices are lower, the clubs are full on, and it's not too cold. Summer is perfect for any destination, but especially if you want to do some outdoor activities. August is a bit of a dead month in terms of partying, but other than that it's the perfect time in terms of the weather – it's sunny and hot. September is our favorite month if you're traveling in a city (everyone's back, but there are not so many tourists). November can be a bit depressive. Winter is the most beautiful time, because everything is covered in snow, there's lots going on and even if you go as far as Siberia you can do ice-fishing, heli-skiing, dog-sledging and other exotic activities. Here's a more detailed explanation:

Purpose: Going Out, Partying and Clubbing

The best place to come is Moscow or St. Petersburg. The best time to come is May, June, September, December to March. People are still (or already) in the cities, many things are happening, everybody is happy (May, June - the summer is starting; September - all the locals come back in the big cities from the vacations and they are happy and nice).
Afisha picnic in Moscow / photo by Kooklanekookla@FlickR
Afisha picnic in Moscow / photo by Kooklanekookla@FlickR

At this time many things are happening at the clubs: famous Russian and foreign musicians and djs are invited, theater season is opened, there are many outdoor festivals and activities.
For something off the beaten track try Barnaul (3 hours from Novosibirsk) in Siberia. This small town seems to have a lot of fun, discos, and is not far from picturesque Altay mountains. Besides, there are a lot of beautiful girls there.

Purpose: Outdoor Activities, Sports, Snowboarding

Any time of the year is good, because there are many things you can do in Russia: camping, hiking, trekking, rafting in Summer, early Autumn and late Spring; and skiing, snowboarding, and trekking in Winter.
Kitchyfab Russian Boarders / photo by Acidka@FlickR
Kitchyfab Russian Boarders / photo by Acidka@FlickR

The best weather for outdoor activities is during July and August (Karelia in North Russia - rafting, trekking, Baikal lake - swimming, trekking, camping, Sayan, Altai mountains - rafting, hiking, Elbrus mountains (Caucasus) - snowboarding).
Also, there are many great place just outside Moscow and around Novgorod region that are interesting to visit at any time of the year.

Purpose: Visiting Russian Province

Any time is good, but try to go to some remote village areas. We recommend Novgorod region and the Golden Ring towns.

Purpose: Getting Depressed

Do you want to understand the strange Russian character and to know why so many people here are addicted to vodka?
The end of October, beginning of November: the time of the first cold, when you just don't understand why it's so cold and there's even no snow! It's cold, the sky is clouded, it's wet and boring, so that you might have no wish to go outside of your
Moscow Church / photo by Ranopamas@FlickR
Moscow Church / photo by Ranopamas@FlickR

house. The only thing that's left is to sit at home, broom, and drink vodka... but... not everything is so bad... the big cities are still full of life and if you are looking for indoor entertainment (clubs, restaurants, musems, exhibitions), then it is a good time to come.

Purpose: Trying Something Really Different

Russian winter (December, January, especially the second half of January and February). Try to see as many places as possible: walk around Moscow, go to some remote area, and snowboard in Khibiny mountains.

Who to Go With?

The problem you might have when you come to Russia is that it's hard to find people who speak your language. Some young people speak some English; few speak German and French. So if you're afraid that you might feel a bit lonely, than it's better to come here with your friends, besides, it's more secure and less expensive for accommodation and food.
If you want to pair up with someone to go to Russia try to find people in internet messageboards. For example, you can try our Talk Lounge / Personals forum.
On the other side, if you go alone, you will really feel immersed in the Russian way of life and have a chance to meet many interesting and different people. If you're up for it, you can try to find a flatmate or a homestay through our roommate matching resource.


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