Exploring Moscow can be an awe-inspiring, one-of-a-kind experience. From the grandeur of the Kremlin and Red Square to lush parks, ornate cathedrals, and bustling shopping areas – this captivating Russian city offers a plethora of enthralling attractions for tourists to discover.
If you find yourself pondering when the best time to visit Moscow is, then it’s most beneficial to consider what type of journey you desire. The summer season sees Moscow alive with energy and a myriad of activities; nonetheless, crowdedness and costs can be fairly high.
On the other hand, winter offers a more peaceful atmosphere and cheaper accommodation prices, but attractions may be closed due to cold temperatures. In this article, we will outline the advantages and disadvantages of visiting Moscow in both summer and winter so that you can decide what season is best for your ideal adventure.
Visiting Moscow in Winter: Pros and Cons
Visiting Moscow in the winter can be both magical and challenging. On the one hand, you’ll get to witness the city covered in a blanket of snow and illuminated by glittering winter lights. Plus, smaller crowds make it easier to explore the sights and attractions without waiting long for access.
On the other hand, temperatures can get very low, with average highs barely reaching above freezing point which makes sightseeing uncomfortable at times. In addition, some attractions like St. Basil’s Cathedral may be closed due to icy conditions.
If you plan your trip carefully and come prepared with layers of warm clothing, however, visiting Moscow in winter can be a truly unforgettable experience.
Visiting Moscow in Summer: Pros and Cons
Visiting Moscow in the summer offers an unforgettable experience with a wide variety of attractions and activities. On the plus side, mild temperatures make sightseeing much more pleasant than during winter.
Tourists can visit renowned landmarks such as The Kremlin and Red Square without having to worry about icy temperatures. Furthermore, Moscow’s many parks are ideal for outdoor activities like picnics, rollerblading, and kayaking on the Moskva River.
Conversely, it’s important to be aware that peak season in Moscow runs from June to August which means accommodation prices are likely to be higher than usual. Additionally, the city is almost always crowded which can lead to waiting times at popular tourist attractions.
However, this also creates a vibrant atmosphere perfect for soaking up Moscow’s unique culture and nightlife scene. All in all, visiting Moscow in summer can be an exciting and unforgettable experience if you’re prepared for crowds and rising prices.
The Best Time to Visit Moscow Weatherwise
When it comes to the best time to visit Moscow weather-wise, it depends on what type of experience you’re looking for. For those who don’t mind the cold and want to experience Moscow’s winter wonderland, late December to January is generally considered the best time. With temperatures often dropping below 0°C (32°F), there are plenty of opportunities for snow activities such as skiing and ice skating.
On the flip side, if you’re looking for warmer conditions, then the summer months from June to August offer milder temperatures averaging between 16°C (61°F) and 24°C (76°F). However, bear in mind that summer in Moscow tends to be very crowded and hotel prices increase accordingly.
For those looking for a tranquil escape, spring and autumn present the perfect harmony of mild temperatures – neither too hot nor cold. Even better, there are typically fewer travelers at this time which makes it ideal for an enjoyable holiday!
The Best Time to Visit Moscow for Festivals
Moscow is a city abundant with culture and packed with many exciting events and festivals throughout the year. If you’re looking for the best time to visit Moscow for festivals, then April and May are usually considered ideal.
During this period, temperatures start getting warmer and climbing up from 0°C (32°F) to the mid-teens ℃ (the mid-50s ℉). In addition to that, it’s also worth noting that May 1st marks International Workers’ Day—a three-day holiday in Russia full of parades, music concerts, and outdoor activities.
Aside from May, August is also known as a popular festival month in Russia as it includes two big holidays: “Victory Day” on August 9th and “Russia Day” on August 12th. These days typically include fireworks displays, concerts, and various other celebrations which can be especially fun if you don’t mind warmer temperatures in the mid-twenties ℃ (mid-70s℉).
Is it Safe to Visit Moscow?
Moscow is generally a safe city for tourists and expats alike, with the majority of visitors experiencing no problems at all. As with most large cities, pick-pocketing and theft can be an issue; however, as long as you take precautions by avoiding excessively crowded areas and keeping your valuables safe, you should have no trouble staying safe in Moscow.
As far as crime goes, violent offenses against visitors to Moscow are rare, so it’s highly unlikely that anything serious will occur during your visit. In addition to this, the city has plenty of police presence around major tourist attractions which helps provide an extra level of security. So all in all, it is safe to visit Moscow; however, it’s always advisable to remain alert and mindful at all times.
4 Things You Should Never Do When You’re in Russia
To ensure a gratifying journey in Moscow, we’ve outlined some useful tips that you should familiarize yourself with before commencing your travels. Knowing the cultural customs and laws of the Russian capital will make your visit as effortless as possible:
- Don’t leave your valuables unattended. Pickpocketing is a common issue in crowded areas, so be sure to keep your wallet and other personal items close to you at all times.
- Don’t take photos of military buildings or government offices as this could get you into trouble with the authorities.
- Avoid drinking too much in public as this could lead to overly loud and inappropriate behavior which may offend locals or draw unwanted attention from authorities.
- Don’t attempt to drive yourself unless you are familiar with the roads and highways in Russia, as they can be very confusing and dangerous.