Russia is an enormous country with extremely different climates. It will get colder the farther north you go. For most of the country, summers are quick and winters far too cold and long.
When to fly to Russia
Moscow and St Petersburg are two of the most popular tourist destinations and they can be visited for most of the year. Moscow’s temperatures can range between -30 to 30 degrees Celsius; St Petersburg’s average winter temperature is about -10 degrees Celsius and summer highs are about 25 degrees Celsius.
St Petersburg enjoys White Nights when the sun does not set until after 10pm – twilight melts into dawn – between late-May and early-July.
Winters are bitterly cold. If you look for cheap flights to Russia in the off-peak season, be sure to bring plenty of warn clothes.
Getting around Russia
Because of Russia's size, it can be easiest to fly if you're planning on visiting different parts of the country. Aeroflot Russian Airlines is the national airline and has a comprehensive domestic flight network. It flies from Moscow to several cities including St Petersburg, Kazan, Samara and Vladivostok. A number of other airlines offer services, including S7 Airlines and Transaero.
The Trans Siberian railway is the longest railway in the world and possibly one of the most famous. It starts in Moscow and makes its way through Nizhni Novgorod, Kirov, Ekaterinburg, Omsk and over to Vladivostok. This is an amazing way to see the country.
Bus travel is also cheap and links cities and towns around Russia, but is not very comfortable. The main bus station in Moscow is called Schyolkovsky Bus Terminal.
Russia insider information
- Better known as Stalingrad, Volgograd was the location for the infamous World War II battle between Russian and German soldiers. An enormous statue – 82 metres tall – called Motherland Calls! stands on a hill overlooking the city as a memorial to those who were killed. The city was renamed in 1961, after the River Volga, on whose western banks it lies.
- Sochi, on the Black Sea, was Stalin’s and, more recently, Vladimir Putin's preferred resort. Due to the warmest climate in Russia, you can swim in the sea in the summer and ski in the mountains in the winter. The town also has the largest botanical gardens in Russia.
- Veliky Novgorod, is the oldest Slavic city recorded in Russia. It is a beautiful city which contains the cathedral of St Sophia the Wisdom of God, Russia’s oldest church, which dates from the 11th century.
- Kamchatka, on the extreme northeast of the country, is a land of volcanoes and geysers. There are active and extinct volcanoes, mineral springs and hot springs.