Autumn/Shoulder Season (September and October)
Fall is a short season in Russia, generally occurring in only September and October, with November often bringing cold winter weather in. While nights will be chilly, days are often sunny and pleasant, and you can expect brilliant colours with fiery reds, golden yellows and brilliant oranges just about everywhere you can to go. It’s possible to find discounts on room rates and better deals on airfare, and you won’t have to contend with the thick crowds of summer.
Early fall is one of the best times to visit Russia, especially if you want to enjoy outdoor activities. Around the Golden Ring north-east of Moscow, the Ural Mountains and Lake Baikal it will be particularly stunning with the trees having transformed to their most vibrant colours. The trails in the mountains will still be open, and the weather will be ideal for hikes.
Winter/Low Season (December through February)
Winter in Russia is magical with the snow-covered landscapes and few crowds to contend with. Lake Baikal is gorgeous with the water a deep sapphire hue underneath its frozen surface. Life doesn’t stop despite the cold temperatures, even in Siberia where the mercury may drop to 40 below, there’s plenty to enjoy among the snow-covered streets by bundling up a bit. If you plan to visit St. Petersburg it doesn’t get frigidly cold with temperatures typically hovering just below freezing, enough so that the canals freeze over to create an enchanting sight.
While you’ll need to bring waterproof boots, a warm hat and a thick winter jacket, during the winter you can enjoy some incredibly beautiful scenery, lower prices and short lines for an especially memorable and more budget-friendly trip to Russia.