Travelling to Russia during winter season can unravel things you can never experience in summer. In this list we present you the must-see and must-do activities that will make your winter journey to Russia unforgettable.
1. Most outstanding performances.
During winter season, starting from November till March, the theatres in Russia open its doors for visitors with new programs for the year. We specifically encourage you to visit theatres that offer ballet and opera performances proved to be the world-known and famous when done by Russian artists. Especially you may be interested in visiting Bolshoy theatre in Moscow which was recently opened after 15 years of renovations and reconstruction. After many years of staying in silence the theatre stage reveals its magical shows to the public.
While in Saint-Petersburg, you may visit Mariinsky Theatre for ballet evening. Every year the theatre holds a huge International Ballet festival no person liking the dancing ever wants to miss.
2. Journey to the heart of Russian winter along Trans-Siberian railroad.
Winter is a one in a million chance to take the most breathtaking journey through Russia from west to east on the comfortable trains. This journey will show you the most of Russia, its history and traditions while going through stunning landscapes and winter sceneries. You’ll have a stop near the most wonderful natural spot of Russia – Baikal lake, the lake so large it can flood the whole country of the size of Belgium, if placed on top of it. During the winter the lake freezes with thick ice making it possible for some special activities as ice trekking, winter fishing or husky riding in sleds on the surface of the lake.
3. Winter trip to Karelia.
Karelia region, situated close to Saint-Petersburg, is full of wonderful opportunities for history and nature lovers. In winter all natural sights of Karelia change to unique winter glamour. While mesmerizing in stunning views and inhaling the freshest frosty air you can also dive into activities that are unique to winter time. For example, you can try dog riding in special sled or enjoy fishing on ice.
4. Russian winter holidays.
Of course, Russia has plenty of holidays from modern ones to those that derive from old traditions. During winter you can immense into the preparations for the biggest celebration of the year for Russian people, the New Year, where people give presents to each other, watch the fireworks and make wishes around decorated fir-trees. You can also participate in the event of Russian tradition pancake week or Maslennitsa in February and eat fresh and hot pancakes with caviar and other stuffing. No matter what month do you prefer to travel, be sure to catch some kind of celebration in Russia during the winter.
5. Russian specialties to warm you up.
Russia has a rich variety of gourmets and delicacies, some of them are even better to taste during winter, because it can warm you up after the walk in the cold weather. During you lunch you can enjoy the hearty bowl of famous Russian borsch and try pelmeni (meat dumplings) with various seasonal dressing and drink a full cup of hot tea with lemon and sugar. In the evening it is best to relax near window, watching the snow fall while taking sips from cup full of mulled wine. You can also try Imperial Russian vodka to other hard drinks based on honey or other things like horse-radish that can give you the actual taste of Russian traditions and winter at the same time.
6. “Winter only” activities.’
As we mentioned before, Russia can offer many activities that are only possible in winter. The list is not short at all and goes well beyond dogs sledding and ice trekking on Baikal. During winter you can, for example, has a unique cruise on ice-breaker that can float even through the frozen waters of Moscow-river. You can also has a cozy and warm day in Russian banya (sauna) to relax after your walks and excursions. In Sochi you can try skiing or skateboarding while staying in the modern mountain winter resorts. You can skate on the Red Square near the Kremlin wall or even walk through the garden of ice figures.
The possibilities are endless and we’ll be happy to help you with every special request you have for your winter travels.
7. Perfect time for Russian souvenirs.
Winter is a time of huge sales in Russia, including such famous shops as Ananov Jewelry Shop and St. Petersburg most famous porcelain factory. Many plazas and streets (e.g. Arbat street in Moscow) offer many discounts on Russian souvenirs. You may want to buy fur hat “ala ruse” or try wearing a warm and beautifully ornamented traditional shawl, - no matter what souvenir captures your attention – in winter you can have a special price for it, so don’t forget to go shopping during your visit to Russia.
8. The lowest prices possible.
No matter the beauty, the weather is still cold and the season in winter is low in Russia. That is why all the prices and costs for wide range of entertainment, activities and accommodation are not so high. With the same budget you can explore so much more in winter and even have some activities or programs that are impossible to perform in Russia during other seasons.
Additionally to rather low prices of winter season, the main cultural spots and such big cities as Moscow and Saint-Petersburg offer special programs to show all the jewels of its culture and historical places. Such programs not only provide interesting insights into the Russian life, art and culture, but also offer different discounts and special prices for staying in hotels during the winter nights. For example, right now we have a Christmas special that can give the unique feelings of Russian holidays such as New Year eve and Christmas.
9. No disturbance on excursions.
Russia can let you peek into the history of different periods from ancient times and Imperial Russia to soviet era and modern times. In winter such excursion will be even more special because there is no hurry, no crowds, - you can mesmerize in the masterpieces you like as long and complete as you want to.
All museums, art galleries and parks are open in winter and can be visited with an excursion. In winter all these places are quiet and cozy with a unique glamour wrapped around its’ frozen features. You can also find different parks surrounding these palaces and museums beautifully attracted under the pillows of snow.
While travelling to Russia in winter you’ll see cities covered in frosty white coats of snow making every view quite special and unique. Rivers and lakes are frozen with ice, roads and buildings are facing the fluffy snowflakes coming from the sky and, what is really important, this magical show doesn’t bring any inconvenience or trouble while travelling from place to place or having other services done. In Russia snow is common and everyone is ready for it even before the coming of winter season.
Even if you also have snow capes in your country in winter, discovering Russian beauties surrounded by snow is still magical. All sights and architectural wonders of Russia look stunning under the snow and even different from the summer season. Under the piles of snowflakes every point of interest or monument looks like it was frozen in time in all its glory. Just imagine snow wrapping gently the towers of Moscow Kremlin or frozen statues on Saint-Petersburg’ building and you’ll get the idea of Russian winter magic.
Needless to say, the pure and fresh air and stunning sunny views on the snowy landscapes are mesmerizing and completely free of charge!
This list has only a short glance on the activities and things that make your visit to Russia in winter so special, but you can always write us to explore even more wonders of Russian winter and to plan the most unforgettable trip possible.