Winter lasts mid-November until March with an average temperature of -8 degrees but there is still plenty of sun. After heavy winter snowfall Moscow is probably at its most iconic as the city looks llike its come straight from a fairy tale. As long as you pack appropriately, winter is a beautiful time to visit the city and there's a lot to do.
You'll find winter has a different feel to most of Western Europe as 25th December is a working day in Russia, with orthodox Christmas being celebrated in early January. The biggest winter celebration would be New Year which lasts from the end of December until Orthodox New Year on January 13th.
Russia is well prepared for its winters so while you'll need to keep layered up outside you'll find indoors is kept very warm so be prepared for a lot of removing and redressing layers.
What is there to do?
This is a great time to go sledding or skating in the midst of Moscow's iconic architecture. It's also nice to enjoy the magical winter atmosphere in the historic center.
A great chance to take in the winter beauty of the city is to visit Sparrow Hills which offers some of the best city views. The area is a beloved park and favourite hangout spot for the student population and during winter Sparrow Hills' ski-trails are open all day long.
You have to visit the iconic Red Square where a rink is put up every winter for ice-skating.
The winter is also a great chance to take part in one of Russia's most traditional activities, visit a Banya! Russian Banyas are like saunas, but kept much hotter than they are in the UK. The benfits of Banyas are believed to cover curing colds, strengthening the immune system and a good excuse to have a catch up with friends.
Many locals visit the 200 year old Sanduny which is the largest Banya in Moscow, it is is also visited by many Russian actors, singers and politicians.
Best Winter Excursions:
Russian Vodka Museum Tour and Izmaylovo Flee Market
Warm up from the Winter cold with what is probably Russia's most well-known spirit. The Vodka Museum tour offers you a chance to taste authentic Russian vodka, you'll find over 1700 exhibits with the history of vodka, detailed insights in the many ways vodka has been consumed and how it has been part of Russian civilisation throughout the years.
Your guide will transport you through time on a journey beginning in the 12th century with the first production of vodka, to the state of the Russian empire when vodka was sold in bucketful through to its modern-day cultural place.
Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
The Pushkin museum is the second largest museum of foreign art in Russia, full of rich collections of culture from both the past and the present. It was established by Processor I. Tsvetaev, father to poet Marina Tsvetaev, and now holds amazing sculptures, manuscripts, coins and medals as well as traditional paintings and engravings.
If you want to find out more about Moscow, and other cities throughout the seasons, you can view the rest of our seasonal guide here or view our excursions page here.