Is a trip to Moscow on your bucket list, but don’t know the best time to travel? As you would do when visiting a new destination, it’s best to research before going to Russia’s capital.
Moscow is a large and beautiful city, so you want to get the most out of your trip. The first thing to consider is the city’s weather. The weather in Moscow can sometimes be brutal, but there are months with comfortable temperatures.
Besides the climate, you’ll also want to research the period that offers the lowest prices, fewer crowds, and exciting festivals. Below we’ll cover the best time to visit Moscow.
If you’re traveling on a budget, we’ll show you the cheapest time to visit the city. You’ll also learn the worst time to visit Moscow and travel tips to consider when exploring this magical city.
Why You Should Visit Moscow
Moscow is a fascinating city and a hot spot for tourists. Thanks to its large size, multiple attractions, and rich cultural heritage, the city welcomes millions of tourists each year.
This luxurious city has much to offer if you have enough money to spend on your vacation. It’s a high-income economy and home to many billionaires.
While Moscow has the best attractions and multiple areas to explore, the climate can be extreme. The climate changes dramatically and can affect your travel experience. Moscow has continental weather with hot, warm, or humid summers and freezing winters.
Summers are short, while winters are long, usually lasting from November to March. Despite the weather extremes, you can still create lifelong memories while exploring the city.
Moscow is best known for its rich architecture, captivating history and culture, Russian cuisine, and wild nightlife. If you’re a culture and history enthusiast, there are numerous historical sites to explore.
You can visit the enormous streets to see Soviet architecture, art galleries, and museums. If you’re traveling with your family, you’ll find many parks, ideal for relaxing in the afternoons. Dive right into city life and visit various neighborhoods to interact with locals.
You’ll find fine dining restaurants and Russian cuisine. Enjoy local dishes like pelmeni, caviar, exotics soups, and pancakes. If you’d like to go clubbing, Moscow has many nightlife options to enjoy your favorite drinks and music.
If you’re staying longer in the city, add medieval towns to your itinerary. Russia’s Golden Ring comprises the following cities:
- Vladimir: An excellent destination to see the Cathedral and Golden Gate.
- Yaroslavl: Visit the Transfiguration Monastery and Ioann Vasilyevich.
- Sergiev Posad: Visit the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.
- Suzdal: Visit the monasteries, churches, and market square.
- Ivanovo: Visit the city’s massive textile industry.
- Pereslavl-Zalessky: You can enjoy riding hot air balloons or going windsurfing.
- Kostroma: Visit the town of Bui and Trinity-Ipatiev Monastery.
- Rostov the Great (Rostov Veliky): Explore the gorgeous churches and kremlin architecture.
With such idyllic places and things to explore in Moscow, let’s determine the best time to visit the city.
Overall Best Time to Visit Moscow
The best time to visit Moscow is May through September. These months suit travelers looking for warmer weather, the best attractions, and plenty of festivals.
May in Moscow comes in late spring when the snow has melted and the weather is mild. The natural greenery is coming back, and students have returned to school. The city’s liveliness begins to kick off, with several tourists starting to trickle in again.
The good thing about visiting Moscow in May is that you’ll enjoy lower prices and fewer crowds. The average temperature in May is in the low of 45.9°F and high of 65.5°F.
It’s Moscow’s least humid month, with a relative humidity of around 64%. Days are now longer than March and April. This is the best time to spend long days exploring parks, museums, cathedral churches, and unique architecture.
Summer in Moscow starts from June to August, and most tourists flock to the city. The weather is quite pleasant, with moderate temperatures. These months experience average highs of 75°F, but temperatures in July can go up to 86°F.
June has the longest days, with some experiencing up to 17 hours of daylight. June and July are the hottest, but you have a lot to enjoy in the city. You can walk in the parks or neighborhoods to discover the city.
Boat trips are in full swing, so your afternoons are well-occupied. Additionally, you can explore Moscow off the beaten tracks, go shopping and try the local food.
Temperatures during August start to drop, but tourist areas are still crowded. You can spend time in Moscow during the first month of fall to enjoy mild temperatures and fewer crowds. The temperature in September ranges between 46°F to 61°F.
If you’re visiting Moscow from May to September, book your flight and accommodations earlier to avoid higher prices in the peak season. You can also choose your favorite festivals and events to attend.
Some of the best festivals to add to your itinerary include the following:
- Labor Day: May 1st
- Victory Day: May 9th
- Day of Memory and Grief: June 22nd
- Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity: July 8th
- Day of Russian Cinema: August 27th
- Day of Unity: November 4th
Cheapest Time to Visit Moscow
The cheapest time to visit Moscow is October. This month allows for a budget-friendly vacation with the best chances to explore less crowded attractions.
In October, the climate has transitioned from hot or mild summer to a colder fall. Most tourists have left the city, and it’s quieter. Temperatures are slightly lower than in the summer months, ranging from 40°F to 54°F.
This is the time to enjoy fall colors as the plants recover from the hot summer. If you’re traveling during October, you’ll enjoy lower accommodation prices.
However, the cost of plane tickets in October can be higher because of the school holidays. So, you’ll want to book the flights earlier. While most attractions have closed down, you can still enjoy long walks in the city and festivals.
The best festivals you can enjoy include the following:
- Day of Older Persons: October 1st
- Remembrance Day of Victims of Political Repression: October 30th
To get the best from your travel, ask your guide or locals for the attractions that are still open. Pack your basic fall outfits for October.
Least Busy Time to Visit Moscow
The least busy time to visit Moscow is March to April. These months are in spring when the city is recovering from the long winter.
Flights and accommodation rates are low since only a few tourists visit the city. March is not one of the best months for visiting Moscow because of the falling snow. The city has a lot to offer if you can cope with the snow that starts melting in mid-March.
It’s a quiet month, and temperatures range from 37°F during the day and 25°F at night. The weather begins to feel warmer in April, and the tourist season starts in a month.
Temperatures range from 40°F to 59°F. It’s still cold and breezy, but a better time to explore the city more quietly. The lush green parks offer the best opportunities to walk and relax with your family.
Unfortunately, most attractions have yet to open and are preparing for the peak season. You can, however, explore the picturesque architecture and enjoy the stunning views from the city’s highest points.
Pack warmer outfits to beat the cold weather in March and April. You can also ask your hotel or locals where to find the remaining attractions that offer indoor activities.
Worst Time to Visit Moscow
The worst time to visit Moscow is in winter, from December to February. The cold weather and snow make it tricky for locals and visitors to enjoy the outdoors.
Most attractions are closed, so you’ll have few options if you still want to visit. Temperatures in winter can drop to around 14°F, with warmer days experiencing temperatures above 32°F.
Despite the low temperatures, Moscow receives visitors in December and January. Hotels rates are higher since more visitors have arrived to celebrate the festive season.
Expect larger crowds in the city during December 31st and the first week of the New Year. However, the city’s silence resumes after mid-January as the third month of winter approaches.
January is the coldest month in the city. As February approaches, the city is quiet, with a few activities for tourists. Hotel and flight rates are at their lowest because tourism has decreased to a trickle.
You can visit Moscow in late January and February if you don’t fear the cold weather and snowy landscapes. Activities like ice skating and snowmobiling are available in The Red Square and Shunut Mountain.
You can also consider the following tips for traveling to Moscow in winter:
- Pack winter clothing such as knit scarves, wooly hats, gloves, a coat, and weatherproof boots.
- Try indoor and outdoor activities to avoid boredom.
- Spend time in the snow-capped parks.
- Stroll the decorated streets such as Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral.
- Join locals to celebrate Christmas.
- Visit Moscow Zoo
- Explore The Garage Museum
- Visit The Ural Buddhist Temple
Things to Consider
Below are the things to consider when visiting Moscow:
- Use Uber to travel around the streets and neighborhoods. Know the price before the trip to avoid paying more than you should.
- If you need assistance from the locals, choose youngsters since most of them can speak English.
- Take care of your belongings when you’re in tourist areas.
- Select hotels, restaurants, and bars with signs and writings translated from Cyrillic to English.
- Drink bottled water.
- Use apps such as Yandex Metro and Yandex Transport to guide your way in the city.
- Carry your passport. You’ll need a passport when exchanging money, getting to some attractions, and buying train tickets.
- There’s free Wi-Fi in Moscow.
- Moscow’s museums don’t open on Mondays.
- Plan your budget. Moscow is full of luxuries so avoid impulse spending.
Frequently Asked Questions
As with any destination, it’s always a good idea to learn what other people are asking. To save you the effort of researching, we’ve rounded up some of the most frequently-asked questions.
Are there any beaches in Moscow?
Moscow has several beaches you can visit during summer. Some of the most famous beaches in Moscow include:
- Serebryany Bor
- Rublyovo Beach
- Chyornoye Ozero
- Bolshoi Gorodskoi Prud
Is it safe for tourists in Moscow?
Moscow is not a safe place for tourists due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. The US government has issued a Level 4 travel advisory, telling citizens not to travel to Russia.
How many days are enough to visit Moscow?
Three to four days are enough to visit Moscow. However, if you have more money to spend and wish to explore the best places in the city, plan about 7-10 days.
Can you use WhatsApp in Moscow?
WhatsApp is widely used in Moscow. While Instagram and Facebook remain blocked in the country, WhatsApp is available to locals and tourists.
Can you drink alcohol in Moscow?
You can drink alcohol in Moscow as long as you’re 18 years and above. However, consumption of alcohol outside licensed premises such as public transportation, railway stations, airports, playgrounds, and beaches is prohibited.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Moscow?
Moscow is an excellent place to spend a vacation alone, with family or friends. To enjoy the best time in the city, travel from May to November. This season has mild weather and offers the best opportunity to explore most attractions in the city. Happy travels!