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When to visit Russia

The best time to go to Russia is during the summer season, between June and August. Despite Russia’s immense size, most of the country experiences just two distinct seasons – winter and summer – which ensures that timing your trip to Russia is relatively straightforward. Travellers can cross vast stretches of tundra, observe polar bears walking on icecaps, sun themselves on the subtropical beaches of the Black Sea and ascend rolling sand dunes – all in the same country. There is usually a relatively short interchange between winter and summer, which in general are characterised by extremely low and extremely high temperatures. Summer offers the best opportunity for spotting wildlife in Russia’s Far East, with bears emerging from hibernation to share the land with moose, wolves and reindeer, while migrating birdlife fill the skies and the annual salmon run turns the rivers red.

St Russia Grizzly Bear With Fish In Water Andre Anita
St Russia Wrangel Island Cape Waring Shutterstock Gtw

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The Best Time to Visit Russia

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Russia in January marks the coldest month of the year. Be prepared for winter storms affecting travel to and around Russia, by sticking to major cities such as Moscow, visitors can enjoy warming indoor activities whilst gazing at snow-sprinkled landscapes.

August to September

The earlier months of August and September are more autumnal and therefore any tiger sightings or tigers caught on camera traps are likely to be on a ‘tundra’ or forested background. This is a nice time for photography, with wonderful autumnal colours and lots of foraging animals around. These months see temperature highs of 15 ºC - 25 ºC (cooling more towards September), and a low of 0 ºC in the evenings.

November to March

If you wait until the latter months of November through to March then you are likely to be surrounded by snow. A truly picturesque environment with lines of birch trees, rolling hills and often waist deep powder. At this time, footprints in the snow make the wildlife easier to track and carries with it the highest probability of tiger sightings with the use of camera traps and video. The temperature is cold at this time, sometimes dropping as low as -35 ºC at night (December to February). The best time to see the tigers is in the snow, but this does mean it is cold and can be wet.

If you want to see...

Brown Bears

Despite lying at similar latitudes to Great Britain, the Kamchatka Peninsula endures long, freezing winters due to the influence of cold sea currents and Arctic winds, leaving the land covered in snow from October to late May. The months between May and September offer the most comfortable temperatures, but Kamchatka’s sheer size means its climate can be variable depending on which particular area you visit. Kamchatka’s brown bears hibernate during the coldest months here, when temperatures can drop to as low as -25°C. Despite heading into their dens in November and emerging in March, the best time to see these magnificent beasts is in July, to coincide with the annual salmon run that occurs in streams and rivers the world over.