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xenos travel christmas 2023

  • Nicosia Travel Agents
  • Limassol Travel Agents
  • Larnaca Travel Agents
  • Paphos Travel Agents
  • Famagusta Travel Agents
  • Xenos Travel by Royal Holidays

Royal Holidays is a tour operator based in Nicosia, Cyprus and is a registered and authorised member of the International Air Transport Association (I.A.T.A), the Cyprus Tourism Organization (C.T.O) and the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (A.C.T.A). As a Tour Operator the company specializes and offers a huge variety of travelling services like Air Tickets, Hotel Accommodation, Car Rentals, Cruises, Chartering of any type of Jets as well as organizing any kind of Conference and/or Exhibition. Our experienced and specialized personnel ensure that our customers are not purchasing just a travelling service but an unforgettable and enjoyable experience. Royal Holidays

Nikis Avenue 3 , Flat/Office: Office 101 , Nicosia , Cyprus P.O. Box: 28666 P.O. Box Postal Code: 2081

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The best Christmas holiday destinations for 2023

By Laura Chubb , Anya Meyerowitz and Emma Love

The best Christmas holiday destinations for 2023

After years of Christmas travel being put on pause, 2022 saw avid travellers embrace the festive escape once more. Christmas holiday destinations are a contentious issues among large families, however. An amble around Europe's famous Christmas markets is on most people's bucket lists, but then there's the practicalities of finding a cosy bolthole in a new city – to tree, or not to tree? Winter sun spots like Australia and South Africa were out of bounds in recent years due to strict Covid entry requirements, but families are free to reunite on whichever side of the globe they wish – and doing so in droves. With plenty of options back on the agenda, we've listed the best holiday destinations for Christmas in 2023. To stay closer to home, see our pick of the best UK Airbnbs to book for Christmas .

white sand beach and crystal clear water with coconut palm tree Phuket Thailand.

Why? For ultimate beach bliss. Clear water laps against the sandy shores, palm trees sway, and the chill of the UK seems so far away. There’s also something for everyone; larger resorts and villas for families on the larger Thai islands , boutique and big-name hotels on some of the smaller ones, and hostels at every turn for a cost-effective, island-hopping festive experience. Every type of traveller is catered to somewhere, and the beaches are undeniably divine, making it ideal for intergenerational escapes.

Insider tip: Christmas in Thailand is delightful, but New Year’s Eve is another spectacle altogether. Stay on Koh Samui and head to the beaches for raucous parties and kaleidoscopic firework displays, or head to one of the many beach clubs and high-end hotels for a more civilised affair. Alternatively, a two-stop trip could be the bucket list adventure to beat them all. You’ll likely need to pass through Bangkok to reach the islands, so consider sticking around on the return leg to experience the celebrations in one of Asia’s largest metropolises, watching the colourful explosions illuminate the Chao Phraya River.

Where to stay: Splash out on a stay at the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui for the most indulgent festive escape, and you’ll barely need to lift a finger. It’s a large resort, but it doesn’t feel that way, thanks to clever landscaping and guest rooms hidden among the towering trees and wild flora. Connor Sturges

Panorama of Las Palmas from the sea. Gran Canaria Canary Islands Spain.

Gran Canaria

Why? For (almost) guaranteed short-haul sun. The average temperature can hover around 20C on December afternoons, perfect for long sunny lunches along the harbour and walks along the coast – take a tip if you dare.

Insider tip: Hire a car to experience all Gran Canaria has to offer. December isn’t quite sunbathing season, but it’s ideal for exploring the charming towns, historic churches, markets and natural wonders dotted across the island.

Where to stay: Gran Canaria is an ideal Christmas holiday destination for families with broods in tow, but the island is no longer the reserve of those needing all-inclusive convenience. Adults-only Hotel Veintiuno is set in an 18th-century colonial house and offers cosy rooms, a rooftop swimming pool and a location ideal for exploring the capital Las Palmas. Connor Sturges

The Cotswold village of Broadway Worcestershire England.

The Cotswolds

Why? To experience a quintessentially English Christmas. Chocolate box villages dusted in snow, cosy evenings by pub fires, and the chime of churchbells ricocheting off period properties.

Insider tip: The Cotswolds has some of the cutest Christmas markets around. Broadway’s market is the perfect place to enjoy gooey raclette, a glass of mulled wine and a last-minute spot of shopping from craft stalls.

Where to stay: Cotswolds cottages don’t come cheap at Christmas, but make it a family affair, and it’ll be one to remember. Check out our guide to the best Airbnbs in the Cotswolds for some inspiration, or look to Luxury Cotswold Rentals for gargantuan homes designed to fit all the family… and some. Connor Sturges

Why The fairytale Christmas scene  snowy gabled houses and twinkly cobblestone streets  doesnt get much more...

Bruges, Belgium

Why: The fairy-tale Christmas scene – snowy, gabled houses and twinkly cobblestone streets – doesn’t get much more quintessential than in Belgium’s prettiest city. The medieval centre is known for its Gothic architecture, and the squares are strung with fairy lights and dotted with market stalls selling crafts and waffles wrapped in paper. Blow away the cobwebs on Christmas morning with a bracing walk alongside the icy canals, followed by a stint in one of the cosy pubs.

Insider tip: Belgian chocolatiers are famous for good reason – and Christmas is a great time to sample the wares of as many different stores as possible. We particularly like Spegelaere, a family-run chocolate shop just outside the city centre. Sarah James

Where to stay: Embrace the romance of the town with a B&B stay. The canal-side Bonifacius was famously used by Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as a green room during the filming of In Bruges . An immaculate breakfast here is served in the intimate Gothic Room. If you can brave the cold, wander up the winding staircase to the roof terrace where you'll find exceptional views over the Church of Our Lady and 13th-century belfry.

Why Sure everyone knows Christmas in New York is special  but do they know its romantic too From iceskating under the...

New York City, USA

Why : Sure, everyone knows Christmas in New York is special – but do they know it’s romantic, too? From ice-skating under the Rockefeller Center tree, to riding the gorgeously restored, vintage Jane’s Carousel on the East River-front, and strolling hand-in-hand across a twinkly Brooklyn Bridge, this is movie-grade amour .

Insider tip : Cuddle up on a Christmassy date at Williamsburg ’s Nitehawk Cinema . Even better, you can order food and cocktails right to your seat.

Where to stay: For the full New York at Christmas movie magic experience, nothing can beat The Plaza . A stay here is particularly magical for children, where little ones can call on the service of a family 'ambassador' and goodies on offer include a closet full of dressing-up gear, children's terrycloth bathrobes and a $100 gift card for nearby toy store FAO Schwartz. See our pick of the best hotels in New York for more.

Why The Caribbean has always been a favourite destination for cruisefans over the festive period with its honeyhued...

Barbados, Caribbean

Why? The Caribbean has always been a favourite destination for cruise-fans over the festive period, with its honey-hued beaches and cerulean waters, and Barbados is arguably its star attraction. The festive season is the island’s sweet spot, where it is at its most relaxed until mid-December and still enjoying balmy temperatures, however the hotel prices often drop and the UK fashion set has yet to jet in for New Year’s Eve. It’s hard to picture a Christmas spent among the coconut palms and rolling surf, doused in sunscreen, rather than curled up in a jumper, but we’re certain you’ll soon get used to it… 

Insider tip: If you can’t bear to miss out on your Christmas Cake fix, tuck into the Bajan version (known as a ‘Great Cake’), made with local rum. Really get the flavour of things by booking a day trip to the Mount Gay rum distillery – we defy you not to be singing carols at the top of your voice by the end of it. 

Where to stay: Swap the supersized resorts for Cobblers Cove , a 40 bedroom bolthole that's dressed delightfully – think millennial- pink accents and candy-cane-striped pool umbrellas – like a tropical country club. For more recommendations, see our edit of the best hotels in Barbados . 

Why Forget the 12 days of Christmas  the festive season in Iceland lasts a full 26. In fact most Icelandic traditions at...

Why: Forget the 12 days of Christmas – the festive season in Iceland lasts a full 26. In fact, most Icelandic traditions at this time of year are bigger and more elaborate than those in the UK – including the 13 Santa Clauses who bring presents to children across the country. The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in December are also pretty good, and experiencing a white Christmas here is all but a given. In the capital Reykjavík , the frozen central pond of Tjörnin is a brilliant spot for ice skating on Christmas Day, while the big celebration is on Christmas Eve, with a supper of smoked lamb and langoustine.

Insider tip: If you stay until New Year’s Eve , you can catch the city’s unique fireworks display – locals purchase their own and the sky is lit up with countless mini displays when midnight strikes.

Where to stay: Reykjavik Edition has a standout location plus a rooftop terrace for viewing the northern lights. Another option is Kvosin Downtown Hotel , a charismatic boutique property with fantastic apartment suites. See our pick of the best Iceland hotels for more. 

Why This Middle Eastern playground can make every generation feel like a kid again  whether thats riding the slides of...

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Why : This Middle Eastern playground can make every generation feel like a kid again – whether that’s riding the slides of its water parks, sledding down a ski slope in a shopping mall, or jumping around on its giant trampoline park, Bounce . And while Christmas isn’t a national holiday here, bling-bling Dubai can’t resist this twinkly time of year: the malls and hotels are all a-sparkle with lights and enormous trees. Add to that the weather (highs of 26˚C in December), plentiful beaches, and all-ages fun (such as ogling a giant dancing fountain or speeding up the world’s tallest building), and it’s not such an out-there idea.\

Insider tip : Don’t miss the surreal experience of shopping centre Souk Madinat Jumeirah at Christmas, when there’s a German market, a snowball zone, and Santa riding a gondola-sleigh around the mall’s canals.

Where to stay: All of the major players are here but for a change of pace, try the newly opened 25hours Hotel One Central , where 30-something hipsters and creatives move between the co-working spaces, pottery and podcast studios, and mixed-gender saunas. The rooms and suites here are equally un-Dubai, with hammocks, sheik-sized beds, and private bar areas with room for a DJ.

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Why It's been a while since we've had a bit of childlike magic at Christmas. Lapland neednt just be for kids either...

Finnish Lapland

Why : It's been a while since we've had a bit of child-like magic at Christmas. Lapland needn’t just be for kids either: throw over Santa and snowmen for cosy nights in glass igloos, and romantic husky-sled rides through forests glittering with frost. Head up to Ylläs and you can even get steamy in a sauna gondola: a cable car converted into a sauna, which takes guests on a 20-minute ride. An outdoor Jacuzzi session and traditional sauna are included in the (admittedly steep) price. Note that a typical Lappish Christmas dinner often involves reindeer, which seems like a truth only suitable for an adult.

Insider tip : If you’re looking to work off all that Christmas food, Ylläs National Park opens up its snowshoe tracks to fatbikers, so you can pedal your way around this wintry wonderland and work up a real sweat.

Where to stay: In one of the glass igloos at Apukka Resort near Rovaniemi, perfect for cosying up to watch the Northern Lights from bed. All igloos have sofa beds so they're great options for families, while self-catering apartments are also available.  

Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa

Why: For a blast of winter sun with a sprinkling of festive spirit, all without the jet lag. In December , the top draw in Cape Town is usually carols by candlelight at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Children will also love the holiday activities at the V&A Waterfront, from magic shows on the croquet lawn, to puppet shows and face painting at the aquarium. If you're organised, book in to one of the best restaurants in Cape Town for an extra special Christmas or Boxing Day lunch. City centre restaurant FYN recently made it onto The World's 50 Best Restaurants list. 

Insider tip: The most obvious place to spend Christmas Day is at the beach – whether you fancy surfing at Llandudno or people-watching at Camps Bay. For a change of pace, book a table on the terrace at Grande Provence, a stellar wine estate in Franschhoek.

Where to stay: For the best poolside scene in the city, check in to Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel . The Wes-Anderson -style pink palace has clear views of Table Mountain from its main terrace, making it one of the best spots for a sundowner in Cape Town.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas

Why: Boxing Day can sometimes feel a little flat – especially if you’ve over-indulged with too many helpings of trifle at Christmas lunch – but not in the Bahamas where the annual Junkanoo Parade brings a carnival party vibe to the streets. The biggest event takes place in Nassau where the sound of drums, horns and cow bells fill the air and musicians and dancers dressed in elaborate bejewelled costumes shimmy their way through the town. Afterwards, pick up a conch salad (try Dino’s, by Compass Point) and head to the beach.

Insider tip: For those wanting a quieter escape hop on the ferry to Eleuthera, known for its coral-pink sand and clusters of cays, and nab one of the chic safari-style tents at The Other Side.

Where to stay: If you're travelling with little ones, SLS Baha Mar is perfectly set up for families, most notably for their poolside cabanas, kitted out with couches, a mini fridge, a flat-screen TV, and waiter service. For couples, check in to the all-inclusive, adults-only Warwick Paradise Island .

St Moritz Switzerland

St Moritz, Switzerland

Why: What better way to kick off Christmas Day than with an exhilarating family toboggan run from Preda to Bergun? This glitzy Alpine ski resort comes up trumps with plenty of festive sporty fun on offer from ice skating (there are two rinks, at the Kulm Country Club and Lake St Moritz ) to snowshoe hikes and even snowkiting on the Bernina Pass. Those who prefer to slow the pace can wrap up warm for a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride or tap into centuries-old spa traditions – the Kulm Hotel has a heated open-air pool that looks out onto a winter wonderland.

Insider tip: After a morning spent swooshing down the slopes, refuel at an Alpine hut with panoramic mountain views, such as El Paradiso Mountain Club or the legendary Alpina Hutte. See our St Moritz insider tips for more. 

Where to stay: The obvious options are Badrutt’s Palace and the Kulm Hotel but for something cosier, book one of the seven rooms at the art-loving Villa Flor in nearby Zuoz. 

Why Caribbean islands dont come more romantic than St Lucia with its dreamy views of the Pitons incredible beaches and...

St Lucia, Caribbean

Why : Caribbean islands don’t come more romantic than St Lucia , with its dreamy views of the Pitons, incredible beaches and chocolate plantations (meaning you can expect chocolate-covered spa treatments, and couples’ chocolate-making classes). Thanks to a strong Catholic culture, Christmas is a big deal here, too: St Lucian twists include its traditional, deep-red sorrel drink (made with cinnamon, cloves and ginger), and black Christmas pudding (soaked in red wine). While roast turkey remains on the menu, expect sweet potatoes and plantains in place of parsnips and sprouts.

Insider tip : The island ’s most interesting restaurant for a romantic meal is undoubtedly The Rabot Hotel , at Hotel Chocolat’s cocoa-plantation-set boutique residence. Along with head-on views of Petit Piton, you’ll eat a cacao-infused menu, featuring dishes such as tuna-dorado tartare with cacao nibs and cacao beer pork tenderloin.

Where to stay: The Rabot Hotel was also voted the best hotel in the Caribbean in our Reader's Choice Awards. 

Why Mexico goes big on Christmas  elaborate nativity scenes street processions plazas decked with fairy lights festive...

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Why: Mexico goes big on Christmas – elaborate nativity scenes, street processions, plazas decked with fairy lights, festive piñatas – so it’s ideal for a taste of tradition with a side of sunshine. Forgo the rowdy Caribbean coast for the more laid-back Pacific side, where family-friendly town Puerto Vallarta excels at ‘something for everyone’: snorkelling trips around the Marietas Islands’ ‘Hidden Beach’; a sunset boat ride to Las Caletas cove for a traditional dance show; wandering around botanical gardens and eating at torch-lit waterfront restaurants.

Insider tip: The Malecón is Puerto Vallarta’s seafront promenade, the centre of community activity and a riot at Christmas, with craft markets, street-food vendors, palm trees hung with stockings and Santa-hat-wearing sand men.

Where to stay: At handmade hotel Verana , where 10 casas are embedded in the jungle with spellbinding views of the ocean. Families will love One&Only Mandarina where you can opt to stay in oversized treehouses or ocean-facing villas, and the fantastical kids’ club was designed by Academy Award-winning art director Brigitte Broch, whose wonderland sets have been seen in Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet .

Why A tropical Christmas in Hawaii still feels festive. On Oahu Honolulu City Hall is festooned with lights and has a...

Why : A tropical Christmas in Hawaii still feels festive. On Oahu, Honolulu City Hall is festooned with lights, and has a heavily decorated 50ft-tree out front; on Maui, Santa rocks up at Wailea Beach on Christmas Eve via outrigger canoe. Any one of these preternaturally gorgeous islands will appeal across the generations, with their mix of white-sand beaches, watersports, and family-friendly hijinks.

Insider tip : On Oahu’s North Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center hosts a Christmas marketplace; on certain days, real snow is brought in for making snowmen. Check out Hukilau Marketplace for updates.

Where to stay: At Four Seasons Resort Hualãlai , fresh off a multiyear, multimillion-dollar renovation that saw a refresh of every guest room, the expansion of its family-friendly villa offerings, a sleek new pool and several updates to its world-class golf course. 

Why Dreaming of a white Christmas It doesnt get much merrier than North Americas favourite ski resort where snow is...

Whistler, Canada

Why : Dreaming of a white Christmas? It doesn’t get much merrier than North America ’s favourite ski resort, where snow is guaranteed, as are festively freezing temperatures. As well as a heap of family entertainment (the weekly Fire & Ice show sees skiers jumping through fiery hoops), there’s everything from ice skating to snowmobiling for the kids, and the slopes stay open on Christmas Day. Large, luxurious chalets are plentiful around Whistler Village: many with gorgeous views of Blackcomb Peak, patio heaters for outdoor evenings, and games rooms to keep all ages entertained.

Insider tip : Canadians are more likely to feast on pumpkin pie than Christmas pud on 25 December. Save the hassle of making your own and pick one up at local favourite Peaked Pies – it’s actually an Aussie bakery, but Whistler’s hungry skiers love it.

Where to stay: If it's your first time, opt to stay amongst the action of Whistler Village at Sundial , a boutique hotel with a rooftop hot tub, or nearby at Four Seasons Resort Whistler.

Why You dont have to look hard for the romance in Bali. Horseback rides on the beach Check. Gripping each other tightly...

Bali, Indonesia

Why: You don’t have to look hard for the romance in Bali . Horseback rides on the beach? Check. Gripping each other tightly on a scooter, zipping past 50-shades-of-green rice fields? But, of course. Glamping in the jungle, with your own private saltwater pool? Well hello, Capella Ubud. And then, when you’re hankering for a festive fix, there’s the Canggu Xmas Bazaar: a unique blend of traditional wooden Balinese architecture, festive crafts and Indonesian street food. Kitschy, yes – but it’s Christmas, after all.

Insider tip: Top off Christmas Day with a fireworks display: locals love setting them off once darkness falls, and if you head to the beach in Canggu you’ll catch one of Bali’s more fabulous sunsets, too.

Where to stay: For a private stay, takeover one of these villas in Bali . In Ubud, we like the look of Sharma Springs , a six-storey bamboo villa that sleeps up to ten (a fifth bedroom is located in a separate guest house) and has its own private pool and yoga pavilion.

Salvador Brazil

Salvador, Brazil

Why: Rio de Janeiro might be the kingpin Brazilian party capital on New Year’s Eve but for festive cheer, head north to the Bahia city of Salvador . With a fusion of African and Brazilian culture, this place crackles with energy all year round – but cranks it up several notches at Christmas. The pastel-hued houses of the UNESCO historic quarter make a colourful backdrop for impromptu marching band parades where the drummers dress up as Santa, and live music and dancing in the squares.

Insider tip: From here, it’s a two-hour (often choppy) boat trip to Morro de Sao Paulo, on the tip of Ilha de Tinharé. There are five numerically-named beaches: first beach is crowded and for watersports, by the time you reach fifth, you’re likely to have the sand to yourself.

Where to stay: The grand Hotel Fasano Salvador stands tall in a carefully restored 1930s building – once the former headquarters of the A Tarde newspaper – and has spectacular city views from its rooftop pool.

Why If youre looking to combine Yuletide cheer with a breathless party scene you wont go far wrong with Berlin. The...

Berlin, Germany

Why : If you’re looking to combine Yuletide cheer with a breathless party scene, you won’t go far wrong with Berlin . The Germans practically invented Christmas (we have them to thank for embellishments including decorated trees, baubles and tinsel), and they’re the undisputed world champions of the Christmas market (find a toboggan run and ice rink at Potsdamer Platz; Alexanderplatz packs a Ferris wheel and Christmas ‘pyramid’ with more than 5,000 lights). The city’s club scene hardly closes down as December comes to a close, however; on the contrary, it often ramps up, making it one of the best Christmas holiday destinations for those looking to party before spilling out into the snow.

Insider tip : Clubbing stints require planning: wear sturdy shoes and at least one T-shirt change. Dresses and heels aren’t simply impractical – they usually induce the bouncers to turn you away.

Where to stay: If you're here for the nightlife, Orania.Berlin — a luxury hotel in the edgy Kreuzberg district – is surrounded by some of the city’s best clubs. Radisson Collection Hotel , with its two-storey-high freestanding cylindrical aquarium, is an ideal option for families.

Why Morocco isnt exactly big on Christmas though youll still find traces of it in bigcity malls and hotels and there are...

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Why : Morocco isn’t exactly big on Christmas, though you’ll still find traces of it in big-city malls and hotels, and there are Catholic churches throughout the country (thanks to historic Spanish and French influences). Make a beeline for the remote Atlas Mountains just outside Marrakech . 

Insider tip : If you’re set on scaling Mount Toubkal, be aware that this time of year requires serious skills, crampons and ice axes. Alternatively, stay below the snow line with treks through Ouirgane National Park and Azzaden Valley, which are excellent in their own right, but also have great views of Toubkal.

Where to stay: Handily, some smart retreats have sprung up in this rugged region, so you can go off-grid in style. Berber Lodge – village-like and set inside an olive grove – is low-key, glam and gorgeous.

Why Christmas is one of the busiest times of year to climb the Roof of Africa. So if youre travelling solo but fancy...

Kilimanjardo, Tanzania

Why: Christmas is one of the busiest times of year to climb the Roof of Africa . So, if you’re travelling solo, but fancy meeting new people, this is a great way to tap in to some group spirit while also ticking off a life goal – pack your Santa hat for commemorative pictures at the top. As Christianity is a major religion in Tanzania , the holiday is very much celebrated: though it’s more low-key than the West’s commercial circus, you’ll see enough trees and baubles to feel suitably full of good cheer. Forget the turkey, though: Tanzanian families tend to go all out and buy a goat or a cow for the big dinner.

Where to stay: It’s practically mandatory that you follow up the Kili trek with a restorative break in Zanzibar. The village-style Zuri hotel has 56 standalone bungalows set amid dense bush and spice gardens, with Indian Ocean waves rolling just beyond your window.

Why This StTropezonsnow is the party ski resort and a Christmas cardworthy delight this time of year too. Here in the...

Val d'Isere, France

Why : This St-Tropez -on-snow is the party ski resort, and a Christmas card-worthy delight this time of year, too. Here in the powder-swept Alps , there’s no shortage of festive markets, steaming vin chaud , or decadent Christmas menus paired with Champagne . On Christmas Day, ski lifts are open as usual and Dick’s Tea Bar , the party place-to-be, brings the après with resident DJs. 

Insider tip : Luxury travel specialist Scott Dunn tells us you can’t beat L’Atelier d’Edmond for a decadent Christmas dinner. This double- Michelin-starred stunner typically rustles up a tasting menu that forgoes turkey for the more refined flavours of Arctic char and deer.

Where to stay: Val has been outdoing itself with ultra-luxe chalets lately: seven-room Chalet Husky has a climbing wall, infinity waterfall and space for rifle shooting and archery; at Arctic Townhouse , you’ll find a sauna, indoor hot tub and screening room. For more, see our where to stay in Val d'Isere guide. 

Why For a solo Christmas with just the right mix of adventure and home comforts playing cowboy  at a dude ranch in the...

Dude ranch, Colorado

Why : For a solo Christmas with just the right mix of adventure and home comforts, playing cowboy (or cowgirl) at a dude ranch in the Rocky Mountains could be ideal. You’ll spend your days getting active in that crisp mountain air – riding horses, learning to shoot and lasso – and evenings sharing hearty home-cooked meals, swapping stories around a campfire or square-dancing at the local saloon. Colorado’s little mountain towns come alive with holiday lights and festivities this time of year, and the region is stuffed with dude ranches offering seasonal packages, which typically include a snowy horseback ride and family-style feast on Christmas Day.

Where to stay: Dude ranches come in all styles and sizes, so do your research on the vibe. Sundance Trail Guest Ranch , for example, is small and low-key, with a real focus on a homestay-style experience, while C Lazy U Ranch is more like a hotel and goes all-out with sleigh rides and Santa PAs.

Why Christmas is a time for giving so if you feel like doling out some good cheer try a festive break with International...

Volunteering in Cusco, Peru

Why : Christmas is a time for giving, so if you feel like doling out some good cheer, try a festive break with International Volunteer HQ . You could even combine it with a pilgrimage – in Cusco, for example, IVHQ volunteers wrap presents and prep Christmas decorations for underprivileged local children; why not independently tack on the Inca Trail trek to nearby Machu Picchu , too?

Insider tip : Cusco’s Plaza de Armas is a brilliant spot for Christmas Eve, with its market and incense-filled churches. Stick around to see the whole city explode with fireworks at midnight.

Why Sometimes in order to escape Christmas you need to escape the world entirely. Even in Kathmandu a colourful clash of...

Himalayan Trekking, Nepal

Why : Sometimes, in order to escape Christmas, you need to escape the world entirely. Even in Kathmandu, a colourful clash of Hindu temples and Buddhist prayer flags, Christmas Day is a recognised holiday – with Santa hats, decorated trees and glittering lights to match. There’s never been a better time, then, to leapfrog the masses and head for the Roof of the World on an Annapurna trek. Though it can get cold up in the Himalayas this time of year, the trails are blissfully quiet. Even better, a proper trek should take at least a week, so if you head off on Christmas Eve, it’s all about New Year by the time you’re back – when Santa will be safely absent 'til next winter.

Insider tip : December’s daytime temperatures and clear skies make ideal hiking weather, but come nightfall, the mercury will usually dip below freezing. Be sure to bring a down sleeping bag and plenty of layers.

Why‘Partying in Colombia might once have been synonymous with cocaine but if theres one place that really shows how the...

Cartagena, Colombia

Why: ‘Partying’ in Colombia might once have been synonymous with cocaine, but if there’s one place that really shows how the country has changed, it’s Caribbean seaside city Cartagena : no longer a best-kept secret, but a bona fide tourism big-hitter. Crowds come for the buzz of the picturesque Old Town, livelier than ever at Christmas: where festivities spill into cobblestoned streets, public squares shimmer with over-the-top trees and giant baubles and the colonial mansions’ famous flower-filled balconies are strung with lights.

Insider tip: Formerly sketchy, now shabby-chic Getsemani isn’t just Cartagena’s hippest neighbourhood (with interactive pop-up dining and factories-turned-pizza-restaurants), it’s the best damn nightlife spot in the city, too. Bazurto Social Club is the place for sultry salsa dancing with locals, or touristy Café Havana – all retro 1930s style, Panama hats and lethal mojitos – pops five nights a week until 4am.

Where to stay: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena , a former 17th-century monastery located a short walk from the beach. 

Why This is where probably the worlds most famous Christmas Day beach party is held. On 25 December Santahatwearing...

Sydney, Australia

Why : This is where probably the world’s most famous Christmas Day beach party is held. On 25 December, Santa-hat-wearing crowds descend on Bondi ’s beloved crescent for barbecues and frolics. Lifeguards even plant a fir tree in the sand and, in the absence of snow, many folk build festive sandmen. However, anyone planning a rowdy booze-fest will be disappointed: the entire beach is an alcohol-free zone. Christmas just not Christmas without grog? Nearby, The Bavarian Bondi Beach will be a beery riot, and even does a Christmas roast .

Insider tip : For a less crowded experience, try Balmoral Beach, where the Bathers’ Pavilion usually puts on both a booze-included buffet and a three-course lunch. The restaurant’s wall of glass patio doors, which look out to sea, just might seal the deal.

Where to stay: Park Hyatt Sydney , beloved for its location tucked beneath the Harbour Bridge and it mosaic rooftop pool that is one of the city's great spots. 

Why Incidentally just voted one of the top 20 best cities to visit in the world in the Cond Nast Traveller Readers...

Salzburg, Austria

Why? Incidentally, just voted one of the top 20 best cities to visit in the world in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2021 , Salzburg really turns on the charm over the festive period. Decked out in its finest baroque regalia and surrounded by the Alps’ lofty peaks – smothered in snow – a December spent among the clock towers and chocolate box architecture of the Old Town begs a knitted jumper, rosy cheeks and a constant sense of occasion. The Salzburg Christmas Market on Cathedral Square conjures the sort of romantic, fairytale scene that might be plucked from a cheesy rom-com, and there’s no finer way to escape the cold than to take your seat for a Mozart concert in the composer’s own birthplace. 

Insider tip: In Austria , warming up chilly fingers over a hot chocolate is an unmitigated delight, and one that the city takes very, very seriously. You’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to stop, but for an extra special treat, head for Mozart’s favourite café, Café Tomaselli. 

Where to stay: For a spectacular view, we love the look of the large sun terrance at this penthouse apartment on Airbnb , located at the foot of Gaisberg and a 10-minute bus or car ride from  Salzburg city centre. 

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Moscow City Celebrates Holiday Season With 'Journey to Christmas’ Event

Curated By : Lifestyle Desk

Last Updated: December 31, 2022, 08:39 IST

New Delhi, India

Its beauty is undeniable, but, in winter, the city looks even more awesome and Moscow is happy to invite everyone to share the festive joy

Its beauty is undeniable, but, in winter, the city looks even more awesome and Moscow is happy to invite everyone to share the festive joy

The event, until January 8, marks the festivities sparking that magic and holiday cheer among Muscovites and the city’s guests from all corners of the world

Moscow has transformed into an exuberant and glittering destination marking the beginning of its festival season event, ‘Journey to Christmas’. The city celebrates magical festive places, must-see dynamic destinations, decorations, lighting, traditional winter sports activities and meeting Father Frost and Snegurochka, or the Snow Maiden. The festival will continue until January 8 th  2023.

 This large-scale event has transformed the city with Christmas and New Year festivities. Twinkling lights illuminate the streets, while ice-skating rinks and slides pop up everywhere. There are also live musical performances and much more for the entire family to enjoy. All the venues are stacked up with delicious food and spilling over with holiday cheer. Activities take place not only in the city center, but also in the distant boroughs. The event marks the start of the festivities sparking that magic and holiday cheer among Muscovites and the city guests—both young and old.

Also Read:  Year Ender 2022: 5 Styles That Were Made Famous By Celebrities in 2022

People from around the world attend fairs every year in different parts of Moscow creating a festive atmosphere. The early mornings are wonderful, but the most magical moments come in the evenings when thousands of lights are lit all around and the aroma of tangerines and Christmas baking spreads everywhere. They pour out hot tea, too, to make it warm for the guests and it is fun to walk around the Christmas markets. One can go on a gastronomic journey because national dishes from different parts of the country are on display and waiting for you to try them. Besides, you can buy handicrafts and local products as New Year gifts for your family and friends.

This time around, there are 32 festival sites. The Christmas programs take place in all districts of Moscow. As many as 4,200 master classes have been prepared for guests and 19 rinks opened, while a lot more is waiting for you to explore!

If your child wants to feel warm, you can enter the bright, glowing gingerbread houses. Here, you can participate in master classes, send a letter to Santa Claus and learn to make holiday toys, or even different kinds of sweets. Parents have the opportunity to eat and drink hot tea while their kids keep busy and enjoy the warmth and comfort.

 For 2023, the major theme of the festival is traveling around Russia and getting to know the holiday traditions that are typical of different regions of this multi-ethnic country. To get a taste of what holidays look like in every region of Russia, many holiday markets scattered around the city welcome visitors to taste the national dishes and warm drinks and buy local products and handicrafts from all across the country. Don’t forget to charge your phone to the fullest and free up its space — you’re probably going to take a lot of pictures!

With the country opening up to travel, this holiday season is set to be extra-special and extra-busy. The UN has named Moscow the best city in the world for its quality of life in its global cities ranking for 2022.

Its beauty is undeniable, but, in winter, the city looks even more awesome and Moscow is happy to invite everyone to share the festive joy.

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Your 48-hour tour guide of Moscow this winter!

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9 am – Visit the Red Square 

Christmas market on Red Square

Christmas market on Red Square

The first thing that every tourist should do by default is visit the very heart of Moscow – it’s main and most beautiful (which ‘krasnaya’ actually meant in Old Russian) square! 

There are several ways to explore it:

  • Take a selfie with Spasskaya Tower
  • Have a warm drink at the Christmas market (which lasts until mid-January)
  • Visit Lenin’s Mausoleum
  • Shop in the gorgeous adjacent GUM department store
  • Visit St. Basil’s Cathedral (and learn that it’s actually several churches under one roof).           

11 am – It’s Kremlin time! 

Inside the Moscow Kremlin

Inside the Moscow Kremlin

Entering the Kremlin is, actually, a bit of a quest, as it’s a presidential facility with no general access. You need to buy a ticket or, better still, book a guided tour. Inside the Kremlin’s walls, you will find ancient cathedrals, in which Russian tsars used to be crowned and buried, as well as explore the magnificent architecture of the Kremlin that reflects the rich history of the country. And, finally, you could also make a quick visit to the Moscow Kremlin Museums and admire artifacts from various Russian tsarist eras: carriages, thrones, crowns and the most incredible armory and jewelry. 

For more information, visit the official website of the Kremlin . It’s open from 10 am to 5 pm (and it’s closed on Thursdays) in winter.

2 pm – Watch the changing of the Guard

The honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

A very spectacular (and free) thing to do is watch how the honor guard does their ceremonial change at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame, situated in Alexander Garden, right next to the Kremlin wall. Every hour, from 8 am to 8 pm, the 1st Company of the Kremlin (Presidential) Regiment performs this rather old and beautiful tradition. But, be warned, it's often overcrowded. 

3 pm – Enjoy a green oasis just in the center

Florarium in Zaryadye

Florarium in Zaryadye

Just a few steps from the Red Square, you will find the fabulous Zaryadye park. Opened in 2017, it is designed by renowned American architect bureau ‘Diller Scofidio + Renfro’. You can walk among the very cozy botanical decorations and explore Russia’s climate zones, as each of them is represented in dedicated areas, complete with flora from those zones.

The floating bridge in Zaryadye Park

The floating bridge in Zaryadye Park

The park also has an underground museum, an “ice cave” and a 3D cinema, where you can take part in a virtual adventure – a flight over Moscow! However, the piece de resistance is a floating boomerang bridge over the Moskva River, one of the best places to take a selfie.

You can also grab a quick lunch or relax with a cup of coffee or tea in the park.

7 pm – Arrange a ballet night

The Bolshoi Theater

The Bolshoi Theater

Of course, the most fancy way to finish your day in Moscow would be to go to the ballet at the Bolshoi Theater (in a perfect world, to see ‘The Nutcracker’!). However, getting tickets to the Bolshoi is not an easy task and should be done well in advance of your visit. 

But, don’t be upset if you don’t manage to get tickets to the Bolshoi. Moscow has dozens of other options to see a ballet (or opera). No less brilliant performances can be seen in the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater or in The State Kremlin Palace (by the way, this is another way to get a quick glimpse inside the Kremlin!).

10:30 pm – Have a late dinner in a fancy restaurant

Dr Zhivago restaurant

Dr Zhivago restaurant

There are not so many other cities with such a big choice of restaurants in a range of tastes and styles. In 2021, the authoritative Michelin guide announced their pick of the best of Moscow’s restaurants. And here’s our guide to all the places with Russian cuisine for any budget. But, if you happen to be in the area of the Bolshoi or Nemirovich-Danchenko Theater, then ‘Dr. Zhivago’ would definitely be a nice option (and it’s open around the clock).

DAY 2 

9 am – grab a moscow coffee.

Winter festivities mood in Moscow

Winter festivities mood in Moscow

Moscow is definitely a coffee city! You can find coffee shops on every corner and they all offer a huge range of drinks. Try a ‘raf’ coffee, a sweet, creamy drink that was created in Russia, or dare to pick one of the very unusual offers, like cheese coffee or a Soviet candy style one (check out our coffee guide here ).

10 am – Take a river cruise

Winter boating along the Moskva River

Winter boating along the Moskva River

Another exciting way to explore Moscow is to observe it from the water. Boats cruise along the Moskva River all year round. Most begin their route from the Hotel Ukraine, one of Stalin's ‘Seven Sister’ skyscrapers, and will bring you back to the same spot after passing the medieval Novodevichy Convent, Moscow State University and Luzhniki Stadium, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and giant monument to Peter the Great and many other sightseeings. 

It’s always at optimum temperature inside the boat, which also has huge panoramic windows. Select boats also offer a full dining experience, so it is also a nice place to have breakfast or lunch.

If you are not a water person, then discover other, unusual sides of Moscow – pick one of the activities we’ve prepared for you here ! 

1 pm – Visit ‘Russia’ Expo and taste a bunch of Russian regional cuisines

Russia Expo at VDNKh

Russia Expo at VDNKh

Until April 2024, the Soviet-era VDNKh exhibition park is hosting the huge ‘Russia’ expo, with tons of activities and expositions devoted to Russia, its culture, science and nature. Check out our special guide on what to do there!  

An entire ‘House of Russian Cuisine’ has been opened at the expo. You will find 15 food stands with flagship dishes from Kamchatka, Siberia, Karelia and other regions of Russia. Imagine trying a range of cuisines and dishes in one place without even having to travel anywhere, be it Altai pelmeni, Tula kalach or Caucasian pies! A perfect place to grab some lunch.

House of Russian cuisines at VDNKh

House of Russian cuisines at VDNKh

The VDNKh exhibition park is a great place to visit, in general! Its pavilions are the perfect example of Stalinit Empire style architecture and you can almost feel as if you’ve traveled back in time! You will also find several interesting museums in the park – devoted to space exploration, Russian history and even a ‘Special Purpose Garage’, which showcases the various vehicles used by the country’s leaders. 

'Sun of Moscow' wheel

'Sun of Moscow' wheel

And, finally, you can ride Europe's tallest panoramic wheel – ‘Sun of Moscow’ – that will give you panoramic views of the city – from a height of 140 meters!

5 pm – Ice skate with view & mulled wine

Ice skating rink on Red Square (GUM department store on the background)

Ice skating rink on Red Square (GUM department store on the background)

Ice skating is one of the most popular and affordable activities in Moscow. There are several great ice skating rinks in picturesque locations that are open all winter long. One of the biggest rinks in Europe is also at the aforementioned VDNKh or you can visit the one in Gorky Park, another very popular Moscow spot, or the small, but fancy rink – right on Red Square! 

All the parks offer ice skate rental, so the only things you need are warm clothes, a charged phone to record your memories and a good mood!  Moscow also gets dark at 4:30 pm in winter and hundreds of lights are switched on, turning the city into a giant fairy tale! 

A mulled wine with a view

A mulled wine with a view

And, if you are not a sports person, we’ve picked several other unusual activities that you could do in Moscow instead. For example, did you know that there is an entire district of dacha (countryside) houses, just 10 minutes from the center, surrounded by giant new highrises? How about taking a stroll there and feeling the early Soviet atmosphere?

8 pm – Warm up & laugh out loud

After all these outdoor activities, what could be better than a warm cozy bar with a hot drink and nice company? Moscow is a city full of entertainment for all tastes. So, if you know the Russian language or want to practice it, go to a theater or catch a stand-up comedy show. Moscow even has comedy shows in English, where you can hear both Russians speaking fluent English or foreigners (including Brits and Americans) who live in Russia speaking in broken or heavily-accented Russian (Check their show dates on the ‘ Moscow English Comedy ’ Telegram channel)!

11 pm – Finish by partying the night away!

Propaganda club in Moscow

Propaganda club in Moscow

Moscow never sleeps, as you might have heard. Which means there are plenty of bars and nightclubs where you can have a drink (or two or three; be sure to check out how Russians make Black Russian and White Russian cocktails) and chat with incredibly different people. Have fun and don’t miss your flight (or miss it and stay longer in the best city in the world!)!

That's it! See you soon in Moscow

That's it! See you soon in Moscow

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When is the best time to visit Moscow? | Weather, budget, events by month

  • July 14, 2023

When is the best time to visit Moscow

Discover when is the best time to visit Moscow. In this blog post, I will talk about weather, budget and other things to know to choose the best time when to go to Moscow for you. I cannot account the times when we went in Moscow. Here are the pros and the cons of each month taking all main criteria into account!

I will first describe the main criteria that will help you choose when to go to Moscow:

  • Climate in Moscow: temperatures and weather

Special events in Moscow

  • Budget and visa

Then I will talk about each season (go directly to this party if you already have an idea of ​​the desired departure date):

  • Advantages and disadvantages month by month

The weather cannot be the only criterion to decide when is the best time to visit Moscow for you. Even if the temperatures drop low, Moscow in December is just magical! This is why I advise to take into account several criteria at the same time. Also remember that it takes at least a month to get the Russian visa.

When to go to Moscow: climate and weather

The seasons are well marked. The mid-season months are not necessarily the best for the weather. However, they are not necessarily to be avoided, because, as we will see later, Moscow is a city that changes all the time and the prices can be more attractive. For example, for a lot of people winter is the best time to visit Moscow.

Weather in Moscow. Moscow is inland, making the city “more protected” from changing weather. For example, the weather is much more changeable in St. Petersburg. On the other hand, the weather in Moscow is more and more scorching in summer, we can then easily reach 30 degrees (for the Russians, it’s already the heat wave).

Moscow temperatures

As soon as you think of Russia, you want to do “Brrrr”. Let’s prepare our down jackets! Indeed, the Russian climate is not the mildest on the planet. However, it all depends on the region, because the country is very large. Moscow is almost at the same latitude as Copenhagen. As Moscow is relatively far from the coast, there is a pronounced continental climate. It is hot in summer and cold in winter.

In addition, global warming is there. For several decades, annual average temperatures have always been recorded above the past. I suggest you look at the averages over the past five years to be as close as possible to reality:

Sunshine and precipitation

Sunshine. This is surprising, but there is more sunshine in Moscow than in Paris or even in Berlin: 1,731 hours in Moscow, compared to 1661 in Paris and 1626 in Berlin.

Duration of the day in winter. We had questions about the length of the day in winter. So, here are a few things. As in Europe, the shortest days are in December. In Moscow, at the end of December, the sun rises around 9 a.m. and sets around 4 p.m. Then the day gets bigger until the end of June, when the day is the longest.

Precipitation. There is more precipitation in Moscow than in Paris (705mm against 637mm).

When is the best time to visit Moscow: interesting events

Moscow is a city that moves a lot. It is even said that this city never sleeps. So there are a lot of events, forums, exhibitions, conferences. Here I’m going to talk about the main recurring events that punctuate the year and that may help you decide when to go to Moscow.

End of year celebrations in Moscow

December 31 rather than Christmas. The Russians are eagerly awaiting the holiday season. Here on December 31 is like Christmas with us. Religion, “opium of the people” according to Marx, and, above all, its official absence marked the country during the Soviet years. This then reinforced the celebration of December 31, while Orthodox Christmas is January 7.

Russian calendar. In addition, it should be known that the first week of January is a bank holiday. Many Russians therefore do not work during this period. Europe also greatly influences the habits of Muscovites. Consequently, the Christmas markets start in early December and, for some, continue until early February!

Fairytale atmosphere. If you are wondering when to go to Moscow and you love the holiday mood, then the end of December – early January, and even February, is for you! There are many things to do during this time: for example, Christmas markets, decorations, winter games, skating rinks. In 2016, Moscow opened the largest ice rink in Europe. In short, the city is doing a lot of entertainment during this period and the general atmosphere is at the top! However, everything comes at a cost. You can see more detail below in the article, month by month.

Find our more in this blog post: Christmas and New Year in Moscow .

When to go to Moscow

Visit Moscow in May

May 1 and 9 are two big festivals in Russia. Both dates are known worldwide. May 9 in Russia is May 8 with us in France. The signature that marks the end of the Second World War. The shift day is explained by … the difference in time zone.

The May 9 holiday is a very important holiday for the Russians. The Soviet human losses amounted to millions. So there are many families who have been directly affected by the war. The first big parade was organized by Stalin on June 24, 1945 in Red Square in Moscow. Later each year the USSR and then Russia organized a parade on May 9. Here is the video of the first parade dating from 1945 in color, then the last – that of 2016.

A disadvantage of the beginning of May. For the planned events, Red Square will not be completely empty. There are always installations for May 9, but also rehearsals. So, to the question “when is the best time to visit Moscow”, I would not say that May is the best one. You can find out more in the article “Moscow in autumn” below.

Throughout the year, the Moscow City Hall organizes free events (festivals, small markets, concerts, etc.) in the Red Square and in the streets of the city center. For example, there are two major interesting events:

  • Festival of Lights “Around the World”: in 2019, it was from September 28 to October 4.
  • Anniversary of the city of Moscow always celebrated the first weekend of September.

When is the best time to visit Moscow: budget, price seasonality, visa

Most touristy periods. Many travelers come to Moscow from May to October. This is the period when we see the most tourists in Moscow. In addition, many are also those who come at the end of December and at the beginning of January for the New Year. The beginning of May and the first week of January are also strongly requested, in particular by the Russians (school holidays, public holidays).

Accommodation. Hotel rates therefore necessarily increase during these periods of the year. But they do not go so far as to triple. To give an idea, count at least 80 euros in the city center for a double room with breakfast. You can read more about the districts of Moscow in my article: Where to stay in Moscow?

Guides and tours. Also take into account that during these periods it will be more difficult to find a guide at the last moment. It’s best to do it 2-3 months in advance. There will be more waiting or difficulty obtaining tickets during the months of high tourist influx: late December, early January, May, June, July, August.

Visa for Russia. The cost of the visa does not change depending on the month of the year. On the other hand, the deadlines can be longer if you make the request for the high tourist season (from May to October). Allow about a month. Getting the Russian visa is not complicated, there is a procedure to follow.

In Russia, the seasons are divided as follows:

  • Fall: September, October, November.
  • Winter: December, January, February.
  • Spring: March, April, May.
  • Summer: June, July, August.

Discover Moscow in autumn: when is the best time to visit Moscow in autumn?

From the beginning of September, we feel that the temperatures begin to drop gradually, especially at night.

Moscow in September

More and more travelers are choosing the month of September to go to Moscow. Because it is not cold yet and there are fewer tourists than in summer. Prices drop slightly, but remain higher than in the lean months of the year. There is also the city’s birthday on the first weekend in September, but also the “Around the World” festival towards the end of the month.

Moscow in October

You are likely to come across the colors of autumn from the beginning of October. The accommodation prices are starting to drop gradually. There is less waiting in the places to visit. Temperatures are not very low: during the day they are generally around +6 degrees. On the other hand, the only negative point can be the cost of plane tickets, if you leave during the French school holidays.

Moscow in November

It’s one of the least calm! Temperatures drop and can approach zero during the day in mid-November. Hotel rates are low, there are few tourists, and therefore less waiting in museums. It’s easier to get tickets for the Kremlin Palace of Armor, which can be very difficult in the summer. Guides also have more availability. So why not go to Moscow in November?

Discover Moscow in winter: when is the best time to visit Moscow in winter?

Winter is a very nice time to go to Moscow, because the Christmas and New Year decorations are installed from the beginning of December and are not removed until the end of February. To learn more about the different activities in winter, read this article: What to do in Moscow in winter? If winter temperatures scare you, check out Moscow in the spring (see below).

Moscow in december

Normally, negative daytime temperatures set in, although the weather can vary significantly from year to year. In general, from mid-December the snow is durable. It is from December 20 that more and more travelers come to Moscow. December 31st is celebrated like Christmas in France. Accommodation rates are higher from mid-December. It’s also more complicated to find a guide at the last moment. Furthermore, as in Europe, the days of December are the shortest of the year. But if you want to mark New Years Day, you will have lots of memories!

Moscow in january

January is also a very festive month. The first week of January is a public holiday in Russia. Besides, it’s also a week of Russian school holidays. There are more people in the streets, museums and everywhere in the city. To find out more about this time of year (Christmas markets, itineraries, etc.), read: Christmas and New Years in Moscow . Prices remain high during this week, but drop from mid-January.

Moscow in February

It’s the second quietest month of the year. In February, winter clearly takes its ease. The temperatures are the lowest, it’s a real winter! The days are longer in February than in December. So we’re enjoying the day more, and with the snow it’s really nice, because the weather in Moscow in February is pretty sunny. Accommodation rates are at their lowest, and the decorations are still there. So, if you are looking for when to go to Moscow, if the cold does not scare you and you appreciate the snowy landscapes, why not consider the month of February?

Discover Moscow in spring: when is the best time to visit Moscow in spring?

Spring is a contrasting period between March, which is still quite cold, and May, when we really feel the arrival of summer.

Moscow in March

The ice and snow begin to melt around mid-March. Winter is coming in March, but spring is not quite there yet. It’s the third quietest month of the year. It is therefore possible to visit the city more quietly. Accommodation prices are low, guides are available. The weather in Moscow in March is milder than in February. In addition, the days are longer, so you can take many walks.

Moscow in April

It is only from mid-April that we begin to feel the beginnings of sunny days. The weather in Moscow in spring and April in particular is getting milder and colder: we can expect +7 during the day. In addition, there are not many travelers yet and we fear to enjoy the places more quietly, but we feel that the start of the tourist season is approaching. Accommodation rates are lower than in May.

Moscow in May

The early May holidays attract many travelers to Moscow. There are also many Russians who come to the capital on public holidays. It is therefore advisable to plan visits in advance to avoid queuing once there. Red Square can be closed or partially closed for rehearsals for the May 9 parade, the same day and one or two days after. More info in: Moscow in May: events, budget, what to do?

Discover Moscow in summer: when is the best time to visit Moscow in summer?

All summer months are great, if you take temperatures into account. The weather in Moscow in summer is quite pleasant. However, in recent years, there have been great heat peaks or heat waves in July (30 degrees during the day).

Moscow in June

From June, you can take long walks in the city’s parks, very numerous and much appreciated by the locals. Boat trips are more enjoyable from June. On the other hand, the prices of accommodation in Moscow are higher than in the lean months. There are also more tourists. Book your hotel, tours and activities in advance.

Moscow in july

July is the hottest month, but we’re not on +40. Moscow is a city inland and therefore there is little fresh air, if it is very hot. We can do lots of walks to discover the city. We have written several complete itineraries so as not to miss anything of Moscow in our special Moscow travel guide. It also contains tips to save time and enjoy the city off the beaten track, as there are so many tourists during this time of year.

Moscow in August

Temperatures are starting to drop gradually, but there are still so many people. In order to be sure of the choice of accommodation, I advise you to book in advance. The same goes for guided tours or entrance tickets to the Kremlin. It’s also a good time to discover the city differently by going to places that are less touristy and more frequented by locals.

When is the best time to go to Moscow? In summary!

The best time to discover Moscow depends on the criteria you want to favor: the weather, the budget, the tranquility of the visits, the special events to be experienced on site.

In summary:

  • The peak tourist season in Moscow begins in early May and ends in late September.
  • Late December and early January is the best time to experience the holiday mood, but it comes at a cost.
  • End of January, February, March, beginning of April, November are the quietest months of the year, when you can visit the city more calmly and on a reduced budget.

So, have you decided when to go to Moscow? 🙂 Do you plan to visit Moscow in spring, summer, autumn or winter?

Travel idea! As in all cases you will get a visa and there is only 4 hours by train between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, why not visit both cities? Read an example of a route here: Moscow to Saint Petersburg in one week.

If you still have doubts, take a look at what you can visit in Moscow in order to choose the best period: Things to do in Moscow in 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days.

For a great trip to Moscow:

  • Visit Moscow and St Petersburg in one week: itinerary
  • Where to stay in Moscow?
  • Tourist voucher for Russian visa

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    The festival will continue until January 8 th 2023. This large-scale event has transformed the city with Christmas and New Year festivities. Twinkling lights illuminate the streets, while ice-skating rinks and slides pop up everywhere. There are also live musical performances and much more for the entire family to enjoy.

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