Moscow winter: how does it look like? What to do in Moscow in winter? How to dress foe Moscow winter? Here are our travel tips to discover Moscow in December, January and February.
Rest sure, you will not be bored! Even if you are travelling during at -20 degrees (which is now really rare), you will always find cool things to do. Going to Moscow in December, January or February is great! Let’s see it together!
A week in Moscow and St Petersburg. If after Moscow you are also going to Saint Petersburg, then find out our blog post on what to do in Saint Petersburg in winter.
What to do in Moscow in winter? Our TOP 6 of things to do during Moscow winter!
Here is our TOP 6 of things to do during Moscow winter:
- Go to the Red Square Christmas market
- Ice skating on the largest ice rink in Europe at VDNKh
- Enjoy the snow-capped Moscow parks
- Live the experience of a Russian banya
- Stroll the most beautiful streets of Moscow in winter
- Discover the fairy tale world of Izmailovo
Go to the Red Square Christmas market, the number 1 thing to do in Moscow in winter
It’s magic! Moscow’s Red Square in December, January and February turns into a fairy tale: small stands for mulled wine, tea or sweets. The festive atmosphere reigns there throughout the winter. There is also an ice rink installed on November 30, just opposite the luxury store GUM. In summary, if there should be only one thing to do in Moscow in winter, that would be the Red Square Christmas market.
- Where? Red Square, free entry to the Christmas market. If you are going to stay only 2 or 3 days in Moscow, choose an accommodation not too far from Kremlin. Find further tips about hotels in Moscow here: Where to stay in Moscow?
- When? From December 1 to the end of February
Ice skating on the largest ice rink in Europe at VDNKh
Indeed, the rink is 20,000m²! If you are going to Moscow in December, January or February, ice skating is an activity to discover. Music and lights to accompany your skate ride: great atmosphere! However, VDNKh is not in the historical Moscow center.
- Where? Exhibition center, VDNKh. You will need to take a public transport (metro or bus) or taxi to go there. This blog post could be helpful: Transport in Moscow: how does it work?
- When? From November 30 to February 28, closed on Monday
- Opening hours: 11 am-3pm and 5 pm-11pm weekdays; 10 am-3pm and 5 pm-11pm on weekends and holidays. Technical break to smooth the ice from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Prices: from 300 RUB to 600 RUB for a 1 hour session (more expensive on weekdays and weekends), discounts for children under 12 + 150 RUB for skate rental
Enjoy the snow-capped Moscow parks
What to do in Moscow in winter? Enjoy the parks whose entry is completely free! Indeed, the parks of Moscow are great spaces of relaxation and entertainment very appreciated by the Muscovites. However, you must know the most interesting of the city center: these are the new Zariadié park and the Gorky park.
Pay attention to the temperatures! Long walks can be quickly difficult to hold, if you are not well equipped. Especially if temperatures drop to -10 and above. Further informations about how to dress for Moscow winter below.
The snow-covered Zariadye Park and its platform suspended in the air offer a beautiful view of the Kremlin and the Moskva River. The park area is open 24 hours a day and free. In addition, for 180 RUB you can visit an artistic installation: the ice cave (hours 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.).
The Gorky park is very large, it runs along the Moskva to the Mont des Moineaux. Besides, Gorky Park is a park to visit in summer and winter. If you go to Moscow in December, January or February, inside the park you will find small stands where you can buy hot drinks to warm up, cafes to rest and a museum of modern art Garage, and then an ice rink! Impressive too, but smaller than that of VDNKh. However, there are a lot of people on weekends. Map of the park.
Live the experience of a Russian banya
Warm wine and tea are not enough to warm you up? Now is the time to try the Russian bania! It’s clearly an experience to do in Moscow in winter. Moscow winter would not be so cold for you! Finishing a day of walking in the snowy city with a traditional bania, there is nothing better.
What is the bania? In summary, the Russian bania is a hot steam bath. It’s an ancient tradition that dates back to the time of Peter the Great. Bania enthusiast, he then zero-rated the construction of the banias. They then multiplied everywhere in Russia. In the countryside, the bania is a small wooden house. In town, the place is apparently different from the outside, but the principle remains the same. The steam warms our bodies, the pores are cleaned, we wash … then we pat ourselves with the venik, a broom of dry birch branches! It wakes up, for sure!
Salduny baths is an institution. With over 200 years of history, they are the largest and most popular baths in Moscow. However, there are Women and Men sections. To be able to stay together, you must then reserve a private banya.
- Where? Neglinnaya Ulitsa 14, Kuznetsky most metro
- Opening hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.
- Prices: 1800 RUB for 3 hours of bania – basic part, 2200 RUB – more “premium” part
Stroll the most beautiful streets of Moscow in winter
In what to do in Moscow in winter, I cannot not mention the walk in the streets of Moscow. Indeed, the streets of the city center are very nicely decorated. In addition to the famous places to visit, such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral or Red Square, there are nice neighborhoods to see to enjoy the winter and better understand Moscow.
Neighborhoods to visit. The districts of Patriarchy Prudy and Tchistye Prudy are to be discovered, because there are already more locals there. In addition, in each of these districts, there is a pond and cafes and restaurants around.
Streets to see. Nikolskaya, Bolchaya Dmitrovka, Pereoulok Stoleshnikov, Pereoulok Kamergersky and Kuznetchny Most streets are also worth a walk.
Discover the fairy tale world of Izmailovo
The Izmaylovo Kremlin is certainly a tourist spot, but it is well worth seeing during a winter weekend. It looks like Disneyland! First, you enter a colorful fortress surrounded by frozen water, walk the decorated streets, then discover the market stalls filled with fur, chapka, Russian scarves.
- Where? 10 min of walk from Partizanskaya station
- Opening hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Free admission
How to dress for Moscow winter?
To know how to dress for Moscow winter and Russian winter in general, you can use my Russian grandmother’s golden rule (who lived on Novaya Zemlya Island in Russia). You have to cover the strategic places to be warm. That is, clothes and shoes in winter in Russia must protect the extremities of the body as much as possible, then the throat and buttocks. It is quite the same in Canada I guess.
Three important things for how to dress for Moscow winter:
- Undershirts are very important. They shouldn’t be wide, they should stick to your skin.
- Hooded coats
- High shoes with a thick and gripping sole
What to enjoy Moscow winter: in summary
As we have seen, Moscow is therefore transformed during the winter into a magical place: decorations, snow, evening lights, ice rink … Indeed, everything is there for New Year’s Day, the most important holiday in Russia. So let’s take advantage of this winter and its magic to the fullest: Red Square Christmas market, skating rink, walk in the snowy parks!
If you are leaving during the holiday season, this blog post will certainly be useful for you: Christmas and New Year in Moscow.
Finally, here is a wonderful video of Moscow snow-covered in February! 🙂
Have a nice trip! 🙂 Use the blog search bar to find the articles that interest you about Moscow.
Tell us what are you planning to do in Moscow in winter? Are you going to Moscow in December, January or February?