Have you ever thought to visit Russia for Christmas? I can give you a lot of reasons why Russia is the ultimate Christmas destination but I can also convince you with one word:
Everything in Russia at this time of the year makes the country an amazingly beautiful and unknowingly intriguing Christmas destination. This applies mainly to the bigger cities but I guess even in the small countryside villages, Christmas is a pretty fun experience. Knowing the Russian’s love for everything winter and snow, Christmas and New Year are the two lavishly celebrated holidays in the year. And most importantly, for you as a foreigner, this will be an exploration in the much less-known and so unfamiliar setting. Russia in winter is simply THE fairytale Christmas destination. No need for much talk. Just look at the photos.
In Russia for Christmas: Moscow in Winter
The cities in Russia, especially Moscow, look like places from a fairytale reality. The Russian Christmas decorations are bold and can outshine even the grand statues from the Communist time.
Christmas Markets in Moscow
Christmas markets in Moscow are incredible – with some unbelievable personages too. For the best experience, you might want to get the advantage of this flexible-itinerary tour with a private guide that will share with you their insights about Russian traditions.
The Iconic GUM for Christmas
The Grand Mall (aka GUM at Moscow’s Red Square) is extravagantly decorated with tons of garlands, Christmas postcards, hundreds of Christmas trees, and all kinds and sizes of candies in shiny packaging. If you visit St Petersburgh and love learning about the places you visit while shopping, join this tour to find authentic, high-quality products. I am sure. And to avoid over-pricing.
The Hermitage looks spectacular ever in a gloomy winter day … You will do better to buy your ticket in advance. Talking here from experience. You don’t want to wait for more than an hour in the freezing cold (-18 C ) to buy an entrance ticket from the kiosks at front. Believe me, even dancing doesn’t help! Another activity to consider is attending the Russian Classic Swan Lake Ballet at the Hermitage Theatre.
The vicinity of the museum is interesting in itself. Not far you will find the Russian Museum and the Church of the Spilled Blood with its cup-cake-like domes.
Quirky and Unique Christmas Decorations
I loved this Christmas decoration with posts cards as garlands. I have never seen similar before visiting Moscow. Have you seen something like this somewhere else?
Saint Petersburg in Winter
One awesome reason to travel to Russia for Christmas is visiting the ONE & ONLY Saint Petersburg.
Champagne for Breakfast? Why Not!
If you are in Russia for the holidays at the end of the year, don’t be surprised if you are served champagne for breakfast on January 1st. And oh, yes, in Russia Christmas is coming after the New Year so it will not be your last glass of the sparkling elixir during your trip.
The Russian Santa Claus
Russian Santa Claus is young, with a lavish coat and beard, and very tall! And yes, he is a favourite of the ladies, not only the children.
Winter Comfort Travels – Russian Bullet Train
What a nice way to travel between the two largest cities in Russia!
The Sapsan bullet train connects Moscow and Saint Petersburg and reaches speed up to 250 km/h. I honestly was surprised by the comfort and the excellent Wi-Fi connection on board. If your time in Russia is short, this train tour is an excellent option for you!
Christmas Shopping in Russia
Shopping Christmas treasures in GUM Moscow!
Russian Afternoon Tea – Best in Winter
One of the best local experiences you can have in Russia is the Russian afternoon tea. Drinking tea from a samovar, eating from the large choice of delicious meat pies and sweet cakes but also sitting among the locals and observing their traditions, is an incredible way to spend your afternoon! Would you like to experience your Russian afternoon tea in the company of St Petersburgh’s ballet dancer?
Connect with the People!
If it was not for this nice family I would never have a Russian afternoon tea experience!
This is the family of our tour guide in Saint Petersburg. We had a great day exploring the Catherine Palace and at the end, I asked her “Where can a person have a real Russian afternoon tea here?” And you know what? She told me – “I’m going just now to have tea time with my family in the best place in the city. Why not join us?”
It is needless to say that we had the best time on our whole Russian trip. How important are the people we meet during our travels always amazes me in the same way I am always surprised to find good-hearted people wherever I go!
Nature is Beautiful in Winter Russia
My no. (13) reason why visit Russia for Christmas is its beautiful winter nature. This photo was taken in Tsarskoe Selo.
Russian Meals Made to Warm You Up
Red Square Winter Festivities
The festive atmosphere at Red Square.
Where else you can find these original Christmas souvenirs?! You can have a piece of Russia every Christmas, even if you stay at home next year.
Russia is a Magical Winterland
Russia for Christmas is magical winter land.
Inside is cosy and glamorous; outside – beautiful and chilly. This photo was taken from Catherine’s Palace Golden Room.
Keep Warm by Visit Unique Russian Museums
If you want to see the amazing and unique Russian art you should go to the Tretyakov Gallery. It is where all the national art treasures of Russia reside. As a kid that grew up in an ex-socialist country, it was incredible for me to see some of the painting from my school books on the walls of the gallery. (Get your ticket in advance or combine the visit with a tour of the world’s second-largest Metro that is also a huge art-gallery.)
I still don’t understand why some other museums that feature Western European art are more popular among foreign tourists! You travel to Russia to see the local culture, right?! Not the same things you can see in the museums in Paris or London.
You sort of feel the Christmas spirit at every corner in the grey Moscow because of the thousands Christmas trees all over the Russian capital. It was somewhat disappointing that they were all plastic-made but I guess it is ecologically-better.
Russia is the best ultimate Christmas destination for another reason too. There are hotels like this one that makes you feel like an aristocrat visiting the city.
Russian people are beautiful… and elegant, and they know how to enjoy the winter holidays!
What a fine architecture! The Russian style may seem a little bit too lavish and extravagant but how beautiful it is!
Orthodox churches & huge Christmas trees.
Gold & Amber
This is the Golden Ballroom (and corridors) of the Catherine’s Palace in Tsarskoe Selo near Saint Petersburg. I could dance all night if they would let me. I also regret for not making time to visit Peterhof Palace in the vicinity but promised to myself next time I will visit St Petersburgh in summer and will enjoy a walk around the palace’s stunning gardens!
Enjoy Winter Russia as a Child
What bliss! Crunchy snow under the feet, cold air pinches the cheeks, the sweetest sound of children playing on the frozen pond and an amazing Russian classic architecture all around! ❄
This architecture! How come that (almost) all churches in Russia look like glazed cakes!
It is difficult to believe that this is a railway station. This is the VIP-hall of one of the main stations in Moscow where starts the route of the Trans-Siberian railway line.
Palaces and Queens… and Walks in the Snow
Ah, these walks in the snow!
Looks just like my home’s front door (almost).
I hope these photos helped you imagine yourself walking in the snow, exploring the palaces and art galleries, sipping fragrant Russian tea and tasting the delicious pies… Because Russia is the ultimate Christmas destination!
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