Russia

CAPITAL CITY

Moscow

BEST TIME TO GO

All year round
Summer White Nights May – July

TIME ZONE

GMT +3hrs

GETTING THERE

Direct flights from London Heathrow to St Petersburg, 3hrs 15mins

Russia Map

St Petersburg

“The lower the thermometer falls, the more abstract the city looks.  Minus twenty-five centigrade is cold enough, but the temperature keeps falling as though, having done away with people, river and buildings, it aims for ideas, for abstract concepts.  With the white smoke floating above the roofs, the buildings along the embankments more and more resemble a stalled train bound for eternity.  Trees in parks and public gardens look like school diagrams of human lungs with black caverns of crows’ nests.  And always in the distance, the golden needle of the admiralty’s spire tries, like a reverses ray, to anaesthetise the content of the clouds.”  Extract from Joseph Brodsky ‘A guide to a Renamed city’ 1979.

So much of Russia’s romanticism is conjured up in the imagery of its harsh but beautiful winters.  A winter infamous and inspirational to so many of Russia’s writers, musicians and painters, and where better to experience it than in Russia’s “Venice of the North”, St Petersburg, the historical hub of Russia’s intelligentsia since founded by Peter the Great in 1703.

Russia celebrates Christmas on the 7th January, so New Year marks the start of a ten day celebratory holiday and the atmosphere is lively.  The city is covered in snow and the streets are glowing with Christmas lights and festive cheer.  The weather will be quite chilly, but the warm reception one receives when you bundle into a cafe or restaurant is a welcome and comforting experience.  Hidden behind the opulent baroque and neoclassical facades of the palaces and museums, are the magnificent jewel-like interiors which are virtually all yours to enjoy compared to the summer months where tourist numbers are at their peak.READ MORE

Top Reasons To Visit Russia

Catherine Palace, St Petersburg

The Faberge Museum, St Petersburg

The Ballet

The Church of Spilt Blood, St Petersburg

The Hermitage, St Petersburg

The Kremlin, Moscow

The Metro, Moscow

Novodevichy Cemetery

Pavlovsk Palace

Summer Dachas

The Trans-Siberian Express

Travel Ideas For Russia

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