What is Moscow like in winter?
In this article, I will share first-hand experience of Moscow (and Russia!) in winter – complete with photos and some recommendations.

First thing first, weather is the most important aspect to make you travel comfortable. On average, one should expect the snow to set in by the end of November – beginning of December, and freezing temperatures to be consistently below 0C (36F) from then on until end of March. Moscow is situated in the European part of Russia (as opposed to Siberia where average temperatures are much colder), and usually the winter temperature ranges between -5C to -15C, but occasionally it can ether drop down to -25C or hit a thaw up to +5C above freezing. It entirely depends on your luck, but the rule of thumb is – be ready with warm clothes that we usually wear (and pack, if we travel) in layers.

Another important thing to expect is the amount of daylight – around the Winter Solstice the days in Moscow are very short, it gets light around 9am and it gets dark around 4pm, the sun hangs out there low, so if the sky is overcast it feels like dusk outside. However, throughout the holiday season decorations are lit up round the clock, and the city turns on the architectural lights at 4pm, so all in all it is very scenic and beautiful in streets and squares.
The city infrastructure

Moscow is located only 10 degrees Northern latitude away from the Arctic circle, winter here usually lasts 5-6 months, so all the city infrastructure is set up to cope with cold and snow. Planes land and take off, traffic flows, and snow falls do not disrupt everyday activities because the city has a fleet of snow ploughs constantly working on the streets clearing the snow away. All the public transportation and even infrastructure such as outdoor ATMs and ticket machines are designed to work in -30C, not to mention the famous Moscow metro located deep underground where it is always warm. Hotels, restaurants, museums, and homes have very good heating systems, and the problem usually is that it's too warm inside – and here we come back to the issue of putting together a smart set of clothes, that is, wearing layers (like a shirt, sweater, vest, cardigan, scarf, down jacket or coat with a hood, etc.) that you put on when you step outside, and gradually take off when you are inside.

Even the Radisson boat fleet has its own icebreaker, and taking a cruise along the frozen river past the snow drifted sights and locations is quite an experience.
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MARCH, 16 / 2018

Text author: Maria Lannin
Photography: Unspalsh
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