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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING TO RUSSIA: CLOTHING

Mar 12, 2018

If you are planning a trip to Russia, you will surely be wondering when the best time to go is. And not only that, but also which clothes to wear. The weather in Russia varies greatly between summer and winter. In this article we will try to clear all your doubts and help you pack properly.

SUMMER

In Russia, summer officially begins on June 1 and ends on August 31 and is one of the best times to visit Russia. In summer, the days are longer and the tourist attractions have broader schedules. But summer also presents its problems. Temperatures can exceed 30 °C which can be quite uncomfortable, especially if you consider that not all hotels and restaurants have air conditioning, neither many buses nor the subway.



What to pack for summer

+ Comfortable clothes to use during the day
+ Warm light clothes for early mornings and evenings
+ Shorts, skirts and dresses (no shorter that one hand above the knee)
+ A shawl, crossbody bag, hat and sunglasses
+ A folding umbrella and raincoat

AUTUMN

Autumn is a short season in Russia and the weather is quite unpredictable. Although in September it can start to be cold, the fact is that sometimes it is also hot. By mid-October the temperatures can already be on the negatives and you have to take good shelter. Late October and November is already a colder period and may start to snow.

WINTER

In Moscow and St. Petersburg, it is not surprising that temperatures can fall below -20 degrees or even higher. In Siberia they can go down to 50 degrees below zero. However, it should be noted that both Moscow and St. Petersburg are much more humid cities than Siberia, so the feeling of cold can be even greater. The most important issue is not so much the weather in Russia, as actually wearing the right clothes and it’s all about using layers.



What to pack for winter

+ Fur cap (shapka), preferably with ear covers
+ Scarf and lined gloves
+ Wear really good boots with soft rubber soles. It’s important that you get soft rubber soles because even medium soles get really hard in the freezing cold. Make sure too that they have large spaces between the tracks, or the snow will get stuck in them and make them very slippery
+ Long coat, below the knee. Fur coats are recommended on the outside and skin with hair on the inside (known in Russian as dublionka)
+ For extra warmth pack some long thermal underwear
+ Pack your swimwear if you want to join in the winter time ritual bathing in hot and cold pools, steam rooms and saunas

SPRING

Spring in Russia officially begins on March 1 and ends on May 31. March and early April are a bad time to go since you will find the streets muddled with mid-melting snow. The best months are May and June, as the days start to get longer and the temperatures are warmer.

EXTRA AND IMPORTANT PACKING TIPS

+ Russia is fairly conservative, and if you choose to wear bright colors – particularly in the winter months – you will stand out.
+ Add in a smarter outfit for more formal occasions, such as the ballet or opera. Whilst it’s not compulsory, the locals do dress up for these events.
+ If you’re intending to see as many sites as possible during your trip, you’ll be doing a good deal of walking – so be sure to pack some comfortable walking shoes.
+ Moscow and St Petersburg are very much like any other cosmopolitan city; women love to dress up and are rarely seen without make-up and high heels. But we suggest you save your high heels for the evenings.
+ Some museums and churches might refuse admission if shoulders and knees are uncovered. It would also be advised to avoid cutoffs jeans and tank tops. Women should wear a scarf to cover and men would not be allowed to enter in shorts.
+ If you are in Russia on business, pack a conservative skirt-suit with tights or stockings and smart shoes. On this occasions, men are expected to wear a dark, well tailored suit and tie, with smart shoes.
+ For travel on the Trans-Siberian railway you’ll need to dress in layers. The train itself is very warm inside, but for the frequent half-hour stops you’ll need to put on boots, warm coat, hat and gloves as it can be freezing outside.

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