|Popular in||December||High demand for flights, 3% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||May||Best time to find cheap flights, 3% potential price drop|
|Average price||£272||Average for return flights in August 2022|
At the present moment the cheapest month to fly to Russia is currently April; with August being the most expensive. Prices will vary depending on multiple factors such as booking in advance, airline and departure airports and times.
LON - MOW
£182 - £359
-8 - 17 °C
20 - 80 mm
From the colourful, onion domes of Red Square in Moscow, the treasures of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to the frozen landscape of Siberia, Russia exerts a strong pull on the imagination.
This vast, vast country bridges two continents (Europe and Asia) and has 11 time zones stretching from Kaliningrad in the West to Ratmanov Island in the Bering Strait in the east.
Moscow is its jewel and capital city, but there are more reasons to visit Russia than to see the Kremlin, Red Square, or experience its hedonistic clubs – even if cheap flights to Russia have become more plentiful in recent years. St Petersburg was capital of the Russian Empire for more than 200 years until the revolution in 1917. Its cityscape is magnificent, its public buildings awe-inspiring, and its treasures straight out of a fairytale.
Away from the man-made wonders, there are more than 30 national parks, skiing and snowboarding at Mount Cheget and Mount Elbrus and the Lapland Biosphere Reserve in Murmansk, which is home to reindeer, elks, brown bears and wolves.
The largest country in the world, Russia has several different climates. About 65 per cent of it is under permafrost, but in the most populated areas such as Moscow and St Petersburg there is a continental climate – hot summers and very cold winters with lots and lots of snow. Along the Black Sea coast, in Sochi, a humid subtropical climate holds sway – mild winters and hot summers. Northern European Russia and Siberia has a subarctic climate and along the Arctic Ocean shore (and islands) the climate is polar.
Moscow and St Petersburg are two of the most popular tourist destinations and they are “visitable” for much of the year. The early summer (May and June) has the festivals, exhibitions, carnivals and concerts; autumn (September) is a great time to visit for the foliage; and late winter (January and February) is when these cities are covered by thick falls of snow. Moscow’s temperatures can range between -30 to 30 degrees; St Petersburg’s average winter temperature is about -10 degrees and summer highs are about 25 degrees.
St Petersburg (and other northern cities such as Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and Aberdeen) enjoys White Nights when the sun does not set until after 10pm – twilight melts into dawn – between late-May and early-July.
Winters are bitterly cold. If you look for cheap flights to Russia in the off-peak season, be sure to bring plenty of warm clothes.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines, the national airline, has a comprehensive domestic flight network. It flies from Moscow to several cities including St Petersburg, Kazan, Samara and Vladivostok
S7 Airlines is based in Novosibirsk and flies to several destinations including Irkutsk, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhni Novgorod and Omsk.
Transaero offers flights around much of the country including to St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kiev, Odessa, Chimkent, Tashkent and Kamchatsky.
Rail: the Trans Siberian railway is the longest railway in the world. It starts in Moscow and chugs through Nizhni Novgorod, Kirov, Ekaterinburg, Omsk and over to Vladivostok.
Russian Railways operates a good range of passenger services throughout Russia, from Archangelsk to Zabaykal’sk. Journeys are inexpensive, if slow, but there are usually three classes of service on long journeys. Travel third class (Platskartny) for a more “Russian” experience. Moscow and St Petersburg have metro systems; good service and really beautiful stations.
Bus travel is also cheap and links cities and towns around Russia, but is not very comfortable. The main bus station in Moscow is called Schyolkovsky Bus Terminal.
Also known as Knevichi Airport, Vladivostok Airport is one of the primary hubs for Eastern Russia. Located not far from the North Korean border on Asia’s east coast, the airport is 50km (31 miles) outside of Vladivostok.
A small regional airport serving just over a million passengers a year, flights to Vladivostok are hard to find outside of the Asian subcontinent. There is direct service from cities including Moscow, St Petersburg, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, Hanoi and Tokyo.
The airport has big plans however, as the government has announced that it will be rebuilt ahead of the APEC Russia 2012 Summit on Russky Island, south of Vladivostok.
Irkutsk International Airport (IKT) is situated 5 miles (8km) from central Irkutsk in Eastern Siberia, Russia. Irkutsk is the gateway to central Russia and is one of the largest cities in Siberia.
The airport’s two passenger terminals are within easy walking distance of each other, but passengers travelling during winter should remember to be dressed for the occasion as “freezing” does not even begin to describe Siberian winters. Even a short walk between terminals or between your plane and a terminal will leave you chilled to the core.
Many of the airlines based at Irkutsk International Airport are Russian carriers or from neighbouring countries such as Mongolia and Tajikistan. One of the easiest ways to get a flight to Irkutsk International Airport is via Moscow, Beijing and Antalya in Turkey.
Irkutsk Airport is close to Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lakes. The airport is well located for passengers wishing to explore some of the sights of central Russia.
Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport is the fifth-largest international airport in Russia, and the largest regional airport. It serves as the main gateway to Siberia and Ural, both major business centres, and is close to the Trans-Siberian Railway, which has a station in Ekaterinburg. Flights to Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport come from a number of cities across Russia, and a few in Europe and Asia.
Ekaterinburg is one of the largest cities in Russia, and is famous for its many theatres, libraries and museums. It’ll take 30–40 minutes to get into town, but if you can, it’ll be well worth exploring.
Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport has been renovated in recent years, and as it’s currently operating below its capacity of eight million passengers per year, you won’t need to queue for too long.
Russia flights are currently seeing a 72% increase in searches when contrasted with this time last year.