Moscow Weather Guide

Russia’s capital is characterised by hot, humid summers and long, cold winters with wide variations in temperature during these seasons. The best times to visit Moscow are May to June and September to October when the crowds have dissipated and the weather is comfortably pleasant.

Season and Clothing

Summer: June to August

During the summer season, Moscow experiences warm to hot, humid conditions and unexpected downpours. When the sun’s out, heatwaves are common and temps can reach up to the mid- to-high-30s. Summer is also peak tourist season in the capital, however most locals head to their dacha (summer cottage) outside of town on weekends or cool down in the city’s green spaces. Summer is a great opportunity to check out the Golden Ring cities northeast of Moscow and the countryside.

Average temperatures: 12 – 26 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Dresses, t-shirts, pants and flats or dressy walking shoes.
Don’t forget: Sunnies, an umbrella and a light jacket for night-time.

Autumn: September to October

Autumn in Moscow is brief but the low season offers a great opportunity to see the sights once the summer tourists have left. Late September may also bring an extra week or 2 of warm weather called babe leto (grandmothers’ summer – like Indian summer), and this season is a great time to enjoy the autumn colours in the parks and leafy boulevards. Temps drop quickly in October as the first snow falls and the ground gets slushy. This is also the start of Moscow’s cultural year.

Average temperatures: 3 – 16 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Warm coat, jeans, pants, long-sleeve tops, shirts and waterproof boots.
Don’t forget: Scarves, gloves and an umbrella.

Winter: November to March

There’s a reason why Russians used to get around in fur – Moscow winters are brutally cold and not for the faint-hearted. With solid snow cover in the city from November to March, the Russian capital’s winter is long, freezing and dark with the sun sometimes only making an appearance for one hour! Muscovites are generally found warming themselves at home; however the massive New Year’s Eve celebrations and winter cultural events draw them out for fireworks and free concerts.

Average temperatures: -10 – 3 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: A long coat, jeans, long-sleeve tops, jumpers, thick socks, boots, gloves and scarves.
Don’t forget: Vodka to keep warm (or to forget you are cold!) and thermals if you’re outside.

Spring: April to May

After the long, cold winter, the thaw means dirty slush on the streets and cold, wet temps through March. By April, Moscow’s temps are on the rise, spring has sprung and the scenery turns green again, however you’ll still need a coat at night. Spring is a time of celebration in the Russian capital with street parties, parades and fireworks in early May for Labour Day and Victory Day. It’s also low season with fewer crowds making it a good time to see all the main attractions in the city.

Average temperatures: 2 – 18 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Warm coat, jeans, pants, long-sleeve tops, shirts and waterproof boots.<
Don’t forget: Scarves, gloves and an umbrella.