August is the final month of summer in Russia. The temperatures are generally hot and there are crowds in some beach destinations, but the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg tend to be less crowded and expensive than in June and July. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Russia in August.

Weather

Although not quite as hot as July, August isn't far behind. Average August temperatures across the country (apart from places in or close to the Arctic Circle) are around 71° F (22° C) and 77° F (25° C), although much hotter temperatures are not unusual. By the end of the month, the temperatures are getting autumnal in some places.

Summer is the wettest season of the year in Russia, so you should also expect some rain if traveling in Russia in August.

The further north you go, the longer the days are in Russia in August. Daylight hours peak in late June, when St. Petersburg, for example, experiences around 22 hours of daylight. The nights get longer in August, but it can still stay light for a long time. Don't underestimate the potential effects of the long daylight hours on your energy levels and sleep quality.

Crowds & Costs

August is peak season in much of Russia, with school holidays in full swing. But, it's not quite as busy in and around St. Petersburg as in June-July, as the popular White Nights Festival has come to an end.

Foreign travelers generally prefer to travel the Trans-Siberian Railway in summer, so August is a busy time on this route, especially around Lake Baikal. There are many different classes of train, but to get a berth on the most comfortable and luxurious, book far in advance.

Beach destinations continue to be crowded into August, especially Sochi and the Black Sea Coast, which sees a huge influx of visitors in the summer.

Russia is a large country though, so beyond a handful of popular destinations, you won't struggle to get away from the crowds. The mountains and plains are never crowded with tourists, even if they get more visitors in August. 

Where to Go

The major cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg are attractive destinations at any time of year, but they can be pretty hot and uncomfortable in August. Most travelers to Russia will enter the country to one of these cities, but if you don't like the idea of sweating in a busy city in the summer, limit your time in these cities to a couple of days each and head out into the hinterland.

Taking a Golden Ring tour of western Russia is a great way to get an overview of European Russian culture, history, and architecture. To see classic onion-domed churches and rural architecture, head to charming cities like Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Suzdal, Sergiev Posad, and Pereslavl-Zalessky. The Golden Ring is easily accessible from Moscow and St. Petersburg, and more or fewer places can be added to the itinerary, to suit your time and interests.

Outdoor lovers should check out the Ural Mountains, accessible from Yekaterinburg. The ancient mountain chain divides European and Asian Russia, and the area is covered in forests, lakes, caves, and other natural attractions. The mountains are also a skiing destination in the winter.

For some beach time, head to the Black Sea Coast (Sochi) or the Gulf of Finland, accessible from St. Petersburg. Sochi is very built up and you can expect more of a pumping nightlife scene than chilled out time on the beach. The Gulf of Finland coast is chilled out and less developed.

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What to Do

August isn't a great month to visit Russia if you want to enjoy the best dance and music in St. Petersburg or Moscow. Many of the best groups take summer vacation in August, after a busy June and July. You may be able to catch something, but it's likely to be more of a 'tourist' show and not the top-tier stuff. If you're interested in Russian culture and visiting in August, stick to the museums and art galleries instead. Or, head to Siberia for a totally different type of cultural experience! (See more below). 

Events in August

Tuvan Naadym, Kyzyl. This four-day festival in the capital of the central Asian Tuva Republic features traditional Tuvan sports, such as archery, wrestling, and horse riding events.

Traveling to Russia in August? Check out these great itineraries

Trans-Siberian Rail Tour: Moscow to Beijing - 16 Days. A classic Russian journey, the Trans-Siberian is best done in summer, when the landscape is vibrant and temperatures comfortable.

Grand Russia Tour - 20 Days. This comprehensive tour of European Russia starts includes big-name destinations like Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as those that are overlooked by many travelers, like Kazan. Summer's an ideal time to experience Russia's natural beauty.

Baltic and Russian Explorer: Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Moscow - 14 Days. August is an ideal month to do a circuit of the whole Baltic and northwestern Russian region. See the similarities and differences between cultures and landscapes in the region.

Moscow and St. Petersburg Highlights - 6 Days. The light, bright summer is an ideal time to check out the highlights of Moscow and St. Petersburg on a short but action-packed tour.

More Helpful Information

Russia in July
Russia in September
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