Where to celebrate Christmas
Christmas is a family holiday. In Russia, this holiday is a period of a long vacation. We want to spend this time in a joyful and exciting way. Now let’s look at the most popular places for Christmas.
It’s a good idea to celebrate New Year’s holidays in the capital, and where to celebrate Christmas Eve as not in Moscow. An interesting and rich program awaits those who come for the vacations, or stay here for the holidays. In the parks of the city are held various festivals and mass events. Many of them you can visit for free. Trees are lit in Fili, Sokolniki, Gorky Park, the Hermitage Garden, Victory Park, the VDNH. There you can go sledding and tubing down the mountain. Working ice fields, where you can rent skates.
January 7 morning at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior starts festivities, there’s the show “A special day” with biblical stories on the theme of human values. Audiences will see a touching story with musical and choreographic accompaniment.
As part of the festival Journey to Christmas guests will be able to attend workshops on creating Christmas cards, wreaths, openwork paper carving and carpentry. The audience can take part in interactive shows, Christmas games, watch plays and performances and get acquainted with the culture of other countries. Venues, where the events take place: Red Square, Kuznetsky Bridge, Revolution Square, Pushkin Square, Novopushkinsky Square, Tverskaya Boulevard.
St. Petersburg attracts tourists with its austere beauty. It is the cultural capital of Russia, which is illuminated in colorful lights on New Year’s Eve. The festive atmosphere can be felt in the streets and squares. On Pioneer Square will be held the Annual Christmas Fair.
On Christmas Eve services are held in cathedrals: Peter and Paul, Kazan and other churches and churches of the city.
Christmas festivities begin on January 7 near the Peter and Paul Fortress in the Tauride Garden, the Yusupov garden. On Ostrovsky Square working fair. Ice Towns, slides and skating rinks operate throughout the city. Most events are absolutely free for visitors.
The main Christmas tree of the city is on the Palace embankment, which acquires at this time a fairy-tale and mysterious entourage.
Tours of the city include visits to theatrical performances, walks through the winter of St. Petersburg, participation in master classes and festivities. Malaya Konyushennaya Street opens book alleys.
To fully enjoy all the Christmas sights of St. Petersburg should dress warmly in windproof clothes.
All-Russian health resort is waiting for visitors not only in the summer months. In winter recreation in Sochi is no less attractive. Many hotels and inns open their doors to tourists. What could be more wonderful to spend Christmas holidays at the seaside. There is almost no snow here.
It is not necessary to spend all the holidays in a hotel. There are many interesting excursion programs. Visit Sochi Arboretum, even in winter there is a lot of greenery. Take excursions to Baranovsky waterfalls, Witches’ Gorge, climb Akhun Mountain. Or take an excursion to Abkhazia, treat yourself to fresh fruit, the harvest is gathered just for the New Year. The border is very close and you can cross it with a Russian passport.
After the Olympics in 2014, many tourists are eager to visit the sports facilities. The Olympic Park is located in the Imereti Lowlands, Adler District.
Alpine skiers and lovers to spend vacation with benefit, it is worth to visit the resorts Rosa Khutor, Krasnaya Polyana. There you will be provided with skis, tubing and snowboards. Works a lot of tracks of varying complexity, about 20 elevators and cable cars. And in the evening after skiing you have a gala dinner at the hotel in a warm and friendly atmosphere. You can have a barbecue outdoors.
Photo shoot against the background of mountain peaks and fabulous buildings of Rosa Khutor Park will allow you to remember this Christmas for a long time. Also on Christmas you can visit a festival with Russian stars. There are festivities held on the square to coincide with the New Year holidays. Anyone can take part in them.
Excursion lovers are offered to visit a mountain apiary, dolmens, Akhshtyrsky caves, to make a hike in the mountains or a helicopter trip.
Large selection of hotels allows you to find accommodations for all tastes and pockets. There are small family hotels and capacious hotels of Rosa Park. The weather is warm; in winter the average temperature is -5 degrees Celsius.
Krasnaya Polyana will give you pure mountain air and relaxation in nature combined with comfort.
The unique country of lakes hospitably receives you in winter as well. You can rent a cottage, a hunting lodge or stay in a hotel in Petrozavodsk. Visit the Kalevala National Park, where you can fully experience the delights of rustic rest in a cabin with a stove, walk through a snowy forest, get acquainted with the Finnish epos.
Rest in Karelia at Christmas is very diverse: visit Valaam, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the infamous Solovetsky monastery.
From active kinds of rest reindeer and dog sledding, horseback riding, and of course skiing, skating, sledding, ice skating are offered.
Unique museum “Kizhi” with architectural monuments, Karelian villages, waterfall “Kivach”. The waterfall is frozen in winter, but it is no less beautiful than in summer. The estate of Santa Claus and Ruskeala Mountain Park are obligatory items in the program. In the park frozen mirrors of lakes and pristine nature will leave no one indifferent.
Karelian cuisine is remarkable, in the preparation of dishes natural products and gifts of the forest are used. You can try fish dishes, jams and morsels of local berries, pies with mushrooms and the famous Karelian soup.
Where to celebrate the most beautiful Christmas for exotic lovers – of course at the lake Baikal. You can either stay at Listvyanka town or go on a sightseeing tour to the winter Baikal Lake on the Olkhon Island. If you like skiing, go to Baikalsk and visit Gora Sobolinaya resort, where you’ll find several ski slopes and ski elevators.
There are a lot of winter activities: ice fishing, skiing, excursions on the lake. There are also dog sledding and snowmobile rides. The cuisine is peculiar, Baikal omul is very delicious. It is smoked, salted, and cooked into a soup. The Baikal region is rich in berries: cowberries, blueberries, currants. One can make very tasty morsels from them, as well as boil jam and freeze them. Lingonberries are added to meat dishes. Siberia is also rich in herbs: you can buy pickled ferns, pine nuts and mushrooms.
On the shore of Lake Baikal an ice bathhouse is built where you can really take a bath with a birch or fir broom. The ice retains heat well, so the steam room is a real treat.
The energy of Baikal is unique, and those who have been in this wonderful place, on the shore of the Great Lake, cannot forget it for a long time.
Christmas tours along the Golden Ring – a trip to the Russian fairy tale. Where is the best Christmas, if not in the historical places of Orthodox Russia. Ancient temples, monuments of Russian architecture, Russian cities with thousands of years of history – you’ll see it all while traveling. There are also Christmas celebrations, Christmas games, and fairs.
In Ivanovo, the Russian dragon – Zmey Gorynych – meets you. Folk songs, kebabs and herbal infusions, tea from the samovar and riding horses or snowmobiles, everyone will choose an entertainment to their liking.
The Snow Maiden lives in Kostroma, at least there is her mansion there. Guests will be welcomed by the Pussycat Bayun and the house-dwellers. Cheerful games and feasts, rides and tales from Bayun wait for tourists in this hospitable town. The Orthodox Ipatiev Monastery meets the faithful, where the ancient walls of the Trinity Cathedral still keep the memory of centuries. They saw the army of Dmitry Donskoy, experienced the Time of Troubles, the rise and fall of the House of Romanov.
There are a lot of orthodox monuments in Suzdal: Suzdal Kremlin, Cathedral of Transfiguration, where you can listen to the ringing of bells, Pokrovsky monastery and Cathedral of Nativity.
The ancient city of Vladimir is the ancient capital of Russia. You can see Assumption and Dmitrievsky cathedrals and Golden Gate of Vladimir. These architectural monuments trace their history back to the 12th century.
The Golden Ring includes many more cities: Vologda, Veliky Ustyug, Bogolyubovo estate, Veliky Novgorod, Rostov. To choose and plan a route you can independently or use ready-made tours of company-operator.
Where to relax at Christmas from blizzards and frosts? Excursions to Abkhazia during the Christmas vacations will give an unforgettable fairy tale: the mild sea climate, the winter sea, mountain landscapes, green gardens.
Entry is made through the border crossing point in Adler. Abkhazia does not require a foreign passport. Russians are accepted with internal passports.
At this time in Abkhazia begins collecting fruit: mandarins, persimmons, oranges. The monastery on New Athos is popular with pilgrims. At the top of Anakopia Mountain there is a chapel with a cross, and on major holidays there is a procession of the Cross from the monastery. There is a holy well, the water in which never runs out. Tourists visit New Athos cave – the deepest cavity in Europe. In Pitsunda it is worth seeing an Orthodox church and in Ilori the Church of St. George is noteworthy.
Picturesque shores of Lake Ritsa, hot springs, the Black Sea coast and fresh fruits – all this generously gives hospitable Abkhazia guests. Convenient home hotels and roomy modern hotels are ready to accommodate their guests.
Christmas in Belarus
The Slavic brothers celebrate Christmas as widely as Russian citizens. It is a national holiday.
For fans of festivities the problem of where to celebrate Christmas is not relevant, a great place will be the capital of Belarus – Minsk. Sightseeing is possible in Vitebsk, Grodno and Mogilev. There is no need for a passport, because according to the agreements between the countries, it’s acceptable for tourists to travel in the country by Russian documents.
Tourists with children may want to visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha. There is the estate of Belarusian Santa Claus. The village of Dudutki is built on the Belarusian traditions of the 19th century. There you’ll be treated to the real Belarusian moonshine, honey and freshly baked bread, you’ll ride a horse, see the mill, the smithy and the potter’s workshop.
You’ll remember for a long time the visit of the real ancient castle with the overnight stay. The most popular are Nesvizh and Mirsky castles. The rich furnishings accurately reproduce the decoration of the past centuries. The castles are over 500 years old. The Nesvizh estate has been restored in the spirit of the 16th-18th centuries. The old palace surrounded by parks, ponds, protected by strong walls and a rampart makes an unforgettable impression.
Book tours at Christmas
Christmas and New Year’s vacations are a small vacation and it is necessary to spend it with benefit. Lying on the couch near the TV will not add health, and will not bring much experience. So decide where to celebrate Christmas, where to spend unforgettable days of rest, choose a place that is right for you, follow the link to our catalog and book a tour.
Voyages are better to book in advance, as closer to the holidays all sold out and a choice of good tours in Russia almost no more. Get busy planning a winter vacation right now, do not put off until tomorrow.
New Year and Christmas Tours
New Year is an anticipation of wish fulfillment and new hopes. Most Russians, from small to large, are preparing in advance to meet him. The question that always comes to almost everyone: “Where to celebrate the New Year?
Are you thinking about where to go on New Year and Christmas in 2022? Choose a route that was both interesting and comfortable and inexpensive?
We offer you a fascinating vacation during the New Year holidays 2022 in Russia! Our sightseeing tours in Russia – a great way to relax for adults and children. Choose the length of your tour (2, 3, 4 days and more) and the direction (more than 40 regions, including the Golden Ring, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Karelia, etc.), and book the tour you like!
Where to go for Christmas 2022: 5 Best Destinations
Check out Russia’s fabulous places to celebrate Christmas 2022
The wonderful days of Christmas come shortly after the New Year. It’s a time when you don’t want to sit at home. To experience the magic of the holiday with the whole family, hit the road. Russian cities with ancient history, where there are ancient churches and monasteries, beautiful streets, interesting museums and monuments are ideal for a winter trip. “Komsomolskaya Pravda” tells where to go for Christmas 2022, offering 5 of the most beautiful routes.
The ancient city, located 119 km southeast of Moscow, was first mentioned in 1177. In the Laurentian Chronicle, Kolomna is mentioned as a trade and craft center and a border post of the Ryazan princedom.
Kolomna Kremlin was erected during the reign of Vasili III. Photo: kolomna-kreml.ru
In 1525-1531 in the city was built a stone Kremlin, and after that, not a single enemy could not take Kolomna. A powerful stone fortress repelled all the raids of the enemy.
In winter, the historic part of Kolomna looks fabulous. Festive services are held in ancient temples. On the territory of the Kremlin there is a bright carol procession, and in the city – a spectacular festival “Vertep”, festive meals in the streets near the churches, concerts and theatrical performances.
The traditional carol procession passes through the streets of the old town. Photo: vk.com/admkolomna
The Kolomna museum of marshmallow waits for sweet lovers. Tour guides in period costumes carefully recreate the atmosphere of the Christmas miracle, conduct a tour of the factory and tell stories about local delicacies and winter traditions in Kolomna. In conclusion, tourists are treated to hot tea and given to try different kinds of marshmallow.
Where to celebrate Christmas, if not in one of the oldest cities in Russia. Pskov was founded in 903 and has a rich history. From the old structures survived a stone fortress with towers, which the Pskovites call Krom. It was the Pskov Kremlin that for centuries covered Moscow from the west.
The white-stone Pskov Krom covered Moscow from the west for a long time. Photo: Mikhail Frolov
The beautiful provincial city has many ancient monuments – the Olga Chapel, the Cathedral of the Nativity of John the Baptist and the medieval wall of Dovmont Town. Modern Pskov is a popular tourist destination. The city has several museums and four theaters. It is not a problem to find a good hotel and cafe.
In the famous Pskov-Pechora Monastery in winter, guests are greeted by large and small ornate Christmas trees. On Christmas at the main gate of the monastery a traditional nativity scene is arranged. A sound wooden log cabin is decorated with fir branches, and the figures of the Mother of God with the baby, Joseph and the Magi are placed inside it.
At the main gate of the Pskovo-Pechorsky monastery they arrange a nativity scene. Photo: vk.com/pechory
On the territory of the Christmas fair, tourists are waiting for another nativity scene – with real goats and sheep. On the monastery square during the holiday you can buy delicious souvenirs, drink hot mulled wine, herbal tea, mead, ride a troika.
The best routes on the Golden Ring in winter
Travelling around the Golden Ring of Russia is interesting at any time of year, but in winter the small provincial towns look especially spectacular. Snow-covered walls of monasteries and domes of churches, cozy streets and white expanses of fields fascinate. In the winter time in the historic cities there are often merry folk festivals, colorful celebrations and festivals. Here are five best routes to visit the Golden Ring of Russia in winter.
A city in the Vladimir region, 111 km from Moscow, was founded in 1434 as the Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda. It is better to start your journey from the local Kremlin, on the territory of which the museum-reserve “Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda” is located today.
Aleksandrovsky Kremlin served as a residence for Grand Duke Vasily III and for Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Photo: commons.wikimedia.org
There is the Trinity Cathedral, the Assumption and Intercession churches, and more than 20 historical exhibitions in the keleum and hospital buildings. Many interactive programs are held in the Kremlin to let tourists experience the spirit of old times. The most popular ones are “Samovar boils – don’t leave” and “The Tsar’s Bride’s Choice”.
To participate in the interactive program “Tsar’s choice of a bride”, visitors are disguised in stylized costumes. Photo: vk.com/alexmuzeum
In Alexandrov, there are still colorful merchant houses and ancient churches. On winter holidays, especially many people come to the Cathedral of the Nativity. The cathedral church with a gilded dome and a high bell tower stands out among the surrounding one- or two-story buildings. Near the church stands a monument to the prince Alexander Nevsky.
You should take into account that the city of Aleksandrov is located on hills, ascents and descents are rather abrupt. After the snowfall, it’s hard to move around the small streets, so many tourists use cabs.
In the winter time a small original town not far from Moscow looks like a magic box. Zvenigorod was founded in 1152 and became a city in 1781. In the streets are preserved old churches – Assumption Cathedral, the Church of the Nativity of Christ in Verkhny Posad and St. Alexander Nevsky, there is a large historical, architectural and art museum.
One of the most important monasteries in the Moscow region is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. Photo: Natalia ANDREASSEN
Spend Christmas in one of the most revered shrines of the Moscow region – Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. The Orthodox monastery was founded in 1398. In Tsaritsyny Chambers on the holiday it is interesting to take part in an interactive Christmas program. Guests are shown a colorful show and treated to gingerbread.
An interactive program “Christmas in Tsaritsyny Chambers” is held at the historical, architectural and art museum. Photo: zvenmuseum.ru
The highlight of the trip can become a museum “Russian dessert”. Here tourists are treated to sweet kutya, taught to decorate a Christmas tree and told about traditional Russian delicacies. In the most delicious Zvenigorod museum are popular master classes on sculpting sugar flowers, painting figurative gingerbread and making Guryevskaya kasha.
Another Russian city worth visiting for Christmas is Tver, 177 kilometers northwest of Moscow. In Tver, the Travelling Palace of Empress Catherine II, which was intended for the rest of the imperial family on the way from St. Petersburg to Moscow, has been preserved.
Empress Catherine II Travelling Palace in the historic center of Tver. Photo: Dmitry Timonov, commons.wikimedia.org
There are more than 30 active churches in the city. Many believers come to the Assumption and Resurrection Cathedrals, the Nativity of Christ and St. Catherine Monastery, the Old Believer Church, the Catholic Church of Transfiguration and the Armenian Church of Surb Arutyun – Holy Resurrection.
A photo area and stylized trade pavilions are set up on Trekhsyatskaya Street for Christmas. Photo: vk.com/novyigodtver
The winter holiday in Tver is met cheerfully. Every year the folk song ensemble performs in the museum and exhibition center, there is a Christmas quiz with prizes, master classes and free excursions. On the pedestrian Trekhsviatskaya Street there is a Christmas fair and festive program, and the City Garden invites everyone to an interactive performance.
QR-code for traveling in Russia
The coronavirus isn’t retreating yet and tourists need to be ready to meet different security requirements at the New Year holidays in different cities of Russia. This applies both to hotel check-in and everything else: visiting public events and cultural institutions. We have compiled for you an up-to-date list of where you need a QR code to travel around Russia.
|City||Double room in a budget hotel / Double room in a hotel 3-4* / Walking tour|
|Kolomna||2000 rub./5000 rub./390 rub.|
|Pskov||1,500 rubles/ 1,800 rubles/ 450 rubles|
|Alexandrov||2500 rbl./4500 rbl./550 rbl.|
|Zvenigorod||2800 rub./5200 rub./500 rubles|
Answers to popular questions
During a winter holiday prices are about 1.5 times higher than usual. Especially there is an increase in the cost of housing for tourists. If in the middle of December a budget double room in a guest house costs on average 1300-1500 rubles, then at Christmas time the hosts ask for 1800-2000 rubles. Excursions and catering cost more expensive. Only entrance fees to museums and exhibitions don’t change.
The group travel at Christmas is very popular, therefore travel agencies offer many Christmas tours. The program usually includes visits to holy sites – temples and monasteries, tours of historical sites and visits to museums. A one-day bus tour from Moscow “Christmas in Zvenigorod” costs from 2650 rubles, and a two-day trip “Christmas in Pskov” – from 7100 rubles.
The programs of a holiday are posted in advance on sites of local administrations and tourist portals of cities. They describe places of Christmas fairs and events which will be held in the streets, public centers and museums.