Travel to Russia in Winter: New Year’s Eve in St. Petersburg

Travel to Russia in Winter: New Year’s Eve in St. Petersburg

Many travelers set off in search of balmy weather and sunny beaches to escape the winter doldrums. But it’s easy to forget that winter has its own unique charms, and perhaps no place is more enchanting during this time of the year than Russia:

  • Under a blanket of freshly fallen snow, centuries-old buildings are at their most regal in the dappled winter sunlight.
  • Streets are quieter, travelers are few and the usual tourist lines are practically nonexistent, leaving Russia’s magnificent palaces, churches and museums yours to explore.
  • And of course no one loves the holidays more than the Russians do: with parties, presents and champagne toasts, it’s the moment everyone’s waited for the whole year long, and you’re invited to share in the festivities.
Czar's Ball

A palatial welcome at Catherine’s Palace

Celebrate New Year’s in a Russian Winter WonderlandMIR’s small group tour Russian Winter Wonder Land takes place over New Year’s Eve, giving you the opportunity to ring in the New Year in true Russian style.

You can choose from two distinct and memorable ways to celebrate New Years:

  • Attend a low-key New Year’s Eve party in a private St. Petersburg home
  • Dress to impress at the opulent Czar’s Ball at Catherine’s Palace, a royal New Year’s celebration you’ll never forget (optional, for an additional fee)

On this small group tour, you’ll also see all the essential sights of Western Russia’s classic cities, St. Peterburg and Moscow, and the ancient Golden Ring towns of Vladimir and Suzdal. Experience the beauty of a Russian winter, discover this country’s warm hospitality and cherished holiday traditions, and explore three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Russian ballet performance. Photo credit: Meaghan Samuels.

A wintertime Russian ballet performance
Photo credit: Meaghan Samuels

On our Russian Winter Wonder Land small group tour, travelers will…

Explore the grand cultural capital of St. PetersburgThe tour begins with a welcome champagne reception at the hotel. You’ll spend the next few days wandering the grand cultural capital of St. Petersburg, overflowing with world-renowned museums, theaters and historic sites. Appreciate the vast collection of art housed in the Hermitage, admire the beautiful architecture at Pushkin and take in an opera or ballet at one of the city’s most prestigious theaters.

More info: 


Red Square in Moscow

Snow dusting an entrance to Red Square in Moscow
Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

Discover the booming metropolis of MoscowFrom St. Petersburg, it’s off to explore the booming metropolis of Moscow, Russia’s economic and political capital. Marvel at the Tretyakov Gallery’s fabulous collection of art, rarely seen outside of Russia, view the gilded walls and elaborate statuary of Moscow’s famous Metro stations, and attend an evening performance at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

Take a tour of Moscow’s Red Square, home of the iconic onion-domed cupolas of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the UNESCO-listed Moscow Kremlin. Inside the Kremlin’s fortress walls are numerous palaces, churches and the Armory Museum, which displays Fabergé eggs, Russian icons, Catherine the Great’s ball gowns and other priceless national treasures.

More info:


A sleigh ride in Suzdal, Russia. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

A sleigh ride in Suzdal, Russia
Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

Take a step back in time in the Golden Ring: Vladimir and SuzdalTour the medieval towns of Vladimir and Suzdal, where Russian holiday traditions are alive and well. Vladimir was founded in 1108 by the last of the great Kievan princes. Suzdal, founded in 1024, was a capital city in the 12th century, exceeding London in physical size and population. The lovely churches and monuments found in both cities are celebrated as prime examples of medieval Russian craftsmanship.

Go dashing through the snow on a horse-dawn sleigh ride through Suzdal. A centuries-old tradition, this exhilarating ride across snowy fields allows you to experience the way people used to travel in the Russia of old, and it’s a fitting way to take in the serene beauty of the countryside.

More info:


Fedoskino, in the Golden Ring, is home to several small factories produce traditional hand-painted Russian lacquered boxes.Photo credit: Tatiana Timoshuk

Fedoskino, in the Golden Ring, is home to several small factories producing traditional hand-painted Russian lacquered boxes
Photo credit: Tatiana Timoshuk

Travel to Russia with MIR

With 30 years of travel experience to Russia, and with affiliate offices in St. Petersburg and Moscow offering on-the-ground support, MIR’s Russian Winter Wonder Land tour makes for the perfect holiday gift that you and yours will never forget.

Contact one of our Tour Specialists to learn more about this celebratory journey. Or chat with one of MIR’s Private Travel Specialists to handcraft a custom private holiday journey of your own.

You can also experience the spirit of a true Russian winter on any of these MIR small group tours and rail journeys by private train:

Chat with one of our destination specialists by email or by phone at 1-800-424-7289 to start planning your travels today.


(Top photo: Outside of Petersburg, in Pushkin, is the royal residence Catherine’s Palace, originally built in 1717 by Catherine I. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish)

PUBLISHED: July 10, 2015

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