Looking for some interesting events and exciting places to visit in Russia in 2020? The largest country on planet Earth proved to be an extremely hospitable and friendly host during 2018 FIFA World Cup. And though it’s hard to find even more serious reasons to visit Russia, we will try. Here are 20 reasons why you need to travel to Russia in 2020.
1. Aurora Borealis
Murmansk; 1st September 2019 – 15th April 2020
Russia’s Far North is one of the regions where you can witness one of the most amazing natural phenomena of the planet Earth – The Northern Lights. To catch a glimpse of the solar wind you will need to pick one of the Northern Lights Hunting tours that are offered throughout the aurora season from September to April. You will also be able to explore Murmansk, the largest city located beyond the Arctic Circle in the world where tourists usually stay during the hunting.
And if you ask us – the best time to visit Russia is the end of September – when it’s still warm but no big tourist crowds anymore.
2. The Pelmeni Festival – ‘Tasty’ reason to visit Russia
Izhevsk; 8 February 2020
Russian version of dumplings, pelmeni, is a famous part of traditional cuisine. In its supposed place of origin – Udmurtia – they even hold an annual festival in honor of this dish. The event program includes culinary and creative workshops, art and sports competitions, a folk festival, a fair of culinary products and decorative art products, and much more.
Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and other cities; 24 February – 1 March 2020
From all reasons to visit Russia, Maslenitsa is probably the most authentic and the cutest thing to take part in!
Ancient Slavic Maslenitsa festival marks the end of winter and celebrates the long-awaited spring. Enjoy the 7-day festivities and cultural immersion with traditional games, dances and endless pancakes (one of the symbols of the festival). The grand finale of the pancake week is burning the effigy of Maslenitsa, a straw-stuffed doll, which marks the oncoming end of winter.
4. Moscow Boat Show
CrocusExpo, Moscow; 5-9 March 2020
The Moscow Boat Show is a grand international event that is very popular not only among numerous yachting fans but also among industry experts and professional athletes. Quite a few surprises are waiting for visitors this time: one of them is a demonstration of James Bond’s favorite boats – the legendary boats of the American shipyard Glastron!
5. Baikaltour Exhibition
Irkutsk; 26-28 March 2020
The theme of the exhibition is the tourism potential and culture of the Baikal region. Visit the deepest lake on Earth and learn more about the surrounding area nature wonders and the culture of the local population.
6. Quiksilver New Star Camp
Rosa Khutor, Sochi; 27 March – 04 April 2020
The Russia’s largest sports and music festival will be held at the 2014 Winter Olympics venue, Rosa Khutor. Traditionally it offers parties, DJ sets and live performances by artists, skiing and snowboarding competitions, masterclasses, skiing with pro riders, a snow park, lectures, yoga and much more. Last year, the tenth anniversary Quiksilver New Star Camp took place, and it was held in a big way. Organizers brought British electronic artists Rudimental and American hip-hop artist, member of Wu-Tang Clan Ghostface Killah.
7. Yenisei Exhibition
Krasnoyarsk; 2-5 April 2020
Here is a good chance to learn more about the wild and beautiful Siberia. The goal of the exhibition is to show the tourism opportunities and attractiveness of the Siberian region while also demonstrating the local culture. Within the framework of the festival, various locations will work where you can get acquainted with national art, features of national costumes, musical instruments, sports and much more.
8. Boogel Woogel High Mountain Carnival
Rosa Khutor, Sochi; 8-12 April 2020
Rosa Khutor has some awesome reasons to visit Russia specifically for sport lovers. You have probably heard that Russians are a little bit crazy and frost resistant. There is a chance to see for yourself. Skiing in swimming suits, ski jumping into the pool and other eccentricities are waiting for lovers of new experiences.
9. Red Fox Elbrus Race
Terskol; 4-8 May 2020
Traditionally, during the May holidays, one of the most beautiful mountain regions of Russia – Elbrus region – hosts the annual international festival of mountain extreme sports Red Fox Elbrus Race. Each year, the festival attracts about 500 outstanding climbers, skiers, the strongest skyrunners, multiathlonists, and more than 1000 guests. If you were waiting for an occasion to storm the highest peak in Europe – here it is!
10. Seventy-fifth anniversary of Victory Day
Moscow; 9 May 2020
Victory Day in Russia is the second most popular public holiday after New Year’s Day. And May is also believed to be the best time to visit Russia before the tourist crowds hit the places. It marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War in 1945. Victory Day is a sacred holiday for Russians as it is as much about celebrating the deliverance of the world from the Nazi threat as it is about sorrow for millions of broken lives it cost. On this day celebrations and commemorative events are held all across Russia including the world’s greatest military parade in Moscow’s Red Square.
11. Red Bull 3style World Finals
Moscow; 28 April 2020
What started as an underground experiment in 2007 has now grown into the world’s largest global DJ competition and this time its finals will be held in Moscow! The competitors from over 20 countries will entertain the crowd and fight for the champion title. Come along to celebrate the DJing culture!
12. UEFA Euro 2020
Saint Petersburg; 13, 17, 22 June, 3 July 2020
In 2020, for the first time in history, European football Championship will have not just 1 or 2 hosting countries but 11, former UEFA President Michel Platini calling it a “romantic” one-off event to celebrate the 60th “birthday” of the competition. While the semi-finals and the finals are scheduled to be played at Wembley stadium in London, we suggest you visit one of the group stage games or the quarter-final in Saint Petersburg. Why not combine acquaintance with the elegant «cultural capital» of Russia with partaking of the stormy joy of the football carnival?
13. White Nights festival and the Scarlet Sales
Saint Petersburg; 11 June – 2 July 2020
One of the many reasons to visit Russia next summer is the magnificent Saint Petersburg. During this time of the year you will be able to experience the charming atmosphere of what has become a common symbol of Saint Petersburg: the so-called White Nights when the sky never darkens and the beautiful city on the Neva is whirling you to the beat of various festivals and musical performances culminating into the Scarlet Sales, the most beautiful graduation festival in the country. There is everything in summer 2020 in Saint Petersburg for an unforgettable holiday, isn’t there?
Kazan; 18 June 2020
Sabantuy is an ancient holiday of Tatars and Bashkirs that marks the end of sowing. This summer festival is a great reason to explore the beautiful city of Kazan and the culture of its people. Enjoy the Tatar ethnic-folklore world full of songs, colors, and religious motives, take part in traditional entertainments including climbing up a vertical pole, horse riding and lifting weights.
15. Wild Mint Festival
Aleksin; 19-21 June 2020
Originally dedicated to ethnic and world music, Wild Mint is now grand multi-genre event occupying the place among Russia’s top-3 largest festivals. The festival is considered one of the most comfortable in the country – on the territory of Wild Mint there are sports grounds, a lecture hall, a cinema, a fair. Organizers focus on safety and comfort making it the festival is suitable for a family holiday.
16. Balloon Cup Festival
Velikiye Luki; June 2020
Not only the largest cities can attract your attention when traveling around Russia. In early June, the small city of Velikiye Luki annually hosts the week-long international ballooning competitions. You will see a bewitching picture of numerous colorful balloons soaring in the sky and get acquainted with the history of aeronautics and travels in Russia.
17. Geek Picnic
Dates and place not settled yet
If you fancy being on the cutting edge of scientific and technical progress you’ll have additional reasons to visit Russia next year to participate in the largest European open-air science and technology festival. Established by Russian technology enthusiasts, in the last 2 years the festival was held in 3 cities during summer: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Krasnodar. In 2016 it was also held in Jerusalem, so stay tuned for any information on dates and locations.
18. CIOFF World Folkloriada
Ufa; 18 July – 1 August 2020
If you are interested in traditional culture and folklore of various nations this event is for you. Delegations of more than 40 nations will gather to share their culture with the rest of the world. The Folkloriada aims at having spectators and visitors live the folklore experience through interactive activities instead of just watching a show. Many interactive activities are scheduled, including traditional games, dances, traditional food experience, listening to and learning to play instruments and learning many traditional arts. Through all that the cultural heritage of so many nations will come alive for you.
19. WorldFood Moscow
CrocusExpo, Moscow; 22-25 September 2020
If you are interested not only in authentic Russian food culture but in the way it develops and answers modern challenges, you will have good reasons visit Russia for its leading food & drinks exhibition taking place in Eastern Europe’s largest exhibition center. In 2019, the festival was attended by food companies from 44 regions of Russia and 65 countries around the globe. The main point of the exhibition is demonstrating up to date industry developments while also allowing businesses to establish new wholesale and retail trade connections.
20. Peterhof Fountain Festival
Saint Petersburg; September 2020
We recommend to visit St Petersburg Russia during summer time! Check out the magnificent Emperor Peter the Great’s country residence to witness the annual show of fountains. The performance you are going to see is a modern high-tech show that involves three-dimensional projections, powerful pyrotechnics, laser and light effects, and active footage. Imperial scope, truly. Peterhof Fountain Festival is probably the most spectacular reason to visit Russia.
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