New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

We are used to associating New Year’s fairs with winter holidays in Europe. However, this tradition was not alien to Rus’: “torzhki” originated in the 12th century, and in the 18th century, Christmas festivities came to our lands. Mead and gingerbread were sold in the squares, acrobats, jugglers and buffoons performed, and Italian actors even came to Moscow on New Year’s Eve. Today, the Christmas market is a place where you can try winter street food, drink mulled wine, buy New Year’s decorations, and also get acquainted with the products of local craftsmen and farmers. We talk about the main New Year’s markets in Russian cities.


New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

In recent years, visiting the capital’s fairs has become a favorite tradition among citizens and tourists. In addition, unlike their European “relatives,” many of our markets operate not only during the holiday season itself, but also remain open until spring. The most popular in Moscow is GUM Fair. You can come here for warming mulled wine, sbiten or street food, go ice skating and carousel rides, add to your collection of New Year’s toys, buy traditional Russian crafts (Orenburg shawls, Pavlovo Posad shawls, Vologda lace), and if you get cold, stroll along the lines of the Main Department Store and admire for its design. This year the GUM fair is decorated in the style of Gzhel; here you can buy souvenirs and gifts with the famous white and blue pattern. The market will last until February 28.

A fair is taking place on Manezhnaya Square and Tverskaya Street “Journey to Christmas”. In addition to kiosks with drinks, food and souvenirs, it consists of light installations and a full-fledged fair performance, on which both eminent theater directors and students from leading creative universities in Moscow are working. As part of the fair-festival, which will last until January 9, visitors can take part in master classes and attend various concerts, including on New Year’s Eve itself. 

Another notable capital fair will be held at VDNH, behind pavilion No. 58 “Agriculture”. It is open until the end of January. Here you can try cuisine from different nations of the world, buy gifts made of ceramics, wood and wool, and also watch performances of circus artists and folklore groups. 

Where to stay in Moscow:

In the hostel “Izmailovsky Park” (score 10) – from 3,000 rubles per day*.

In the four-star hotel “Holiday Inn Moscow Sokolniki” (score 10) – from 5,400 rubles per night*. 

In the five-star hotel “Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora” (rating 10) – from 9,900 rubles per day*. 

St. Petersburg

New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

From December 18, 2022 to January 9, 2023, New Holland will host New Year’s Bazaar. There will be not only souvenir shops, but also a large skating rink and an ice slide. On weekday evenings, music sessions will be held for visitors to the skating rink: listen to classical works, cinema hits performed by a symphony orchestra and Soviet pop songs. In the retail shops you will find products from such popular St. Petersburg stores as “Subscription Editions”, “Mouth to Mouth” and “Lantern Baths”. Also as part of the fair, there will be a bazaar with New Year’s decor, live Christmas trees and pine trees.

TsPKiO named after Kirov on Elagin Island this year will be turned into a fabulous space with garlands, skating rinks and shopping arcades. Take a closer look at holiday home decorations, handmade gifts and clothing. We also recommend trying cheesecakes, pies and gingerbread. On the pre-holiday days – December 23, 24, 25, 29 and 30 – during the breaks between sessions, the ice show “Crystal Palace” will be shown at the skating rink: artists of the State Ballet on Ice of St. Petersburg will present to the audience excerpts from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker”.

Fair on Manezhnaya Squareand the adjacent Malaya Sadovaya and Klenovaya streets will last from November 18 to January 23. Here you will find a variety of photo zones, animators for the little ones and kiosks with products of local artisans: delicacies, sweets, spices, knitted items, fur products and handmade souvenirs. 

On the famous pedestrian street Malaya Konyushennaya New Year’s Fair “Northern Lights” will be held from December 10 to January 10. Guests can enjoy loud dance music, food and a large variety of goods, household items and souvenirs. On Fridays and Saturdays, overlooking the Kazan Cathedral, there will be live music concerts, performances by street theater groups and interactive shows with competitions and prizes for the youngest visitors.

Where to stay in St. Petersburg:

In the four-star hotel “St. Petersburg” with a view of the Neva and the cruiser “Aurora” (score 10) – from 3,500 rubles per night*.

In the five-star Domina St.Petersburg hotel on the embankment of the Moika River (rating 10) – from 7,500 rubles per night*. 

In the historical hotel “Belmond Grand Hotel Europe” (rating 10) – from 14,000 rubles per day*. 


New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

Every year the fair in this ancient Russian city is distinguished by its incredible colorfulness and original Russian flavor: firstly, it is held in the heart of the historical and cultural museum-reserve, and secondly, The organizers are trying to reflect the atmosphere of festive festivities in Rus’ as accurately as possible. Sports competitions and competitions are held here, round dances are held, guests are entertained by buffoons and jesters, and they also sell sweets and sbiten as if from past centuries. Local artisans and masters of arts and crafts present their goods, and Suzdal’s leading theatrical and musical groups entice spectators into a colorful performance. 

Where to stay in Suzdal:

In a wooden “Holiday house with a sauna” (rating 10) – from 1,900 rubles per day*.

In the historical four-star hotel “Sokol” (rating 9.9) – from 4,000 rubles per night*. 

In the comfortable hotel “Pushkarskaya Sloboda” with a Russian bath (score 10) – from 5,500 rubles per day*. 


New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

This year the Siberian city has been appointed the New Year’s capital of Russia. In the center and large shopping centers “Royal Park”, “Crystal”, “Gallery” and “Aura” large-scale New Year fairs will be held, where craftsmen from all over Siberia will present their goods. Here you can buy souvenirs, decorations, northern delicacies and sweets, knitted and fur clothes, felt boots, and also taste traditional Christmas drinks: punch, mulled wine, grog, sbiten and warm mead.

Where to stay in Novosibirsk:

In the three-star River Park Hotel (rating 10) – from 3,600 rubles per day*.

At the four-star Doubletree by Hilton hotel (rating 10) – from 7,500 rubles per night*. 

In the luxurious Grand Autograph hotel with a swimming pool and Turkish bath (score 10) – from 8,500 rubles per night*. 


New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

The largest fair in the city will open on December 22 on Kant Islandnear the Cathedral and will be open until January 13. Its main part is Kaliningrad Street Food with kiosks and food trucks of the most famous and popular local cafes and restaurants. Their special New Year’s dishes take inspiration from cuisines around the world – and allow you to experience a truly European holiday atmosphere. Fairs also opened in other areas of the city – on Professor Baranov Street, on Victory Square and near the Europe shopping center.

Where to stay in Kaliningrad:

In the comfortable Friday Center hostel, which received the National Hotel Award in 2022 (score 9.8) – from 2,400 rubles per night*.

In the four-star hotel “Usadba” (score 10) – from 5,300 rubles per night*. 

In the four-star Kaiserhof hotel with luxurious interiors (score 10) – from 6,000 rubles per night*. 


New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

Pskov New Year’s Fair will open on Pushkin Street on the 20th and will last until December 31st. Traditionally, they sell not only souvenirs, toys and Christmas trees, but also farm products: sausages, cheeses, dairy products, vegetables, canned food, meat and poultry for the holiday table. The main Christmas tree of Pskov was installed on Oktyabrskaya Square, and an ice skating rink was opened in the Finnish Park.

Where to stay in Pskov:

In the four-star hotel “Pokrovsky” (score 10) – from 6,500 rubles per day*.

In the guest house “U Ivetta” (score 10) – from 6,600 rubles per night*. 

In the historical building of the four-star hotel “Dvor Podznoev” (score 10) – from 6,800 rubles per day*. 


New Year's fairs in Russia: where to have fun and what to buy

New Year’s Fair will be held in the center of Tver from December 10 to January 8. On the section of Trekhsvyatskaya Street (from Novotorzhskaya to Radishchev Boulevard) 22 stylized houses, New Year’s art objects and photo zones have already been opened. Mostly souvenir products from Tver manufacturers are presented here – knitted woolen products, hand-painted Christmas tree decorations, home textiles, honey, marshmallows, gingerbread cookies and marmalade. Local craftsmen promise to hold a number of master classes for those who are interested in being creative and doing something unusual with their own hands.

Where to stay in Tver:

In a three-star “Premier Hotel” (rating 9.4) – from 3,000 rubles per day*.

In the guest house “Ust-Vazuza Fishing Village” (rating 9.4) – from 6,000 rubles per night*. 

In the four-star grand hotel “Zvezda” (rating 10) – from 8,000 rubles per night*.

*Prices are current at the time of publication.

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