In 1852, he traveled to Ukraine. Then, in 1854 by the invitation of the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna, President of the Imperial Academy of Arts, he moved to the neighborhood of St. Petersburg. In 1857, Savrasov became a teacher at the MSPSA. His best students, Isaac Levitan and Konstantin Korovin, remembered their teacher with admiration and gratitude.
In 1857, he married Sophia Karlovna Hertz, sister of the art historian Karl Hertz (1820-1883). In their home they entertained artistic people and collectors including Pavel Tretyakov. Savrasov became especially close with Vasily Perov. Perov helped him paint the figures of the boat trackers in Savrasovs Volga near Yuryevets, Savrasov painted landscapes for Perovs Bird catcher and Hunters on Bivouac.