"Murmansk" Murmansk by livfaith

Murmansk Travel Guide: 73 reviews and 151 photos

Into the Arctic Circle

I flew from Moscow with Sky Express, which was cheap, but meant that we arrived at around four in the morning. We'd pre-booked a taxi to take us to our hotel (getting one from the airport will cost around 1000 roubles, whereas booking one from Murmansk was 450r). After much too little sleep, we dragged ourselves from our beds at 9.30 in order to be up and about for the few hours of daylight available to us - between about 10.30 am and 3 pm. Although the sun doesn't get above the horizon at this time of year, there is still dawn, and it was beautiful - even in the middle of the city.


There are not a huge number of sights to see in Murmansk. We were only there for a weekend and felt that was enough to see the town (although we would love to come back in summer). The biggest problem was the lack of daylight - most of my photos did not come out well because of this.
Alyosha is of course one of the most impressive sights. He towers over the city and is definitely worth the walk, even on a freezing winter's day.
The Museum of Regional History is one of the few places I have been to in Russia that does not charge more for foreigners than for Russians (a mere 25 roubles) and has three floors of exhibits from the geology of the region, through the animals (a large display of stuffed ones are on show - the elk is enormous) and up to more modern history - the Great Patriotic War (WW2) and up to the present.
A trip to the docks is a great chance to see the nuclear icebreakers. You can't get to the working ships but the decommissioned 'Lenin' is moored just behind the ferry station and is now a museum.
If you have a chance to go to Kola (a town 12 km from Murmansk), the Annunciation Cathedral built around 1800 has an unusual cupola and was the first brick building to be constructed on the peninsula and the new bridge is impressive.

The nightlife

Surprisingly for a Russian regional town, Murmansk seems to have a busy and varied nightlife. There are several restaurants and bars open till midnight (not always common in Russia), plus lots of clubs - for the more hardened clubber some of these are even open until 12 noon! Cocktails seemed to be popular with many places having an extensive choice. It's not as cheap as you might think, but certainly below Moscow prices.
And the toilets will impress many a seasoned Russia traveller!
There is plenty of fresh fish, particularly cod ('treska') to be had as well as reindeer steaks.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:it's in the Arctic circle!
  • Cons:it's in the Arctic circle!
  • In a nutshell:cold and bleak yet compelling
  • Last visit to Murmansk: Dec 2009
  • Intro Updated Dec 8, 2009
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