You’re Going to Love Ekaterinburg
Ekaterinburg may not thrill you with outstanding monuments or picturesque streets, but don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior; the city has played a key role in Russia’s history and is a busy regional capital for business, arts, culture and entertainment. Located where Europe meets Russia, the city makes a great starting point for exploring the Ural Mountain region.
What to do in Yekaterinburg
1. The Last Tsar
Resplendent, majestic, magnificent: these are just a few of the adjectives used to describe the Church upon the Blood in Honour of All Saints (its full name). If the name gives a sense of something rather ominous, don’t be alarmed. It’s simply Russian history as usual. The church is built on the site where, in 1918, following a year of confinement, the Emperor Nicholas, his wife and children were executed. Of course, the former USSR was nothing if not expedient and, in 1977, the original house was demolished and up went this magnificent church. Ignore the macabre sense of irony (which is quite evident in the works of Russian authors) and enjoy the stunning interiors, which are as amazing as the outside.
2. 52 Stories High
What’s the view like from the Vysotskiy Viewing Platform? Simply use the elevators to scale its 52 floors (that’s 618 ft!) to get a breathtaking, panoramic view of the city of Ekaterinburg from way on up high. This is the second tallest building in Russia outside of Moscow, making the Vysotskiy skyscraper, which also houses many important and highly visible businesses, an unofficial icon of the city.
3. Ural Art
The long, nondescript building with its bright green gables could be mistaken for a country club if it weren’t for the massive ironworks surrounding the building. Clearly of historical significance, these draw visitors in to know more. Once within the museum, you’ll get a sense of the history and culture of Ekaterinburg. Besides the carefully curated collections in the gallery, of special note is the multiple dioramas or miniatures of the buildings. These show the progression and evolution of Ekaterinburg architecture and society.
4. Remembering A Historic President
Much beloved during Soviet Rule, the “Yeltsin Center” was opened in 2015 as an educational and political center. The center features concerts, multiple-day music festivals such as Island of the 90s”, “Old new rock”, cultural exhibitions, comic cons, and lectures by major international figures such as Germany’s Minister of the Interior. The center hosts numerous domestic and global film festivals such as Artdocfest and Beat Weekend, while also presenting numerous cultural and heritage media initiatives such as Jewish cultural programming and winter holiday celebrations throughout the year
5. The Past Preserved
With its charming old lampposts, fences of cast iron, and walking paths leading to beautiful, traditional summer homes, the Literary Quarter of Ekaterinburg is the cultural center of the city. Not least because this district is where Ural writers and artists are celebrated and their writings preserved and displayed proudly. These include major contemporary figures such as Dmitry Mamina-Sibiryak and Pavel Bazhov. While these may be new names to visitors seeing Ekaterinburg for the first time, the Literary Quarter’s eclectic charms are sure to feel familiar.
How to Get to Ekaterinburg
Koltsovo Airport (SVX) is located about 11 miles south of the city, serving both domestic and international flights. the RUB26 bus on the City Bus #1 route makes the trip to the main railway station.
The Yekaterinburg-Sverdlovsk Railway Station is a major hub on the Trans-Siberian route, with connections throughout the region.
Ekaterinburg is well connected to major centers throughout the Urals via a network of highways.
Ekaterinburg is a major hub for intercity bus travel, with easy connections to Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Parm and Sochi.
Where to Stay in Ekaterinburg
Stay in stylish modern rooms in a historic buildings at the Hotel Chekhov. Marins Park offers comfortable rooms in a convenient location near the train station.
Popular Neighborhoods in Ekaterinburg
Downtown – This is where you’ll find the city’s commercial and business areas, including the Vysotsky skyscraper, Siberia’s tallest building.
Shirokaya Rechka – This area is where you’ll find one of the city’s more unusual attractions: a Mafia cemetery on the river.
Kirovskiy Rayon – This residential area is where you’ll find Lake Shartash, where you can escape the city to go cycling or swimming.
How to Get Around Ekaterinburg
The city is served by an extensive network of trams, buses and an underground metro. Single fares are RUB26.
Taxis are plentiful in the city center, with fares that start at RUB70, increasing by RUB11.26 for each kilometer (0.6 mile).
Traffic can be daunting in the city center but can be a good way of getting around the area. A compact rental starts at RUB2100.
The Cost of Living in Ekaterinburg
The so-called Chinese Market is a huge area in the western part of the city, where you’ll find hundreds of stalls with everything you can imagine for sale. For more upscale shopping, you’ll want to check out Vaynera Street in the central area of the city.
Groceries and Other
Eliseyskiy and Kirovskiy are two of the larger supermarket chains in the city, and you’ll also find a large supermarket at the Mega Ekaterinburg Mall just outside the city. A quart of milk costs about RUB48 and a dozen eggs RUB65.