Top ChoiceMuseum in Chita

Decembrist Museum

If you’re on the Decembrist trail through Siberia, this small but comprehensive museum is one of the best. It’s housed in the 18th-century Archangel Michael log church, an unexpected sight amid the...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Kyzyl

National Museum

One of Tuva’s ‘must sees’, the National Museum’s huge modern home contains the usual arrangements of stuffed animals, WWII artefacts and dusty minerals, as well as more impressive halls dedicated to shamanism,...

Top ChoiceNature Reserve in Krasnoyarsk

Stolby Nature Reserve

Russia's most visited national park is located right across the river from Krasnoyarsk's city centre. Its highlight are the fingers of volcanic rock called stolby poking above gently sloping wooded mountains. To...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Krasnoyarsk

Ploshchad Mira

Krasnoyarsk's Lenin museum was opened on the occasion of the October Revolution's 70th anniversary in 1987, only to see the entire communist system collapse four years later. But, in a true revolutionary spirit,...

Temple in Around Ulan-Ude

Ivolginsk (Ivolga) Datsan

The confident epicentre of Russian Buddhism owes its existence to none other than Josef Stalin, who reversed the Bolshevik policy of destroying temples and allowed it to be built, in a plot of marshy land 35km...

Arts Centre in Kyzyl

Centre for Tuvan Culture

The attractive two-storey timber building of the Centre for Tuvan Culture was founded in 2012 by legendary Tuvan musician Kongar-ol Ondar, who was its first director until his untimely death in 2013. The...

Buddhist Temple in Ulan-Ude

Rinpoche Bagsha Datsan

Roosting high above the city’s far north, the inside of this new and unexpectedly modern Tibetan temple looks like a kind of Buddhist-themed bus terminal, though the 6m-high gilt Buddha is pretty impressive....

Museum in Krasnoyarsk

Regional Museum

Housed in an incongruously attractive 1912 art nouveau Egyptian temple, this is one of Siberia’s better museums. Arranged around a Cossack explorer’s ship, surprisingly well-presented exhibitions across the two...

Natural Feature in Listvyanka

Chersky Rock

Listvyanka’s best viewpoint, overlooking the source of the Angara, is named after Jan Czerski, a 19th-century Polish gentleman explorer. It is best accessed via the cable car of the mediocre Eastland ski resort...

Monument in Ulan-Ude

Lenin Head

Ulan-Ude’s main square is entirely dominated by the world’s largest Lenin head that creates an ensemble with the grey constructivist government building behind it. The 7.7m-high bronze bonce was installed in 1970...

Market in Arshan & Tunka Valley

Mongolian Market

Traders bring Mongolian herbs, spices, clothes and leather items from across the nearby border to this colourful makeshift market that stretches for a few hundred metres along the Kyngyrga valley inside the...

Museum in Irkutsk

Volkonsky House-Museum

The duck-egg-blue and white home of Decembrist Count Sergei Volkonsky, whose wife Maria Volkonskaya cuts the main figure in Christine Sutherland’s unputdownable book The Princess of Siberia, is a small mansion...

Archaeological Site in Tuva

Valley of the Kings

This broad grassy vale begins a few kilometres beyond a turning off the M54 highway north of Turan. It’s famous in archaeological circles for its pancake-shaped Scythian kurgany (burial mounds) named after the...

Street in Ulan-Ude

Ulitsa Sobornaya

The pedestrianised street abutting Odigitria Cathedral preserves the spirit and the wooden lace architecture of the old downtown, populated by merchants and intelligentsia. Original inhabitants suffered badly...

Monastery in Irkutsk

Znamensky Monastery

Stranded on the wrong side of a thundering roundabout, the 1762 Znamensky Monastery is 1.9km northeast of Skver Kirova. Echoing with mellifluous plainsong, the wonderful interior has muralled vaulting, a towering...

Temple in Around Ulan-Ude

Tamchinsky Datsan

First founded in 1741, this was Buryatiya’s first Buddhist monastery and the mother ship of Russian Buddhism for two centuries. The original complex, 160km south of Ulan-Ude, was destroyed in the 1930s and the...

Monument in Kyzyl

Centre of Asia Monument

If you take a map of the world, cut out Asia and balance the continent on a pin, the centre of gravity would be Kyzyl. Well, only if you’ve used the utterly obscure Gall’s stereographic projection. However, that...

Museum in Minusinsk

Martyanov Museum

Filling three distinct buildings, the countless halls crammed with local taxidermy, Bronze and Iron Age finds, Tuvan and Khakass standing stones, traditional stringed instruments and shaggy shaman costumes just...

Area in Irkutsk

130 Kvartal

What does a city boasting some of Siberia’s most impressive original timber architecture do to improve the visitor experience? Yes, that’s right, recreate an entire quarter of yet more wooden buildings, some...

Museum in Ulan-Ude

Ethnographic Museum

In a forest clearing 6km from central Ulan-Ude, this outdoor collection of local architecture plus some reconstructed burial mounds and the odd stone totem are worth the trip. The collection is divided into seven...