Polar-Alpine Botanical Gardens

Kola Peninsula

Russia’s vast, northernmost botanical gardens and its special hothouses nurturing tropical plants can only be accessed on one of three tours offered daily. A 2km summer-only 'ecotrail', which climbs to the impressive alpine tundra, also awaits visitors. Take bus 1, 12, 16 or 105 (R30) towards Kukisvumchorr (‘25km’), north of Lake Bolshoi Vudyavr, alight by the turnoff on the left before reaching ‘25km’, and walk for 1.5km.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kola Peninsula attractions

1. Snow Village

1.07 MILES

Every November, ice sculptors from all over the region make their way to Kirovsk to chisel the snowy halls and tunnels of the Snow Village into existence,…

2. Abandonded Soviet Train Station

2.11 MILES

This colossal Soviet-era train station stands abandoned and half-forgotten amid the harsh Arctic landscape. The two-platform station, which once took…

3. Culture Palace


Everything from classical concerts to Miss Kirovsk pageants are held in this impressive, becolumned, lemon-yellow building.

4. North-Russian Exploration Museum


Showcases the settlement of the Kola peninsula, the history of science in the region and the culture of Kola's indigenous population – the Sami.

5. Mineralogy Museum

8.75 MILES

This museum has over 900 types of minerals and ores, many of them rare and unique. Entry is by an appointment made in advance; friendly academics speak…

6. Geological Museum

8.79 MILES

Features ores, rocks and minerals of the Kola Peninsula; it's best to arrange a guided tour in advance. Labelled mineral fragments are sold here as…