Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Northern European Russia

Malye Karely Wooden Architecture Museum

Set in pretty rolling dales 25km southeast of Arkhangelsk’s centre, this delightful open-air Malye Karely Wooden Architecture Museum is Arkhangelsk’s foremost attraction. Featuring dozens of 16th- to 19th-century wo…
Top Choice Monastery in Solovetsky Islands

Solovetsky Transfiguration Monastery

This imposing, stone-walled monastery is the heart and soul of the Solovetsky Islands. Founded in 1429, it has played various roles throughout its existence: a hermit's retreat, a vibrant religious community, a rebe…
Top Choice Historic Site in Vologda

Kremlin

Vologda’s multi-domed, attractive kremlin is the city’s historical centrepiece, a 17th-century fortified enclosure built as a church administrative centre to accompany St Sofia’s Cathedral next door. Peeking into th…
Top Choice Church in Vologda

St Sofia’s Cathedral

Powerful five-domed St Sofia’s Cathedral has a soaring interior smothered with beautiful 1680s frescoes. The astonishingly tall iconostasis is filled with darkly brooding saintly portraiture.The massive stone cathed…
Top Choice Museum in Lovozero & Around

Sami History & Culture Museum

This excellent museum delves into the troubled history of the Sami, whose way of life barely survived the threat from Christian missionaries and forced collectivisation. Heroic efforts to keep the culture alive incl…
Top Choice Boat in Murmansk

Nuclear Icebreaker Lenin

Murmansk is a centre for nuclear icebreakers that carve their way to the North Pole, but even in port you can give in to your wildest seafaring/Arctic explorer/Cold War spy fantasies aboard the 1957 NS Lenin, the wo…
Top Choice Monument in Murmansk

Alyosha

One of Murmansk’s most memorable sights is a gigantic concrete soldier nicknamed Alyosha, erected to commemorate the Arctic fighters who perished in the Great Patriotic War (WWII). From his hilltop perch, Alyosha's …
Top Choice Museum in Arkhangelsk

Northern Naval Museum

Beautifully presented nautical exhibits cluster around the striking centrepiece – the prow of a ship – in the light-filled main hall of Arkhangelsk's most modern museum. Lose yourself amid fishing and whaling tools,…
Top Choice Church in Kargopol

Nativity Cathedral

The five-domed, 1562 star of Sobornaya Ploschad sports intriguing timber-encased corner buttresses and houses a splendid iconostasis on the 1st floor (only open in summer). On a pillar, the superb Starshni Sud (Judg…
Top Choice Amusement Park in Kirovsk

Snow Village

Every November, ice sculptors from all over the region make their way to Kirovsk to chisel into existence the snowy halls and tunnels of the Snow Village, wowing visitors with ice sculptures and annually changing th…