Top things to do

Top Choice Karelian in Petrozavodsk

Karelskaya Gornitsa

Claiming to be the first Karelian restaurant in the world, this ye-olde hotspot boasts efficient costumed waiters and excellent, hearty fare, including rabbit borsch and rich, gamey and fishy mains, washed down with…
Top Choice Art Gallery in Petrozavodsk

Fine Arts Museum

Besides the permanent exhibitions that feature medieval icons, folk art such as embroidery, weaving and birch-bark creations, there's a collection of 18th-century Russian Masters that includes a dark and creepy Chri…
Top Choice Museum in Murmansk

Regional Studies Museum

Comprehensive exhibits at Murmansk's oldest museum include one on Sami culture and handicrafts, a vast natural-history section with all manner of taxidermied beasts and 'Wait For Me' – an exhibition on the fierce de…
Top Choice Cafe in Murmansk


Don't let yourself be blinded by the in-your-face lime-green and neon-orange decor – this cafe serves some of the most imaginative food in town. Feast on the likes of crab cutlets with ginger rice, roast leg of lamb…
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 Arkhangelsk

Regional Studies Museum

The history section charts the development of the harsh north, from its settlement by dispossessed and exiled peasantry in the 1930s, to the Gulag camps, to the suffering of the 'second St Petersburg' during WWII, w…
Top Choice Live Music in Arkhangelsk

Jazz Klub Artel

Jazz fans in town on a Saturday night shouldn’t miss the almost-legendary jam sessions at this cavern-club hidden within the Gostiny Dvor. Call first to confirm.
Top Choice Monument in Murmansk


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 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 Museum in Malye Karely

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…