Regional Museum

Top choice in Altai

Housed in a wonderfully dilapidated 1912 merchant’s house with original art nouveau fittings, this fine museum is home to standing stone idols, petroglyphs and a weathered old shaman's coat that locals consider lucky and so pop coins into the display case. Everything is written in Russian but one member of staff speaks French and will gleefully give French speakers a (very) detailed tour.

It's on the east edge of the old town, a five-minute walk north of pl Garkavogo. Oh, and by the way, don't get locked in at night. The building served as the secret police headquarters during the Soviet period and is said to be haunted.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Altai attractions

1. Assumption Church


This blue-domed church frequently bustles with activity and is well-worth checking out.

2. City Theatre


Grand, renovated 1916 theatre with concerts and theatrical performances.