Must see attractions in The Urals

  • Top ChoiceSights in Yekaterinburg

    Romanov Death Site

    The massive Byzantine-style Church upon the Blood dominates this site where Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and children were murdered by Bolsheviks on the night of 16 July 1918. Nearby, the pretty wooden Chapel of the Revered Martyr Grand Princess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna honours the imperial family’s great-aunt and faithful friend. The executions took place in the basement of a local engineer’s house, known as Dom Ipatyeva (named for its owner, Nikolai Ipatyev). During the Soviet period, the building housed a local museum of atheism, but it was demolished in 1977 by then governor Boris Yeltsin, who feared it would attract monarchist sympathisers, and for many years the site was a vacant block marked by a small cross and the wooden chapel to Grand Princess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna. Yelizaveta Fyodorovna was a pious nun who met an even worse end than the other Romanovs when she was thrown down a mine shaft, poisoned with gas and buried.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Yekaterinburg

    Church upon the Blood

    The massive Byzantine-style Church upon the Blood dominates this site where the Romanov family was executed. While many believe the funds that went into building this lavish church might have been better spent, it was built to honour the Romanov family, now elevated to the status of saints. Rumour has it that this controversial church contains the most expensive commissioned icon in all of Russia.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Yekaterinburg

    Vysotskiy Viewing Platform

    Take the lift up 52 floors to the viewing platform for one of Russia's best urban panoramas. Children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult. The name of the tower is a pun on the Russian word for 'high' and the name of the singer Vladimir Vysotsky. A small museum is dedicated to 'Russia's raspy Dylan' here.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Ufa

    Park Vatan

    Park Vatan is a unique collection of boutique shops and arts-exhibition spaces housed in traditional yurts. Visitors can purchase delicacies such as local honey, drink local tea, and learn about the Republic of Bashkortostan as they move from yurt to yurt.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Military Technology Museum

    This vast indoor and open-air collection of tanks and armoured vehicles is located on the northern outskirts of Yekaterinburg in Verkhnyaya Pyshma. It’s one of the largest of its kind in the world, with an extensive range of large military tanks and helicopters located outdoors, and smaller military craft and retro automobiles on display indoors. Take bus 111 or marshrutka 111 or 111a from stop Kinotsentr Zarya (at Uralmash metro station) to Zavodskaya Stop.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Museum of Architecture and Design

    Situated on Istorichesky skver (Historical Sq), this museum is located on the grounds where the first ironworks was established in Yekaterinburg in 1723. In recent years the museum has had an overhaul, and today the former 19th-century factory and mint building houses a fascinating collection of miniature buildings depicting various historical eras throughout Yekaterinburg’s history. A couple of rotating gallery collections are also part of the museum.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Yekaterinbrug History Museum

    At one of the more contemporary museums in town, most of the focus is on Yekaterinburg through the 18th and 19th centuries. Most exhibits are captioned in English and there are plenty of interactive displays.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Ascension Church

    The restored late-18th-century Ascension Church is the oldest in Yekaterinburg and rises up moodily alongside parkland that's perfect for a stroll.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center

    Traffic was stopped the day the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center was opened in 2015. The mammoth site includes a museum, a conference centre, an art gallery and a bookshop, although it's the museum that is of most interest to visitors. The museum depicts the former Russian prime minister's life through seven interactive zones designed to represent seven historical days during his ruling. Most of the exhibit descriptions in the museum are in Russian, but there is an audio guide available for English-speakers. There are a number of tours that visitors can book and, although these are only available in Russian now, there are plans to introduce English-speaking options eventually.

  • Sights in Ufa

    Bashkortostan National Museum

    Housed in a renovated art-nouveau building, this museum is spread over two floors with thousands of exhibits spanning culture, ethnography, history and the natural environment. The exhibits on Bashkir history, including examples of yurt life, are the most interesting; all descriptions are in Russian. Walk a few minutes south along ul Lenina from the Trading Arcade to ul Pushkina.

  • Sights in Ufa

    Nesterov Art Gallery

    This small but interesting gallery contains a fabulous collection of more than 100 artworks by Ufa native Mikhail Nesterov and 50 paintings by Ukrainian futurist David Burlyuk, which he left in a Bashkir village when escaping from the Red Army during the Civil War. It’s located two blocks west of ul Lenina, on the corner of ul Pushkina.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Urals Military History Museum

    Worthwhile for buffs, this military museum has two halls, one dedicated to the Urals Volunteer Tank Corp. Entry price is for both halls, but you can pay and visit only one if you wish. In the yard there's a collection of tanks and planes.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Literary Quarter

    Located north of skver Popova, the Literary Quarter features restored wooden houses, some of them now museums about celebrated local writers such as Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak and Pavel Bazhov; a full list of museums is on the website.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Istorichesky Skver

    The prettiest and most lively part of Yekaterinburg in summer is the landscaped parkland alongside the City Pond (Gorodskoy prud), where pr Lenina crosses a small dam. This was where Yekaterinburg began back in 1723.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts

    The star exhibit of the Museum of Fine Arts is its elaborate Kasli Iron Pavilion, which won prizes in the 1900 Paris Expo. The museum has a good collection of icons, paintings and decorative art.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Nevyansk Icon Museum

    Excellent icons from the 17th to the 20th centuries, from the local Nevyansk school.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Museum of History, Science and Technology of the Sverdlovsk Railway

    Railway buffs will enjoy the good collection here, housed in and around the old train station, dating from 1881. Exhibits highlight the history of the railroad in the Urals, including a re-creation of the office of the Soviet-era railway director.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Chapel of the Revered Martyr Grand Princess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna

    Located next to the Church upon the Blood (which was built to commemorate the site where the Romanov family were executed), the wooden Chapel of the Revered Martyr Grand Princess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna honours the family’s great-aunt and friend. After her relatives’ murders, this pious nun met an even worse end when she was thrown down a mine shaft, gassed and buried.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Literary-Memorial House-Museum Reshetnikov

    Situated squarely in the literary quarter of Yekaterinburg, this museum re-creates some aspects of life in Reshetnikov's time, with a big focus on postal work since the author's father was a postman. Several sheds in the yard contain a blacksmith's workshop (complete with a blacksmith) and a small but interesting collection of 19th-century sleds and carriages.

  • Sights in Yekaterinburg

    Metenkov House-Museum of Photography

    All the exhibitions are temporary, but you’ll always find a room dedicated to Metenkov and his work here. Other exhibition spaces usually feature works from art residency participants and various other photos, often dedicated to Yekaterinburg and its history. Downstairs there’s a photography shop that sells old-fashioned cameras and souvenirs.