Hotels, motels and where to sleep
Restaurant, taverns and where to eat
Cultural (and not so cultural) events
Interesting information and useful tips
Description of Murmansk
Murmansk (Kild. Murman Lann, until 1917 -
Romanov-on-Murman) is a city in northwestern Russia, the
administrative center of the Murmansk region. Population -
295,374 people. (2018). Murmansk is the largest city in the
world located beyond the Arctic Circle. Murmansk is located on the
rocky east coast of the Kola Bay of the Barents Sea. One of the
largest ports in Russia. For defense against the German
troops during the Great Patriotic War, Murmansk on May 6, 1985 was
awarded the title Hero City. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the
Order of the Patriotic War, I Degree, the Order of the Red Banner of
Labor, and the Gold Star Medal.
Climate in Murmansk
In the Far North, Murmansk experiences cold
winters with temperatures routinely dropping below −20 °C (−4 °F).
The brief summer offers mild temperatures between 10–15 °C (50–59
°F). Strong winds are common, especially at the higher parts of the
Travel Destinations in Murmansk
As a relatively new city, Murmansk has few real
sights apart from the giant statue Alyosha; architecture buffs will,
however, be intrigued by the crumbling Stalinist architecture
downtown. The architecture is complemented by trees and other
vegetation receiving little care.
Walking up into the nearby
hills offers remarkable views over the city, Kola bay, beautiful
lakes, and the surrounding completely barren mountains - revealing
how far north the city really is.
1 Alyosha Statue (north of
centre on hill near lake Semyonovskaya, access by road that curves
around north of the lake; the nearest bus stop is Gagarina
(Гагаринa), northbound trolleybus lines 2, 3 and 4 calls there). The
city's pride and most recognizable sight. Officially named Defenders
of the Soviet Arctic, but known as Alyosha to all, this
42-meter-tall statue of a soldier overlooks the city and was built
in 1974 to commemorate the Soviet defence of the Arctic during World
War II. It's common for wedding parties to visit the statue and
drink a bottle of champagne in front of the statue. The grassy hill
surrounding Alyosha are good hiking grounds with dirt footpaths
leading back towards the city.
2 Nuclear icebreaker Lenin
(Aтомный ледокол Ленин) (at the docks, cross the railway on elevated
bridge next to the central station, turn right then left after 150
m). Excursions weekends 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00; there may be
evening excursions on other days. The world's first nuclear-powered
surface ship now rests in the docks of Murmansk and has been turned
into a museum ship. It also features as a showcase for the Russian
nuclear fleet, Atomflot. Guided tours are in Russian only, with some
guides able to offer complementary explanations in English. Last
tour starting 16:00. Russian citizens - RUB100, Foreigners - RUB200.
3 Memorial to the Soldiers and Seamen Who Died in Peaceful Time
(Мемориальный комплекс памяти морякам, погибшим в мирное время)
(Leninsky district on the slope between the street and avenue
Chelyuskintsev and prospect Heroes Severomortsev). 24/7. Monument
dedicated to navy personnel perished at sea during peaceful times.
Designed by architects Shiryaev and N. Bogdanova, the hexagonal
lighthouse in the centre of the memorial stands 17.5 m tall, with
marble stairs leading up to it. Next to the lighthouse is a small
museum with artifacts, including diaries of sailors. Since the Kursk
accident in the Barents Sea in 2009, the site has become a memorial
for submariners as well. Free.
4 Monument to Waiting Women
(Памятник «Ждущая») (ul. Chumbarova-Lucinschi, the final stop of the
bus 18). Officially named Zhduschaia, this monument is dedicated to
the spouses of sailors of the Arctic Fleet, anxiously awaiting the
return of their husbands. The sculpture is unusual because it is on
of the few in the city dedicated to women.
The city has
several museums, all mildly interesting compared to larger cities in
Russia, but they do offer a good appreciation for the regions
history and art.
5 Arctic Research Institute Exposition, Ul.
Knipovicha 6, ☎ +7 8152 47 23 97. M-F 09:00-16:00. Viewing
apparently by appointment only; call and ask for Tatiana at least a
few days in advance.
6 Northern Navy Museum, Ul. Tortseva 15 (By
public transit, take any buses/marshrutkas to the north that are
marked "Севморпуть" (Sevmorput') or "Ловова" (Lobova). Exit at the
stop near Lobova 42. Continue walking north along Lobova to
Tortseva. (Tortseva will be marked as a dead-end street. Walk
towards the big blue building and around the right (north) side
where all the columns are. The entrance to the museum is on this
side of the building and is difficult to see.), ☎ +7 8152 22 14 45.
Th-M 09:00-13:00, 14:00-19:00. RUB50.
7 Murmansk Regional Museum
of Art, Ul. Kominterna 13, ☎ +7 8152 45 03 85. W-Su 11:00-18:00
Regional Museum, Prospekt Lenina 90 (10-minute walk from Five
Corners Square or trolleybus 3 or 6 to ulitsa Volodarskovo (ул.
Володарского)), ☎ +7 8152 42 26 17. F-W 11:00-18:00 (last entry
17:00). Contains displays on various themes, including ethnography
of local peoples, a taxidermy display of local flora and fauna
(including polar bear and moose), arctic explorations, and an
extensive display on Murmansk's role in World War II. All displays
in Russian only, cashier closes at 17:00. RUB100, RUB50 extra for
9 Shipping History Museum, Ul Volodarskovo 6 (10-minute
walk from Five Corners Square, trolleybus 3 or 6 to ulitsa
Volodarskovo (ул. Володарского), or trolleybus 2 or 4 to ulitsa
Volodarskovo (ул. Володарского) northbound or ulitsa Chelyuskintsev
(ул. Челюскинцев)), ☎ +7 8152 48 13 56. Su-F 09:00-17:00.
History of Murmansk
Murmansk was the last city founded in the Russian Empire. In
1915, World War I needs led to the construction of the railroad from
Petrozavodsk to an ice-free location on the Murman Coast in the
Russian Arctic, to which Russia's allies shipped military supplies.
The terminus became known as the Murman station and soon boasted a
port, a naval base, and an adjacent settlement with a population
that quickly grew in size and soon surpassed the nearby towns of
Alexandrovsk and Kola.
On June 29 [Old (Julian) Style July
12], 1916, Russian Transport Minister Alexander Trepov petitioned to
grant urban status to the railway settlement. On July 6 [O.S. July
19], 1916, the petition was approved and the town was named
Romanov-on-Murman (Рома́нов-на-Му́рмане, Romanov-na-Murmane), after
the imperial Russian dynasty of Romanovs. On September 21 [O.S.
October 4], 1916, the official ceremony was performed, and the date
is now considered the official date of the city's foundation. After
the February Revolution of 1917, on April 3 [O.S. April 16], 1917,
the town was given its present name.
In the winter of 1917
the British North Russia Squadron under Rear Admiral Thomas Kemp was
established at Murmansk.
From 1918 to 1920, during the
Russian Civil War, the town was occupied by the Western powers, who
had been allied in World War I, and by the White Army forces.
On February 13, 1926, local self-government was organized in
Murmansk for the first time, during a plenary session of the
Murmansk City Soviet, which elected a Presidium. Before this, the
city was governed by the authorities of Alexandrovsky Uyezd and
later of Murmansk Governorate. On August 1, 1927, the All-Russian
Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) issued two resolutions: "On the
Establishment of Leningrad Oblast" and "On the Borders and
Composition of the Okrugs of Leningrad Oblast", which transformed
Murmansk Governorate into Murmansk Okrug within Leningrad Oblast and
made Murmansk the administrative center of Murmansk Okrug.
1934, the Murmansk Okrug Executive Committee developed a
redistricting proposal, which included a plan to enlarge the city by
merging the surrounding territories in the north, south, and west
into Murmansk. While this plan was not confirmed by the Leningrad
Oblast Executive Committee, in 1935–1937 several rural localities of
Kolsky and Polyarny Districts were merged into Murmansk anyway.
According to the Presidium of the Leningrad Oblast Executive
Committee resolution of February 26, 1935, the administrative center
of Polyarny District was moved from Polyarnoye to Sayda-Guba.
However, the provisions of the resolution were not fully
implemented, and due to military construction in Polyarnoye, the
administrative center was instead moved to Murmansk in the beginning
of 1935. In addition to being the administrative center of Murmansk
Okrug, Murmansk continued to serve as the administrative center of
Polyarny District until September 11, 1938. On February 10, 1938,
when the VTsIK adopted a Resolution changing the
administrative-territorial structure of Murmansk Okrug, the city of
Murmansk became a separate administrative division of the okrug,
equal in status to that of the districts. This status was retained
when Murmansk Okrug was transformed into Murmansk Oblast on May 28,
During World War II, Murmansk was a link to the Western
world for the Soviet Union with large quantities of goods imported
to the respective military efforts traded with the Allies: primarily
seeing military equipment, manufactured goods and raw materials
brought into the Soviet Union. The supplies were brought to the city
in the Arctic convoys.
German forces in Finnish territory
launched an offensive against the city in 1941 as part of Operation
Silver Fox. Murmansk suffered extensive destruction, the magnitude
of which was rivaled only by the destruction of Leningrad and
Stalingrad. However, fierce Soviet resistance and harsh local
weather conditions with the bad terrain prevented the Germans from
capturing the city and cutting off the vital Karelian railway line
and the ice-free harbor.
For the rest of the war, Murmansk
served as a transit point for weapons and other supplies entering
the Soviet Union from other Allied nations. This unyielding, stoic
resistance was commemorated at the 40th anniversary of the victory
over the Germans in the formal designation of Murmansk as a Hero
City on May 6, 1985. During the Cold War Murmansk was a center of
Soviet submarine and icebreaker activity. After the dissolution of
the Soviet Union, the nearby city and naval base of Severomorsk
remains the headquarters of the Russian Northern Fleet.
In 1974, a massive 35.5-meter (116 ft) tall statue Alyosha,
depicting a Russian World War II soldier, was installed on a 7-meter
(23 ft) high foundation. In 1984, the Hotel Arctic, now known as
Azimut Hotel Murmansk, opened and became the tallest building above
the Arctic Circle.
On January 1, 2015, the territory of
Murmansk was expanded, when the urban-type settlement of Roslyakovo,
previously in the jurisdiction of the closed
administrative-territorial formation of Severomorsk, was abolished
and its territory merged into Murmansk.
Murmansk Airport (MMK IATA). Has multiple
daily flights to Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and limited services
to other Russian cities including Arkhangelsk, Sochi and
Rostov-on-the-Don. There are also several flights per week from
Tromsø and Kirkenes. Seasonal flights are available from Helsinki
The airport is about 40 km (25 mi) south of Murmansk,
near the town of Murmashi. Taxis to the city center cost RUB600-700
and make the trip in about 40 minutes. Catching a taxi waiting
outside the airport is more expensive, expect to pay up to RUB800,
depending on your language and negotiation skills. For cheaper (and
official) taxi service, you have to order a taxi, expect to wait up
to 30–40 minutes for it to arrive, though. Bus 106 goes to the train
station, stopping at Detsky Mir near the Poliarnie Zori Hotel on its
way, is less expensive but much more sluggish than a taxi.
During the summer months, Murmansk Shipping Company offers
occasional trips to and from Barentsburg on Svalbard. They also
serve remote villages along the northern coast of the Kola
peninsula, most notably the isolated naval base of Ostrovnoy, with
2-3 trips per month.
A few cruise lines also visit the city
during the summer season. The pier facilities are nil, basically a
bare pier in a freight handling area, but with areas for buses,
taxis, etc. Any scheduled ship will be greeted by port and
Murmansk can be
reached from most places in north-west Russia by train. Moscow is
35–40 hours away and Saint Petersburg 27–30 hours, depending on the
train. The Arktika (Арктика) branded train is the fastest option,
with first-class wagons and a restaurant on board. All long-distance
trains make stop-overs in cities such as Kandalaksha and
Petrozavodsk on their way. Other night trains reach Murmansk from
cities as far east as Arkhangelsk or from Minsk and Brest in the
west. Trains from Saint Petersburg and Moscow are daily, most others
2-3 times a week. During summer additional routes are added, mostly
to Ukraine and the Black Sea.
Murmansk railway station is in
the city center, one block downhill from Five Corners Square on ul.
Kominterna (Коминтерн), 16. Tickets can be bought either at the
station or online at the webpage of national operator RZD.
Pasvik Turist provides a bus connection from Kirkenes in
Norway daily at 14:00 or 15:00 (confirm on website) for 350 NOK
one-way or 600 NOK return (Sept 2017). They also offer Russian taxi
(maximum 3 passengers) from 2000 NOK one way. A once-weekly bus
service is also avalible from Ivalo, Finland by Auto Express.
Departure times of Russian bus companies from Kirkenes usually
are given in Moscow time. Book in advance, and be there on time,
since it is a bad idea to miss the bus and overstay Russian visas.
There are roads from Ivalo, Finland (290 km) and
Kirkenes, Norway (220 km). When calculating travel time expect
hour-long waits at the border and keep the time difference in mind.
A trip starting in Kirkenes at 09:00 (Norwegian time) might end at
16:00 (Russian time).
Murmansk is long and thin, most sites of interest to visitors are
within a fairly compact area in the city center. Prospekt Lenina is
the main north-south thoroughfare through the city center and the
central Five Corners Square. Avid walkers could cover the entire
stretch of the central area from the Poliarnie Zori Hotel on the
south end of the city center to the Alyosha Statue, on a plateau on
the north side of the city, in less than two hours.
Trolleybuses are available on most larger streets and generally
follows a north-south route, if you are heading east ("up the hill")
you have to rely on the small mashtruka buses. Both buses and
trolleybuses can be much delayed during rush hours due to traffic
jams. A route planner showing real time location of trolleybuses on
the most used lines is available online, the catch is it's in
Another option is to use taxis which
are plentiful and cheap, few drivers speak anything other than
Russian, so memorize the street or name of the place you are going
to. A typical journey in the city centre will cost somewhere around
RUB400. Unmarked taxis can be cheaper, but are generally a bit
unreliable to use for those not fluent in the native tongue.
Cafe Yunost, Prospekt Lenina 86 (next to the Anatoliy Bredov
Statue). Coffees and desserts in a relaxing environment. And jolly
good chicken and chips.
McDonald's, ulitsa Leningradskaya 20,
korpus 3, "Волна" (Volna) shopping center (entrance off Ul.
Yegorova), ☎ +7 8152 55-70-69. 07:00-23:30. The world's northernmost
McDonald's. Order at the counter with cash or via kiosk in English
or Russian with a credit/debit card. RUB200.
1 Bulldog Pub (Паб Бульдог), ul. Karla Marksa, 48 (up
the stairs and right from intersection ul. Karla Marksa/ul.
Poliarnie Zori), ☎ +8 8152-260017. Sports bar showing matches from
the Barclays Premier League and more. A good selection of draft
beer, including ales. Typical pub food is also served.
Marrakesh, ul. Shmidta 43, ☎ +8 8152-476464. F Sa 23:00-06:00. A
swank club hosting many events. Has a fine selection of wines and
even a cigar room. Open til early morning.
3 Moisey (Моисей),
9/1 Kominterna St. (downstairs in shopping complex across from the
train station). There don't seem to be a lot of wireless internet
hotspots so Моисей is a good option. With cheap draft beer and
(uninviting) food, this is not a bad place to get one's bearings and
check emails after arriving in the city.
1 Azimut Hotel Murmansk, Prospekt Lenina 82 (north side of the
central Five Corners Square), ☎ +7 8152 550350. Located in the
Arktika building, the tallest above the arctic circle, this former
Soviet flagship hotel have finally reopened after years of
renovation as the city's premier business hotel. Rooms on the upper
floors have some fantastic panoramic views over the city and fjord.
Free WiFi and breakfast included. Standard rooms from RUB5400 per
2 Hotel Ogni Murmanska, ul. Ogni Murmanska 1 (on the
bypass road towards Severmorsk), ☎ +7 8152 554000. Hotel and resort
complex overlooking the city from its eastern mountain slopes. This
is a good option if you are exploring the surrounding nature and
wildlife rather than Murmansk itself. Standards are good, there's 80
beds in 37 rooms as well as several cottages. The restaurant is very
nice and popular, if somewhat overpriced. All major credit cards are
accepted. From RUB3500 per night.
3 Meridian Hotel, ul.
Vorovskogo 5/23 (south side of the central Five Corners Square), ☎
+7 8152 288800. Not related to the international chain of similar
name. The lobby displays photos of notable former guests, including
President Medvedev, which gives an indicator of class of service and
of price. Beginning at RUB3500 for a single.
4 Park Inn
Poliarnie Zori, ul. Knipovicha 17 (a short walk up the hill from the
Detskiy Mir bus stop), ☎ +7 8152 289500. A clean, well-located hotel
with helpful front desk staff. Includes the very popular nightclub
Ledokol ("Ледокол") which often hosts live music performances. From
RUB1300 for a basic single.
Finland Finland (Murmansk office of the General
Consulate of Finland in Saint Petersburg), Karl Marks street, 25 A,
☎ +7 8152 445-382, fax: +7 8152 448-341, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 09:30-12:00.
(General Consulate), Sofyi Perovskoy street, 5 (at General Consulate
of Norway), ☎ +7 (8152) 40-06-00 (common), +7 8152 40-06-20 (visas),
fax: +7 (8152) 45-74-51, +7 8152 47-61-78, +7 8152 45-68-71, e-mail:
email@example.com. M-Th 09:00-12:00.
Norway (General Consulate),
Sofyi Perovskoy street, 5, ☎ +7 8152 40-06-00 (common), +7 8152
40-06-20 (visas), fax: +7 8152 45-74-51, +7 8152 47-61-78, +7 8152
45-68-71, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 09:00-12:00.
Sweden Sweden (General Consulate), Sofyi Perovskoy street, 5 (at
General Consulate of Norway), ☎ +7 8152 40-06-00 (common), +7 8152
40-06-20 (visas), fax: +7 8152 45-74-51, +7 8152 47-61-78, +7 8152
45-68-71, e-mail: email@example.com. M-Th 09:00-12:00.
Some neighborhoods may be unsafe at night,
particularly Rostu and Zhilstroy.
Flocks of stray dogs roam
around suburban areas and have been known to attack humans carrying
food. There are also bear sightings along the road leading to the
airport. Although bears usually flee upon contact, mothers
protecting cubs may be aggressive.