Murmansk, polar region: the Kola Peninsula hills and the road to Teriberka
Located on the hills of the Kola Bay, Murmansk is the largest city in the world above the Arctic Circle. For two months in summer the sun shines 24 hours a day. In winter, the polar night reigns here and you can often see the northern lights over the unfrozen sea. The world’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker, Lenin, is moored in the port of Murmansk, at whose helm you can stand. And local restaurants will delight gastronomic connoisseurs with seafood and venison.
I visited Murmansk in 2014, was surprised by the beauty of the Kola Peninsula, and now almost every year I go there to capture the beauty of nature. I will tell you what sights to see in the city, where to walk and how to spend your vacation in the Arctic.
Attractions of Murmansk
The hero-city was founded in 1916, earlier it was called Romanov on Murman. The town was badly bombed during the war, so there are not many historical buildings and most of the buildings are typical Soviet, but there is plenty to see.
The main part of the city is located on the right bank of the Kola Bay. You can visit the city center and the sea port, located near the railway station. Here it is interesting to look at the ships. Sometimes at the roadstead is “Klavdiya Yelanskaya” – the only passenger ship in the Murmansk Shipping Company, which is still in operation. If you wish you can even take a ride along the coast of the Kola Peninsula. The schedule and prices are better to look at the official website, it changes from time to time.
In the port is moored nuclear icebreaker “Lenin”. This is the first ship in the world with a nuclear power plant and the only Murmansk object of cultural heritage of federal importance. Visit only with excursions that take place from Wednesday to Sunday at 12, 14, 16 hours. Pre-recording is not necessary, just come for 20-30 minutes before the beginning. At the tour you will be guided through the icebreaker and told how it is built and what it became famous for. For memory, you can take pictures at the helm. The cost of an adult ticket is 400 ₽ and a children’s ticket is 100 ₽.
Near the icebreaker is an unusual museum of Murmansk Commercial Port . Here you can learn about the history of the commercial port from the exploratory works to the present day. Museum is free to all, at the entrance you can ask for an audio guide for a deposit of 300 ₽, after visiting it will immediately return. Opening hours: Tue-Fri. 13:00 – 18:00, Sat. 11:30 – 17:00.
Murmansk Regional Art Museum presents paintings by local artists. From time to time temporary exhibitions from other Russian museums are held. Works every day from 11 to 19, except Mondays and Tuesdays. An adult ticket costs 100 ₽, a discounted ticket costs 70 ₽, and a children’s ticket costs 50 ₽. For additional rooms and temporary exhibitions, they charge another ₽180.
From the museum, I suggest a walk to the city’s main square, Five Corners, where the most important administrative buildings are concentrated. It gets its name from the five roads exiting the square. Around the square, which is half pedestrian, Soviet buildings in the style of constructivism. The square is a half-passable pedestrian square, surrounded by Soviet buildings in constructivist style, but if you go around it, you’ll see the Murmansk Regional Duma, Kirov Palace of Culture, the Main Post Office, and Murmansk’s tallest building – the 18-storey Arktika Hotel.
In 2015, a monument to cod, one of the main fish of the northern seas, appeared on the square. In winter, art objects and ice sculptures are placed here.
From the square take trolleybus number 3 in the direction of Magomet Gadzhiev Street and get off at the Semenovskoye Lake stop. The trip will take 10 minutes. Another 600 meters on foot and you are at the memorial to sailors who died in peacetime. It looks like a lighthouse, and there are memorial books about the dead inside. There is a cabin of “Kursk” nuclear submarine and a huge anchor. Nearby is the Church of the Savior on Waters, built on donations from townspeople. It was opened to the 85th anniversary of the city. There are also views of the city from the memorial.
Further you can walk to the Memorial “To Defenders of the Soviet Polar Region during the Great Patriotic War”. Walk along the Avenue of the Heroes of the North Sea and then through the cultural and park complex named after O.P. Naydenov. In the park is located Semenovskoe Lake and the oceanarium. You can ride a boat or catamaran.
In the park there is a monument to the cat. According to legend, the owners lost him on a journey, and the pet returned home on foot in Murmansk six years later
Monument to the Defenders of the Soviet Polar Forces, also called “Alyosha”. It is so called by analogy with the monument to the Soviet soldier-liberator in Plovdiv. The height of the monument is 42 meters, not counting the Green Cape hill, on which it is established (135 meters). A panoramic view of the city and the port opens from Aliosha.
The monument to the Defenders of the Soviet Polar region is considered the second tallest monument in Russia after the Volgograd Motherland.
Evening can be spent in a restaurant or theater – for fans there are three options in the city.
Murmansk Regional Drama Theater. Russian and foreign classics and modern drama are in the repertoire. Tickets start at 400 ₽. Schedule can be viewed on the site. Phone 52-05-22. Open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 to 20 h.
There is also the Drama Theater of the Northern Fleet. It was founded by order #20 of the Northern military flotilla in 1933 and received the professional status in 1935. In the theater there are a lot of children’s performances on military-patriotic themes, also puts on classics. Tickets start at ₽500. Schedule on the official website and by phone 52-80-93.
Philharmonia . Beautiful and pleasant hall just after renovation, with good acoustics. You can listen to the organ. Classical, jazz, folk, pop and author’s song, poetry evenings and concerts for children. Tickets start at ₽500. The poster is better to look at the site, the next concerts quickly sold out tickets. Phone: 45-08-67.
For children there is the Murmansk oceanarium. Works every day except Monday and Tuesday. This is not a usual huge aquarium with sea inhabitants. It’s much easier, the oceanarium looks like a dolphinarium, but instead of dolphins there is a presentation with seals. One can visit only during the sessions: 11, 15, 17 ч. Tickets are ₽300 for kids and ₽400 for adults. Phone: 20-23-06. Located in the park at Lake Semyonovskogo at 4 Heroev-Severomortsev Ave.
The next day can be given to museums of interest and views of the city.
Murmansk Regional Museum of Local Lore . It is worth to visit it to learn more about the history and nature of the Murmansk region. Inside there are items of everyday life of indigenous peoples, as well as skis, boats, a collection of minerals, archaeological finds and military artifacts. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Thursdays and Fridays. Tickets cost ₽210, concessionary ₽60, and free for children.
Museum of the History of the Murmansk Shipping Company. Not the most popular museum among tourists, but lovers of maritime themes will like it. In three halls are collections devoted to the history of the Northern Sea Route, icebreaker and nuclear-powered fleet. Particularly interesting are models of ships. The museum is open only two days a week – Tuesdays and Fridays from 2 to 5 p.m. An adult ticket costs ₽100 and a children’s ticket costs ₽50.
The Abram Cape observation deck is located on the opposite side of Kola Bay in the neighborhood of the same name. It is located on the hill above the bay. You can get there by driving over the bridge over Kola Bay. The bridge is a new landmark of the city. Its total length is 2.5 kilometers. From the bridge you can observe the sea tides.
From Abram Cape offers a panoramic view over the whole of Murmansk, ports and the Kola Bay. From here you can see the city as if on the palm of your hand.
The cape can be visited in the evening – the city is beautifully lit with lights, romantics will appreciate it. I recommend to take binoculars in order to have a detailed view of the port with ships, how they enter and leave and how they are loaded and unloaded by cranes.
In front of the entrance to the observation deck of Abram Cape is a memorial complex with fighter planes and artillery pieces. It was created in memory of the defense of Murmansk during the Great Patriotic War, the air defense forces, parts of which were located on the cape. The easiest way to get there is by car or by cab. Or you can take buses #24 and 111. It will take you an hour to get from the center of the city one way.
If you go to Abram Cape by car, I highly recommend that you stop by the waterfall on the Lavna River. It is small and picturesque. At the weekend there are many locals, so it is better to go on weekdays. You can get by car from Murmansk on the highway E105 in the direction of Norway. Pass by the sign of Lavna and then after 2 km turn right and again on the right (the turn will be after the bridge over the river Great Lavna).
Leave your car at the site and walk 1.3 km along the path along the left bank of the river. The point of the waterfall is 69.023466, 32.948278.
What to see on the outskirts of Murmansk
There are a lot of beautiful places in Murmansk region – the Khibiny Mountains, Lovozersky tundra, Rybachy peninsula, White and Barents Sea. All this is relatively close to the city.
It is worth a trip to Teriberka to see the open Barents Sea, rocky shores and Batareisky waterfall. In Teriberka itself there is a cemetery of ships and bays with sandy beaches, where daredevils can swim. There is all the infrastructure, hotels and cafes. The road to Teriberka is also noteworthy – you can see how forest replaces forest-tundra, and then tundra.
The best way to get to Teriberka is by car. The way one way is 140 km and it takes several hours to get there. It is worth to take into account that there is no petrol station, fuel up before you leave Murmansk. For those who don’t have a car, you can take bus 241 from the Murmansk bus station three times a week. Travel time is 3 hours. The cost is 600 ₽. The schedule is on the website of the bus station. Cabs cost from 2500 ₽. In winter, during bad weather, the road is periodically closed due to snow drifts. Cars and buses do not go.
You can visit the waterfall on the river Titovka . It is called the Mill Falls and consists of three cascades. Nearby there are the remains of the former hydroelectric power station of World War II. These waterfalls are situated on the 105th km of the freeway E105 in the direction of Norway. After the bridge through Titovka you need to turn right at the sign of Rybachy and Sredny peninsula. After one kilometer again turn right. The road will take you down to the clearing where the cascade of waterfalls is located. Geo-point – 69.484375, 31.848763.
Get by car or by bus number 211 to the stop Staraya Titovka. Note that this is a border strip, and passports are checked at the entrance. You need a Russian passport, and you do not need a pass.
If you are interested in mountain skiing and snowboarding, you should go to Khibiny, to Kirovsk. The winter season here lasts until May. Those who don’t go skiing can take a day trip to Maly Vudyavr Lake in the mountains. This is a favorite vacation spot for locals. Any car can get to the lake in the warm season. When it snows, you can only walk from the Tirvas sanatorium.
To get to Khibiny is easy: by car or by train/plane from the town of Apatity, which is 20 km away.
Where to eat in Murmansk
In Murmansk there is a great choice of places to eat for all budgets. Be sure to try the local dishes of seafood and venison. Let’s start with the budget places.
Here are low prices and complex dinners. If you want to eat inexpensive and tasty, this is the place. The average bill is 320 ₽.
The name says it all, it’s really good. It has northern food with funny northern names. I recommend to try the venison dishes. The average bill is ₽800.
I recommend going in to try the fish dishes. The average bill is 1,000 ₽.
You can try crab and other seafood. Average check – 800 ₽.
Not the highest cuisine, moderate prices. Average check – 650 ₽.
A place with royal food and an appropriate interior. It’s a popular place to eat but it’s better to book well in advance. This place is considered one of the best in the city. The prices are high relative to the city, but there’s a big choice too. The average bill is 1,400 ₽.
It is located on the 17th floor of Azimut Hotel, and many people come here for the panoramic view of the city. Local seafood is on the menu. The average bill is ₽1,000.
When to go to Murmansk
Murmansk is located behind the polar line, the climate is harsh. Winter lasts long, the first snow falls in October and melts in May. Total – about 210 days a year. An interesting fact: winter in Murmansk, thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, begins later than in other northern regions.
The coldest time is in January and February. Average temperature is -10 C, there are thaws and frosts down to -30 ° C. Because of the high humidity, the frost is felt more strongly.
The polar night lasts from December 2 to January 11. During this time, the days in the city are short and gloomy. The sun does not rise above the horizon.
March is sunnier, the day is already long. For a winter trip is ideal.
Spring comes late. In May the snow comes off, but it is not an interesting time to visit. It is muddy and damp. There may be light snowfalls in early summer. June through September has the most rainfall of the year.
July is the warmest month of the year. Average temperature is +12 °С, sometimes it is +25 °С and even higher, but it is rare. It usually rains a lot, and the cloudiest month with rain is August. Murmansk is not about swimming and beach vacation. At best, the water temperature will be 18 degrees Celsius. In Murmansk you can rarely swim, but only when the summer is hot or you have a hardened body.
In summer there are mosquitoes and midges. In the city not so much, but sometimes the residents complain. In the neighborhood and in the nature a lot of gnats, so take repellents and nakomarniki. If you go in August, the mosquitoes are on the decline. There are almost no ticks in the area.
Despite the bad weather, summer is a good time to visit, you can see the polar day. It comes on May 22 and lasts until July 22. It is more difficult to fall asleep on polar day. The body thinks the day goes on. For those who are sensitive to this, I recommend taking a mask over your eyes. The weather in the fall is variable, often there can be rain and sunshine.
The Northern Lights are something worth coming to the Arctic Circle for. It happens from late August to early April. The rest of the time it is not visible because of the white nights.
How to get to Murmansk
You can get to the capital of the Arctic Circle by plane, train or car. Kola road is the only highway that leads to Murmansk. It is in excellent condition, has smooth asphalt, but in some places, drivers notice the lack of infrastructure and gas stations.
Before traveling carefully calculate the fuel consumption of your car. The way by car from St. Petersburg to Murmansk is 1300 km and 16 hours drive. If you leave early in the morning, you will get to the evening, but such a long trip for the lover. Who is not ready, can go with overnight stay in Petrozavodsk. From there it will be 900 km and 11 hours of driving.
If you arrive by plane, from the airport to the center you can take a minibus № 106. They go several times an hour. The way to the city will take an hour. A cab to the center costs ₽500-700.
If you arrive by train, you’ll be in the city center. You can go for a walk to the Five Corners or to the icebreaker “Lenin”. Nearby is the bus station. From there you can go to the far corners of the region.
How to move around the city
If you do not have a car, you will have to take a bus, trolleybus or cab to get around Murmansk. Public transport costs 35 ₽, the cab around the city will cost 200-300 ₽. If traveling with a group, this is the most convenient option. There is no carsharing.
The city is stretched along the Kola Bay. To get from one area to another, you can spend half an hour or more.
In Murmansk you can take a detour road to get from one area to another, it is sometimes faster
For motorists keep in mind. If you are going to drive along the Murmansk lake, you may use a detour road to get from one district to another, which is sometimes faster. If you don’t want to be on the crossing, it’s better to take the longer route, which is suggested by Yandex Navigator. You should especially avoid Portovaya proezd at the section from Chelyuskintsev Street to the port.
Traffic jams in the city are also at 8-10 and 18-20 hours. Most of them are in the center.
For a more convenient tour around the city, you can rent a car. Prices from 1500 ₽ per day, but if you go to Teriberka or Rybachy, you will be charged extra for depreciation of the car on bad roads.
Where to stay in Murmansk
In Murmansk there is a wide choice of accommodations for all tastes – from cheap hostels to expensive hotels. If you go to a large company, it is more convenient to rent an apartment, it is cheaper. Prices depend on the area, looking for the location, so that it was closer to the center (Lenin Prospekt, Kirov Prospekt, Shmidt St. and Cheluskintsev). I will show the most convenient options in the center.
The most budget option – hostels.
Umka . An ordinary hostel with an unexpectedly pleasant interior.
Yagel hostel . A simple cozy hostel, has everything you need.
Mini hotel “Polar circle” . A simple hotel, there is a kitchen, you can cook yourself. Toilets and showers are common. Prices are very low.
Rooms & Breakfast . A small hotel with a good level of service and new renovation.
AZIMUT Hotel . Former hotel “Arctic”. One of the best hotels in Murmansk – four stars. Good service, nice interiors and great views of the whole city.
What to bring from Murmansk
In addition to the usual souvenirs you can bring northern berry jam, fish, crab, sea urchins. There are many specialized stores in the city, but do not expect low prices. Crab claws from 2500 ₽/kg, scallops from 1900 ₽, red caviar from 3500 ₽, salmon from 900 ₽, cod from 300 ₽, catfish from 700 ₽, halibut from 900 ₽.
There’s a good selection at several stores at 31 Portovoy Proyezd and a stall near the train station. You can also get to them by the overpass from the train station so you don’t have to drive up from the other side.
Tips for tourists
1. The best option is to go in September, when the weather is golden autumn and is not so cold (+5-10 ° C in the daytime), plus there is already an opportunity to see the Northern Lights. In any case, both in winter and summer take warm clothes. The weather is unpredictable, often unfavorable weather conditions prevail.
I spent two weeks in the Murmansk region and only three days were good. The rest of the time it rained or drizzled. You may be lucky and you won’t see any rain. But you should take warm clothes in any case, even if the weather forecast says that it will be dry and sunny.
3. In Murmansk you can spend one or two days and then you should go to the region.
4. 4. It is better to observe the Aurora Borealis better not in the city, because it is not visible because of the street illumination. It is optimal to go out of town in the direction of Teriberka or Nikel. There are parking lots for observation with corresponding signs on the highway. More often the light happens between 21 and 3 a.m., but it all depends on weather conditions. There is no guarantee that you will definitely see it.
Murmansk sights with photos and descriptions: What to see? +Video review
Described the main sights of Murmansk. Addresses, pictures, names of places. Entertainment for children. Where to go and what to see?
Nuclear-powered icebreaker “Lenin”.
The silhouette of the legendary first nuclear icebreaker “Lenin”, built in the Soviet Union in 1957, is already impressive when approaching the Murmansk Sea Port. Here, in 1989, after serving its working life, the icebreaker was moored at the sea port, becoming a museum complex.
The ship’s grandiosity is evidenced by its impressive size. It was 134 meters long and had a displacement of 16,000 tons. During the tour of the first-born of nuclear ice-breaking, tourists will see the working areas of the ship and the resting cabins of the crew, numbering 243 people.
You will be told how the icebreaker was able to be in autonomous voyage for a year uninterruptedly, opening the way for caravans of ships in the Arctic ice. Excursions to the nuclear-powered icebreaker “Lenin” last for one hour, on weekdays from 12.00 and on weekends from 11.00 to 15.00.
About the history of Murmansk
Plans to found a port city on the Barents Sea, the government nurtured since the 1870s. In 1915 was founded Murmansk Sea Port. The official date of foundation of the city was October 4 (September 21, the old style), 1916, when on a small hill, where Kirov Palace of Culture and Folk Art is located today, a solemn ceremony of laying the foundation of the church in honor of the patron of sailors, Saint Nicholas of Myra, took place.
Murmansk was the last city founded under Tsarist rule. It had its original name of Romanov-on-Murman for a short time – until the February Revolution of 1917.
During the Civil War, Murmansk experienced an invasion by interventionists – landing parties from British ships. Many city residents who resisted were shot or imprisoned. In the early 1920s, less than 2,500 people lived in the town. He was no more than two or three more or less equipped one-story streets, plus a disorderly cluster of shacks, barracks, adapted for housing cars, abandoned interventionists “suitcases” – houses made of corrugated iron.
Under Stalin, the city began to develop rapidly. It became a base for the Northern Fleet, for sea communication with the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Combine that was under construction, and a major supplier of fish and fish products to other parts of the USSR. One- and two-story, and then multi-story houses were built in whole streets. Since 1934 in Murmansk began to run buses, and the railroad – Express “Polar arrow” to Leningrad. By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the population of Murmansk was 120,000 people.
Soviet Murmansk in the photo of the famous traveler, photographer of National Geographic publishing house Dean Conger.
During the war, Murmansk was attacked by the Nazis from both land and air. By the number of air attacks Murmansk is second only to Stalingrad. Appropriate were the destruction: three-quarters of the city was razed to the ground. At the same time the city was able to receive a large amount of lend-lease cargo to the Soviet Union from Britain and the United States. Nazi troops were repulsed from Murmansk only at the end of 1944. After the war, the city was included among the fifteen cities of the USSR, the restoration of which was considered a priority. In 1985, Murmansk was awarded the title “Hero City”.
The port city was restored and developed dynamically up to the end of the 1980s. The deterioration of the economic situation caused a steady outflow of population. In 1991 the population of Murmansk was 473,000 people, and in 2018 – 295,000. And it is mostly the young, active population that is leaving, and the generations who moved to the city in the 1950s and 1970s – people who have reached an advanced age – are staying.
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Memorial “To Defenders of the Soviet Polar Regions during WWII”.
A visiting card of Murmansk was built in 1967 a memorial to the defenders of the Soviet Polar Forces during the Great Patriotic War. The monument is installed on the hill, where in 1941 there was an anti-aircraft battery, protecting the city from the bombings. On the seven-meter pedestal rises to 31.5 meters majestic figure of a Soviet soldier in a trenchcoat and automatic rifle on his shoulder. The townspeople affectionately call him Alyosha.
Near the monument at the podium made of black stone, the eternal flame never goes out. A soldier’s severe gaze is directed to the west from where the invaders came in 1941. The memorial complex ends with a sloping three-sided pyramid behind the monument. It symbolizes the Battle Banner, which was lowered as a sign of mourning for fallen soldiers.
Complement the ensemble granite stele with the names of military units, border and guerrilla groups who fought for the city, and anti-aircraft guns that served as protection of the port city. The Alley of Hero Cities of the Soviet Union leads to the memorial.
Memorial to the Defenders of the Soviet Polar Region
The events of World War II have a special significance for the history of the city. The Soviet soldiers could not boast of a good level of training or decent weaponry, but still managed to stop the German ground troops. Later, the enemy leveled Murmansk with air bombs, but the city never surrendered. A monument to the heroes of the Arctic Circle was opened in 1974. The figure of a soldier was affectionately nicknamed Alyosha (the most common male name in the postwar years). The 40-meter tall soldier is the second tallest statue in the country. Only the Motherland in Volgograd is taller.
Photo: © Natalia Semchina
The main street of Murmansk – Lenin Avenue
The main thoroughfare of the city was laid when it was founded in 1916, and it was planned to name it after the tsar – Nikolaevsky Prospect. But the first brick buildings on this street were built only in 1934. These architectural monuments of the Soviet era are seven-story captain’s houses. For Murmansk in those years these were buildings of enormous height.
Monument to Anatoly Bredov.
On Leninsky Prospekt there are monuments to Soviet soldiers – defenders of the Arctic. After all, from here the Soviet military units, arriving by rail, went to the front lines. Here, after the victory, columns of prisoners of German and Finnish invaders were held. Among the monuments the monument to the machine-gunner and Hero of the Soviet Union (posthumously), Anatoly Bredov, is especially notable. Having expended all his ammunition and being surrounded by the enemy, he did not surrender but blew himself up with his last grenade. This monument speaks eloquently about the heat of the battles that took place near Murmansk.
Five Corners Square
The outlines of the main city square, laid out at the intersection of five roads, are surprising in their non-standard shape of a pentagonal rhombus.
This is where Five Corners Square got its unusual name in the 1990s. It is called the heart and birthplace of the polar city, because on this spot in 1916, the first stone of St. Nicholas Church was laid. Today from the Five Corners Square, which has become a business and cultural center of Murmansk, begins 4 streets.
In its architectural appearance, developed in Soviet times, woven into the buildings of the regional and city government, the regional Duma, the Drama Theater, the Palace of Culture, the main post office and two major hotels: “Arctic” and “Meridian”.
Green oases of the square are: the public garden behind the Palace of Culture with a small town for children, a fountain and a monument to the cod fish, and the public garden behind the Arktika hotel, remarkable for the first city monument to the victims of the 1915 intervention and the weeping fountain.
Museum of local history
The four-story building of the Regional Museum of Local Lore stands out brightly on the central Lenin Avenue with its light green facade, white square columns, and the decor of the entrance. It first opened its doors to visitors on October 17, 1926.
Over the years the museum has amassed a large collection, of which 15 thousand exhibits are on display to the public. In the regional museum there are two unique branches.
One of them in the village of Lovozero is devoted to the history and life of the Lapps who lived on the Kola Peninsula, and the other branch in the village of Umba introduces the culture and life of the Pomors. Thematic collections about the history of the region, seas and marine inhabitants of the Kola Peninsula, birds of the region, landscapes of tundra, minerals, etc. are of great interest in the museum expositions.
In connection with the reconstruction of the main building, planned by the end of 2020, these expositions can be seen in the hangar on Pavlova Street.
According to legend, once there was only one man – fisherman Semen Korzhnev – who lived on the shore of the lake. That’s how the lake located within the city walls got its name Semenovskoye. There are a lot of fish here: trout, perch, pike, etc. Besides fishing, in summer you can take a catamaran or a boat trip around the lake, go for a walk along the waterfront, or have a rest in one of the local cafes. And in winter the mirror-like mirror-like surface, covered with a thick layer of ice, is perfect for sledging and skating.
Photo: © Natalia Semchina
Bridge over Kola bay
The automobile bridge over Kola Bay, built in 2005, is the main object of the residents’ pride. It stretches four lanes for 2.5 km, connecting the two banks of the bay and providing road connections with the Murmansk region areas to the west, with Finland and Norway. All technical characteristics of the bridge meet modern requirements. At any time of the year you can enjoy the beautiful views of the hills, and at night the bridge looks magical in the fairy tale illumination.
Bridge crossing in the summer time became a place for the annual sports and entertainment festival “Murmansk mile”.
Its exciting program includes a sailing regatta and a swim across the Kola Bay, beach volleyball and mini soccer in the sand, cycling and skateboarding. But the main sporting event of the festival is a mass athletics race at a distance of 1611 meters.
In the city there is an alley called Music Alley or Alley of Love by citizens of Murmansk. This romantic name this place was given for the sound of classical music, to which couples in love like to stroll.
The alley leads to the City College of Arts, where you can hear the sounds of music, and on the benches, imitating the piano keys, the musicians love to sit, playing melodies. The Music Alley is decorated with paved pathway, with trees, shrubs, lawns and flower beds on both sides.
Along the walkway is an arcade of neon hearts, magically glowing in the evenings, for which the place is also called Hearts Alley. The unique magical aura created by music and light emanating from the arches in the shape of hearts made Music Alley recognized by the magazine “National Geographic Traveler Russia” as the most romantic place in Russia. Today, Music Alley of Love has become a favorite place for wedding photo shoots.
Church of the Savior on the Waters
The Church of the Savior on Waters (Spas na Vody) is an Orthodox church which got its name from the icon of Christ walking on water. It was built in 2002 as part of the memorial complex dedicated to the memory of sailors who died in peacetime.
The architecture of the church is a single-apsed quatrefoil, completed with a single golden onion with a cross. The snow-white temple stands out for its traditional Old Russian style. The church is adjoined by a three-tiered hipped bell tower topped with a golden onion and cross.
Inside the church are icons revered by Christians: Christ walking on water, the Apostle of the Firstborn, the Mother of God, St. Matrona of Moscow, and the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. These and other icons have taken their place in the church’s iconostasis, carved from linden on the model of the northern style. Also of honor in the church are icons of northern saints and miracle workers who help sailors – the Venerable Trifon of Pechenga and Barlaam of Keret.
Murmansk Regional Drama Theater
The Murmansk Regional Drama Theater.
The Murmansk Drama Theater was founded in 1939. In its first season it had already hosted productions by such masters of the pen as Ostrovsky, Goncharov, Gorky and Lope de Vega. During the war, the company performed at the front, supporting Soviet soldiers, and in hospitals.
Already in peacetime, in 1963, the mobile theater received its own building, decorated with bas-reliefs and columns. Now it stages productions of Russian and foreign classics and modern playwrights. The theater is regularly on tour, has already visited the Crimea, Karelia, the Arkhangelsk region and Scandinavian countries.
Address: Murmansk Regional Drama Theatre, Lenin Avenue, Murmansk, Russia.
Husky kennel “Alaska Smile”.
It is impossible to feel the real north without visiting the Murmansk kennel with sled dogs – Huskies. It contains more than 80 sport sled dogs. Everyone can experience the romance of the race on northern dogs and try to be a musher himself.
For fans of sports and outdoor activities it is a real dream to take a ride on a professional sled dog in the freezing air. To drive a six strong and beautiful dogs harnessed to the real sled, means to feel like a researcher of the Far North. Such emotions will stay in your memory forever.
It is amazing that it is possible to see African ostriches in permafrost in the polar regions. They feel perfectly well on the ostrich farm “Northern Lights”, opened in 2007 in the village of Molochny by one of the Murmansk families. The birds, which survived the fearsome dinosaurs in the distant past, moved here from Vilnius and settled down quickly. Besides ostriches, the farm is home to families of feathered birds: quails, geese, ducks and turkeys, peacocks, and the red eagle.
You will also meet representatives of larger fauna: deer, sheep, goats and rabbits. In a word the farm “Northern Lights” can be called a contact zoo, because you can stroke, feed and take pictures with animals and ostriches, see nests and chicks hatched from eggs, ride horses and quadrocycles.
The farm offers to buy organic products: ostrich and quail meat, eggs, rabbit and goat milk products. Local guide will tell you a lot of interesting things about the habits of the inhabitants of the farm.
Murmansk Oceanarium works since 1984. It is the only place in Russia, where they train arctic seals and show their performances. Here every resident and guest of the city can get acquainted with marine life, learn a lot of new and interesting about them. It is noted that interaction with seals has a beneficial effect on health, and the Aquarium regularly organizes such sessions for children with autism; conducts charity events for children from boarding schools.
Address: Prospekt Geroev-Severomortsev, 4.
On Oktyabrskaya Street there is an interesting institution “Coonopolis”. It can be called neither a contact zoo, nor a circus. Officially, “Raccoonopolis”, where raccoons live in a friendly family, is called the Center of Zoot Therapy.
Visitors of the center can see how these furry thieves live and what they do, cleaning everything in their paws. There are no cages in the center, so you can get up close and personal with the funny animals. You can feed them, give them water, pet them, carry them in your arms, but be careful in the meantime, because cute raccoons like to pick pockets.
Visitors will be warned that if you make an animal angry, it may bite. You will learn a lot about the habits of these animals from an all-knowing raccoon instructor. You can take pictures and videos in the entire territory of “Raccoonopolis”. If you are going to visit this amazing place, you should take into account that sleeping and days off are strictly regulated for raccoons, so you should sign up for a visit in advance.
The cultural and park complex named after Naydenov. Naydenov
Located on the shore of Lake Semenov, the cultural and park complex named after O. Naidyonov. О. P. Naidenov is one of the most popular places to relax in the city. Here you can find a lot of trees and bushes and paved pedestrian paths. Also there is a boat station and attractions for children and adults. You may even want to take a ride on the Ferris wheel, which offers a view over the entire city.
Photo: © Natalia Semchina
The “Lights of Murmansk” park
Provides the widest opportunities for both ordinary and active recreation. Including boating and catamaran rides, paintball and shooting gallery, in winter – snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, ski center. A lot of attractions, playgrounds and a water park are arranged especially for younger visitors of the park.