The 45 best sights of the Urals – descriptions and photos

The 45 best sights of the Urals – descriptions and photos

Yekaterinburg is a city with a rich, interesting and complicated history. One of the main silent witnesses of bygone days are numerous temples and chapels of the city, which have experienced a variety of times – both glorious and bitter.


Among age-old cedars, wrapped in a blue haze of marshes, among the melodic cacophony of the taiga kingdom, silently rises the remains of an ancient settlement, capable of competing with the age of the Egyptian pyramids.

Samarovsky Ostanets Archaeopark

Khanty-Mansiysk Archaeopark can be rightly called a city visiting card, because this place is the first in the list of any excursion program and it is considered to be a must-see for every tourist. Samarovsky Ostanets Archaeopark is a cultural and tourist complex.


The Ural Jerusalem, an amazing region where a huge number of holy places, churches and monasteries are concentrated, numerous trails to which pilgrims from all over Russia have trampled, is located on the Tura River in the Sverdlovsk region.

Ganina Yama

Ganina Yama is a unique temple complex, whose dominant feature is, of course, the church in honor of the Holy Royal Passion Bearers, where the myrrh-stained cross is kept. Related buildings of the tract are also of historical value: the vicar’s house, refectory, bell tower, monastery museum and church shop.

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Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts

The basis of the museum collection was a collection of the Ural Society of Amateurs of Natural History. Until 1936 this collection was a part of regional museum, then was transferred to Sverdlovsk Art Gallery.

Kesene Mausoleum

Kesene Mausoleum, the brightest example of early Muslim memorial architecture, appeared in the 14th century on the headland of the dried-up lake Big Kesene. Around the mausoleum there are many burial mounds, including 6 mounds of the Bronze Age, one mound of the Early Iron Age and about 150 mounds of the Late Middle Ages.

Museum of the History of Stonecutting and Jewellery Art

The State museum of history of stone-cutting and jeweler’s art was created in 1992, thanks to active support of the public of Yekaterinburg. The exposition of the museum includes outstanding mineralogical monuments.

Torum-Maa Museum

Open-air ethnographic museum “Torum-Maa”. – The pride of the local people. Located in the picturesque forests of the Siberian taiga, the museum keeps and carries through time the ancient culture and traditions of the Khanty-Mansi people. Among the expositions are the buildings of the original inhabitants and their household items.

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New Tikhvin female monastery in Yekaterinburg

Alexander Nevsky Novo-Tikhvin female monastery in Yekaterinburg was opened in the late 18th century and traces its history back to the Church of the Assumption at the cemetery. There was a hospice and a women’s community attached to it, which in 1809 became a monastery.

Smolino Lake

Within the city of Chelyabinsk Mother Nature splashed azure waters of the lake Smolino, whose age goes deep into the centuries, or rather fluctuates around 3 million years. The proof is the sinker of the prehistoric fisherman found on the shores, dated back to the 4th millennium BC.


Plotinka is a place of meetings and partings. This is where all the most interesting things in Yekaterinburg happen. Students come here, lovers make a date, newlyweds come from the registry office. De Genin and Tatishchev – the founders of the city – watch them.

Holy Trinity Monastery in Tyumen

One of the oldest monasteries in Siberia, Holy Trinity Monastery is located in Tyumen and traces its history back to 1616. It is not only an extremely respected monastery in Orthodoxy with a rich history and a mass of relics and shrines, but also an architectural monument of federal importance.

Glinka Opera and Ballet Theater

The development of musical culture and artistic and aesthetic education of the population lies on the mighty and well-trained shoulders of the M. Glinka Chelyabinsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, or rather on its four pillars – orchestra, opera, ballet and choir.

The Tobolsk Kremlin

It is an amazingly beautiful complex of ancient buildings, standing on the Trinity cape under the canopy of cedars trembling in the harsh northern wind. Tobolsk Kremlin is not only the only stone Kremlin in Siberia, it is the unique complex of historical monuments.

Vainer Street.

Any megalopolis is known to be overloaded with all kinds of transport. Sometimes it seems that huge cities exist not for people, but for cars. That is why in almost every major city one of the most popular and interesting places are considered pedestrian streets.

The manor of A. A. Zheleznov

In the heart of Yekaterinburg, on the former Zlatoustovskaya Street, you can see an unusual red-brick ramshackle house. When you look at this amazing building, you get the impression that this house is the most at all magic.

Church on the Blood

The largest temple in Yekaterinburg is on the site of the execution of the royal family. This is a five-domed building with 14 bells and the lower level with a museum complex. As conceived by the architect, through the aperture of the iconostasis you can see the place where Nicholas II and his family were shot.

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Shartash stone tents

Shartash stone tents – a unique natural monument, which is 2 km from the center of Yekaterinburg. Behind the funny name are huge rocky formations, which appeared many years ago. Why do the rocks have such a strange name?

Ural Vision Gallery

Ural Vision Gallery is a modern art space of 600 square meters in Yekaterinburg. The gallery was opened by Alla and Viktor Loschenko in 2009 and entered the international contemporary art market in 2012.

The Urals is not only the border between Europe and Asia. The Ural region is rich in minerals, metallurgy and the chemical industry, which bring tangible benefits to our economy.

And the people who live here are not at all harsh, but very open and friendly. The expression “She’s from the Urals!” (remember the Soviet comedy “The Most Charming and Attractive”) also lost its relevance a long time ago. Cities in the Urals are buzzing with modern life, which is no less dynamic than life in the Russian capital.

You can take a civilized tour around the Urals attractions (by sightseeing buses and with a guide) or you can go camping.

By the way, there are seven regions neighboring the Urals, including: Republic of Bashkortostan, Kurgan, Orenburg, Chelyabinsk, and Sverdlovsk regions, as well as Perm and Udmurtia.

Every year thousands of tourists come here to conquer the famous Ural Mountains and mountain ranges, swim in healing springs and reservoirs, visit holy places and, finally, enjoy the beauty of the Ural nature to the full.

Some of the most popular Ural attractions are the Iremel Mountains and the Kapova Cave in Bashkortostan, the ancient city of Arkaim and Lake Uvildy in the Chelyabinsk region, and Verkhoturye, a rich city of Orthodox sanctuaries in the Sverdlovsk region.

Among the attractions of the Urals region one cannot ignore the hot springs, which are located in the Tyumen region, and Kungurskaya Cave, located in the Perm region.

You can travel to the sights of the Urals in a civilized manner (by sightseeing buses and accompanied by a guide), or you can go on a wild ride (with your own car or with a backpack).

Rest in Egypt and safety

You can plan your route and get to the places of interest in the Ural Mountains on your own because all of the major Ural towns have airports, train and bus stations.

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“Ural-batushka” – so respectfully called the supporting edge of the state. At all times it has been a magic box, filled to the top with gold and gems – amethysts, rubies, emeralds. In fact, the support is not jewelry, but the powerful Ural Mountain Range. It is on it that everything rests – factories, plants, cities.

From the point of view of geology, the Ural Mountains are a geosyncline – a giant fold, stretching from north to south for 2,000 kilometers. Three hundred million years ago, it was a living hell. Inhuman force was crushing and ripping the rocks as if they were made of plasticine. The bacchanalia lasted more than 150 million years. During that period about fifty types of minerals were formed in the bowels of the earth.

Then came a long period of quiet life. The Urals were aging and crumbling. Now the rocky mountains can be seen only in the north and in the Chelyabinsk region. The width of the range varies from 40 to 150 km. The highest peak – Mount Narodnaya – is located in the Circumpolar Urals. Its height reaches 1895 meters. This is not much by the mountain standards. But the territory is still picturesque and rich in minerals.

In addition, the Ural Mountain Range is unique in that it is the border between two continents – Europe and Asia. The scientific justification for this was given by geographer Vasily Tatishchev. He proved that the mountain range is a natural climatic and botanical border, as well as a place where different cultures and ethnic groups come together. Unlike administrative borders, the Ural Mountains are open to all comers. You don’t need a visa to cross it.

There are many tourist routes laid along the Urals. The true treasure is nature reserves and national parks. There are rivers for rafting and lakes for swimming. There are caves and unusual natural formations. Old towns beckon with museums. The expositions are rich in minerals and ornamental stones. There are also places of power and places of mystery. Touristically, the Ural Mountains are inexhaustible!

1 South Ural reserve

Ecological trail in the reserve

Ecological path in the reserve

One of the largest nature reserves is located in the central part of the Southern Urals. It is located on the territory of two subjects of the Russian Federation – Bashkiria and Chelyabinsk region. Almost 90% of the protected lands are in Bashkortostan. The total area is 253,000 km². It appeared on the geographical map of the USSR in 1978.

Maldives: Siinu Atoll

The Yuryuzan, Katav, Nura, Inzer and other rivers flow through the territory of the reserve. Mount Yamantau (1640 m), the highest peak of the Southern Urals, towers here. Also worth mentioning is the Bolshoy Shelom (1427 m. high). The Mashak, Zigalga and Kumardak ranges stand out for their power. Of course, the height of the Ural Mountains is significantly inferior to the Caucasus or the Alps, but it has an identity.

Tourists are offered several eco-trails. Equipped trails lead to the Bolshoy Shelom and Dunan-Suigan mountains, the Maly Yamantau ridge and the Domny Kamen tract. There is an ecological camp called Rudnye Vesi (Ore Weights). There are tables, benches, a fire pit and a toilet. There is a nature museum in the visitor’s center, located in the Central Manor. Routes are available year-round.

The Central farmstead is located in the village of Revet . The distance from Ufa is 170 km. You can reach the reserve by road Ufa – Beloretsk, or by railroad Ufa – Inzer – Beloretsk. There is a station near the village of Revet. For visiting of the reserve the permission is required.

2. 2. The Yugyd Va National Park

The Northern nature is severe but beautiful

The Northern Nature is harsh but beautiful

You can see fantastic landscapes in the Northern and Polar Urals. Since people are very rare in these places, nature has managed to preserve its pristine nature. It is here that the National Park with the intricate name “Yugyd Va” is located. Translated from the Komi language it means “Bright Water”. The park is partially on the territory of the Komi Republic. These places are so unique that together with the “Virgin Komi Forests” they are under UNESCO protection.

With an area of 2 million hectares, Yugyd Va is considered the largest national park in Russia. From the north to the south it stretches 280 kilometers, from the west to the east – 120 km. In the protected territory and on its borders there are the highest peaks of the Urals – “Narodnaya” (1895 m), Karpinsky (1803 m), Belfry (1721 m), Telpos-iz (1620 m), Sabre (1497 m) and Manaraga (1662 m).

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On the mountain slopes many rivers originate. The largest are Shchugor, Kozhim and Bolshaya Synya. They carry their waters into the Pechora River. About 40 species of animals and more than 200 species of birds live in the mountains and forests. The reserve can boast of 600 species of plants. Once these places were inhabited by Mansi, Khanty and Nenets. Now you won’t find any human dwellings here. But willingly go tourists – lovers of hiking and skiing tours, as well as rafting on the mountain rivers.

You can get to the national park from the cities of Vuktyl, Inta and Pechora. To Vuktyl there are regular buses from Ukhta. Travel time is about 4 hours. On this route fly planes. This option may come in handy during the muddy weather. From Syktyvkar to Inta fly twice a week. Trains to Vorkuta stop in Inta and Pechora. In the summer season, small boats ply between Pechora and Vuktyl.

3. Manpupungyor plateau

Mansy chump

This plateau is recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of Russia. It is located in the Troitsko-Pechorsky region of Komi, but some tourist routes begin in the Northern Urals. On the plateau towering giant remnants, which are also called “Mansi boulders”. From the giants and reeks of mysticism. The height of the remains varies from 30 to 42 meters. This corresponds to the height of a ten-story house!

The weathering pillars stand on Mount Man-Pupu-nir, which means “small mountain of idols” in Mansi language. For the Mansi this place was and still is a cult place. The remains are located on the protected territory of the Pechoro-Ilychsky reserve and have the status of a geological monument. It may seem that they are of man-made origin, but it’s not so. For hundreds of thousands of years the wind, water and temperature changes have made these stone giants out of the rock.

There are four ways to get to this unique natural monument. The most popular route goes from the side of Komi through the cordons of the reserve. The more difficult walking route begins in the north of the Sverdlovsk region and passes through the Dyatlov Pass. The fastest, but the most expensive way is a helicopter excursion. From Perm side helicopters fly from Nyrob settlement, from Komi side – from Troitsko-Pechorsk settlement. In winter there is a ski route from the eastern side of the Three Rivers.

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