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Yekaterinburg , alternatively romanized as Ekaterinburg, is the fourth-largest city in Russia and the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast, located in the middle of the Eurasian continent, on the border of Europe and Asia. At the 2010 Census, it had a population of 1,349,772.
Yekaterinburg is the main industrial and cultural center of the Ural Federal District. Between 1924 and 1991, the city was named Sverdlovsk (Свердло́вск) after the Communist party leader Yakov Sverdlov.
|FOUNDED :||November 18, 1723|
|TIME ZONE :||YEKT (UTC+05:00)|
|AREA :||495 km2 (191 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||56°50′N 60°35′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 46.2%|
• Female: 53.8%
|AREA CODE :||343|
|POSTAL CODE :||620000|
|DIALING CODE :||+7 343|
|WEBSITE :||Official website|
Tourist information and maps
You should either buy a street map from one of the many newsstands and shops in the train stations, print out a street map of Yekaterinburg, or pick up a free detailed street map from the Ekaterinburg Tourist Information Service at 8 Marta St. #21, office #2, located in the city center.
Vasily Tatishchev and Georg Wilhelm de Gennin founded Yekaterinburg in 1723 and named it after the wife of TsarPeter the Great, Yekaterina, who later became empress regnant Catherine I. The official date of the city's foundation is November 18, 1723. It was granted town status in 1796.
The city was one of Russia's first industrial cities, prompted at the start of the eighteenth century by decrees from the Tsar requiring the development in Yekaterinburg of metal-working businesses. The city was built, with extensive use of iron, to a regular square plan with iron works and residential buildings at the centre. These were surrounded by fortified walls, so that Yekaterinburg was at the same time both a manufacturing centre and a fortress at the frontier between Europe and Asia. It therefore found itself at the heart of Russia's strategy for further development of the entire Ural region. The so-called Siberian highway became operational in 1763 and placed the city on an increasingly important transit route, which led to its development as a focus of trade and commerce between east and west, and gave rise to the description of the city as the "window on Asia". With the growth in trade and the city's administrative importance, the ironworks became less critical, and the more important buildings were increasingly built using expensive stone. Small manufacturing and trading businesses proliferated. In 1781 Russia's empress, Catherine the Great, nominated the city as the administrative centre for the wider region, which led to a further increase in the numbers of military and administrative personnel in the city.
The Tsar's family
Following the October Revolution, the family of deposed Tsar Nicholas II were sent to internal exile in Yekaterinburg where they were imprisoned in the Ipatiev House in the city. In the early hours of the morning of July 17, 1918, the deposed Tsar, his wife Alexandra, and their children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana,Maria, Anastasia, and Tsarevich Alexei were executed by the Bolsheviks at the Ipatiev House. Other members of the Romanov family were killed at Alapayevsk later the same day. On July 16, 1918, the Czechoslovak legions were closing on Yekaterinburg. The Bolsheviks executed the deposed imperial family, believing that the Czechoslovaks were on a mission to rescue them. The Legions arrived less than a week later and captured the city.
In 1977, the Ipatiev House was demolished by order of Boris Yeltsin, to prevent it from being used as a rallying location for monarchists. Yeltsin later became the first President of Russia and represented the people at the funeral of the former Tsar in 1998.
On August 24, 2007, the BBC reported that Russian archaeologists had found the remains of two children of Russia's last Tsar. The remains were discovered in the ground close to the site in Yekaterinburg where the former Tsar, his wife, and their three other daughters were found in 1991 along with the remains of four servants. The discoveries in 2007 are thought to be those of Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria. Archaeologist Sergei Pogorelov said bullets found at the burial site indicate the children had been shot. He told Russian television the newly unearthed bones belonged to two young people: a young male aged roughly 10–13 and a young woman about 18–23. Ceramic vessels found nearby appear to have contained sulfuric acid, consistent with an account by one of the Bolshevik firing squad, who said that after shooting the family they doused the bodies in acid to destroy the flesh and prevent them becoming objects of veneration. The Tsar's remains were given a state funeral in July 1998.
1930s and World War II
During the 1930s, Yekaterinburg was one of several places developed by the Soviet government as a center of heavy industry, during which time the famous Uralmash was built. Then, during World War II, many state technical institutions and whole factories were relocated to Yekaterinburg away from cities affected by war (mostly Moscow), with many of them staying in Yekaterinburg after the victory. The Hermitage Museum collections were also partly evacuated from Leningrad to Yekaterinburg (known as Sverdlovsk during Soviet times) in July 1941 and remained there until October 1945.
The lookalike five-story apartment blocks that remain today in Kirovsky, Chkalovsky, and other residential areas of Yekaterinburg sprang up in the 1960s, under the direction of Khrushchev's government.
On May 1, 1960, an American U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powerswhile under the employ of the CIA, was shot down over Sverdlovsk Oblast. He was captured, put on trial, found guilty of espionage and sentenced to seven years of hard labour. He served only about a year before being exchanged forRudolph Abel, a high-ranking KGB spy, who had been apprehended in the United States in 1957.
There was an anthrax outbreak in Yekaterinburg (then called Sverdlovsk) in April and May 1979, which was attributed to a release from the Sverdlovsk-19 military facility.
During the 1991 coup d'état attempt, Sverdlovsk, the home city of President Boris Yeltsin, was selected by him as a reserve capital for the Russian Federation, in the event that Moscow became too dangerous for the Russian government. A reserve cabinet headed by Oleg Lobov was sent to the city, where Yeltsin enjoyed strong popular support at that time. Shortly after the failure of the coup and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union, the city regained its historical name of Yekaterinburg on 4 September 1991. However, Sverdlovsk Oblast, of which Yekaterinburg is the administrative center, kept its name.
The city features a humid continental climate(Dfb) under the Köppen climate classification. The winter lasts for about six months—from October until the middle of April—and the temperature may fall to −45 °C (−49 °F), though rarely lower than −20 °C (−4 °F) to −25 °C (−13 °F). Summer in the Urals is short, with warm weather for only 65–70 days and an average temperature of +18 °C (64 °F). The city's location "behind" the mountain range and highly variable winds mean that the weather is quite changeable from one day to the next and from year to year.
Climate data for Yekaterinburg
|Record high °C (°F)||5.6|
|Average high °C (°F)||−9.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−12.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||−15.7|
|Record low °C (°F)||−44.6|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
Yekaterinburg is situated on the border of Europe and Asia, 1,667 kilometers (1,036 mi) east of Moscow, on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains on the Iset River. It is surrounded by wooded hills, partially cultivated for agricultural purposes, and small lakes.
The main areas of the city's industry are machinery, metal processing, and ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy.
Recently the commercial economy has improved, and business centers like Yekaterinburg-City have been planned. The "Vysotsky" is the tallest skyscraper in Russia outside of Moscow.
Ural Airlines has its head office in Yekaterinburg.
Prices in Yekaterinburg
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.75|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€4.90|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€14.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€30.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€3.40|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.90|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.10|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€3.60|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.03|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€1.35|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€0.85|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€64.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€33.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€62.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.30|
32 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
91 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Koltsovo International Airport (аэропорт Кольцово) (Take Bus #1 (operates every 15 minutes, 50 minute journey); Taxi cost RUB500 to/from center (25 minute journey)), , toll-free: . is 18km southeast of the city centre and serves 4.3 million passengers per year. The airport is the base of operations for Ural Airlines. There are direct flights to most major cities in Russia and there are international flights to Minsk, Rome, Sofia, Frankfurt, Munich,Prague, Barcelona, Vienna, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Tashkent, Bishkek, Osh, and Helsinki.
Central Railway station(Железнодорожный вокзал ст. Екатеринбург-Пассажирский), Ulitsa Vokzalnaya (Вокзальная), 22.(Metro: Uralskaya (Уральская)).All Trans-Siberian trains stop at Yekaterinburg-Sverdlovsk Railway Station. There is also an extensive network of local trains serving the Sverdlovsk Oblast.
Transportation - Get Around
Yekaterinburg has 1 underground metro line, connecting the city centre (stop is near the Circus) to Uralmash — a large industrial and residential area, with a stop near the main railway station. The metro is popular with locals because it is quick and inexpensive, costing RUB23 per ride. The stations are impressive, decorated with native Ural stones, granite and marble.
All stations are open between 6:00 and 24:00. Train frequency on weekdays in rush hour is 4-5 minutes; all other times and weekends it is 8-11 minutes.
Metro Stations from North to South:
- Проспект Космонавтов). (
- Uralmash (Уралмаш) (Cinema Zarya, marshrutka to Verkhnyuyu Pyshmu).
- Mashinostroiteley (Машиностроителей).
- Uralskaya (Уральская), Ulitsa Sverdlova (ул. Свердлова) (Northern Bus Station, Central Railway station).
- Dinamo (Sportcomplex Dynamo, the promenade of the city pond, - 10 minutes walk: Theatre for Youth (ТЮЗ), Church on the Blood (Храм на Крови), Literary quarter (Литературный квартал)).
- Ploshchad 1905 Goda (Площадь 1905 года) (Downtown, Ul. Vaynera (ул. Вайнера), Theatre Estrady (Театр Эстрады)).
- Bazhovskaya. Opening in the future, date to be determined
- Geologicheskaya (Геологическая) (Circus, Arboretum).
- Chkalovskaya (Чкаловская) (Southern Bus Station).
- Botanicheskaya (Ботаническая) (Dyryzhabl shopping center).
Stations from North to South
- Pervomayskaya (ОП Первомайская).
- Shartash (ст. Шарташ).
- Ploschadka VIZ (ОП ВИЗ).
- Yekaterinburg-Sortirovochnyy ( ст. Екатеринбург-Сортировочный).
- Lesotekhnicheskaya (ОП Лесотехническая ).
- Botanicheskaya (ОП Ботаническая).
- Uktus (Уктус) (Bus 37, marshrutka 012 to stop 'Шинный Завод').
- Vtorchermet (Вторчермет) (Tram 1, 15 terminated here).
By Koltsovo Express
- Aeroport Koltsovo (ОП Аэропорт «Кольцово»). An express train to/from the airport that only runs twice per day.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Chinese Market (Bazaar). Make a visit. The market consists of many hundreds of small outdoor stalls, selling everything from toilet paper to fur coats, all at the best prices in the city. But this kind of market is not really the right place to buy souvenirs.
- Vaynera Street (Urals Arbat) (in the center). has a lot of shops with a wide range of small things to buy. Usually this street (it's pedestrian only) is called The Urals Arbat, after the famous Arbat in Moscow.
Leather in Russia is considered some of the best in Europe; handbags and wallets are of especially high quality. Gold jewelery, while expensive, is also very good. Markets, such as the Chinese market is good for cheap bargains.
- Grinvich shopping center (торговый центр "Гринвич") (Metro: Geologicheskaya (Геологическая)).
- Dyryzhabl shopping center (торговый центр "Дирижабль") (Metro: Botanicheskaya (Ботаническая)).
- MEGA Mall (There is a free, bright yellow bus that picks up 'Ulitsa Kuybysheva, 57' near the center every 15 mins; return trips leave from in front of the OBI store at the mall.). is a huge mall on the outskirts of town owned by the IKEA group; it features tons of Western/international stores including a decent food court.
During recent years many new cafés and restaurants have opened in Yekaterinburg, providing the usual mix of Russian/Japanese and Italian food; unfortunately the level of international cuisine is not that high.
- Uralskiye Pelmeny (Ural Pelmens), prospekt Lenina 69, . This restaurant serves Russian, Georgian and Uzbek cuisine. The Georgian and Uzbek meals are done in a separate part of the restaurant with suitable waiters and table cloths and the works. The Russian food is served canteen style, where you choose the dishes you want from a smörgåsbord, and pay at the end of the buffet. The Russian food is nothing special but it is filling, the ingredients are fresh and it's cheap.
- Pizza Mia, Vaynera St 12. A cheap Italian fast-food place. You will notice that most of the people eat potatoes with some pink sauce.
- Dacha (Дача), At the corner of Prospect Lenina 20 and Khokhryakova St, . This restaurant is vaguely reminiscent of the Mari Vanna restaurant of Moscow for its decor and its cozy atmosphere. Good Russian food is available with the usual European and Asian alternatives. Perfect for a date, a discrete business meeting or for lunch with colleagues.
- CCCP (USSR), Pervomayskaya St 27, . A restaurant full of Soviet-era kitsch, which was more popular some time ago. Nowadays it lacks atmosphere.
- Paparazzi, Prospekt Lenina 23 (At the 3rd floor of the Europa commercial centre), . Offers Italian cuisine. If you are Italian you will probably prefer to try something else but for all others it should be ok. Decor of the restaurant is nice, food is good, not too many people.
- Caffe Del Mare, Vostochnaya St 7g, . A trendy cafe offering a Russia's typical mix of Italian, Japanese and Russian dishes. Located a bit out of the city centre.
- Il Patio/Friday's/Planeta Sushi. A franchise that you will find across all Russia. The offer respectively Italian, American, and Japanese accessible cooking. Food is reasonably priced and always ok.
- Noble House, 8 Borisa Yeltsina St (At the 2nd floor of the Hyatt Hotel), , e-mail: [email protected]. Offering South-East-Asian cuisine. Sunday Brunch every two weeks from 12:00 noon to 3PM. Very sophisticated environment, good to impress a date or to quietly discuss. It is the only place in town where you will be able to taste some spicy food. Portions are generous, contrary to what you might expect. Not the best oriental food you will try, but for sure the best of this kind in Ekaterinburg.
- La Cucina, 8 Borisa Yeltsina St (At the 2nd floor of the Hyatt Hotel), , e-mail: [email protected]. offers Mediterranean-style and Russian favourite dishes in a modern and colourful setting. Excellent view on the river. Very good place for business lunch.
- Triakurov (Троекуровъ), Malysheva St 137, . This place of Russian cuisine is very similar to the Puskin cafe in Moscow, but without its atmosphere, it's location, and its clientele. This is the restaurant for a big closing dinner, for official situations (Medvedev and Angela Merkel were guests at this restaurant). Unfortunately you will find it empty most of the time, which gives you a sense of exclusivity but suggests that maybe you are overpaying for your food.
Coffe & Drink
Sights & Landmarks
Embankment of the City Pond
- Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, 5, Voevodina str (Just south of the Goroskoy Prud, on the west bank of the river). Some fine works by Russian 18th and 19th century artists, minor artists of the 16th to 18th Century European Schools and some lovely small sculptures and jewelry.RUB50.
- Dam on the River Iset (Плотина Городского пруда на реке Исеть, «Плотинка») (Metro: Ploshchad 1905 Goda (Площадь 1905 года) cca. 300m).
- House of the Merchant Pshenichnikova (Дом купца Пшеничникова), Naberezhnaya. Rabochey Molodezhi (наб. Рабочей Молодежи), 2. 1830
- Building of the HQ of Mining plants (Дом Главного начальника горных заводов), Nab. Rabochey Molodezhi (наб. Рабочей Молодёжи), 3.
- QWERTY Monument (On the river bank near metro station Ploshad' 1905 goda). Easily one of Russia's weirdest attractions is the gargantuan keyboard monument in this city. Big white stones rise from the earth, and as you approach, you see engraved upon them, words like "Q" and "SHIFT."
- Sevastjanov House (District Court, House of Trade Unions, Дом Севастьянова, Окружной суд, Дом профсоюзов), Prospekt Lenina (пр. Ленина), 35.
- Building of the Sverdlovsk Region Railways (Здание Управления Свердловской железной дороги), Ul. Chelyuskintsev (ул. Челюскинцев), 11. 1925-28
- Zotova-Tarasova Manor (Усадьба Зотова-Тарасова), Ul. Gorkovo (ул. Горького), 21.
- Central Military District (Здание штаба Центральный Военный Oкруг, штаб Приволжско-Уральского военного округа), Prospekt Lenina (пр. Ленина), 71. (City train: Pervomayskaya (ОП Первомайская) 500m; tram 4, 8, 13, 15, 18 to stop 'Восточная улица'). Headquarters of the Volga Ural Region Military district. The district includes the territories of the former Siberian Military District. Units of its: the 2nd Army in Samara, the 41st Army in Novosibirsk, Special Forces (Spetsnaz Brigades), and R.A.F (Russian Air Force) 2nd Command. - Built in 1929.
- Town of Chekists and Hotel "Iset" (Городок чекистов и гостиница "Исеть"), Prospekt Lenina (пр. Ленина), 69. An architectural complex in the neighborhood of Streets Lenina—Lunacharskogo—Pervomayskaya—Kuznechnaya (1929-1936)
- Opera and Ballet Theatres, Prospekt Lenina (пр. Ленина), 46А(Tram 2, 6, 13, 15, 18 to stop 'Оперный Театр'). There are many theatres situated in the inner city around Square of 1905.
- Church on the Blood (Храм на Крови) (Near the metro station Dinamo). Church on the Blood built in 2003 at the site of the execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
- Ural State University (To the east from 1905 square along Lenin avenue). It's a wonderful building situated in a neighborhood full of beautiful old buildings. Makes for a pleasant stroll in the direction of Square of 1905.
- Ural State Technical University (Take trams 4, 8, 13, 15, 18, 22, 23 or buses 5, 10, 50, 50a to UGTU (УГТУ)).Another wonderful building. Alma mater of Boris Yeltsin.
Museums & Galleries
Things to do
Yekaterinburg offers plenty of cross-country skiing, with trails stretching for miles. There are some downhill skiing resorts as well. It will take you approximately 25 minutes to get to the nearest of them from the center of the city.
- Aquapark Limpopo(Аквапарк Лимпопо) (Take City train to Botanicheskaya (ОП Ботаническая) and walk toward east five mins). The largest water leisure park in Europe.
- Circus (Екатеринбургский Государственный Цирк им. В.И.Филатова), Ul. 8 Marta (ул. 8 Марта), 43 (Near the metro station Geologicheskaya (Геологическая)). Richly ornamented building which hosts all sorts of circus shows. Nearby is the abandoned television tower.
- Yekaterinburg For You English Club. Every Wednesday at 8:30PM at Havana Club. Great place to meet other foreigners and local Russians who speak English. RUB300 minimum purchase required.
- Arboretum (дендрарий) (Metro: Geologicheskaya (Геологическая)).
- Ledovyj Gorodok (Ice Town, Ледовый Городок) (Right on Ploshad' 1905 goda). During New Year's. A whole city block under the eyes of Lenin made out of ice. On the central Square of 1905.
- Shirokorechenskoye Kladbishche Cemetery (Широкореченское Кладбище) (Take buses 14, 22, 24, 37к, 048, 69 to Kontrol'naya (Контрольная)). This is the infamous "Mafia cemetery" where there are dozens of gaves ornated with big life-size images in stone of former Mafia members.
Spa & Wellness
Festivals and events
- Doctor Scotch, Malysheva St 54a, . Very large pub attracting crowds at weekends. After the midnight there is a lot of drunk people, music, a little dance floor near the bar. Worth a visit.
- Jame's Pub, Mamina Sibiryaka St 58.
- Old Dublin Irish Pub (Stariy Dublin), Khokhryakova St 23 (Located in the city center near 1905 Square between Lenina St. and Malisheva St.), . 12 - 2AM Daily. A popular Irish pub on two floors. Good food and a very friendly, cosy atmosphere. Helpful, English speaking staff. Seems to be 'the' place to go, to chat and get to know the locals. Check it out.
- Rosy Jane, Prospekt Lenina 32-34, .
- Havana Club, Mamina Sibiryaka St 36, . An extremely popular place in the city and among the foreign visitors.
- Hills 18/36, Bazhova st, 193. A little disco in the ground floor of an hotel. It's some sort of elegant place.
- Gold Club, Tkachey st, 9, .
- Alibi, Malysheva st, 74, . It's a pub very busy after midnight. Better book a table if you are not alone. There is a small dance floor...it is impossible to avoid rubbing each others!