Derbent (Russian: Дербе́нт dyeer-BEHNT) is a 5,000 year old city in Dagestan and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the location of the mythical "Gates of Alexander," and easily one of the most impressive historical sites in Russia.
There are two daily communter trains from the regional capital of Makhachkala, one departing 10AM and an other departing 5:20PM, journey time is around three hours. Long-distance trains heading to and from Baku makes a stop-over here. From Moscow there are departures on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, leaving from Moskva Paveletsky station at 6:05PM and arriving two nights later at 6:40PM. A second class sleeper ticket costs around 3,500 RUB. Other Russian cities with rail connections includes Saint Petersburg (59 h), Rostov-on-the-Don (25½ h) and Yekaterinburg (64 h). International connections includes Kiev (56 h) and Minsk (65 h).
There are frequent marshrutkas from Makhachkala's South bus station, leaving several times an hour, taking around 2 hours and costing 170 Rubles.
Derbent's star attraction is the sprawling hilltop Naryn-Kala Citadel complex, which boasts impressive, powerful stone towers and walls. There has been a fortress here since very ancient times and sections of the current structure date back to the 6th c ad. The Khan's Palace entrance building, housing the modest site museum, is from the 16th-18th c.
There are also some well preserved sections of the defensive City Walls running from the Citadel down towards the sea.
The small bus station in the center of town is for local buses and marshrutkas.
Long distance buses leave from the South Bus Station, about 1 km South of the town center.