Penza Oblast (Russian: Пе́нзенская о́бласть PYEHN-zeen-skuh-yuh OH-bluhst’) is a region in the Middle Volga, bordering Tambov Oblast to the west, Ryazan Oblast to the northwest, Mordovia to the north, Ulyanovsk Oblast to the east, and Saratov Oblast to the south.
- Penza — the large industrial capital city is pleasantly green; be sure to visit the fairytale-like, wooden Museum of Russian folk art
- Kuznetsk — the second largest city in the region with a few churches worth seeking out only if you happen to be here
- Nikolsk — glass works nuts will want to visit its Museum of Crystal Glass; its glass plant produced fineries for the Tsar of Russia and the Persian Shahs for over 200 years
- Serdobsk — a large town with some of the region's more attractive 19th century architecture, including the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel
- Zarechny — a small city, built in the 1950s, not a tourist destination by any stretch of the imagination
- The somewhat underwhelming ruins of Mukhsha, a medieval city of the Golden Horde
- Tarkhani Estate-museum — the childhood home of Lermontov
- The estate-museum of V.G. Belinsky
- Troitsa-Skanov Monastery and cave complex
See Russian phrasebook.
Penza is the first major stop in Russia on the South Ural route of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which starts in Kharkiv. Daily overnight trains from Moscow take 13 hours and arrive around 09:00.
Penza's modest airport services flights to/from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Saratov.
- Hunting, fishing (including wolf hunts!)
The next major stop to the east on the South Ural route of the Trans-Siberian Railway is Samara.