Lipetsk Oblast : Lipetsk
Lipetsk is a big industrial center with agricultural background and provincial atmosphere, despite its half million population. The city was founded in the beginning of 18th century, but became a growing regional capital only in 1957, when Lipetsk Oblast was formed. That is why it lacks architectural heritage and cultural legacy.
Traditionally, Lipetsk has been one of the most socialistic cities in Russia. For some 10-15 years after Soviet Union collapse the city authorities provided free public transport and telephone service for locals. This costed additional tax to the city business. Now the situation has changed: Lipetsk Oblast became one of Russian 6 Special Economic Zones with tax reduction for local companies.
Visited mainly by business travellers, Lipetsk is not a major tourist destination. So, while you are in business trip you can discover the provincial charm of this city. You can also use Lipetsk as a convenient stopover in a road trip from Moscow to Southern Russia or escape there for a weekend from hustle and bustle of Moscow.
Lipetsk has a domestic airport, which serves flights to Moscow (daily), Saint Petersburg (2 times a week), Sochi, Anapa, and Kostroma (weekly). Flights are quite expensive: a one-way ride from Moscow costs 4,000 RUR.
Train is the most reliable way of getting to Lipetsk. 2 overnight trains go from Moscow Paveletsky Station on daily basis, other train connections are with Saint Petersburg and Sochi. One way 2nd class ticket from Moscow to Lipetsk costs about 2000 RUR / 50 EUR.
Lipetsk has a good bus connection with Moscow. Several private operators provide 7-10 daily trips from Paveletskaya metro station of Moscow to Lipetsk train station and back. Expect 8 hours to go, 600-700 RUR / 15-18 EUR to pay and loud video in the coach for all the way. Bus collisions are regularly reported on southern directions, so be attentive taking this risk.
Depending on traffic, the road to Lipetsk can take 5-8 hours from Moscow. Take M4 road to Rostov-on-the-Don and turn left to Lipetsk soon after Yelets. Alternatively, turn from M4 to M6 road after Kashira, then turn right to Lipetsk after some 200+ km drive. This second way is shorter in kilometres, but worse in road quality and traffic.
Lipetsk has a Russian standard public transportation system with buses, trolleybuses and marshrutkas. Everything is a bit uncomfortable. The cost of ride is 10 RUR / 0,25 EUR. Taxis are widespread and inexpensive, but non-English-speaking.