Yekaterinburg is the 4th largest city in Russia after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk and is the capital of the Urals region. It was founded in 1723 by the order of Peter the Great as the metallurgical factory and by the 20th century it had become one of Russia's largest and most important financial, industrial and cultural centers. Between 1924 and 1991, the town was known as Sverdlovsk (Свердловск). The city is often said to be situated on the border of Europe and Asia (on the Asian side) and (at least) three symbolic monuments of this can be found near the city.
Yekaterinburg is a major stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway. There are daily trains to Moscow and many other cities and towns in Russia from the central Railway station. The ticket office can be found on the ground floor of the new railway station building. There is an extensive network of local trains serving the surrounding region.
The central part of Yekaterinburg has problems coping with traffic. Getting around the center of Yekaterinburg by car is a real pain. The public transport system, however, is efficient. There is a wide tram network that is inexpensive and reliable. Trams can be quite crowded and the ticket is purchased onboard. Buses and trolleybuses (electric buses) experience the disadvantage of heavy traffic during peak hours.
Yekaterinburg is a very compact city for its population (1.3 million). One can drive from one side of the city to the other in some 30 to 40 minutes, provided there is no traffic. Yekaterinburg has a single metro  (underground train) line, connecting the central part (stop is near the Circus) to Uralmash — a large industrial and residential area, having stops near main railway station and further down to Uralmash. The metro (natives say it is the shortest metro in the world) has proved to be popular with locals because it is quick and inexpensive (2011: RUB18/ride). The stations are impressive, decorated with native Ural stones, granite and marble.
You can get free walking maps published by the "Ekaterinburg Tourist Information Service"  at their office on 8 Marta St. 21, office 2 (620014 г. Екатеринбург, ул. 8 Марта, офис 2). Those include sightseeing and culture.
To get there take a metro train to ploshchad' 1905 goda (площадь 1905-ого года, square of 1905 year), walk away from the square, go straight across ploshchad' Malysheva (площадь Малышева) and it is the second house on the left hand side. They have merchandise in their windows (even GPS navigators) and you can enter from the court after you pass the house. There is an English speaker at hand and they can book tours as well.
If you can read cyrillic then you might get a good map from the railway stations and many street magazines called "Городской транспорт Екатеринбурга — карта с каждым домом" (city transport map of Yekaterinburg — map with all houses) which includes subway stations, all bus and elektrichka routes as well as three maps (inner city, big city, Koltsovo airport and surroundings) as well as a street register. By the same publisher, Urals Cartographic Company, Malysheva St. 122ze, 2F, Rm 207 (Уральская Картографическая Компания, ул. Малышева 122з, 2 этаж, к. 207), there is also a map called "достопримечательности Екатеринбурга" (Sights of Yekaterinburg) for about the same price of about RUB500.
If you get lost, there are information stands in the inner city around Square of 1905 that will show you your current location, a map of the inner city and possibly help you to find addresses, restaurants and sights. Though they are in Russian only, it should be enough to help you out.
The Church on the Blood.
Church on the Blood, (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.
Museum of Fine Arts. 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 jewellery. A little gem of a Museum. Entry just 50 Rubles
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, typical keys like "Q" and "SHIFT."
Circus, (Near the metro station Geologicheskaya (Геологическая)). Richly ornamented building which hosts all sorts of circus shows. Nearby is the abandoned television tower.
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.
Opera and Ballet Theatres. There are many theatres situated in the inner city around 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.
Ledovyj Gorodok (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.
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.
Limpopo, . The largest water leisure park in Europe.
English club, . Every Wednesday at 8:30 PM at Havana Club. Great place to meet other foreigners and local Russians who speak English.300 Rub ($10 US) minimum purchase required.
When in Yekaterinburg, make a visit to the "Chinese Market" or Bazaar. 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, in the center of the city, 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.
MEGA 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. 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.
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, ☎ +7 343 350-71-50. 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 smorgasbord, 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. It is located where you would expect a McDonald's to be. You will notice that most of the people eat potatoes with some pink souce.
Dacha (Дача), At the corner of Prospect Lenina 20 and Khokhryakova St, ☎ +7 343 379-35-69. 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, ☎ +7 343 350-52-46, . 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), ☎ +7 343 253-70-80, . Offers Italian cuisine. If you are Italian you will probably prefer to try something else but for all others it should be ok. Deco of the restaurant is nice , food is good, not too many people.
Caffe Del Mare, Vostochnaya St 7g, ☎ +7 343 229-42-29, . 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), ☎ +7 343 253 1234 (email@example.com). Offering South-East-Asian cuisine. Sunday Brunch every two weeks from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. 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. Portion are generous at the contrary of what you would 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), ☎ +7 343 253 1234 (firstname.lastname@example.org). offers Mediterranean-style and Russian favourite dishes in a modern and colourful setting. Excellent view on the river. Very good place for business lunch.
Troekurov (Троекуровъ), Malysheva St 137, ☎ +7 343 378-81-18. This place of Russian cuisine is very similar to the Pushkin 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.
Tinkoff brewery, 64 Krasnoarmeiskaya ul., ☎ +7 343 287-04-04, . A bar and restaurant, which does a fantastic business lunch as well as a special drink offer for around Rub 500 on Sunday/Monday/Tuesday. Very good atmoshere, a lot of young people, sometimes live music. Better to book in advance during the weekends.
Doctor Scotch, Malysheva St 54a, ☎ +7 343 371-43-63, . 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.), ☎ +7 (343) 3765173, . 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.. .
Alibi, Malysheva st, 74, ☎ +7 343 350-06-90, . 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!
For the seriously budget conscious, you can sleep in the waiting area on the top floor of the main train station building. Metal chairs are abundant, but the ones to look for are rows of 2-3 chairs without armrests in between. The sign seems to say it costs RUB20 to wait in these areas, but feigning ignorance seems to get you in (and out) for free. The official waiting room on the ground floor of the station in the main railway building is a steep RUB70/hour, however it is heated, there's a TV and security is there. There is also internet access on the side of the building (the door reads "Интернет") that has a flatrate for RUB100/hour or a selective price per minute and megabyte (combined, take the RUB100 deal if you are unsure about your data volume). Price information in English available.
For budget accommodation, you can get hourly rates at the Komnaty Otdykha at the main train station. To get there, walk to the eastern end of the station to the last and small set of glass doors. First door on the right should lead you to a set of stairs which will take you there. Rates are approximately RUB10/hour.
Europe Asia Yekaterinburg Hostel, Tchaikovskogo 75/216 (From railway station also it is possible to reach by subway to the station «Chkalovskaya». And then along the street Shchorsa walk for 10 min), ☎ +7 343 2102884 (email@example.com), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12-00. City centre - budget accommodation hostel invites to place in the center. The hostel has 100 square meters, 2 bedrooms, 2 kitchens with all the necessary utensils, 2 baths, 2 toilets,free Wi-Fi. If you arrive before 12:00 or after 14 hours, please inform the exact time of arrival at the hostel (Yekaterinburg time), so they can meet you. from RUB500.
Yekaterinburg Hostel, (From Ploshad' 1905 goda (Площадь 1905ого года) go west until Marshala Dzukova St (ул. маршала Жукова) on your right. Go along that street, turn left at the first intersection into Antona Valeka St (ул. Антона Валека) and go to the second big building on your right labelled 18), . checkin: 9AM. A decent hostel (the first in Yekaterinburg) situated in the middle of the city centre next to Square of 1905. It's the shared flat of three Russian students, who speak decent English. There is a computer with internet and WLAN for free and a shared kitchen. Bookable via common hostel sites on the internet.RUB770.
Host Families Association (HOFA), 5 Tavricheskaya St, ☎ +7 812 275 1992 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +7 812 275 1992), . Since 1990 HOFA provides visa invitations, homestays, apartment rentals, packages in friendly homes in 60 cities in Russia and CIS.
Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg, 8, Borisa Yeltsina St, ☎ +7 343 253 1234 (email@example.com), . 296 rooms & suites with views of Cathedral-on-the-Blood and Iset River. Amenities: ergonomic work area, open bath concept, wireless internet access, tea and coffee making facilities. Regency Club Lounge for free continental breakfast, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.
Hotel Onegin (firstname.lastname@example.org), Rozy Luxemburg, 49, ☎ +7 343 310 38 38, 8 800 100 10 38, . checkin: 12.00; checkout: 12.00. There are 142 guestrooms located at the Onegin Hotel Yekaterinburg. The hotel offers standard, studio and suite room options. Amenities include, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, telephone, mini-bar, private bath and bathrobe. Numerous amenities are offered including conference facilities, a restaurant and lobby bar. In addition, the hotel also offers a ticket service and tour desk to make it easy for guests to enjoy the many attractions not far from the hotel.
Park Inn by Radisson Ekaterinburg Hotel, Mamina-Sibiryaka 98 - 620075 Ekaterinburg - Russia, ☎ +7 (343) 216 60 00 (email@example.com), . The Park Inn Ekaterinburg is located in the city centre, 20 kilometres from Koltsovo International Airport and nearby shopping and the business district. There is easy access to various attractions, including the Philharmonic Hall and the Literary Quarter.
Armenia, Moskovskaya St 46, ☎ +7 343 212-74-01, 212-75-14.
Ganina Yama (Ганина Яма). You can visit this wooden monastery semi daily by bus tours offered right in front of the main train station building. It is situated in the north direction from the city, near the village Shuvakish (Шувакиш). You can get there by train from the main station in the direction Nizhni Tagil (Нижний Тагил). When you get off the train, go to the bridge over railways and turn right (not to the station). From the bridge turn to the right again, go, go, go and after a while you will get to the asphalt road. There turn left and go some two kilometres.
Europe & Asia border monument, (Take a tour or buses 150 or 180). There are semi-daily offered tours from the main trains station. If you can't make the tour, you might take the bus 150 from the northern bus terminal (Северный Автовокзал) near the metro station Uralskaya (Уральская). Ask the driver to let you get off at the border. This is common practice. When you get off the bus, there is a small (somewhat historically looking) stone monument that has a red brick line where the border is. Go up a bit thru the patch of wood and you will be at the big monument where the tour buses go on the big tour. It is a spot for weddings, so usually you will find a bride or two. After you are done taking pictures, go back the way you came, go on the other side of the high way and signal a bus driver to pick you up. Buses 150 or 180 take you back, however 180 takes you only near metro station Tsirk (Цирк). If no bus driver happens to be willing to pick you up outside of a station (though this is common practice), you can walk into Pervoural'sk up to the second bus stop you encounter (buses 150 and 180 do not regularly stop at the outermost bus stops) and then get on a bus. From the outermost bus stop there is a little marshrutka going to the next one for 10 RUB.RUB50 (bus 180) or RUB55 (bus 150) one-way, or RUB300 and upwards with a tour.
Deer Streams National Park (Prirodniy Park Olenji Ruchji), Nizhnie-Serginskiy rayon, posyolok Bazhukovo (150 km W from Ekaterinburg, take tour or by bus/train), ☎ +79022550062 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A hiking tour in a national park "Deer Streams". A picturesque river, cliffs, deepest cave of Sverdlovkaya Oblsat region, beautiful forest. A very popular place to go among Russians both in summer and winter. Several different routes to choose from, depending on difficulty. To get by bus: take any bus that goes to Mikhailovsk (Михайловск), Arty (Арти), Urmikeevo (Урмикеево), Tulgash (Тюльгаш). Leave at the "prirodniy park Olenji Ruchji" stop. Then walk 2 kilomiters according to sign directions. By train: from the central train station take a suburban train to Druzhinino (Дружинино). From Druzhinino take another train to Bazhukovo (Бажуково). From Bazhukovo station — it is 5 minutes walk to the Park. The train goes 3 times/day. The road by bus takes 2,5 hours. By train: 4 hours>entry ticket RUB100.
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