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The Monastery of Geden Sheddup Choikorling

Elista [1] is the capital of Kalmykia.


The city was founded in 1865, and has a population of just over 100,000. This is the capital of the Republic of Kalmykia, a Buddhist region within Russia. Local population comprised mostly of Kalmyks, Russians, other North Caucasian ethnicities. The Kalmyks have Mongolian origian and live in Russia since over 400 years.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Flights from Moscow are a few times a week on Rusline. There are more regular flights to Volgograd and Rostov, with transfer to Elista by bus or train respectively.

By train[edit]

The Moscow-Elista train route goes through Stavropol. However, the most convenient way is travel to Volgograd by train then on to Elista by express minivan, which are relatively cheap.

By car[edit]

By bus[edit]

Several private companies operate a daily bus service between Moscow and Elista. The pickup points in Moscow are bus station close to subway stations: Orehovo, Teplyi Stan, Krasnogvardeiskaya. A one-way ticket costs about 1800RUR.

There are daily marshrutkas connecting Elista with Rostov, Volgograd and Astrakhan.

Get around[edit]

Mini-buses ply routes around the city.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Golden Temple - a large, modern Buddhist monastery
  • The Museum of Kalmyk Buddhist Art - recommended
  • The Museum of Local Lore
  • The Museum of Buddhist History
  • The Gallery of Fine Arts
  • The Kazansky Cathedral
  • Chess City, a chess tournament complex, partly inspired by a scene in the the novel The Twelve Chairs.
  • The Ostap Bender Statue, commemorating the famed anti hero from the novel The Twelve Chairs, who spun the vision of Chess City.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Drama Theater
  • Puppet Theater
  • Play Chess

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Kalmyk puzzle nyarn shandzh (нярн шандж)

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Uralan (Уралан)
  • Khan's Hunt (Ханская Охота)
  • Restaurant Concord (Конкорд)
  • Cafe Kalmyk Cuisine (Калмыцкая Кухня)


  • Restaurant White Lotus (Белый Лотос)

Drink[edit][add listing]

You can drink Kalmyk tea

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Hotel Elista, 1 Gorodovikova ul. Tel:+7 84722 62316

Mid range[edit]

  • Hotel City Chess, Uralan district. Tel:+7 84722 58405
  • White Lotus Hotel, Khoninova Str., 7



Get out[edit]

  • Khurul Monastery - about 6 km from the city.

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