Perm (Russian: Пермь pyehrm) is a city in Perm Krai, Russia.
Many travelers pass through Perm on the Trans-Siberian Railway; however, few stay here, unless they are looking for a break from train travel. Highlights of the city include a walk along the Kama River, art museums and shows, and a visit to the nearby Gulag museum.
Perm is a large industrial city situated on the Kama river banks, at the western foothills of the Ural Mountain range. With a population of approximately 1 million people, Perm is the most populous city and the administrative capital of Perm Krai. The name of the city is derived from the same place as the "Permian" period, meaning "Far-away Land". Like Yekaterinburg, the city was founded in 1723 by Vasily Tatishchev, who was sent by Peter The Great to exploit the vast amounts of ores found in the region. From 1940 to 1957, the city was called Molotov (Мо́лотов), after Vyacheslav Molotov, the minister of foreign affairs under Jozef Stalin. The city is bifurcated by the Kama River. Perm was known as the "Gateway to the Gulag" and the horrors of the Gulags are on display at a nearby museum.
During Soviet times, Perm was a manufacturing center for artillery and weapons, some of which are on display at an outdoor museum. It was a "closed city" and was inaccessible by foreigners and most non-residents. It was "hidden" and did not appear on Soviet-made maps. Gorbachev opened the city in 1990 and Perm modernized rapidly.
Bolshoye Savino Airport, (IATA: PEE), +7 342 294-97-71, also known as Perm International Airport, is 22km southwest of the city centre. There are regular to flights to many major Russian cities including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Ufa, and Yekaterinburg as well as international flights to Bishkek and Dubai.
After you arrive and are about to exit the airport, you will be approached by taxi drivers offering a rides. Do not bother.They will charge you ridiculous rates whether you are an American or a local. Haggling with them is useless. Yandex Taxi is your best bet, or the bus.
Bus #42 operates every 9 minutes between the airport and the bus station (Автовокзал) in the southwestern part of the city. Bus #35 also operates to/from the airport.
See also: Trans-Siberian Railway
All Trans-Siberian trains stop at Perm.
When searching timetables and fares on the RZD website, enter "Perm 2" as the station for Perm. There are several daily trains to Moscow (20 hours, RUB1,400-5,600).
The central bus station of Perm is on Shosse Kosmonavtov opposite the central market. There are daily buses to/from Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Izhevsk, Chelyabinsk, and many cities in Perm Krai.
Although Perm lies on the "Siberian Trakt", the main motorway from Moscow to Siberia, nearby roads are of poor quality, similar to most of Russia.
Perm is accessible through its Kama river port. Passenger transportation is limited to recreational cruises to Chaikovsky, Kazan, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Volgograd. Cruise companies tend to sell return tickets only.
Perm runs for 25km along the Kama River and traveling the entire distance by bus or tram requires several transfers. Therefore, it can be hard to get around.
Tram and bus tickets each cost RUB20 (In 2020, these prices went up) and can only be purchased from the driver or conductor. Transfers require the purchase of a new ticket.
Public transport operates 05:30AM-12:30AM.
Yandex taxi offers an app in English that works very well and you can easily order taxis, check the price, complain about or compliment the driver. Taxis in Perm are usually between $2 USD to as much as $15 (airport to city center)
The Green & Red Lines are self-guided 1km+ walking tours by which you can visit over 40 points of interest, including unusual sculptures and historical buildings. Print the maps or get a free copy at the information office at ul. Lenina #50.
- PERMM (Perm Contemporary Art Museum) (Пермский музей современного искусства), Ordzhonikidze st., 2 (in the building of the old river port opposite the Perm-I train station), ☎ +7 (342) 2199172, . 12PM-9PM. The first and the only contemporary art museum in Russia. RUB150. (58.020556,56.251389) edit
- Perm State Art Gallery, Ordzhonikidze st., 2 (the crossing of Komsomolsky Prospekt and Ordzhonikidze Street), ☎ +7 342 212-2250 ([email protected]), . Tu-W, F-Sa: 10AM-7PM; Th: 12PM-9PM; Su: 11AM-7PM; M: Closed. One of the largest museums of arts in Russia. RUB120. (58.016339,56.234947) edit
- Motovilikha Museum of Artillery (Музей пермской артиллерии (Музей истории ПАО)), Year 1905 Street #20 (At the intersection of Year 1905 Street & Lifanova Street, east of the city center near the river), ☎ +7 342 260-59-76. An impressive outdoor collection of warfare made in the city's Motovilikha factories. Includes tanks, scud launchers, and ballistic missiles that can be climbed upon. edit
- Diorama Museum (Музей-Диорама), Ul. Ogorodnikova 2, ☎ +7 (342) 267-55-82, . W-Su: 10AM-6PM; M-Tu: Closed. Museum detailing the armed uprising in Motovilikha in December 1905. edit
- Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, Petropavlovskaya st., 25a, ☎ +7 342 212-30-87, . One of the oldest and famous opera and ballet theaters in Russia, offers high-standard opera and ballet events. (58.015975,56.246052) edit
- Olympia Swimming Pool & Spa, Mira st., 41, ☎ +7 (342) 2567892, . Clean, modern and big swimming pool (50x25m) with diving board swimming pool. 75 minutes of entry: From RUB500. edit
- Flahertiana International Documentary Film Festival, ☎ +7 (342) 241–38–02, . September or October. edit
- Texture International Film And Theatre Festival, . October. edit
- White Nights in Perm. Daily performances in the month of June. edit
- SlovoNOVA (Perm Poetry Festival), ☎ +7 (342) 270 00 10, . Annual poetry festival which usually takes place in December edit
- Arabesque, . Annual ballet competition. edit
- Snow, Ice and Fire Festival, (Park Gorkogo/Gorky Amusement Park on Komsomolsky Prospekt). The festival includes an international ice and snow sculpture competition with teams from all over the world competing. February. edit
There are many shopping malls, kiosks, as well as traditional Russian markets in Perm. There you can buy colorful Russian souvenirs and bright Tatar jewelry. There are no Western-branded stores.
The crowded Central Market, opposite the central bus station on Kosmonavtov Avenue is the place where you can buy everything.
- Semya (Family), Revolution street, 13, . 10AM-midnight. Includes a cinema and plenty of entertainment for children. edit
- Iceberg, Popova street, 16, . 10AM-9PM. 60 stores with clothing, electronics, and a beauty salon. edit
- Tczemlyanika (Wild Strawberry), Parkovy avenue, 17, . 10AM-9PM. A large discount center. edit
There is plenty of Russian, Georgian, Armenian, and Uzbek food in Perm.
- Blinnaya Skovorodka (Blini Skillet), . A chain of restaurants serving the famous Russian crepes. edit
- Sufra, Monastyrskaya st. 14, multiple locations, ☎ +7 342 259 07 80, . Good Azerbaijani food. Mains: RUB100-300. (58.01463,56.22800) edit
- Grill-Tavern Montenegro, Maksima Gorkogo, 28, . Excellent meat restaurant - cooked in a variety of methods. edit
- Red BBQ, Petropavlovskaya 57, ☎ +7 342 203-57-57, . American style BBQ place with a real smoker from Texas. The pulled pork is excellent. Some of the wait staff speaks English, and everyone is very friendly. They do offer a menu in English, but it's not always updated, so current prices are on the Russian menu. edit
- Karin Restaurant @ Hilton Garden Inn, 45 B Mira Street, . High-end fusion cuisine. edit
There are many cafes in the city, all of them also serving food specialties. One of the most popular bars is the Coffee City chain (Кофе Сити).
- Augustine, Komsomolskiy prospekt, 32, ☎ +7 342 212-75-04, . Brewery with Bavarian food. RUB300-600. (58.00965,56.24097) edit
- In Vino Cafe, Kuybysheva st., 16 (1st floor of Kolizey-Cinema), ☎ +7 342 211-45-55, . 10AM-midnight. Wine bar with food. RUB300-600. (58.00897,56.23524) edit
- Hostel P (Хостел П), ul. Lenina, 67 (in the city centre), ☎ +7 342 214-78-47, . Hostel has laundry, chill-out room, kitchen and friendly staff. Dorm bed: RUB400-1,500. edit
- Amaks Premier (Отель Амакс), 43 Monastyrskaya str., ☎ +7 (342) 220-60-60, 212-24-94, 220-60-94 ([email protected]), . 163 rooms. The staff speaks many foreign languages, including English, Italian and French. The Kama boulevard, central shopping street Komsomolsky Prospekt and the "Chaikovsky" Opera & Ballet Theater are on walking distance. The hotel has a large bar/restaurant with a very affordable a la carte menu next to its modern bowling facilities. Small swimming pool with sauna/banya in the basement. edit
- Astor Hotel, 40, Petropavlovskaya St, ([email protected]), . A 17-room 3-star hotel. Single: From RUB3,800; Double: From RUB4,600. edit
- Gabriel Hotel (Габриэль Отель), Permskaya, 78a, ☎ +7 342 210-12-30, . Single: From RUB3,600; Double: From RUB5,000. edit
- Hilton Garden Inn Perm (Отель Хилтон Гарден Инн Пермь), 45B, Mira street, ☎ +7 (342) 227-67-87 ([email protected]), . From RUB4,500. edit
- New Star Hotel (Новая Звезда), Gazety Zvezda (ул. Газеты Звезда), 38-Б (east from the railstation Perm II), ☎ +7-(342)-220-68-01 ([email protected]), . Upscale hotel. Since the building is among the tallest in the area, the top floors offer panoramic views over Perm's skyline. Single: From RUB4,500; Double: From RUB5,500. edit
- Prikamye Hotel (Отель Прикамье), Komsomolskiy pr., 27 (Next to Hotel Ural), ☎ +7 342 270-02-40 ([email protected]), . Although the hotel is quite large, it has few facilities. edit
- Ural (Отель Урал), 58, Lenin street, ☎ +7-(342)-218-62-20 (fax: +7 (342) 236-34-54), . Perm's largest hotel. Apart from a wide choice of room classes, the hotel offers a wide range of facilities. Although parts of the hotel were thoroughly renovated, it still has a grey Soviet look. edit
- Zhemchuzhina (Pearl) (Жемчужина), Gagarina Blvd. 65-A / ул. Бульвар Гагарина, 65-А, ☎ +7-(342)-261-90-91 ([email protected]), . A 10-story building opened in 2008. UPDATE:In 2020, this hotel was taken over by Holiday Inn. From RUB3,500. edit
Except for the rare Mormon missionary (Mormons can no longer evangelize in Russia), not many Americans come to Perm. Most of the people in Perm are very friendly and helpful, and many of the younger people speak a little English. Your best bet is to keep your sentences short and simple, avoid Americanisms and idioms and you'll be fine.
LGBT is not an acceptable lifestyle in Russia and it's DEFINITELY not accepted outside of Moscow. Most people in Perm mind their own business, so don't worry about people bothering you in a public place.
Soviet (BAD) Customer Service is still an occasional issue, but many younger Russians aren't tolerating it anymore and businesses are taking note. Many businesses now have excellent customer service.
Russians don't smile in public. It's a cultural thing, they only smile when they are genuinely happy. Once you get to know someone in Perm, you'll find they have a great sense of humor and are genuinely nice people. But do not be afraid to smile in Perm, it's perfectly acceptable and often gets you better service/results.
Avoid discussing politics as it's a touchy subject in Russia.
The Police in Perm are very professional. They may not smile when dealing with you (asking about your VISA and where you are staying), but they are not corrupt and will NEVER solicit a bribe.
Reckless drivers are probably the biggest safety threat. Pickpocketing is common in the crowded public transport and in the Central and Chinese Bazars. Occasional drunkards may be somewhat annoying but rarely pose any menace. It is wise to stay out of city parks, Balatovo Park, during the night.
- Khohlovka Museum (Архитектурно-этнографический музей Хохловка), с. Хохловка, Пермский край (46km north of Perm), ☎ +7 342 299-71-81, . 10AM-6PM. A museum of wooden architecture. edit
- The Gulag Museum at Perm-36, village Kutchino, Tchusovskoi region (100km northeast of Perm city), ☎ +7-919-492-5756, . 10AM-5PM. Prison camp Perm-36 was closed in 1988, and later turned into the only genuine Gulag museum in Russia. There is a small cinema and a few exhibitions describing life in the high security area and in the special treament area. edit