[[Image:RusAsian bank Yakutsk.jpg|thumb|280px|Russian-Asian bank (from the end 19th century). To the left is a tower of the Yakutsk ostrog (palisade tower), the city symbol. Behind is the glass facade of the Komdragmeta building.]]
Yakutsk is situated at the extreme latitude of 62°N. Its climate is definitively continental, leading to summer highs in the 90s (+
38° Celsius), and extreme winter lows ''in the negative 80s'' (-64° Celsius)—that's a range of over 100° Celsius! The average temperature in January is around -45°(-42°C); in July—+66° (19°C). The ideal time to visit (unless you're traveling here purposely to experience the extreme cold) is from March to July. The sunny spring months will allow you to enjoy winter sports like skiing, ice-skating, dog sledding, ice sculptures, etc., under temperatures permitting outdoor human life. The average March temperatures, of course, are still cold at an average of -8.5° (-22.5°C). The summer months of June-July are great for the opportunities to see the Northern wilderness in its full glory, to enjoy the White Nights when the sun never sets, to set off on adventures along the Yakut rivers, and to experience the Yakut national holiday "Ysyakh."
===By plane=== There are two airports. The international airport, "Tuimaada," gets regular direct flights from [[Moscow]], [[Saint Petersburg]], [[Novosibirsk]], [[Krasnoyarsk]], [[Irkutsk]], [[Khabarovsk]], and a few other major cities in Russia. It also gets a direct flight by Yakutia Airlines once a week -on Thursday- from [[Harbin]], [[China]]. The domestic airport, "Magan," mostly serves flights within Yakutia, as well as private flights.
To get from the international airport to the city center, you can take a taxi (15-20 min), or one of the buses #4, 5, & 20 (30-40 min). Magan is a bit further out, and a taxi ride to the city center will take 30-40 min; the bus "Yakutsk-Magan" will take a little over an hour.
As of now Yakutsk has no connections to the Russian rail network, the nearest train station is in [[Tommot]] (453 kilometers away). A railway line is under contruction and is expected to be completed by 2013.
You can however buy train tickets leading from Tommot or [[Neryungri]] in advance at Yakutsk's main travel agency at 8 Ordzhonikidze St (ул. Орджоникидзе, 8). Catching a train from [[Tynda]] to [[Neryungri]] or Tommot and from there continue by long-distance taxi to Yakutsk is an option. After Tynda there are no first
- och second-class carriges (''spalny vagon'' and ''kupé'') only third-class ''platzkart''. This train is usually very crowded and if you are a non-Russian speaking westerner expect to be stared at and talked about constantly. When the train arrives, passengers will hurriedly make their way over to get a seat on group of waiting long-distance continuing to Yaktusk. The 14 hour taxi ride costs around 9, 000 RUB and is only for the toughest ones. Be prepared to be crammed in a van with a driver who travels rough ice roads like they were the autobahn. Sleeping is not an option here. There will usually be a few brief stops at roadside cafes.
Unless you are looking for an challenging travel experience, flying to Yakutsk is highly recommended.
Crossing the Lena. jpg|thumb| 280px|A Lada boarding the ferry across the mighty Lena River. In the winter you can just drive across!]]
The only road that is passable year-round, connecting Yakutsk to the rest of the world, is the M-56 "Lena" from [[Never]] to Yakutsk. The road is in a dilapidated condition, and not entirely paved. That dilapidation, of course, is owed mainly to the nearly year-round extreme temperatures, ice, and snow. There are many small rivers and ponds along the road, and most of the "bridges" lie beneath the water. In 2006, the road won the dubious distinction of "worst road in the world."
There are several taxi companies in Yakutsk, which you can call for service. The prices are not fixed, and depend on the length of the trip (and likely how much they think they can take this foreigner for). The average price for a cross-town trip is about 100-120 rubles. You can also hire a cab for the day, which will cost you about 350 rubles per hour.
Take note: Yakutsk is far off the beaten path in Russia for international tourism. Consequently, you should expect all museums exhibits to be explained only in [[Russian phrasebook|Russian]]. Fortunately some exhibits (like the cryogenically preserved mammoth head) don't require too much explanation!
* <see name="Yakutsk Historical and Cultural Museum of the Northern peoples, Em. Yaroslavskovo" alt="Якутский государственный музей истории и культуры народов Севера им. Ем. Ярославского" address="пр. Ленина, 5/2, 42-51-74." directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="10AM-5PM daily" price="Free">The main museum in the city, with an impressive collection of artifacts from various periods in the history of Yakutsk—beginning with the prehistoric and ending with the events of the 1990s. Of especial interest is the rich collection of stuffed wildlife from the North, and one of the world's few complete wooly mammoth skeletons.</see>
* <see name="Mammoth Museum" alt="Музей мамонта" address="ул. Кулаковского, 48, 4 этаж" directions="" phone="36-16-47" email="" fax="" url="" hours="10AM-6PM daily" price="">This museum has one of the world's most diverse collections of exhibits from the Ice Age. The centerpiece of the collection is the cryogenically (and completely) preserved head of a wooly mammoth. The mammoth head often travels to museums outside of Yakutsk, so check ahead to make sure it's on display.</see>
* <see name="Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Yakutsk University" alt="Музей археологии и этнографии ЯГУ" address="ул. Кулаковского, 48" directions="" phone="49-68-41" email="" fax="" url="" hours="T-F 10AM-5PM, Sa 11AM-4PM" price="">The exhibits here show the history of the peoples of Yakutsk, exhibited in an interesting exposition of objects of everyday life and the mythology of the Sakha, Eveny, Evenki, Yukagiry, and other Yakutian ethnic groups since ancient times.</see>
* <see name="The Underground Laboratory of the Institute of Cryogenics" alt="Подземная лаборатория Института Мерзлотоведения" address="ул. Мерзлотная, 36" directions="" phone="33-44-76, 33-43-38" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Call in advance to schedule a tour" price="">The only museum in the world of natural cryonics. The trip underground is accompanied by detailed lectures (in Russian, naturally) about the essence of this natural phenomenon, and also displays of the preserved exhibits within the natural "freezer." ''Do not forget to wear very warm clothes!''</see>
* <see name="National Art Museum" alt="Национальный художественный музей РС(Я)" address="ул. Кирова, 12" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="10AM-6PM daily" price="">A huge collection of artwork, including works by Yakuts, Russians, international artists from the 16th century through today. The expositions also include a rich collection of traditional Yakut folk arts and crafts.</see>
[[Image:Y- ostrog. jpg|thumb|280px|One of Yakutsk's one- time fortress towers, this one a replacement for the original, which burned down in 2002. ]]
There are a bunch of smaller museums, which don't have the broad appeal of those listed above, but you might nonetheless be interested. Addresses aren't really necessary, since the city center is pretty small. Just tell the taxi driver where you want to go.
Memorial House- Museum of Maksim Ammosov (Мемориальный дом- музей Максима Аммосова)* The Government Literature Museum, P.A. Oiunskovo (Косударственный литературный музей иь. П.А. Ойунского )*International Museum of Khomus Music ( the Khomus is a traditional Yakut mouth harp ) (Международный музей хамусной (варганной) музыки*Museum of Music and Folklore of the People of Yakutia (Музей фольклора народов Якутии ) *House- Museum of the Political History of Yakutia (Дом- музей " История политической ссылки в Якутии" ) *Art Gallery " Simekh" (Арт-галерея " Симэх" ) *Art Gallery " Urgel" (Арт- галерея " Ургэл" )*Numismatic Museum of the Yakutsk State University (Нумизматический музей ЯГУ )
===Architecture and monuments===
* <see name="The Old City" alt="Старый город" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">The Old City, reconstructed in the architectural style of the 19th century, is located at the very center of Yakutsk, and is bordered by the streets Ammosov, Arzhakov, and the Plaza of the Fallen Soldiers (Аммосова, Аржакова, плошадь Павших бойцов). The streets are off limits to traffic, paved as they are with wooden billets, and there are cafeterias, markets, all in the city's favorite place to relax. Here you'll find the restored Preobrazhenskaya Church, the founders monument, the memorial to fallen soldiers, a stone column dedicated to the 375th year anniversary of Yakutia joining the Russian Empire, and the M.K. Ammosov museum (Ammosov was a prominent Yakut political activist who led an active role in bringing Soviet power to Siberia). </see>
* <see name="Victory Stele" alt="Стелла Победы" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">A large stele located on Victory Square (Площадь Победы) dedicated to the Soviet victory in WWII, topped with a statue of the hero (N'urguna Bootura) of the Yakut national epic "Olonkho."</see>
* <see name="Abakayade Memorial" alt="Памятник Абакаяде" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">At the intersection of Kirova and Poyarkova streets (Кирова, Пояркова). The statue represents the first interethnic marriage between a Russian settler and his Yakut wife, and also their child—the symbol of the coming together of the two peoples.</see>
* <see name="Oyunsky Memorial" alt="Памятник П. Ойунскому" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">On Oyunskomu Square (which also goes by the Soviet name, Ordzhonikidze Square). The sculpture is of P. A. Oyunsky, a writer and prominent communist, who stands as a symbol of the fertile beginnings of reason, and a metal ark in the form of the Russian letter "П," engraved with Oyunsky quotes.</see>
* <see name="
The Lena-Friendship Historical-Architectural Museum-preserve" alt=" Ленский историко-архитектурный музей-заповедник "Дружба"" address=" Усть-Алданский улус, с. Соттинцы" directions=" 2 hours from the city center by bus/marshrutka" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> The museum is located on the right bank of the Lena River, right on the spot of the initial fort that led to the creation of Yakutsk. The principal attractions in the museum are outside—reproductions of the Spassky Church of the Zashiversky Fort and the boat of Peter Beketov ( the founder of the fort) . No less impressive are the old examples of the architecture of the peoples of Yakutia. Inside the exhibited buildings you'll find expositions dedicated to the cultures and daily life of the peoples of Yakutia: clothing, worship, weapons, burial complexes, arts, etc. In the museum you can also try the food at a restaurant specializing in Yakut cuisine. In the spring there are folk festivals. One of the most memorable sights of the preserve is the observation on top of the nearest hill, from which opens a breathtaking view of the Lena River.</see>
'''You might also come across:'''
*The restored towers of Yakutsk's 17th century palisades.
*A. E. Kulakovsky Memorial—a writer and public activist (i.e., communist).
*Various other memorials to standard Soviet and Imperial personae (Lenin, Dzerzhinsky, Marks, Kraft, Yaroslavsky, etc.).
*Two Mammoth monuments, at the Institute of
Criogenics, and at the circus.
*Various architectural monuments to traditional Siberian architecture from the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the neighborhoods of Zalog and Saisar (Залог, Сайсар).
*'''Groceries'''. The lowest prices on groceries are at the wholesaleers trading on Chernyshevskovo (ул. Чернышевского) and in the smaller supermarkets in the quieter sections of town, outside the city center. Look for Tokko (Токко) and Solnechnaya Tuimaada (Солнечная Туймаада). There's also great, fresh local produce at the Krestyansky market (Крестьянский). You can find deli sausages cheeses in the stores name Elisey (Елисей) and Poyarkov (Поярков). 24 hour convenience stores are around in all quarters of the city, frequently near bus stops.
*'''Drinks'''. Note the ban on liquor sales from
10PM to 8AM daily (although this doesn't hold for bars). There are a few local brews worth trying, like Ellei (Эллэй) and Yakutskoe (Якутское). There are also a few local liquors to try, the most interesting of which is undoubtedly Pantoff, a vodka made with the extract of the velvet from ''reindeer antlers''.
*'''Souvenirs'''. The widest selection of various souvenirs are in Merkurii (Меркурий), 202 caliber (202 калибр), Bainaai (Байнаай), and Tsarskaya Okhota (Царская охота).
* <eat name="Printing House cafeteria" alt="Столовая Дома печати" address="Ordzhonikidze, 31" directions="" phone="+7 4112 34-38-25" email="" fax="" url="" hours="noon-3PM daily" price="~70 rubles">This cafeteria is located in the main printing building in Yakutia, where the government puts out all the republic's newspapers. The prices are for the masses, with large portions and a good old-fashioned Soviet feel, from the menu to the ambiance. A utilitarian place for the most undiscriminating palates.</eat>
* <eat name="Buon Appetito" alt="Бон Аппетито" address="ul. Ikrupskaya, 37" directions="" phone="+7 4112 32-17-33 " email="" fax="" url="" hours="noon-2AM daily" price="300-600 rubles">
If you are here for a while and want to really et away from horsemeat and ''kumis'' for a meal, this place serves up good wood-fired pizzas and various Western adult beverages, with patio seating by the water in the summer.</eat>
* <eat name="City Life Cafe" alt="Кафе «City-Life»" address="ul. Kirova, 18" directions="Inside the Business Center, block B, floor 2" phone="+7 4112 42-10-02" email="" fax="" url="http://citylife.ykt.ru/" hours="noon-4AM daily" price="250-800 rubles">Kind of a wild place where you can have Japanese food including sushi, bento boxes, udon, yakitori, tempura; sit on the floor, at high tables, or at the bar; play billiards; and (perhaps best of all) use the free WiFi. Fun atmosphere.</eat>
* <eat name="Eli-Pili" alt="Ели-Пили" address="ul. Kirova, 13" directions="" phone="+7 4112 44-41-95" email="" fax="" url="" hours="8AM-midnight daily" price="150-200 rubles">Literally "Ate-Drank", a free-flow restaurant in the European culinary tradition, with a Southern Russian ambiance. The big hall is split into smoking and non-smoking sections, there's a long menu, and relatively low prices. As an added plus, there is WiFi, but you must pre-pay.</eat>
* <eat name="Tamerlan" alt="Тамерлан" address="pr. Lenina, 8" directions="" phone="+7 4112 34-28-01" email="" fax="" url="" hours="9AM-midnight daily" price="150-400 rubles">
Yakut and Central Asian cuisine, and an interesting interior a la Mongolian. A highlight is that they fry any and all dishes before you on the heated table, dishes which you yourself create from various suggested ingredients.</eat>
* <eat name="Chochur Muran" alt="Чочур Муран" address="Viliusky trakt, 6 km" directions="" phone="+7 924 661-61-00" email="[email protected]
" fax="" url="http://arctic-travel.ru/restaurant" hours="noon-midnight daily" price="600-2000 rubles">A restaurant just outside the city in a picturesque location in a tower of the on-site replica of the Lensky Fort. Chochur Muran specializes in Yakut fish dishes. The ambiance is nice, with a Yakut mini-museum, dog-sledding and snowmobiling outside in the winter, and ice sculptures.</eat>
* <eat name="Tygyn Darkhan" alt="Тыгын Дархан" address="
ul. Ammosova, 9" directions="" phone="+7 4112 34-34-06" email="" fax="" url="http://tygyn.ru/content/blogcategory/16/33/lang,english/" hours="8AM-10AM, noon-3PM, 6PM-11PM daily" price="~1,000 rubles">This is the best place in Yakutia (and thus likely the world) to try Yakut national cuisine. Some iconic Yakut dishes to look out for include Oiogos (Ойогос)—baked foal ribs, Salamat (Саламат) porridge, and Indigirka (Индигирка) salad—made with frozen fish.</eat>
* <drink name="Drakon" alt="Дракон" address="ul. Oktyabr'skaya, 20/1" directions="" phone="+7 4112 42-88-11" email="" fax="" url="http://dracon-club.ru" hours="8PM-9AM daily" price="from 300 rubles">This is the biggest club in the city, in a four-floor building with a restaurant, pub, and pool tables. There are two dance floors, allowing up to 800 people to dance at once, which play R&B, pop, and light house F-Sa, and house/trance Su-Th. Every now and then they'll have special 80s nights. (At this point, some shock should register that this all goes on in the coldest and remotest corridors of [[Siberia]]!) The cover charge (as well as the expensive drinks, 80+ rubles for 0.5 liter beers) make this a fairly upscale hangout for wealthier Yakutskie.</drink>
* <drink name="Garage" alt="Гараж" address="
ul. Novoportovskaya, 1" directions="" phone="+7 4112 70- 68- 70" email="" fax="" url="" hours="F-Su 10PM-7AM" price="Low covers, beers 65 rubles/0.5 liters">A welcome change from the homogeneous techno at the other clubs; here you'll find cheap beers, local rock bands, and the occasional big-name guest Russky-Rock bands. Danila Bagrov would be happy.</drink>
* <drink name="JET" alt="" address="ul. Lomonosova, 45" directions="" phone="+7 4112 42-89-38" email="" fax="" url="http://jet.ykt.ru" hours="Dance floor: 20:00-7:00; restaurant: noon-midnight daily" price="">This club is popular with the student crowd, and is right next door to Drakon. On the dance floor, expect house, Russky-pop, and some drumb 'n' bass and trance on weekends; off the floor expect Japanese food and the chill-out room. The bar is notable for its Chinese beer ''Harbin'' (from 150 rubles).</drink>
* <drink name="
Vertolyot" alt=" Вертолет" address="ul. Lermontova, 37" directions="" phone="+7 4112 34- 04- 34" email="" fax="" url="http:// vrt-club.ru" hours=" Club: 20:00- 7:00; restaurant: noon- midnight daily" price=""> The crowd is a little older than at JET or Drakon, and the music is generally house or pop. The restaurant is believed to be the coldest locale ( outside, anyway) in the world to eat Mexican food!</drink>
* <sleep name="Guesthouse Sanaa" alt="Гостиница «Sanaa»" address="ul. Khabarova, 11" directions="" phone="+7 4112 32-55-07" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="800+ rubles">A "mini-hotel" close to the center of the city with limited, but cozy enough accommodations.</sleep>
* <sleep name="
" directions="" phone="+7 4112
" fax="" url="http://
" checkin="" checkout="" price="
city, hosting one of the best local restaurants (see [[#eat|above]])
sauna, pool, money change
* <sleep name="
The Northern Star
" directions="" phone="+7 4112
" fax="" url="http://
" checkin="" checkout="" price="
's premiere hotel
downtown center near the sights
a travel agency. Breakfast