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Kalmykia [1] is a republic within the Russian Federation.


Chernozemelsky district, Elista municipal district, Gorodovikovsky district, Iki-Burulsky district, Ketchenerovsky district, Lagansky district, Maloderbetovsky district, Oktyabrsky district, Priyutnensky district, Sarpinsky district, Tselinny district, Yashaltinsky district, Yashkulsky district, Yustinsky district.


Other destinations

  • Tsagan Aman - located on the Volga River, Tsagan Aman is the district headquarters of Yustinsky rayon. It is a popular fishing area and a fast developing spa-resort.
  • Yashalta Salt Lake - located between Berezovoe and Solenoye villages of Yashalta district, it is known in Kalmykia for its therapeutical values. The administration of Yashalta district and republican authorities are planning to open a balneo-resort on Yashalta Salt Lake.
  • Chess-City - an administrative unit within Elista, it often serves as a venue for multiple international chess events. The Chess-City complex also hosts meetings of Russian state officials as well as Russian school olympiads.
  • "Black Lands" Biosphere Reserve - a nature reserve situated on the territory of Chernozemelsky and Yashkulsky districts. It is a refuge for ancient saiga antelopes.
  • Lola Horse Farm - situated not far from Elista in the quiet village of Lola - produces kumys (see Drink). During the Soviet era, this horse farm and adjoining clinic for respiratory treatment was very popular among communist party bosses, who traveled from Moscow, Saint Petersburg and from other far-way places in Soviet Union.


As more than half of Kalmyks are followers of Tibetan Buddhism, the country is often referred to as the only Buddhist country in continental Europe.

Get in

The Republic of Kalmykia is currently a part of the Russian Federation. Therefore, when planning your trip to Kalmykia, you should apply for Russian visa.

By plane

The Elista airport is temporarily closed due to incompliance with technical requirements of Russian Airlines Committee. Most likely, it will undergo the procedure of bankrupcy before being opened by new private owner first half of 2007.

Thus, travellers have two options to get to Elista by plane: via Astrakhan or Volgograd airports.

By train

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

By bus

Several private companies operate a daily bus service between Moscow and Elista. The pickup point in Moscow is Luzhniki Stadium. A one-way ticket costs about 1000RUR.

By boat

Get around


Although the native language of the majority of Kalmykia residents is Kalmyk, Russian is understood everywhere.




  • Borg - Kalmyk traditional dumplings - larger and containing more meat than usual meat dumplings.
  • Bortsg - Kalmyk traditional bread.
  • Makhan sheltagan
  • Kyur


  • Dzhomba - milk tea
  • kumys - sour horse milk - often taken as a cure for respiratory diseases like tuberculosis, asthma and others.
  • araka - milk vodka


With tourism on the rise, travelers will have no difficulty finding good accommodation in Kalmykia, especially in the capital, Elista.


In Kalmykia there are many things to learn, for example:

Fishing, hunting, horse-riding, Kalmyk cuisine, Kalmyk dancing, Buddhism, chess, deltaplane flying and fighting in the traditional Kalmyk warrior outfit.


There is little opportunity for work in Kalmykia

Stay safe

Stay healthy

Kalmykia is known for its sunny weather and fresh air. However, visitors are advised not to drink tap water due to the high content of minerals and salt. Otherwise, Kalmykia offers a healthy environment, and delicious and fresh food - mutton and beef being specialities, which are prized as far away as Moscow and St Petersburg.



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