There are several flights every day from and to Moscow (airp. Domodedovo) to the local airport Emelyanovo (Емельяново). There is also airline connection with major Russian cities, and a few regular flights from abroad: Beijing, Tianjin, Harbin, the cities of the ex-USSR countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan). The major local airline company is Krasair (Красноярские авиалинии), you can check its web-site www.krasair.ru for currently available flights. In 2006 KrasAir suffered from financial difficulties but since then the situation has stabilized. In Moscow you can also choose the Aeroflot company(airp. Sheryemetyevo).
A smaller airport Cheremshanka (Черемшанка) serves regional flights only, usually between Krasnoyarsk and the northern parts of the Krasnoyarsk Krai.
Krasnoyarsk is located on the Trans-Siberian Railway, so every day dozens of trains pass the Krasnoyarsk central railway station. It takes about 12-14 hours to get to Krasnoyarsk from Novosibirsk or Irkutsk and minimum 60 hours from Moscow or Vladivostok.
The road connecting Vladivostok and Moscow, semi-officially called Moskovskyy Trakt (Московский тракт, Russian for the Moscow Way) passes through Krasnoyarsk. However, Russian automobile roads are not very suitable for long-distance travel: motels and road cafes are very rare there, though you can find a dirty hotel and cafeteria in every town.
Buses are available only from the cities in the region and from the neighbouring Khakassia region. They arrive to the main bus station, located in the northern part of the city known as Vzlyetka (Взлётка, short for Airstrip, called so because the main airport was located there until the end of the 1980's). A slightly outdated schedule is available online: . A usual price for a trip up to 400 km is about 200-300 rubles (8-12 USD).
There is a good network of public buses, which are indeed very cheap (11 roubles since September 2008, per trip, regardless the distance). In large buses the conductor walks among the passengers and gets paid once he (or, more often, she) comes by a recently entered passenger. In a minibus (marshrutka, маршрутка, means the route bus) the conductor sits near the driver and gets paid before passengers exit (because of this the hind door is rarely opened). In a large bus the conductor can be determined by a roll of tickets in a hand, a belt purse and, if a bus is crowded, loud demands for payment. However, without a local consultant it's rather difficult to plan a way because route maps are not usually available at bus stops, though there is a very comprehensive software map of Krasnoyarsk (in Russian) which is able to plan a complex route automatically.
The taxi companies are numerous and phone booking is very easy but the chance of that your English will be understood is very small. It is a very common case in Russia that a driver who wants to earn some money stops near your holdout hand, but in Krasnoyarsk you're strongly advised to use only authorized carriers, it is a very safe city but there is no need to risk without necessity, there are very many licensed drivers available. The licensed cars always have a yellow lamp on the roof with the chessboard-like ornament and advertisements with phone numbers on the sides.
Usually taxis are rather cheap (even if not using a meter) and rather honest, however, seeing that you're a foreigner, some drivers may try to make you pay through the nose. Half-a-city drive should not be more than 300 rubles (11 USD), if you suspect too dirty cheating, you may demonstrate your intent to complain to the driver's boss.
Krasnoyarsk is a very old beautiful city, established by Russian Cossacks (military servants) in 1628. It's name consists of two words — Krasnyi (red, because of clay reddish soil) and Yar (steep bank). Views of Yenisey River and the nearby Sayan Mountains covered by taiga forest are quite picturesque.
There is also a cable car that travels to the Reserve. Check the web-site for more details.
Next to Novosibirsk and Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk is the most prominent scientific and educational center of Siberia with more than 30 higher education facilities, many of which are the branches of the Russian Academy of Science, and about 200 high schools. The most notable higher education institutes are:
Similarly to Novosibirsk and Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk has a special city district called Akademgorodok (Academic Town in Russian) where many of the institutes are located. There, in the Institute of Biophysics, the experiment on ecological isolation of human beings called "Bios", similar to the US experiment Biosphere 2, has been successfully held in 1973-1985.
Like any industrial center, Krasnoyarsk has a large number of employment opportunities. However, salaries are low (up to 500 USD/month is 'good', 1000+USD/month is 'very good'; higher salaries are availble for top-managers or business owners only).
If you want to buy Siberian souvenirs or paintings of the Krasnoyarsk artists you can visit the Diana (Диана) art salon at Mira St. (ул. Мира) 51. You may try to speak English with merchants here. Another place to look for paintings of the local artists is the Khingan (Хинган) galleries at Mira St. (ул. Мира) 3, Vzlyotnaya St. (ул. Взлётная) 2 and Totmina St. (ул. Тотмина) 6. Siberian souvenirs are also sold in the Sibir-Etno (Сибирь-этно) galleries, the first of them is in the Krasnoyarsk railway station, the second is at Aviatorov St. (ул. Авиаторов) 19.
The one unique thing you're advised to buy is cedar nuts, because the Siberian region is the only region where the authentic variety of this delicacy can be purchased. Throughout the rest of the world cedar nuts are extremely expensive.
Other goods are the same as all over Russia. Chinese clothes could be slightly cheaper on the Chinese market.
Well, it's difficult to stay hungry in Krasnoyarsk. There's no McDonald's, but KFC/Rosticks is now available in several locations.
The only places you're strongly adviced NOT to visit - any restaurants near the Railroad Station, and the local Market-Place ('Колхозный рынок', which is located at the end of Diktatury Диктатуры street), because they are traditionally occupied by local and visiting criminals — that is unless, of course, you yourself are a criminal looking to socialize.
A number of cheap bars serving sandwiches are spread all over the city. Just stop in any one and you'll find hospitable people (you will, however, need to understand some Russian to get very far in these venues).
Also there are a number of excellent Chinese restaurants on Mira street near the Theater of Musical Comedy, where real Northern Chinese Cuisine can be found.
Numerous nightclubs can be found in all parts of Krasnoyarsk, but it's better to avoid those located in suburbs (the clientele can be unpleasant), or very expensive luxury clubs and restaurants (frequented by local criminals). The prominent nightclubs are:
Most cinemas have night clubs as well. Actually, it quite difficult to find several adjacent blocks without at least one night club or disco.
NOTE: if you get in any night club, either luxury or inferior, watch out for drug traffickers! They can be found in ALL night clubs, but usually don't disturb those who don't want to contact them.
Generally speaking, the closer to the center, the safer. Although Krasnoyarsk is a very safe place, you're not advised to look for accommodation in the suburbs; local lumpens won't make your stay pleasant. The right (southern) bank is mostly "lumpenized" except for the Predmostnaya Ploshchad' (Bridge Square, or Предмостная площадь); on the contrary, the left (northern) bank is nice except for the most distant districts.
You're strongly advised to book your accommodation beforehand (better by phone, and don't expect to find any English-speaking staff), because there are not many hotels in Krasnoyarsk, most with no on-line booking service and no English-speaking personnel. Don't expect to find Internet and hair-dryers, but be ready to meet insects and to go without hot water, unless you choose the most expensive hotels.
There is no budget accommodation in the city. The cheapest hotels are from 50USD per night, which is hardly a budget level. On the Railway station, some elderly women can suggest rooms in their own flats for ~10USD per night—accept at your own risk (elderly women may have young sons). They will not be able to register your visa for you - for that you will need a hotel.
Krasnoyarsk's two luxury hotels cost from 130 USD per night, which is hardly worth it. However, you're safe from insects, and their location is quite convenient.
The international code for Russia is +7, the code for Krasnoyarsk is 391 (since 6 Sept. 2008). On September the 6th 2008 all Krasnoyarsk numbers had a 2 added to the beginning.
Public phones are not very common. International phones can be found in the post offices, where you prepay your talk to a cashier (English is very unlikely to be understood).
Mobile phones are carried by almost everyone, including children. Prepaid SIM cards with Russian federal number are sold for many national and local telecommunication providers: BeeLine (Билайн), MTS (МТС), YeniseyTelecom (Енисей Телеком), Megafon-Krasnoyarsk (Мегафон-Красноярск), all around the city. The mobile standard is GSM 900/1800, however some operators still provide the DAMPS service. SMS usually costs around 1 rouble (~5 US cents), one minute of talk is around 5 roubles (~20 US cents). Since July 2006 you cannot be charged for incoming calls (unless you're using the roaming), but sometimes you need to pay a fixed price of 50 US cents for a call. For the beginning of 2008 there was a pretty good coverage from all of the major cellular providers in the city neighborhood, though do not expect the phone to work in deep uninhabited valleys as well as far from relatively large towns.
Internet cafes are not common, but Mobile GPRS in Russia is usually very cheap, 5-10 roubles (20-50 US cents) per 1 MB. There are many local ISP's who offer high-speed Internet connection via ADSL, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Wellcom (IMT-MC 450) but they all require signing an end-user agreement and very unlikely accept foreign passports and understand English as well. Modem access (usually 40-56 kbps) are much easier to buy: Internet cards can be bought in any post office and some supermarkets, they contain login, password and the ISP modem phone number. At the beginning of 2009 there were several free Wi-Fi Internet access points available in the public places:
Though generally safe for the experienced traveler, Krasnoyarsk can be a tricky destination for someone not familiar with the region and culture. The downtown areas are pretty much safe all night, but in the suburbs it's highly recommended not to walk alone after dark. If you are 15-30 years old, the neighborhood of student dormitories (living blocks without balconies, usually 9-story), the inside of living districts and street cafes can be dangerous for you even at the day time due to the chances to meet drunk bullies who can be easily provoked, for example, by your unusual or not athletic look. Other places of higher risk are large market places and the railway station: be sure to keep your cash out of view and out of pickpockets' reach.
Avoid asking the police for help unless it is really necessary. If possible, communicate with the hotel staff and security first, because communication with local policemen may be unpleasant due to both the language barrier and their usual rudeness, or even dangerous, especially for non-European-looking foreigners (although police in Krasnoyarsk is far from being as dangerous as in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Sadly, this is a national problem in Russia: there is not much difference between police and criminals.
The easiest way to travel from the city is to fly to Moscow first, and then to wherever necessary. However, there are some flights from the local airport Emelianovo to China and the nearest ex-USSR countries, or through Novosibirsk and Irkutsk which can be easily reached by train.
During the summer there are 1-2 week cruises to the Northern part of the Krasnoyarsk Krai to the mouth of the Yenisey. Everyday connections exist only for the city of Divnogorsk, located 40km west, near the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Power Station.