Yekaterinburg Travel Guide
Located in the Urals region of Russia, Yekaterinburg sits near the border between Europe and Asia. Despite its geographic location, though, most know the city for its dark place in history. It was here where the Bolsheviks executed the last of the Russian czars, which secured victory.
Apart from this, Yekaterinburg also has a couple of excellent museums, and it plays host to Boris Yeltsin’s presidential library.
Come check out our Yekaterinburg travel guide as we cover the best things to do on Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Begin your visit to Yekaterinburg by visiting the Church on the Blood. Authorities built this cathedral on the site of Ipatiev House, which was the home of a local merchant. It was here, during the Russian Civil War, where the Russian royal family was held prisoner by the Bolsheviks. Sadly, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, and his children were all brutally slaughtered in 1918.
In the late 1970s, future Russian president Boris Yeltsin ordered the destruction of this house. In 2000, construction began on a Russian Orthodox Cathedral meant to pay homage to the slain Royals. The Church on the Blood was the result. It boasts gold domes, a small museum dedicated to the Royal Family, and over 29,000 square feet of space.
Continue your exploration of the Russian Civil War’s bloody end by making your way to the Ganina Yama Monastery. After Bolsheviks executed the entire Russian royal family, they needed a place to dispose of the bodies. They quickly found two abandoned mine shafts nearby and tossed their corpses into them.
It wasn’t until 1991 the government admitted their whereabouts. They found the remains of five of the seven family members. Searchers found the remaining two at a second site 17 years later.
The monastery site was built over the mines to commemorate the final resting place of the Russian royal family. It consists of a series of memorial chapels, each dedicated to one of the family members. Because of the sensitive nature of this site, select clothing that covers your knees, shoulders, and chest. Additionally, the rules require women to wear headscarves. Ask locals about it before visiting to avoid any unintended offence.
While in Yekaterinburg, Learn more about Russia’s first-ever president by visiting the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia needed a leader to guide them into the post-communist era. Boris Yeltsin came forward, becoming the face of Russia up until 2000.
This institution not only chronicles the history of Boris Yeltsin but that of Russia. Through his perspective, you’ll learn about the nation from 1914 to 1987. However, it creators dedicated most galleries to the defining moments of his presidency. From the drafting of Russia’s first constitution, to reform measures he enacted, it is an interesting attraction to visit.
Art lovers will not want to leave town without checking out the Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts. You won’t just find paintings – you’ll also see plenty of Communist-era icons, many made out of cast iron. Its most iconic piece, the Kasli Iron Pavilion, dates from the 1900 World’s Fair.
Want to discover more of Yekaterinburg’s culture? Make time in your schedule for a visit to the Vladimir Vysotsky Museum. This institution commemorates a Russian poet and subculture icon, who many locals call The “Bob Dylan of Russia”. Throughout this building, you will find his personal belongings, half-written poems, and other memorabilia related to this performer.
Russia has a long and proud history of warfare. However, its foray into Afghanistan, for the lack of a better term, failed miserably. For every victory, a bloody defeat followed on its heels. A particular transport plane came to be known as the Black Tulip, due to its grim task of carrying home Russian coffins to the Motherland.
Local authorities created the Yekaterinburg War Memorial to commemorate the victims of this conflict. Its emotional yet straightforward design conveys a powerful message of the horrors of war.
Are you looking for a spot to relax and recharge during your visit to Yekaterinburg? Be sure to spend some time at Dendropark. Like many Russian cities, Yekaterinburg can be a bit heavy on the concrete at times. Thankfully, Dendropark acts as a much-needed counterpoint. It is a great place to bird-watch, and many locals use this park to exercise. Of course, if you are in no mood to join them, feel free to sit back and enjoy the greenery.
Fancy yourself an avid photographer? Before leaving Yekaterinburg, be sure to check out the Visotsky Business Center Lookout. Located on the 52nd floor of the Vysotsky skyscraper, it is one of the highest towers outside of Moscow. From this vantage point, you will have sweeping views over Yekaterinburg in every direction.