Murmansk is the largest city located beyond the Arctic Circle and it is an important tourist center of the Russian Arctic region.

The city was founded in October of 1916 and it was named Romanov-on-Murman. On April 3rd, 1917 it was renamed into Murmansk.

Murmansk is situated on the shores of the Kola Bay. Its population is 287 000 inhabitants. It is the administrative centre of Murmansk region.

Due to the influence of warm Atlantic stream winter in the city is relatively mild. Temperature difference within the city boundaries and a few kilometres into the continent may be about 20 degrees. Summer is short and cool.

The polar night, i.e. the period when the sun doesn’t ascend above the horizon more than for one day, lasts from 02 of December till 11 of January. The polar day, i.e. when the sun shines the whole day, lasts from 22 of May till 22 of July. The period of polar nights when the sun may hide beyond the horizon but continues to light the atmosphere lasts from 30 of April till 15 of August.

The main tourist attractions of the city are the following:

1. A memorial to Defenders of the Soviet Arctic

It was erected in 1974, the height of “Alyosha” monument is 35,5 meters. The memorial complex is situated on a hill named Green Cape. The complex includes the monument, the Eternal flame, memorial pyramid, avenue with memorial plates with names of hero-cities and two anti-aircraft guns. There is a nice view on Murmansk from the hill.

2. “Lenin” nuclear icebreaker

It is the first nuclear-powered icebreaker in the world. The icebreaker was launched in 1957 and made many arctic trips including convoying on the Northern Sea Route. In 1989 the icebreaker was decommissioned. At present the ship belongs to “Atomflot” federal state unitary enterprise and is idle. Its nuclear reactor was dismounted. On-board the ship the museum is functioning devoted to the history of the icebreaker and the history of Arctic investigation.
From our point of view “Lenin” icebreaker is one of the most interesting tourist attraction in Murmansk.

Address: Portovy Passage, 25. Excursion schedule (subject to change): Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 12:00. Saturday, Sunday - 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00.

3. Memorial complex “To sailors died in peace-time”

The complex is situated between the avenue of Heroes of the White Sea and Chelyuskintsy Street. The main part of the complex is a tower made in the form of a lighthouse. On its inner walls memorial plates are placed in commemoration of sailors died at sea in peace-time. Next to the lighthouse a part of the cockpit from the lost “Kursk” submarine is installed. Not far from it there is functioning church of the Savior on the Waters (sanctified in 2002).

4. Murmansk museum of regional studies

The museum was founded in 1926. Its exhibitions are devoted to the nature of Kola Peninsula, history and culture of Saami – aboriginal population of the region, history of Peninsula’s development in middle ages and nowadays and defence during the WWII.

In our opinion special attention should be paid to the exhibitions devoted to Saami and minerals.

Address: Lenin Avenue, 90. Opened daily from 11.00 till 18.00. Days-off: Thursday, Friday.

5. Navy museum of the Northern Fleet

The Museum was founded in 1946. Museum’s exhibitions are devoted to the various periods of Navy’s development in the North of Russia beginning from1693 till present time.

Address: Tortseva Street, 15. Open daily from 9.00 till 17.00 (lunch from 13.00 till 14.00), except Tuesday and Wednesday.

6. Oceanarium

Oceanarium was founded in 1996. In the Oceanarium water-circus performances are being held with participation of aquatic mammals – Greenland seal, grey seal, ringed seal and bearded seal. Oceanarium also conducts research activities on examination of Arctic seals and educational programs for school children and students.

Address: Prospect Geroev-Severomortsev, 4. Performances: from Wednesday till Sunday:  11:00, 15:00, 17:00; Days-off: Monday – Tuesday.

7. Northern lights

Many visitors of Murmansk are eager to see the Northern lights (Aurora Borealis). This natural phenomenon is sometimes observed in polar and subpolar latitudes approximately from the end of August till the beginning of April. But the possibility to observe the Northern lights in the city itself is often limited by the city lights and influence of the Sea. In case of favourable forecast in the region and high solar activity it could be expedient to go outside the city to observe the Northern lights.