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Overview

About two and a half days on the train from Moscow, Krasnoyarsk is often overlooked by Trans-Sibbers in favor of grander Irkutsk, but this vibrant city of almost a million people certainly has enough to warrant a day or two off the rails. Architecturally, the city center is a grid of old 19th-century town houses and post WWII ferro-concrete, with the odd timber mansion thrown into the mix. But it’s outside of the central area where the real interest lies, as just beyond the city limits rise the Stolby, 17,000 hectares of curious rock formations that poke out from brooding wooded hills. The nature reserve is superb for stretching legs and ...

About two and a half days on the train from Moscow, Krasnoyarsk is often overlooked by Trans-Sibbers in favor of grander Irkutsk, but this vibrant city of almost a million people certainly has enough to warrant a day or two off the rails. Architecturally, the city center is a grid of old 19th-century town houses and post WWII ferro-concrete, with the odd timber mansion thrown into the mix. But it’s outside of the central area where the real interest lies, as just beyond the city limits rise the Stolby, 17,000 hectares of curious rock formations that poke out from brooding wooded hills. The nature reserve is superb for stretching legs and taking on fresh air during a hike or even climb. In winter the nearby Bobrovy Log Ski Resort offers Eastern Siberia’s best piste fun and there’s lots to enjoy on the slopes in summer, too. Krasnoyarsk is also the jumping off point for the fascinatingly remote republics of Khakassia and Tuva to the south, with which it has fairly good transport connections, as well as the jumping on point for the BAM Railway, which branches off the main Trans-Sib line several hundred kilometers east of the city.

Marc Di Duca
About the Expert

Marc Di Duca has written and updated more than 40 guides, mainly for Lonely Planet but also for AA, Thomas Cook, Berlitz and Bradt. Having spent the last 20 years exploring the former communist world, his main field of expertise is Eastern Europe and Siberia.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Krasnoyarsk is the third largest city in Siberia, and is located along the Yenisei River.
  • Language: Russian
  • Currency: Russian Rouble
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring, early autumn. Summer highs of 104F and winter lows of -40F are not unknown.