The Tomsk Tourist Office (on Prospekt Lenina) can arrange a walking tour of Tomsk with an English-speaking guide. It cost 2,000 roubles for a 2 hour tour.
This certainly isn't essential, as we had already found most of the things we wanted to see using the map in the Lonely Planet guide to the Trans-Siberian Railway, but it was nice to have the additional insight from a local resident.
This park, at the southern end of Pr. Lenina contains a huge memorial to those who lost their lives in World War II. There is a large monument depicting a mother giving a gun to her son, beneath which burns an eternal flame. To either side of the central avenue are stone slabs bearing the names of those who died. On the hour, music plays from loudspeakers.
Behind the memorial are views over the river Tom.
This is the site of the original Tomsk fortress in 1604 and a stone monument marks the spot.
The 'Golden Gate' wooden tower has been reconstructed.
Resurrection Hill is also the location of the Museum of Tomsk History (see separate tip). You can go up the tower of the museum for a view of the city.
This church has been recently restored, and is well worth the climb up Ul. Bakunin. Look out for the enormous bell outside.
The interior is decorated with frescoes. Ladies must cover their heads to enter (headscarves are available to borrow at the entrance).
This museum, the site of the former NKVD dungeon, is a disturbing place to visit. Located in a basement, it has a truly oppressive atmosphere.
The exhibits are housed in individual cells. One is devoted to Lenin memorabilia; one is furnished simply as a cell, with three bedsteads; one is a recreation of the superintendent's office, and one, most chillingly of all, has photos of former prisoners, with their names, dates of birth and date of execution.
Admission is 30 roubles. A photography permit costs 100 roubles.
The Tomsk History museum occupies a former fire station. You can pay to go up the tower for a view of the city. Alternatively, you can simply visit the museum (admission 20 roubles).
Downstairs are 17th century maps, Cossack costumes and a recreation of a boat. Upstairs can be found wooden models of the Tomsk fortress (one of the original 1604 fortress and one of a later 1648 version), as well as various domestic objects such as wooden trunks, bowls and children's toys.
The writer Anton Chekhov was apparently unimpressed when he visited Tomsk, and wrote that the men were drunk and the women were ugly.
His visit is now commemorated by a statue which shows him from the perspective of a drunk on the pavement, so that his feet appear unnaturally large. He is looking towards the site of his favourite restaurant - the only part of Tomsk that he liked.
Tomsk is known for its intricately decorated wooden buildings, or 'wooden lace' architecture. Three of the most famous examples can be seen in Ulitsa Krasnoarmeyskaya.
1) The Russo-German house (which is used as a Russian-German cultural centre) at no. 71 Ul. Krasnoarmeskaya;
2) The Peacock House at no. 67A; and
3) The Dragon House at no. 68.
This is a very pleasant area for exploration and relaxation. On the river promenade you will find this funny guy with huge feet. Then one corner of the square has benches and a pretty flowery fountain.
The center of Tomsk features a Lenin statue pointing towards the Soviet architecture. The square around the statue has some nicely renovated old buildings including the former trading arches (gostinny dvor) and the Hotel Magistrat which dates back to 1802.
This pond is popular for recreation purpuses like mothers pushing their prams along the pond. We visited a café there which had loud music and nothing decent to eat. Nearby there was also an internet café. It must be pleasant here in summer when you can sit in an outdoor café.
The Epiphany Cathedral is situated just off Pl. Lenina. It dates from 1784.
The interior is quite plain and simple in comparison with the Voznesenskaya Church.
This tiny chapel in Pl. Lenina has been recently restored .
It's open between 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
I encountered this mosque which seemed to be under renovation or something when on the way to the wooden houses. I'm not sure that it is still up and running.
The city lies on Tom river which flows past the city center. There is river traffic and and river station. You may want to check out whether there are boat services along the river.