Tomsk Travel Guide

  • In front of Gov. palace
    In front of Gov. palace
    by yawp1
  • Hotel room bathroom
    Hotel room bathroom
    by yawp1
  • Rubin Hotel
    Rubin Hotel
    by yawp1

Tomsk Things to Do

  • Guided walking tour

    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...

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  • Lagerny Gardens

    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...

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  • Epiphany Cathedral

    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.

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  • Resurrection Hill

    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.

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  • Voznesenskaya Church

    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).

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  • Museum of Oppression

    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...

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  • Museum of Tomsk History

    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...

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  • Chekhov Statue

    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...

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  • Wooden Houses - Ul. Krasnoarmeyskaya

    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.These are: 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....

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  • Iverskaya Chapel

    This tiny chapel in Pl. Lenina has been recently restored . It's open between 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.

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  • Red Mosque

    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.

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  • River bank and big central square

    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.

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  • Tom River

    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.

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  • Iverskaya Chapel

    This chapel has been rebuilt for the 400 years city jubilee in 2004. It sits prominently on Ploshad Lenina and looks like a cake, it's so cute.

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  • Epiphany Cathedral

    This cathedral dates back to 1784. It is easy to find next to the Lenin monument. Unfortunately, I haven't been inside.

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Tomsk Hotels

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Tomsk Restaurants

  • 'English Pub' ?!

    Tomsk is not somewhere I would have expected to find an English theme pub, but there it was. Inside the decor is like a traditional English pub (dark wood, engravings of English castles on the walls), but the menu is not exactly authentic. No sign of the traditional ploughman's lunch, or roast beef, or even the more modern ubiquitous Thai green...

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  • Cheap lunch option

    There are several take-away blini (pancake) outlets in Tomsk. We liked the one in Troitsky Skver, as you can sit in the park to eat it. You simply choose your filling. A blini with cheese cost 45 roubles (about £1), one with minced meat cost 75 roubles.

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  • Nice cake!

    This cafe is in a rather nice art nouveau-style building on Pr. Lenina. You can get lunch here, but we popped in for coffee and then couldn't resist the cakes on display. Strawberry gateau ....mmmmm.

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Tomsk Transportation

  • By bus

    We arrived in Tomsk by minibus (marshrutka) from Novosibirsk in 4 hours. Cost in 2004 was 200 roubles. There was a toilet stop on the way. Please note, that you need a separate ticket for your luggage. If you have big luggage you may consider using a big bus as it was very uncomfortable and cramped with the luggage in the minibus.

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  • By tram

    Tomsk is one of those Siberian cities with trams. When they run, they are very convenient to go downtown from near the railway station. You are in for a bumpy but fun ride. They are a good chance to explore the rural streets of Tomsk.

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  • By train

    We took the nighttrain to Krasnoyarsk. The tickets we bought the day before at Tomsk station. In the railway station you may need the left lugguage (kamera khranenina). Please note that it is a bit difficult to find, you will have to go downstairs to locate it.

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Tomsk Local Customs

  • Watch out for the buckets

    We were having a walking tour of Tomsk on 7 July, when our guide noticed a group of youths carrying buckets. 'Oh,' she exclaimed - 'it's 7 July - I completely forgot. On 7 July people in Tomsk throw water at each other.' Now, she may have been winding us up, but for the rest of that day we certainly saw several groups of youths throwing water at...

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  • Cats and dogs

    I'm always pleased if I see some wildlife around, even if it's domesticated. Here in Tomsk I was amazed at this obviously very hungry dog who overcame the climb into the rubbish bin. Also I was amused by the couple of cats which hang around the bird houses.

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  • Tomsk Hotels

    3 Hotels in Tomsk

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Tomsk Warnings and Dangers

  • tomsk is number 1 in tuberculosis...

    yes,its amazing that this siberian town has ranked number 1 in a special tuberculosis virus that started in the prisons of the city from overcroweded infected inmates,and spread in russia europe and usa from inmates released to the public without any treatment,because the allready antibiotics used in russia were of very low quality,and the new ones...

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  • also be aware that Siberian...

    also be aware that Siberian mosquitoes are numerous and voracious, as are horseflies and any other blood sucking insects.These insects are attracted to certain blood groups.---------------Some people have bad reactions, others have none.--- If you react to mosquito bites, they have no mercy.If you doubt my word, have a close look at the head of the...

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  • Health...

    Health difficulties-----------If you are travelling through the bush in Russia, be aware that ticks spread encephalitis. If finding a tick on your body do not pull it off but head for a doctor or hospital where your tick will be analysed and you can be treated accordingly

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Tomsk What to Pack

  • Insect repellent and waterproofs in...

    The weather in Tomsk in summer can change very quickly from hot sun to drenching rain. A strong umbrella or lightweight waterproof jacket is essential. Insect repellent to deal with the midges is helpful. I put it on my arms, neck and face, but forgot to put it on my legs, and got bitten there several times.

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  • Guide books

    I travelled with the Lonely Planet Russia guide book (not the Transsiberian one). On the photo you see the new edition but of course I travelled with the older one and I didn't carry the whole book but ripped out the necessary pages. My travel mate had the Transsiberian one from Trailfinders which is really good.

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Tomsk Off The Beaten Path

  • a stop on the journey

    we swam in the small lake here, we played canoe polo, watched displays of horsemanship and played football

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  • Old trade street of Tomsk

    By Forge Entrance (Kuznechniy Vzvoz) different trade goods were transported to the old city market place. The road is clamped between two hills and the view from them is very pleasant.

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  • our first day and our first...

    our first day and our first meal in Tomsk.One of our group-a worker no less, and foisted on me by someone who should know better, criticized this and every subsequent meal, plus everything Russian that she could think of----------------Extremely unprofessional for a 'supposed' youth worker--I've hated her ever since and vowed that if ever I found...

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Tomsk Favorites

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  • Soviet architecture

    In Tomsk you will find all the contrasts right in the city center. Huge Soviet style buildings next to tsarist architecture and close to the traditional wooden houses.

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  • Wooden houses

    There are so many wooden houses with carved window frames. They are so pretty and a lot of them concentrate in one area which makes a pleasant walk. The good thing is that they can still be found in the center of the city or very close by within walking distance. This is probably the rural touch of the city with its wooden architecture as well as...

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  • Church

    As in many other cities in the Former Soviet Union, the government destroyed a number of old churches in the city including two that had existed since the 17th century. However, Tomsk managed to retain some of its churches by creating alternative uses for them such as machine shops, warehouses, archives, and even residences. Since the end of...

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