Yekaterinburg, sometimes also spelt as Ekaterinburg, is Russia’s 4th-most populated city, following the capital of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Novosibirsk. Founded in 1723 on the orders of Peter the Great, it was originally a major metallurgical centre. Today, it is brimming with interesting museums and libraries. Located in the middle of the vast country, it sits at the point where continental Europe and Asia meet.
If you’re planning a tour of Russia, here are some great things to do in Yekaterinburg:
Vysotsky Viewing Platform
Vysotsky is the tallest skyscraper in Russia, outside of Moscow, standing at a towering 188 metres tall and with 54 floors. Head to the high viewing platform and peer down at the city streets from a different perspective. The vistas are truly magnificent, with the panoramas of Yekaterinburg stretching up to 25 kilometres into the distance. Get a newfound appreciation for the beauty of the city! There’s also a small museum onsite that is dedicated to famous Russian singer Vladimir Vysotsky. The museum is free to enjoy.
In the first half of the 18th century, Plotinka was a dam on the River Iset. It was built to power a metallurgical plant. Today, Plotinka is a popular city park that reminds people of the early years of the city being founded. The public park is a nice place to relax and unwind, or take a walk and get some exercise. There are both paved and grassy areas, as well as a number of interesting statues and monuments. Several museums can be found within the complex too, including the Fine Arts Museum and Architecture Museum. The Stone Park is a particularly interesting section of the park.
Ural Mineralogy Museum
The Ural Mineralogy Museum is dedicated to its creator’s (Vladimir Pelepenko) enormous passion. In search of important minerals he traversed the entire Ural region, as well as venturing into other parts of Russia and foreign lands. The extensive displays include those related to stone, bone, and minerals. If you ever had an interest in minerals, this is definitely the place to visit!
Church of All Saints
Also known as the Church on Blood, this attractive Russian Orthodox church’s full name is the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land. It’s rather a tongue-twister! It stands on the site of the former Ipatiev House, where Tsar Nicholas and his family, the Romanovs, were held in the basement following the February Revolution. An important place in Russian history, it is where the former imperial family were executed. The house was eventually demolished, and the church was built in the early 1990s in its place. It seeks to remember the past and pay respects to the murdered family. A large complex, there are actually two chapels on the site, with the altar of the main church located directly over the spot where the family was murdered. There’s a museum onsite where you can learn more about the fateful past events. Photos of the family line the walls, and it is hard not to feel moved when you learn more about their fate.
Somewhat like something you would expect to see in a fairytale, this delightful home, with folkloric and whimsical elements, was carefully designed and built over a long period of time by Kirillov, a local blacksmith. Dedicating more than 15 years to his vision, there are many intriguing details to admire. A fantastic sight, it is something not to be missed when you’re in Yekaterinburg.
Other top things to do in Yekaterinburg include paying a visit to a traditional Russian bathhouse, visiting the Museum of Stone Carving Art, doing a spot of people-watching from Ploshad Lenina, ambling through Victory Park, catching a movie at Kolizey Theatre, strolling through the Literary Quarter, visiting the Military Technology Museum, feeling peaceful at the Ascension Church, and learning more secrets from the past at the Chapel of the Revered Martyr Grand Princess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna.