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Five reasons to visit Murmansk!

We've never written one of these kind of articles before, but Murmansk has become very special to our hearts after our recent trip to the Arctic Circle in Russia! And here are those five reasons that ought to convince you to go to this amazing treasure trove in offbeat Russia!

 

Murmansk, the northern most city in the world

 

 

1. The Northern-most city in the World!

Literally, the last city in the northward journey to the Arctic and the North Pole, Murmansk is a legendary place. The city stands as a hero is USSR history for its own reasons and in today's world, it is a great place to experience a lot of nature's wonders and man-made monuments. The city has everything - schools, hospitals, a railways station, parks, restaurants and malls, car showrooms, a harbour, factories and companies, and an airport - all above 66½°N (the Arctic Circle). With a population of ~300,000 people, its quite small, but remarkable that mankind has established a city that far away from better inhabitable regions. There's also a McDonalds here with a board that says that you are eating at the northernmost McD in the world!

 

2. Riding a train through Snow-covered forests and mountains

Murmansk continues to have many trains ferrying people in from southern cities even today, some of which even ply on the Trans-Siberian Route (the largest railway network in the WORLD)! The railway station itself is a treat to see - an old USSR style building with a dome, painted in bright turquoise. Our favourite experience, was riding the 24-hour train into the city from St. Petersburg, watching the almost-unreal sceneries on the way. We could've sworn that we were in Switzerland's alps if it weren't for the Russian signboards inside the train!

 

The view of a frozen lake, through the train window (at 8:30 pm)

 

 

3. Teriberka, the last frontier

This fishing village was the most epic part of our Murmansk experience. The sights one gets to see there is indescribable - the vast expanse of the Arctic Ocean begins from there, with the Barents Sea. The sheer thought that there is no land ahead for miles, and its just icebergs and the polar cap (and probably Alaska or Canada further down from there), is so overwhelming! The snow-capped mountains, pebbled beaches, and resilient ferns growing in the extreme weather are all just beautiful - but the experience can get even better with a fresh coat of snow after a storm! Consider camping here, maybe?

 

Walking along the Barents Sea, Northern Arctic Ocean

 

 

4. The CHEAPEST place to see the Northern Lights from!

Teriberka and its surrounding villages are quite high-up within the Arctic Circe, on the lines of Tromso in Norway, which is regarded as one of the best places to see the Northern Lights from! But Murmansk makes this experience incredibly cheap - almost a third of what it would cost in Tromso and other Finnish and Norwegian villages. This reason alone should inspire you to get to Murmansk. And one of the things that impressed us, was how things are a little less commercial and a little more personal and value-for-money!

 

5. Snowy Wonderland with nearly no nights and White Nights: 

Ah, this one finishes this list because of the fondest memories we have of the white sceneries. Although we visited in mid spring, Murmansk was still enjoying a few brilliant snowy days - just look at this. And we could not have felt more magical! With only three hours of darkness, the winter-wonderland image stayed on almost endlessly. But in Summer - there's ZERO darkness for a whole month (July) - Whaaaaat?

 

The Nuclear Icebreaker, Lenin

 

Bonus reason: The incredible Lenin, a 1959 Nuclear Ice-breaker, the first of its kind in the world. Today, it is a museum (although it is a ready-for-action ship with an active crew) and is very interesting if you are into the whole technological advancement race of the Cold War Era! This is also just one of many other WW-era monuments in the city.

 

 

Read about making your own Murmansk experience with this free guide!

 

 

 

 

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