Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Russia: 10 reason why Murmansk is the perfect Winter Getaway

Daydreaming about Aurora Borealis hunting, Reindeer encounter and miles of winter wonderland, but couldn't afford an expensive trip to Scandinavia?
Introducing "Murmansk", a lesser known destination to do everything mentioned above with a MUCH cheaper price. English tours are available (Bonus if you speak Russian.)

Located in Russia, extreme northwest on the Kola Bay, Murmansk is the largest city above the Arctic Circle, with railway access to the rest of Europe.

Here are my 10 reason why you should plan a trip up to Murmansk!

1. Aurora Borealis/ Northern Lights

Aurora Hunting Tour : $19.30 (depends on how big your group is, month and weather)I'd never heard of Murmansk before being introduced to it last year. Little did we all know, it is one of the most affordable place on earth to hunt for the Northern Lights!

2. Sami Village  

Chill out with the indigenous Sami People in their Village. Take this opportunity to play traditional football, learn their culture, make a wish at the Shaman Poles and interact with reindeer and some colour-changing polar fox! With a small additional fee, jump on a reindeer sleigh and fly over the moon in search of Santa Clause.

3. Siberian Huskies

Ever wonder why Huskies seem to have their faces all over 9GAG? Come here to find out! Their expressions can be really dumb at times. I mean, really Really REALLY dumb! However, don't be fooled. They are intelligent creatures.

4. Alyosha


Murmansk is one of the cities of Hero in Russia. The monument of Alyosha stand tall in remembrance of all Soviet soldiers, sailors and airmen in World War 2.  

5. Teriberka

This Russian village is the setting for the Oscar-nominated Russian Movie "Leviathan", which went ahead and won a Golden Globe in 2015. This place is half-deserted, with a lot of abandon houses along the coast of Barents Sea. Well don't get me wrong, THIS, is the exact reason why I like it! If I were to put it in one word: EXQUISITE!  

6. Ice Breaker "Lenin"

The Lenin Ice Breaker is the World's first nuclear-powered ship. Now it was converted into a museum, based permanently at Murmansk. Don't miss a guided tour into the Ice Breaker! You will get interesting insights on how an Ice Breaker works and how energy was generated in "Lenin". Also, you will get a chance to encounter a polar bear! English tour guides are available upon request.

7. Narnia 

Lucy opened the magic wardrobe and discover Narnia. This is exactly how you'll feel, pushing the exit door at the airport. Snow snow and more snow! If you fly into Murmansk at night, DO NOT sleep on board! Look out the window, you might catch the Northern Lights in action, right beside you!

8. Salmon, Salmon and more Salmon

Try a Salmon dish, preferably a wild Salmon! If you are not a fan of Salmon, try other seafood!
Restaurant recommendation: Terrasa
For as low as $8, you'll get a full course fresh seafood platter meal with beverages.

9. Ice and Snow Sculpture 

The Snow Village in Kirovsk is a museum, made completely out of snow and ice! For a small entrance fee of 400 Ruble ( $5), you get to enjoy an elaborated indoor snow/ice maze and an outdoor snow sculpture exhibition. Don't miss the free snow tubes on your way out!

10. Sports and Games

Skiing, Snowboarding, Ice tubing, Snow Mobile, "Snow Banana" (they even have this?!), Sleigh.... you name it, you'll have it! During our trip to Kirovsk Snow Village, we dedicated the entire afternoon snow tubing, and guess what, it was completely FREE!

Traveled 1-5 February with the best group of buddies I could ever ask for : Aishu, Sam, Jeat, Yong.

Special thanks to Visit Murmansk, and Олег Теребенин for organizing our trip.

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based solely on my opinion and personal experience. 
Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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