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General information

Lighthouse and Murmansk city panorama.

Murmansk is a city and seaport in the extreme north-west part of Russia, on the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland. Murmansk is situated on the eastern coast of Kola peninsula, Barents Sea. It is the largest city in the world located north of Arctic Circle.

The city of Murmansk was founded on October 4, 1916, and was initially called Romanov-on-Murman. The name Murmansk the city got after the Revolution in 1917.

Murmansk is a strange city in many ways: it is above the polar circle, so endures weeks of total darkness in the winter and enjoys weeks of 24 hour sunshine in the summer. It is above the tree line; the trees peter out a couple of hundred miles to the south. It is above the 10 degree isotherm; that is a line drawn around the arctic where the average June temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or less. And last but not least, despite cold winters, the sea doesn't freeze (because of the Gulf Stream). Go in winter, and you can have air temperatures of -16 degrees Celsius, with great clouds of steam coming off the water and hanging over the port area as fog.

The north light.

The natural beauty of the Kola Peninsula, with its tundra and forest tundra zones, thousands of lakes and rivers, hills and mountains, and the Barents and White Sea coasts are of international tourist significance. It can offer various kinds of touring activities. There are great opportunities here for salmon fishing, hunting, mountain climbing, and alpine skiing, extreme auto-rally “Arctic Trophy”, water trips on the rivers, lakes and the White Sea, mineralogical trips in the Khibiny mountains, informative, ecological, adventure, historical and ethnographic tours are designed for all kinds of tourists. Almost every river is good for rafting. The land of Polar night and the country where sun never sets in summer attracts Russians and foreigners with culture and history monuments of past centuries, of WWII and the era of socialist construction.

There are some museums which are worth a visit (Regional Museum, Art Museum and the nostalgic Museum of the Northern Fleet). Most visitors make a trip to the Alosha-monument (with a great view over the city and the fjord), go inside one of the (modern but beautiful churches) or enjoy the seal-show at the Oceanarium. There are a lot of hotels in different categories.

Murmansk sea port.

Arctic touring is advanced in Murmansk with the help of Murmansk Sea Steamship Line. Every summer cruises to Northern Pole and Franc-Joseph land are carried out on atomic ice-breaker ships. These 2 week long cruises are very popular among the exotic trip lovers from all over the world.

The region's geographic location has determined the characteristics of its climate, weather, landscapes, and plant and animal life. The climate is temperate maritime in the south and relatively mild subarctic in the north due to the influence of winds from the warm Atlantic flow. Average January temperatures range from -8 °C in the north to -13 °C in the center, and the corresponding average July temperatures range from +8 °C to +14 °C. Annual precipitation varies from 350 to 1000 mm (in mountainous areas). Polar days and nights are a feature of Murmansk Region.

Murmansk has regular flight connections with Tromsø (Norway) and Helsinki (Finland; only during the summer). Domestic flights connect Murmansk with Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Archangel. Train connections to Petrozavodsk, Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Regular scheduled buses to Kirkenes (Norway) and Ivalo (Finland).

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