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Chelyabinsk

Travel Guide Europe Russia Urals Region Chelyabinsk

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Introduction

Chelyabinsk is a city in the Urals Region, Russia. The city has about 1 million inhabitants. Chelyabinsk is the closest city to where a meteor exploded during its fall through the atmosphere on 15 February 2013. It is the largest known meteor to enter Earth's atmosphere since the 1908 "Tunguska Event". The high heat and extreme pressures of entering and traveling through the atmosphere caused the meteor to explode at an altitude of 30-50 kilometresm, sending a powerful shockwave through the city and surrounding regions.

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Weather

Chelyabinsk's climate is a continental one with warm summers and cold winters, when temperatures from November to March are generally below freezing, sometimes dropping below -40 °C. Summers are generally above 20 °C, with highs possible of around 35 °C. Summer is the wettest time of the year and in winter snow is common, especially just before and after the coldest months.

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Getting There

By Plane

Chelyabinsk Airport (CEK) has regular connections with Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yerevan, Dushanbe, Tashkent and seasonal to Düsseldorf.

To get to the city from the airport:

  • Bus lines 1 (to the railway station), 41 (to the Metallurgic district), 45 (to the North-West). A ticket costs approximately $0.40
  • Small city buses with stops on demand ("marshrutkas") line 82 to the railway station. A ticket is approximately $0.80
  • Taxi service. Average price is $10-$15 but don't become a victim of taxi drivers who would probably try to overcharge you. It is better to call a taxi in advance.

By Train

Two daily trains to Moscow. Train 13/14 is quicker (34 hours), but the ticket price is comparable to that of the plane ticket. Train 391/392 is cheaper, at around 1,300 RUB, but is less safe and slower (41 hours).

Trains to all other parts of Russia are available as well, including the Kyiv-Vladivostok train that travels about 10,000 kilometres. International trains run to Asian ex-USSR countries, such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and even to Beijing (twice a month).

The railway station is modern and spacious, with buffet and other facilities. There's an even wider selection in the downstairs food hall of Familia, the pyramid-shaped shopping mall facing the station. And for spiritual sustenance, visit the onion-domed chapel next to the platforms, Tserkov' ikony Bozhyey Materi Odigitriya.

By Bus

Yekaterinburg-Chelyabinsk route is very popular, with buses running every 20-30 minutes at around 300 RUB and 3-4 hours travel time. The main bus station in Chelyabinsk is Northern Bus Terminal (Avtovokzal Severny) which is located in the center of the city, near the Yunost sporting complex. Free bus shuttles circulate between the bus terminal and the railway station. There is another bus station Southern Bus Terminal (Avtovokzal Yuzhny) with mostly buses to smaller towns of the region.

Buses run to as far as Kazan in the west, Kazakhstan in the south and Tyumen region in the northeast.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Marshrutka is a very convenient means of transportation. It is a typically Russian transport. Marshrutka can be considered as a shared taxi but it follows a certain route. All marshrutkas have route numbers painted on them. They follow the route like a city bus but they stop at bus stops only on demand. If you want to take marshrutka, stay at the right place (a bus stop) and hitch by stretching your hand. If you want to exit, just say it to the driver, preferably very loudly. Keep in mind that the driver will only stop at the next official bus stop and he might not hear you. You would better ask other passengers for instructions. This sounds as an incovenience but as soon as you get accustomed to marshrutkas, you appreciate them. The transport network covers all the city and surroundings, the speed of a marshrutka is comparably high (much higher than one of buses as it doesn't stop at every bus stop) and the number of vehicle is tremendously big. The waiting period is usually about 5–10 minutes in suburbs and 1-3 minutes in the city center as there are a lot of routes. It is highly adviceable to but a map of routes and to ask locals. As well there are very good free electronic maps in Russian (2Gis). You can use online maps as well (Google, Yandex...).

The typical price is 15 rubles but there are higher prices on longer routes (it can be 20 rubles between districts and more expensive from the airport). In Chelyabinsk you should pay to the driver as soon as you get on a marshrutka (in some other cities you should pay when you get off). It is common to ask other passengers to pass money to the driver. It is quite safe as people would almost never steal your money in that situation. Passing the change back is common as well. There are marshrutkas with two types of doors. One type is automatic, so passengers should not do anything with the door. Another type is a sliding door which should be opened or closed manually. You should always close the door when get on a marshrutka or get off it last.

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Sleep

View our map of accommodation in Chelyabinsk or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Keep Connected

Internet

Russia is a huge country, and excess to the internet varies a lot. The main cities and tourist places have (free) wifi excess at lots of places, like restaurants and cafes (McDonald's is always a safe bet). Internet cafes are present in larger places as well. Rural areas and especially if you venture into remote and/or mountainous areas have little excess at all. Most travellers will find connections though when using their phone or tablet.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The emergency number is 112. The country code for Russia is 7. Russian phone numbers have an area code with three, four or five digits (according to their province), followed by an individual number with, respectively, 7, 6 or 5 digits, always yielding 10 digits in total. The three digit code 800 is used for toll-free calls. Mobile phones always have three-digit "area" codes and seven-digit numbers. Calls within any one area code may omit the area code (except in Moscow). Inter-area code calls within Russia: 8 (wait for tone) full Russian number including area code. The international access code for dialling outwith Russia is the sequence of 8 (wait for secondary tone and then) 10. International calls to Russia, as always, replace the plus sign (+) in the international phone format with the local international access code for the country you're calling from, followed by Russia's country code of 7 followed by the individual Russian phone number including area code.

You will require a SIM-unlocked GSM 900 / 1800 compatible international cell phone when buying a Russian SIM card. If you do not have your own international cell phone, it's best to buy a cheap cell phone with some value on the card. Foreigners can purchase a local SIM card by showing your passport. BeeLine is considered to be the best in terms of reliability and connections quality. However Megafon's services can be a bit cheaper.

Post

Russian Post is the national postal service of Russia. It's English version is currently under construction, but mainly involves the track&trace system. The domestic post is reasonably reliable, and sending international mail is fairly reliable but slow, taking at least a few weeks to European countries, longer to the USA or Australia for example. The delivery of mail sent from abroad to Russia is highly unreliable, and people or companies tend to use foreign adresses, from where a private carrier sends it to Russia. Alternatives like poste restante are non-existent with Russian Post. Most cities and large towns in Russia have a Central Post Office (Glavpochtamt), which also sells stamps and envelopes, and usually has fax services and Internet availability, though the latter mostly not in smaller places. Also, many hotels have postal services, including mail boxes. Post offices tend to keep long hours, usually from 8:00am or 9:00am until 8:00pm or 9:00pm Monday to Friday, and closing earlier during weekends. The main central post offices in the biggest cities keep even longer hours. For sending parcels, you can also try services by DHL Russia and FedEx Russia. For all mail you can use the regular alphabet, though maybe include the country's name in Cyrillic. For sending post to Russia (or trying to receive it) note that addresses should be in reverse order: Russia, postal code, city, street address, name.

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Accommodation in Chelyabinsk

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This is version 7. Last edited at 15:33 on Nov 9, 17 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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