Khabarovsk

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Travel Guide Europe Russia Far Eastern Russia Khabarovsk

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Introduction

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© hazelnutty

Khabarovsk is a city in the far east of Russia and has around 575,000 inhabitants. It is a city on the Amur river near the Chinese border. Often overlooked due to its proximity to Vladivostok, Khabarovsk could easily be a highlight in the long line of predominately dull cities along the Trans-Siberian Railway. But while most cities look their best when the sun is out, in few is the effect as profound as in Khabarovsk – attractive parks, beaches, outdoor beer tents with live music, pretty girls promenading and classic architecture await if the weather gods favour you. Even if you are unfortunate, it's not a loss to go indoors: the city also houses some of the best museums east of Moscow.

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Sights and Activities

There is a fantastic cluster of top notch museums along Shevchenko Street, just behind the tall blue-domed Church of Theotokos on Komsomolskaya Square towards the river and stadium. Not only are the museums some of the best in the far east, they also make their home in some impressive century-old buildings dating back to before the revolution. After a visit, the nice river promenade is just a short walk away, so you can wash all that new found knowledge away with some pivos in good company.

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Weather

Khabarovsk experiences a humid continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. From June to August average daytime temperatures are in the 24-27 °C range, with nights mostly around 15 °C or a little more. Winters are bitterly cold with average days from December to February ranging from -12 °C to -17 °C and nights plummiting to -20 °C to -24 °C on average. The alltime low stands at -39 °C, while the highest ever recorded is 38 °C, a difference of almost 80 °C! About half of the annual 700mm of precipitation falls during the warm summmer months. Snow is common from November to March, though most of the time it is too cold for much snow.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-16.9 °C-12.4 °C-2.3 °C9.7 °C17.9 °C23.5 °C26.4 °C24.2 °C18.4 °C9.3 °C-3.5 °C-14.1 °C
Avg Min-24.3 °C-21.2 °C-11.7 °C-0.2 °C6.7 °C12.9 °C16.9 °C15.7 °C9 °C0.4 °C-11.1 °C-21.1 °C
Rainfall15 mm11 mm17 mm43 mm58 mm82 mm144 mm154 mm89 mm51 mm23 mm18 mm
Rain Days334799101110755

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Getting There

By Plane

Khabarovsk Novy Airport (KHV) offers flights to Moscow, Seoul, Beijing, Harbin, Chita, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, St. Petersburg, Bangkok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sapporo, Yekaterinburg, Magadan, Sochi, Tokyo, Yakutsk, Vladivostok, Anadyr and several other smaller cities in Russia.

By Train

Khabarovsk is located along the Trans-Siberian Railway, about an overnight trip away from the terminus at Vladivostok. Moscow is over a week away by train!

There are several trains each day bound for Vladivostok (800 km) and Moscow (about 8500 km) along the main Trans-Siberian line. Other options include trains #386 or #035 to Blagoveshchensk, #325 for Tynda, #667э for Komsomolsk, #943э Vanino, all on the Baikal-Amur Mainline. Vanino is an interesting option as it allows ferry connections to Sakhalin and further on to Wakkanai in Japan – more details in the Russia to Japan via Sakhalin itinerary.

The international trains are Khabarovsk-Harbin, ongoing twice a week and Khabarovsk-Pyongyang on special days.

By Boat

If you want to go to places upstream on the Amur river, the Meteor speedboats will often be your transport of choice, but only during the summer when the river is navigable. However, in 2008, the water level in the river was at a historic low, so that the Meteor traffic had to be stopped. If Meteor traffic functions normally, you can go some 1,000 kilometres downstream to the Ul'chi municipal district (rayon), a region mostly inhabited by indigenous Ul'chi people.

In spring and summer there are daily hydrofoil services to Fuyuan in northeastern China, departing from the ferry terminal facing the Amur river.
If you are heading for the BAM line up north, an interesting option is to take a hydrofoil cruising up the Amur river to Komsomolsk-on-Amur (6 hours), and catch a train from there.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

The city has a network of four tram lines (there is no line 3 or 4). The most useful section for visitors is the stretch of the network running from the main railway station along Amursky Boulevard, before making a left turn down Volochaevskaya St. (near the market), and crossing Muravyov-Amursky Street one block west of Lenina Square, it then continues south intersecting Lenina Street roughly at its halfway point, before a stop at the botanical gardens (Lines 1, 2 & 6). The remainder of the network mainly extends into the sleepy suburbs. Line 5 serves the North, Line 1 and 2 the South along Krasnorechenskaya St.

The electric trolleybuses also has a few useful sections for visitors, Line 2 runs between the Airport and the main railway station, and line 1 between the Airport and Komsomolskaya Square (River promenade, Museum cluster) along Karla Marksa and Mureava Amursky streets. Line 5 makes a stop near the City History museum.

The regular bus number 1, is a useful circle line. It starts at the Railway station, turns down Seryshev street (a block north of Amursky Boulevard) until it reaches the river park at Lenin Stadium. Turns down Komsomolskaya Street (and square) and runs south until Lenina Street. It then runs the entire length of Lenina street before north at the City History Museum and returns to the train station.

By Foot

The best thing to start with is to walk around the center of the city. Have a nice walk from Lenin Square to the Amur River via the main street, Muravieva-Amurski. You will find all sorts of shops and places to eat.

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Eat

The local cuisine consists primarily of traditional Russian restaurants and different Asian-style places. Italian food is also common. However, there's a great variety of cheap fast-food outlets on the streets. Prices start from $3 for good snack to $5–10 at the Golden Bird fast food chain. Meals in small restaurants are available for $10–20. If money is not a concern, you can dine with a view of sunset and the Amur River at Hotel "Inturist" for $50–100.

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Drink

Locals will happily teach you how to drink Russian-style. People are very friendly, and in general you will find lots of locals who would love to practice their English. Don't miss an offer to visit a Russian banya (sauna) somewhere outside the city.

For the most part you should avoid the pubs and bars if weather permits, and indulge in the many beer tents instead. The River Promenade (Набережная Хабаровска) below the large cathedral is a lively place in the summer months, open air cafes in large tents, dot the promenade along the river. Most bars play different styles of music, and there is usually live music going on in one of the tents. Young crowd, and some establishments stay open till very late. This is also the starting point for a host of river boats, taking the party going crowd on short cruises down the river with loud music banging out the speakers. Dynamo Park (Парк Динамо) also has some beergarten style watering holes along long benches beneath coloured lanterns and Russian schlagers blasting out the speakers.

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Sleep

No hostels and not many unrenovated Soviet rooms, so accommodation is pretty steep - on the other hand, the situation is not much different from the rest of Russia. If the situation is desperate and you have a valid ISIC card, you could try to see if the university will hook you up with a room in their dorms - though call ahead instead of showing up on the day. If not, rooms can go as low as 1,000 rubles (€25) if you look around and book well ahead of arrival.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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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 Khabarovsk

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This is version 8. Last edited at 12:31 on Dec 15, 17 by Utrecht. 18 articles link to this page.

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