Tomsk

Travel Guide Europe Russia Siberia Tomsk

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Introduction

Tomsk - Kremlin

Tomsk - Kremlin

© Gelli

Tomsk is a city in the Russian federal district of Siberia. Located on the River Tom, the city was founded in 1604 by the order of Tsar Boris Godunov as a military outpost against nomadic peoples. Gold was discovered in 1830, which boosted the fortunes of the city, but after the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, which bypassed Tomsk and passed the area further to the south, economic development also moved away from the city. Instead, Tomsk became a university town. Tomsk benefited after World War II as factories were moved east, away from the conflict. It was closed to outsiders during the Cold War.

Today, Tomsk has a population of around 525,000, of which 15% are students, coming from all over Siberia, Central Asia and even the European part of Russia. As a result, Tomsk probably has a bigger proportion of foreign language speakers than any other Siberian city.

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Sights and Activities

Chekhov through the Eyes of a Drunk Man Lying in a Pit Who Never Read Kashtanka - a funny-looking monument of Chekhov in retaliation for Chechov's description of Tomsk as a muddy little town where the only good place to eat was Slavyanskiy Bazar.
Wolf Monument inspired by the cartoon Once Upon a Time Lived a Dog (on Shevchenko Street) - if you press the button on the wolf's belly, it will say one of 8 sayings from the cartoon.
Voskersenskaya Hill has a great viewing point; this is where, in the 19th century, fire fighters watched for signs of fire.

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Weather

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-13.3 °C-11.3 °C-2.3 °C6.5 °C15.8 °C22.3 °C24.9 °C21.3 °C15.1 °C4.6 °C-4.9 °C-11.2 °C
Avg Min-22 °C-21.6 °C-13.3 °C-4 °C3.5 °C10.1 °C13.3 °C10.4 °C4.9 °C-2.5 °C-12.5 °C-19.7 °C
Rainfall32 mm21 mm22 mm27 mm46 mm60 mm73 mm71 mm43 mm51 mm52 mm41 mm
Rain Days107779910109121311

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Getting There

By Plane

Tomsk Bogashevo Airport has flights to Moscow, Surgut and a few other smaller cities in Russia.

By Train

Tomsk is is situated on the Tayga - Bely Yar line (Tomsk branch) of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

By Bus

Buses are the most convenient way to reach Tomsk from Novosibirsk (4.5 hours, RUB800, 12 per day).

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Getting Around

By Car

There are many taxi companies, most of which charge around RUB150-200 to go anywhere in the city. Taxi dispatchers and drivers do not speak English, so you would have to learn a couple of key phrases. If you are going to the airport or bus station, book the taxi in advance in case of high wait times. Don't hail taxis from the streets if possible, since they can rip off foreigners.

By Public Transport

Buses and trams typically cost RUB25.

By Foot

Most of the city centre is within walking distance.

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Eat

The cuisine is similar to what you can try in Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and any other city in the region. Local foods like pelmeni or bliny (pancakes) can be found in practically any restaurant. Try the Siberian Pancakes (Sibirskie Bliny) with a lot of different fillings.

Bulanzhet, 6 locations, ☏ +7 382 251-07-99. Great tea, soups, and desserts.
Endorfin, Several locations, ☏ +7 382 251-07-99. A cafe that serves unique coffee drinks.
Antonov Dvor, Lenina Ave 104, ☏ +7 382 251-73-17. Good selection of cheap food.
People's, Krasnoarmeyskaya St 31, ☏ +7 382 226-55-06. Grilled meat and burgers.
Reka 827, Kooperativnyy St 2, ☏ +7 382 290-20-20. European food.
Stary Zamok, Gagarina St 11A, ☏ +7 382 290-20-20. Great homemade food and ambiance.
Slavyanskiy Bazar, Lenina Sq., House 10, ☏ +7 382 251-55-53. Chekhov dined here. Traditional Russian food with traditional Russian ambiance. The most expensive restaurant in Tomsk.
Vechnyi Zov, Sovetskaya St 47, ☏ +7 382 252-81-67. Traditional Russian food.
Parmezan, Rozy Lyuksemburg 2, ☏ +7 382 251-17-74. Excellent soup and seafood.

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Drink

Nefiltroff is the local non-filtered beer - cheap, tasty and cheerful! Local vodka is also pretty cheap and considerably well-done.

Supermarkets cannot sell spirits after 11:00pm, although beer is still available at night.

Harat's Irish Pub, Karla Marksa 23А, ☏ +7 382 299-55-09. Daily: 12PM-2AM.
Siberian Pub, Novo-Sobornaya pl 2, ☏ +7 382 253-00-47. Popular with expats.
U Kryugera (У Крюгера), Arkadiya Ivanova 18А, ☏ +7 382 242-39-03. A great place to drink beer. Also has an extensive food menu with grilled meats and the like.

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Sleep

8 Floor Hostel, Dzerzhinskogo 56-55, ☏ +7 382 256-55-22, ✉ mail@8hostel.com. Bed in 10-bed dorm: 400 руб; Bed in 4-bed dorm: 600 руб; Double: 1500 руб.
Hostel Athens, Karpova 16/2, ☏ +7 923 407-67-78, ✉ athens.hostel@gmail.com. Dorm bed: 400-550 руб.
Art Plaza Hotel Tomsk, Istochnaya 53, ☏ +7 382 250-71-50, ✉ avroratomsk@mail.ru. 2800-7300 руб.
Bon Apart, Gertsena 1a, ☏ +7 382 253-46-55, ✉ info@bon-apart.ru. Cozy hotel with a pool. 3700-6600 руб.
Forum Hotel, Lenin Ave 91, ☏ +7 382 253-02-80, ✉ hotelforum@mail.ru.
Gogol Hotel, Gogolya 36А, ☏ +7 382 290-97-09, ✉ gogolhotel@mail.ru. 3600-8000 руб.
Rubin, Akademicheskiy pr 16, ☏ +7 382 249-26-89, ✉ rubin@mail.tomsknet.ru.
Magistrat, pl Lenina 15, ☏ +7 382 251-11-11, ✉ mail@magistrathotel.com. 6000-10000 руб.

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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Learn

Tomsk State University, Lenin Ave 36, ☏ +7 382 252-98-52. Founded in 1878 and has 16,000 students.
Tomsk Polytechnic University, Lenin Ave 30, ☏ +7 382 260-63-33. Founded in 1896 and has 20,000 students.

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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 Tomsk

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Tomsk searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 10:15 on Dec 4, 19 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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