Khanty Mansiysk is a beautiful modern city, the capital of Russia’s largest oil and gas producing region. It is located at the latitude very close to that of of St. Petersburg, in the very centre of Russia, if you take a good look at the map. Its unique geographical location has made Khanty-Mansiysk the host of major political, economic and cultural events.
Over the last 20 years the look of Khanty-Mansiysk has changed dramatically. Astonishing architecture, fountains and light design have made the city a real Siberian gem. The people of Khanty-Mansiysk are proud of their city and cherish its more than 430 years of history.
Time in Khanty-Mansiysk is multilayered. The city exists in two dimensions: buildings of distinctive architecture from the 21st century and wooden houses from the early-mid 20th century coexist on the same street.
There are no buildings that are higher than 6 storeys in the city centre, a few 12-14-storeyed apartment buildings are located on the outskirts. There are two parks in the city – the Victory Park with a memorial and the Boris Losev Park with a group of fountains culminating with “The Ob and the Irtysh Rivers Confluence” fountain. There is also a pond with a bridge over it in the park. Traditionally newlyweds seal their union with a symbolic lock on the bridge railings .
The Irtysh river curves around Khanty-Mansiysk on the south and the west. This great river is full of forceful energy that is reflected in the character of the people living on its banks and the rhythms of the city that they built. Since the ancient times, people who lived on the picturesque banks of the Irtysh treated it with love and respect, worshipped it and created legends about it. In winter, the Irtysh freezes deep down to several meters. In the spring, when the river breaks up, city residents come to watch the ice drift.
The bridge across the Irtysh River, built in 2004, was nicknamed the Red Dragon and became a symbol of Khanty-Mansiysk boosted development. The bridge is 1,315 metres long, it connected the river banks and provided access from the city to the western part of the autonomous district and central Russia. Today it is one of the easy to recognize landmarks of the Yugra capital.
The nature of Khanty-Mansiysk leaves noone indifferent. The natural park “Samarovsky Chugas” is located right in the city. This untouched patch of the Siberian taiga with century-old cedars and fir trees in the middle of the capital offers Khanty-Mansiysk extra opportunities for tourism development. Despite the abundance of trees in the city, many flowers are planted here every summer, too. They decorate the streets from early spring to late fall.
Khanty-Mansiysk is athletic: there are two ice rinks, a skiing track, Russia’s leading biathlon centre, a tennis centre, swimming pools and a water park. Culture receives equal attention, too: the city has 4 museums, 3 theatres and 42 monuments. The most visited place in the city is the culture and tourism complex Archeopark with sculptures of mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, cave bears, cave lions, antlered deer, primitive bisons, ancient horses and wolves.
Khanty-Mansiysk is a green, clean city with roads of excellent quality. The roads have two or three lanes and are looped around the city, so that you can get from one end of the city to the other in 15 minutes by car. There are impressive road junctions, overpasses, and underground pedestrian tunnels with advertisements for cultural events and photo exhibitions.
In housing construction, Khanty-Mansiysk has its own distinctive style, a signature approach to architectural and planning. New residential areas dovetail the roads, venues, and amenities.
Modern shopping and entertainment centres have added finery to the city’s architecture. They are distinguished by complex shapes, abundance of glass elements, colour variety and functionality.
Quite recently, only 8-10 years ago, life in Khanty-Mansiysk stopped after 8 p.m. Now traffic on the central streets does not stop even at night, and taxis sit at main crossroads till morning.
Restaurants serving Russian and European cuisine, nightclubs and bars are open to the public at night.
The best thing to do in Khanty-Mansiysk at night is to go for a walk. Just walk and admire illuminated buildings unusual architecture, streets and squares flooded with street lights.
At daytime you can go sightseeing, visit local museums, go horseback riding and, in winter, take a reindeer sled ride. Sledges and pull-sleds are waiting for everyone in the Central square as well as on the territory of the “Ugorskaya Dolina” hotel. By the way, here you can also go to a steam bath with an open air pool that functions even on the chilliest days.
Guests of Khanty-Mansiysk may attend a ceremony of initiation into a Siberian citizen. The initiated must try stroganina made of raw moose or deer meat and local bread.
For those who like active rest there are skiing and alpine skiing tracks. You can go snow tubing down a snowy hill.
For those who can’t imagine their life without sport, there are swimming pools, gyms and fitness clubs.