Krasnoyarsk krai occupies a huge territory extending 4,000 km from grassy steppes in the south to the icebound Arctic Ocean in the north. It includes the Taimyr-Dolgan Autonomy which occupies Taimyr Peninsula and Evenkia Autonomy located approximately in the middle of the Krai. The two autonomies can be reached by car but only by seasonal winter roads when swamps and rivers are solidly frozen.


The city was founded in 1628. Unlike most predominantly flat Siberian cities, Krasnoyarsk, backed by peaks of forested hills, has a more pleasant natural setting. The city is located approximately half way between Moscow and Vladivostok so it is advisable for a car traveler to take a rest and to stay two nights and one full day in the city.

Central Krasnoyarsk.

Krasnoyarsk ballet and opera theatre.

Wartime kids.

Peacetime teens.

For a panoramic view of the city, drive by Stepan Razin street to the top of Karaulnaya Hill marked by a little chapel. The chapel is the symbol of Krasnoyarsk which features on the Russian ten-ruble banknote.

Next to the chapel is a cannon, that fires a single-shot salute at 12:00 a.m. sharp to remind the citizens that lunch time is near at hand.

The ten-ruble banknote also depitcs the bridge across the Yenisei River (left upper corner).

The respite in driving gives an opportunity to explore not only the streets of the city but also a prominent natural site - the Krasnoyarskie Stolby situated right in the southern outskirts of the city. Stolby - Pillars in English - are peculiar rock formations towering amid taiga on the hills south of Krasnoyarsk. A long walk through forest up and climbing a couple of Pillars will energize a car traveler to withstand the challenges of a still long road to the Sea of Japan that he is to hit soon after leaving Krasnoyarsk.

The Saint Nicholas steamer. The boat was launched in 1887 and was in service until 1960. In 1891 prince Nicholas (later tsar Nicholas II) traveled by this boat. Six years after a young revolutionary Vladimir Lenin sailed by the same steamer to the place of his exile.

The great Russian artist Vasily Surikov was born in Krasnoyarsk. Those who take interest in pictorial art are welcome to his house museum and art gallery.

Nothing stands in the way of a car traveler that prevents im from driving north from Krasnoyarsk to the town of Yeniseisk founded in 1619. The town was once Russia’s biggest fur-trading center. It features more than 70 historic architectural and cultural monuments.

Alternatively a car traveler can drive south with the intention to visit the republics of Khakassia and Tyva as well as the towns of Minusinsk and Shushenskoe. The former preserves some examples of wooden architecture of the 19th century the latter is the place of exile of Vladimir Lenin. He stayed here in the then remote village under police supervision for three years in 1897-1900 plotting revolutionary transformation of Russia and the entire world. A museum dedicated to Lenin`s exile was opened here in 1970, which also exhibits the lifestyle of a Siberian village in the late 19th century.

In 1898 Lenin in spite of being atheist was married in Shushenskoe’s Peter & Paul church. The religious wedlock was the condition on which his fiancée was allowed to join him in the exile.