Salekhard is the capital of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, the largest gas-producing region in the world. It is the only city in theworld located on the Arctic Circle; midnight sun (also known as the polar day) occurs from 7 June to 7 July.

It was founded in 1595 and became a city in 1938. Reindeer herding and fishing used to be the only occupations until the early 1970s, when exploitation of natural gas deposits began; today Salekhard is the base for northern gas fields of western Siberia. The city is a combination of the oldest Polar town and a modern northern center. Its highlights include the Yamalo-Nenets Museum
and Exhibition Complex featuring a museum of local lore, an exhibition center, and a research library; the Peter and Paul Church, the only surviving religious building of the XIXth century in the city; the sculpture “Mammoth” at the entrance to Salehkard, dedicated to the ancient inhabitants of the North, whose bones and tusks are found in all corners of the Yamal Peninsula; the Obdorsky Ostrog architectural complex, an open air museum at the historic location at the confluence of the rivers Ob and Polui, showing what the outpost looked like in the XVIIth century; the ancient sanctuary of Ust-Polui, a unique archaeological site discovered in 1932 at the crossroads of natural areas and cultural traditions of the ancient peoples of Western Siberia.

  • Federal subject:

    Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

  • GPS coordinates:

    66°32′N 66°36′E

  • Area:

    84.50 square km

  • Population:


  • The most visited sight:

    The 66th parallel north

  • The duration of Polar day:

    31 nights a year

  • Climate: subarctic


  • Language:




    The founder of the first museum in Yamal-Nenets District was Ivan Shemanovsky, a prominent church figure, historian and ethnographer. The museum houses enormous funds of
    exhibits, including permanent exhibitions “The time of the Mammoth”, “Yamal Antiquities”, and “Ethnic Pictures”, as well as ethnographic, archaeological, numismatic, historical
    folk collections, an art gallery, a scientific library, and holds temporary expositions, themed fairs, and many more. Einstein Museum of Entertaining Sciences opened in 2016
    within the Shemanovsky Museum Complex; the visitors have a unique opportunity not only to examine the items but also to feel like creators of a true technological wonder. Here you
    can see the exhibits in action and even touch them, create a cloud with your own hands, or construct a bridge without using a single nail.


    Obdorsky Ostrog literally means “located on River Ob”. Built in the XVI century, it has become one of the earliest Russian settlements in Siberia. That was where the history of
    Salekhard started. Founded by Cossacks led by voivode Nikita Trakhaniotov at the confluence of the rivers Polui and Ob, the settlement was later named the Obdorsky Gate. The
    structure was a square-shaped fortress made of wood, with three watchtowers, surrounded by a wooden fence. For several centuries, the Gate protected its inhabitants from the
    enemies. In the XVIII century, the Obdorsky Ostrog lost its military function. The garrison was removed, the canons were pulled out, and the walls and watchtowers were knocked down. The reconstruction of the gate was initiated by a renowned architect Alexander Opolovnikov in 1992. He focused on recreating the Ostrog with historical accuracy. All buildings
    were constructed according to an ancient technology without using a single nail. The project was finished at the beginning of the new century, and the Obdorsky Ostrog opened as a large-scale museum complex in the open air, on top of a hill with a beautiful panoramic view over Salekhard and its outskirts.


    The foundation of the Museum of Polar Aviation in 1970 was totally unplanned. The local airport accepted expired aircrafts, and no-one had the guts to dismantle the veterans
    of the Polar aviation. The models were left as monuments, and the collection gradually grew into an open-air museum. Airplanes and helicopters that were turned into exhibits have made their contribution to reclaiming the Yamal peninsula, as there was no other way to reach it from the mainland but by air. Bright orange wings of the aircrafts on show set them apart from any other aircraft: that coloring helped discover a plane or a helicopter that had made an emergency landing on snow and ice.


    Peter and Paul Church was built in 1883. Its strikingly elegant white-stone structure and classicist bell-tower were decorated with ornately shaped setting, high arched windows and
    pavilion roofs with jagged ledges and gilded onion domes. The church functioned until 1929 before it was shut down and later used for storing archives, as a dormitory for displaced people, and even as a sports school. The building did not reclaim its original function of an Orthodox church until the end of the XX century. By that time, it was in a very poor shape: the fence had been knocked down, and the internal layout had been completely changed. Restoration works lasted for several years, and in 1998, the church reopened.


    The Victory Park in Salekhard takes up the area of 19 hectares, which makes it the largest memorial complex of the Ural Federal district, and a place for public rallies and parades.
    In the central part of the Park visitors will see a 15-metre rectangular Pantheon with its walls, elegantly decorated with gilded branches, red stars and slogans, an Eternal Fire inside
    and a row of black plates with a list of names of Yamal soldiers, surrounded by red granite columns topped with red stars. On the territory of the Victory Park visitors will also find memorial steles, burial sites, a number of military equipment units, and a monument to George the Victorious.


    Mammoth remains are often found deep in the underground of the Yamal peninsula: skeletons, bones and massive tusks that helped the giant animals trudge through the snow. Archaeological findings have shown that the Ob river shores have often served as a resting place for Polar mammoths. In 2005, a large statue of mammoth was installed at the entrance to the city of Salekhard, which gives an impression of how grand and stately those animals were.


    Thinking of a place to go for a family with children, we suggest that you pick the one that will bring joy to every member of you family rather than some traditional activity for kids.
    For instance, ice skating is fun for both children and adults. In Salekhard, you should visit not a simple ice skating rink, but an Ice Palace, a place coveted by children of all ages,
    including teenagers. It gets really special during the long Christmas and New Year holidays, when they put on shows and hold different kinds of contests.


    Probably one of the most popular local spots for entertainment is located right in the center of Salekhard, near the City Administration Office. People of all ages come here to relax
    and unwind with their loved ones, their families and friends. Visit POLARIS to play bowling, watch a movie, have a workout in its fitness centre, or a lunch at one of its charming cafés,
    having left your kids busy playing at a children’s playground or with slot machines.



    Number of rooms: 128
    Distance to the city centre: 1 km
    Distance to the airport: 10 km
    Address: 11 Molodezhi avenue, Salekhard, Russia, 629008


    YURIBEY is a modern four-star hotel in Salekhard, conveniently located in the city center and within a few minutes’ drive from the airport. Apart from its contemporary design, spacious accommodation and stunning views over the Arctic landscapes, it features all necessary conveniences: a restaurant and a bar, a 24h front desk and room service, an ATM, banquet and conference halls, billiards, a sauna, a fitness centre, a beauty salon, laundry and dry-cleaning services, and private parking.


    Number of rooms: 56
    Distance to the city centre: 1 km
    Distance to the airport: 12 km
    Address: 38 Respubliki str., Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenetsky autonomous district, Russia 629007


    Arktika Hotel is located in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, within a 10-15 minutes’ drive from the airport. The hotel surroundings include the river terminal, administrative offices and a sports ground. Hotel rooms feature everything needed for comfortable residence – independent hot water supply, slippers, terry robes, hair-dryer, LCD TV, a mini fridge, a safe box, short- and long-distance telephone communication, toiletries. Linen is changed daily. The hotel’s services and amenities include: a restaurant with a bar, a conference hall, an ATM, an electronic funds transfer terminal, a business center, free parking, laundry, free WiFi throughout the hotel.
    Ice Sports Palace – 0,41 km, Sts.Peter and Paul Cathedral – 0,56 km, Obdorsky Ostrog – 0,79 km, Crafts District House – 0,84 km, Mosque – 0,88 km

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