Sights on the Moscow to Yekaterinburg Train Route
Taking the Moscow to Yekaterinburg train is a great way to breach the east-west divide quickly and economically.
Peter the Great founded Yekaterinburg as an entrance to Siberia in 1723. It’s become Russia’s fourth largest city. Metallurgy was and still is a prosperous trade in Siberia, and Yekaterinburg served as the hub. To get to Yekaterinburg, the shortest route is through Kazan. The histories and cultures of the Turkic and Slavic peoples rubbed up against one another in Kazan. An outdoor bazaar lies beneath Ivan the Terrible’s immense Kremlin. With mosques, churches and temples cohabiting here, it’s fascinating to see the blend of cultures.
The other path to get from Moscow to Yekaterinburg by train is longer but includes more sights. The first compelling stop is Nizhny Novgorod. With a 14th century monastery and grand kremlin, it’s rich in history. On the lighter side, a cable car over the Volga is used for everyday transport there.
Kirov is the next stop of interest, with its Dymkovo toys (painted clay dolls), birch shoes and Cucumber festival. It’s a small town with easy-to-digest attractions if you’ve already sampled too much vodka.
Perm is the last city to be considered European when headed eastbound. “Perm 36” was a labor camp, or gulag, used during Stalin’s Great Purge. Unfortunately, this was a comparatively humane gulag compared to those in Siberia, but that’s probably the reason it’s open for visits. The PERMM modern art museum is inventive. The novel Dr. Zhivago portrayed many of the historic buildings in Perm.
Either route between Moscow and Yekaterinburg is worthwhile. Once you reach Yekaterinburg, you can experience the final stop of the last Tsar and his beloved family before their execution. The Yeltsin Center is a tribute to Russia’s first president. A QWERTY keyboard monument accepts your wishes for potential granting. You might even become so enthralled with Siberia that you continue on the Trans-Siberian until reaching Vladivostok. It’s only 8,000 kilometers past Yekaterinburg!