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The capital city of the Republic of Khakassia in southern central Russia, Abakan is a historic and beautiful destination, packed with fascinating architecture, telling the stories of its interesting past. Owing in part to its advantageous position at the confluence of the Yenisei and Abakan rivers, the area has been the site of various settlements and developing civilisations since the Bronze Age, including - in the first century BC - the Palace of Li Lin. Since receiving its current name in 1931, the town has been the cultural and trade center of the autonomous region of Khakassia.
Today, Abakan is a peaceful and friendly city, small enough to navigate on foot. Green parks filled with statues, memorials and fountains punctuate the streets. Theaters and Russian Orthodox churches stand proudly as architectural examples of the regional style and the town buzzes with homemade industry. Explore the city, feel the warm welcome of its inhabitants and get acquainted with the culture through its food, buildings and games.
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Jay is fascinated by Siberia's spectacular landscapes, historic architecture, diverse ethnic mix and extreme climatic conditions - truly one of our planet's remotest lands.
The icon of the city, the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Jesus, towers over Abakan with its distinctive turrets and golden domes. Beautifully maintained, the Abakan cathedral is a stunning example of Russian Orthodox architecture.
During construction of a highway in 1940, the ruins of what is presumed to be a Han Dynasty Chinese Palace was discovered and later excavated. Aside from its purely architectural fascination, it’s a site of much historical speculation.
Park of topiary art
Among Abakan’s many pleasant parks, this stands alone for its collection of beautifully maintained and perfectly-manicured inhabitants. Perfect for an afternoon stroll, the city’s Park of Topiary Art makes for a peaceful and amusing afternoon.
The winter sport, Bandy - similar to ice hockey - is singularly popular in Siberia and Abakan’s local team are in the top of the league. A chance to experience a live match is not to be missed if you get the opportunity.
Plunge deep into Siberia for a unique opportunity to explore the mysteries and histories of the ancient mountain civilization of Tuva and Khakassia. Over ten days, venture from the city, deep into the mountains and taigas of Siberia, camping in traditional yurts beneath starry skies.
Traveling across Siberia’s expansive landscapes, this 15-day itinerary will take you through three iconic republics that feature the very best that Russia has to offer. On an aesthetic route from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow, you will uncover ancient traditions and alluring sights, hidden amidst stunning natural scenery.
This bright hotel is located in the heart of Abakan, particularly well-placed for first-time visitors wanting to be nearby the city’s main attractions, shopping, dining and nightlife. The range of rooms here come in all different shapes, sizes and colors (look out for the bright salmon-pink rooms) and are well-equipped with flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, spacious en-suite bathrooms and toiletries. There is also free WiFi throughout and a helpful reception desk downstairs stays open 24 hours a day. Abakan Hotel is a 15-minute walk from the main train station in the city.
One of the best ways to spend a night in the remote Siberian region of Abakan is to bed down under the stars in yurts. These are a centuries-old form of accommodation, originating in the Central Asian region and comprised of transportable poles and fabrics, which, when assembled, create a warm and secure teepee-like tent. Inside, you’ll also be provided with comfy bedding, including a warm duvet and mattress or raised bed to sleep on. Wake up surrounded by the impressive Abakan countryside, with rolling mountains and vast, untouched plains stretching as far as the eye can see.