Kyzyl

Translating to ‘red’ in local tongue, the Russian city of Kyzyl is best-known for its geographical location marking the very center of Asia, and there is even a monument in the city referencing this (sometimes disputed) fact labeled ‘Center of Asia’. The quaint city – which is really more the size of a small town – is surrounded by the remote Russian countryside in every direction, and the impressive mountainous backdrop is also visible in the distance.

Kyzyl is a popular starting point for many travelers beginning their adventure through Siberia, and many tour agencies have set up shop in the town offering services and tours going throughout Russia and also across the Mongolian border in the south. Activities and must-see attractions are few and far between in Kyzyl, although some spots like the newly-built National Museum and the highly-recommended National Theatre do provide enough leisure opportunities for a few days.

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Center of Asia Statue

Although widely disputed, is has often been claimed that Kyzyl marks the center of Asia. This claim to fame has put the city on the map and a recently-erected statue commemorates this fact, which is labeled ‘The Center of Asia’. Dashi Namdakov, the Buryat responsible for the statue also designed the impressive Genghis Khan sculpture in London.

Kyzyl Market

Kyzyl’s biggest and most popular market is around one mile south from the National Theatre, and here you can find a range of everyday household items as well as clothes, fresh food and trinkets to take home – just don’t expect any touristy souvenirs in this very local market.

National Museum

Topping the list of tourist attractions in Kyzyl is the highly-recommended National Museum, which lies close to the river in the city center. Here, you’ll find an array of monuments, stuffed animals, Buddhist art, WWII artifacts and exhibitions depicting the region’s recent and ancient civilization.

National Theatre

A popular pastime in the summer for locals is to visit the city’s National Theatre, which is situated just a short walk from the National Museum. Events run through the summer months and are open for everybody, with a range of different cultural festivals being held here too.

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