What started out as a fortress on the banks of Tom River, the city of Tomsk is now a historical Siberian landmark. At over 400 years of age, it is one of the oldest towns in the region, with charming and ornate buildings decorating its streets. Since the 1960s it has been recognized as the ‘cultural capital of Siberia’ since a number of impressionable writers and artists were invited to take up residence here.

The city has an ‘otherworldly’ feel, renowned for its elaborate ‘gingerbread’-style designs on ornate wooden buildings, as well as its captivating art scene. A visit to Tomsk provides rare insights into Siberia’s rich heritage, away from the striking cathedrals and picture-perfect scenery that Russia has become synonymous. It maintains a dignified ambiance with its ensemble of traditional wooden houses, culture-rich museums and enchanting atmosphere brought about from the many universities here.


A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.

KGB Memorial Museum

The KGB Memorial Museum is a reminder of the region’s influential Soviet past and Communist years. Located in the dungeons of the former Tomsk KGB headquarters, the museum is one of a kind, featuring prison cells accompanied with survival stories and a range of KGB memorabilia and artifacts. It also features an enticing exhibition that pays tribute to those who were brave enough to fight and share their experiences.

Ploshchad Lenina

The charming city center of Ploshchad Lenina is located in the heart of Tomsk and consists of an attractive melange of historical buildings. Beautifully-designed edifices line the center, together with the occasional Soviet-style concrete structure to remind of the city’s mysterious past and beautiful future. One of the main attractions of the center is the Lenin Statue which stands proud on its own roundabout; another is the Iverskaya Chapel, topped with a glistening golden angel, and the historic trading arches.

Tomsk History Museum

Located on the top of Resurrection Hill, the Tomsk History Museum provides a journey deep into the city’s long-stretching past. It offers interesting insights into how the people of Siberia have lived within the city for centuries, from the first inhabitants of 400 years ago, to present day citizens. A 19th century wooden lookout tower is one of the museum’s highlights; those brave enough to climb to the top will be rewarded with 360-degree panoramic views over the city.

Voskresenskaya Mountain

Voskresenskaya Mountain, or Resurrection Hill, was named after the Church of the Christ’s Resurrection, the first church built by the founders of Tomsk in 1662. A climb up this steep hill within the city will bring visitors to the point where the original fortress was constructed. An intriguing stone block marks the spot of the city’s foundations, with the words “Here was founded the city of Tomsk in 1664” engraved upon it.

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