How to plan a trip to Murmansk and what you need to have when travelling to Murmansk in winter time?
Murmansk is the most northern city of Russia, the only nonfreezing sea port and city of Russian Military Glory! Last several years tours to Murmansk become more and more popular for Russian and foreign tourists (if you are foreigner who visits Murmansk, check if you need visa or not as well as general Russian visa requirements in our article How to get Russian visa).
So when visa issues are clear and you decide to go, you need to understand that Murmansk in summer and Murmansk in winter are 2 totally different regions! People visit Murmansk in summer to have 4×4 expeditions or rafting tours, trekking and hiking, fishing and hunting, etc. But this article will be useful for those of you who want to visit Murmansk in winter by their own or during one of organized Tours to Murmansk!
What to see and what to do in Murmansk in winter?
Why to go to Murmansk region in winter and what interesting things you can see and experience there? First of all, Murmansk is the real winter fairytale! Especially for those people who live in warm countries and never saw snow in their life, as well as for people who live in temperate climate and think that winter is only rain, wind, mud and some snow 🙂 So if you want to experience what is real Russian winter – tour to Murmansk is an excellent adventure for you 🙂
There will be another article with wide explanation of what to do in Murmansk later and I will put some brief points here as well. But in this article I want to pay more attention on required equipment for Murmansk tour in winter 🙂
Usually it starts snowing in October in Murmansk, so before official winter starts, Murmansk already has a lot of snow! Streets and forests are white and all trees are covered with “silver”! And this means that the good time for real winter activities and entertainments has started! Here you can check main of them:
– The main and most beautiful miracle of north and Murmansk area is Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)! We can talk for hours about how beautiful it is and why this happens from scientific point of view, but it is always better to see it once and remember for the rest of your life than talk about it! That is why very welcome to join our tour “Northern Lights Hunting in Murmansk”!
– Those of you who like skiing and snowboarding can spend several days at one of ski-resorts of Murmansk and Murmansk area! But if you are not a rider at all, there are plenty of slopes to have fun with snowtubings for you!
– Other adventures lovers can have a great charge of positive emotions and admire views of Northern nature during short tours or multi-day expeditions driving snowmobiles or husky dog sleigh – this is real exciting Northern entertainment 🙂
– Reindeer herders Sami people are natives of Kola Peninsula, and there are 2 ethnical Sami villages in Murmansk region. You can learn Sami culture there, have time with funny reindeer, feed them and even have a short ride in reindeer sleigh 🙂
– After the day of fun and walking with frosty weather you can get some heat in real Russian banya (traditional Russian sauna) with jumping to the snow or ice-hole after 😉 I know, it sounds crazy, but this is a unique experience that you can get only in Russia! So try to google what is Russian banya to understand what I am talking about 🙂
– Visiting of Teriberka – abandoned village at the shore of Arctic Sea. This will be a cool adventure for all lovers of abandoned landscapes and arctic nature 🙂
– Murmansk city tour with visiting of Murmansk museums (Navy museum, “Lenin” Icebreaker and others) will be very interesting for those who want to know more about history of World War II and battles for Russian Arctic!
– And of course there is plenty of snow in the North! That is why some cities of the region build ice and snow figures at central squares! And Kirovsk city even has a big complex called “snow village”. Also you can have great fun with snowball fighting or to make a snowman here 🙂
Almost all these activities are included in our tour “Northern Lights Hunting” and we invite you to join us for this exciting adventure 🙂
What to take with you when travel to Murmansk – the list of requires clothes and equipment to visit Murmansk in winter
Of course, Murmansk is an amazing place to spend winter vacation, but don’t forget that it is the most northern city of Russia, so the winter here is quite cold! And it is not just cold, it is quite long either because it lasts from October till April (sometimes even longer). Of course, the frost is not so strong in October-November and March-April, but it’s better to be prepared for frost even in these months, because northern weather is quite unpredictable! Siberian people say: “There is no cold weather – there are bad clothes”! So no need to afraid of Russian winter, you just need to be equipped good enough! That is why you need to check the list of required clothes and equipment for Murmansk tour if you want to have really good fun and not to get flu. Here is the list:
– You’ll need good warm winter coat / jacket with hood (anorak). And it is very preferable to have it wind- and waterproof;
– THE MOST IMPORTANT – good winter shoes. It is better to have boots on thick platform and with high top not to get any snow inside of your shoes!
– Several pairs of warm winter socks (woolen socks are even better);
– Warm woolen cap / hat and scarf. It is good to have balaklava as well. As for gloves, you can have them woolen also, but waterproof are better if you want to play snowballs or make a snowman 🙂
– Warm trousers (skiing trousers are very good). Of course if you don’t have skiing trousers, you can use regular jeans, but they should have enough of free space to put on thermal underwear together with jeans. And one more thing! Ladies, forget about skirts and dresses when you travel to Murmansk 🙂
– Full set of thermal underwear (both jacket and trousers);
– Warm jumpers and sweaters (woolen if possible). If you have fleece shirt – take it also 🙂
– Swimming trunks, swimming suites and slippers if you want to visit Russian banya and have most crazy experience in your life (check in google what I’m talking about) 😉
– It’s good to have special chemical warmers and chemical heating insoles;
– Thermos to have hot tea or coffee to warm up while walking in the street. If you travel with us – we will provide hot tea for you 🙂
– Photo camera with tripod to make good photos of Northern Lights and video camera if you want to make a movie of adventure as we do during our tours 😉
– Extra batteries for your phone, photo and video camera, because all batteries are uncharged quite fast when they are in the cold;
– There are Polar Nights in Murmansk in winter time, so it’s good to have a flashlight, headlamp is preferable;
– Personal first aid kit with medicaments for colds and fever, headache, stomachache, etc. as well as individual drugs, if you need to take them on regular base;
– If you travel by car by yourself, you should have a tow rope, snow chains for wheels, extra fuel container, jumper cables for the battery (or additional battery), spray for locks defrosting, jack and spare tire.
This is the main list of equipment that you need to have when visit Murmansk in winter. Maybe you won’t need some of this stuff, but it’s better to be prepared for the most severe conditions! Now you are ready to Travel to Murmansk and have real adventures there!
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