The city of Ekaterinburg is located on the border between Europe and Asia on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains. The winters here are long, with a snow cover that lasts from November through April. So it’s no surprise that the capital of the Urals is waiting to treat its guests with a full range of winter fun. Are you ready? Then let’s go!
If you don’t mind a bit of frost on your cheeks, then we invite you to enjoy some traditional Ural-style outdoor entertainment.
Come visit the Ural Father Frost
You probably can’t imagine Christmas without Santa Claus. Here in the Urals, we have our own version of Father Frost. He lives in a stylish blue house in Fairy Tales Park where he welcomes guests and shows them how the Magic Post mail service and the New Year’s gift workshop operate. You can also meet his wife, Spring the Beauty. Father Frost will be more than happy to introduce you to other Russian and Ural folk heroes like Baba Yaga, Leshy, Danila-Master and Mistress of Copper Mountain.
The Snow Queen ice creations
At the end of December, the traditional Ice City opens its gates for locals and guests in the central city square. In the middle of it all stands a 50-metre New Year’s tree. And next to that, you will find some beautiful ice sculptures made by the hands of the Ural masters. Next year, Ekaterinburg will be celebrating its 295th anniversary. Then you can see a 17-metre ice pavilion in the form of a cake with 295 candles on it. Inside there will be miniature ice images of the most famous places in the city.
Skiing in the Ural Mountains
Want to go skiing? Then head for one of the many ski resorts in the area. One of them, the Uktus ski resort, is located on the outskirts of the city. A bit further afield, just a 40 to 120 km drive by car, you will find at least seven more perfectly equipped trails at Pilnaya, Stozhok, Listvennaya, Vochikha, Ezhovaya, Long, Teplaya and Belaya. You can rent all the equipment on site and book private classes with an instructor.
Dog sledding through the forests with Siberian huskies
Huskies are sled dogs that initially helped the people of the Russian Far East deliver goods, hunt wildfowl and get around the snow-covered forests and tundra. They are very beautiful, bold, hardy and intelligent dogs. The Elbrus kennel offers 10 km dog sled rides, including photos with a husky and hot herbal tea. Good times are guaranteed. An incredible adventure awaits!
If you prefer to admire the winter through the window, Ekaterinburg has many indoor things to do too.
Ural cultural centre
Yeltsin Center is the cultural heart of the city. Here you can visit a museum of Russian political history, enjoy exhibitions of contemporary art, study natural phenomena with children in Newton Park and taste Ural cuisine at Barboris restaurant. Every evening, a special light show brings the façade to life. And there is an excellent El shop where you can buy local Ural gifts.
The Old New Rock Festival is held every year in the middle of January. Russia’s largest winter rock festival gives young bands a chance to perform on the same stage with legends of rock. Here you will meet artists such as Chaif, Chicherina and Semantic Hallucinations. From 23 December through 8 January, New Year’s concerts are held at the Sverdlovsk State Philharmonic Hall. Enjoy the music of the well-known Ural Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and its performance of world-famous compositions. If you like a cosy lounge atmosphere, we recommend you visit the famous jazz club Ever Jazz.
Ural winter sales
During winter, it’s nice to pass the time in a beautiful shopping centre. And Ekaterinburg is ready to tempt you with huge shopping opportunities. Sales season starts at the end of November and lasts till the beginning of February. Whatever you want, you’ll find it here. For popular brands, go to Greenwich shopping mall; for clothes from Ural designers, head to Bolshoy Department Store; and for exclusive collections from the world’s best couturiers, check out Limerance, Pokrovsky Passage and Luxury Gallery.
Taste the Urals
Finally, you should end your winter visit to Ekaterinburg with some local food. They say that the best way to get to know a city is to taste it. So we invite you to experience Ekaterinburg through its cuisine. Try some Ural dumplings at Pelmeni Club, discover regional cuisine at Gastroli pub and Barboris bar, sample the craft beer at Jaws Pot brewery. And before you leave for good, come visit Jazz Bar to complete your tasty acquaintance with Ekaterinburg.