Flights to Chelyabinsk
Chelyabinsk is a major industrial city in Russia, and not the most commonly visited tourist destination. But there are several large wilderness parks nearby, making this a good city to stop in if you want to explore the wild Ural Mountains. Within the city, there are a few sights of interest as well.
The Chelyabinsk Airport (airport code: CEK) is about 20 kilometres away from the city, and accepts flights to Chelyabinsk with 2 connections when coming from South Africa. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic both cover routes through London and then Moscow, and that is also the route offered by British Midland. Cathay Pacific has flights to Chelyabinsk, and their route stops in Hong Kong and then in Moscow. Most flights to Chelyabinsk coming from South African will take nearly 36 hours in total.
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The Tourist Attractions of Chelyabinsk:
Taganay National Park
The Taganay National Park is to the west of Chelyabinsk, and is a very rugged and mountainous region. It is not a park where you can just wander around on your own. There are tour guides to accompany you (they speak English), and you can arrange for a day hike or a more extensive week-long trip through the park. If you are particularly intrepid, you are permitted to travel alone but don’t expect well-marked trails.
Zyuratkul National Park
It’s a bit of a drive, but the Zyuratkul National Park is worth making the trip. Like the Taganay Park, it is a heavily wooded and mountainous park that is ideal for anyone who likes to really rough it when they are outside. It’s one of the largest parks in Russia and covers most of the South Ural Mountains. The high mountain lake is one popular sites, but there are hiking trails all through the park. You can explore on your own or arrange for a guided trek.
Given its location near the Ural Mountains, it’s not surprising that Chelyabinsk has a good geology museum. Their collection of stone specimens can be enjoyed both inside the museum as well as outside. There is a large rock garden with a fountain outside for an enjoyable short walk.
St Simeon Cathedral
This large cathedral was built in 1883. It stands out because of the gold domed roof and blue and green exterior. Outside the building is a large stone statue of a lion and a dragon, which is a little unusual for a church like this. The Saint Alexander Nevsky Church is another beautiful place to visit in Chelyabinsk, with 13 spires and deep red brickwork on the outside.
When Should You Visit?:
It doesn’t get too uncomfortably hot during the summer in Chelyabinsk but the winters are generally too cold for sight-seeing. July is the hottest month, reaching 25C (77F) during the day and June is much the same. But visiting any time from May until the end of September would be very suitable. Rain isn’t too much of a problem for this area so you shouldn’t need to adjust your schedule to avoid any “wet seasons”.