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Krasnodar is a vibrant city in southern Russia with the scenic Kuban River flowing through the middle. Formerly known as Yekaterinodar, it was renamed in 1920. Krasnodar translates to a beautiful gift. Indeed it is with modern facilities, parks, entertainment and cultural sights to thrill the adventurous traveler.
The best time to visit Krasnodar is in the months of June and July. August is usually the hottest month. Also, February and March are good when the temperatures warm up and it is not too crowded.
Keep this in mind when you book your flight to Krasnodar. There are many great Air Canada flights to Krasnodar International Airport, also known as Pashkovsky Airport. There are also frequent domestic flights from Moscow, St Petersburg and other major cities in Russia.
The city has heaps of affordable accommodation options for travellers on a budget or looking for luxury. Here are some comfortable stays to inspire your research.
Krasnodar Marriott Hotel on Krasnaya Street in the vibrant downtown district, offers a luxurious stay for Krasnodar tourists. The Aqua Urban Spa and indoor heated swimming pool are attractive features, not to mention the chic rooms with great city views.
Crowne Plaza Krasnodar Centre near the main square is popular with visitors who like to stay central to all the cultural sites, shopping and nightlife. Relax in the complimentary hotel sauna and hammam after a long day of sightseeing. The hotel also has three restaurants, including a German beer restaurant and a large indoor heated swimming pool.
Grand Spa Hotel Avax is a nice hotel with clean and modern rooms and staff who are helpful and knowledgeable about the local area.
You can get around the city on foot, by bus, tram or taxi. There are also bike lanes if you want to cycle around while admiring the tsar-era buildings.
Many areas of the city were rebuilt after being ruined during the German occupation in 1942.
A notable landmark in Krasnodar is a steel-lattice water tower designed in the early 20th century by famous architect Vladimir Shukhov. Locals deem it grand enough to be called the Russian Eiffel Tower. Near the tower, you can find the Krasnodar State Circus with acrobats, camels and performers.
Another landmark is the largest fountain in Europe. Theatre Fountain can be found on Theatre Square and don’t miss the spectacular free light and music show every weekend. It was gifted to the residents of Krasnodar on City Day in 2011. Boasting 370 water jets that can rise up to 25 meters, it is a stunning sight. There are many fountains around the city but this is the most dramatic one and the sight of many cultural and important events. At Christmas and New Year, the fountain area is transformed with elaborate decorations and a festive tree.
St. Catherine’s Cathedral and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are Russian orthodox churches named after the famous empress and prince. Both are beautiful with shiny gold domes and grand white entranceways that are regal and elegant. St George’s Church is also worth a visit because it is a very photographic place of worship.
Red Street, also called Krasnaya Ulitsa, runs through the heart of the main city area. At night it is closed to traffic so you can stroll down the street without worrying about traffic. This vibrant street is always busy with lots of statues, fountains, monuments, and shopping to enjoy. Look for the statues of two standing dogs, which locals believe bring good luck if you rub your nose on them.
Chistyakovskaya Roshcha Park is a lovely area with century-old oak trees. Stroll around, enjoy a picnic and take in the scenery and artwork in this beautiful green space. Next to Krasnodar Stadium is a fairly new park created by wealthy businessman Sergei Galitsky, who owns the Krasnodar soccer club. Covering over 22 hectares, it includes a long tulip boulevard, open-air theatre, a vista point, a climbing wall and many other interesting features to discover. The Rozhdestvensky Park of Culture and Leisure, Solnechny Ostrov (Sunny Island) Park and the City Botanical Garden are all beautiful for a few hours outdoors, taking in the fresh air.
Beef stroganoff, kebabs, Russian pancakes and dumplings and traditional beef soup can be found at many of the traditional restaurants in the city. You can expect an exotic blend of south Russian, Georgian, Armenian and Greek flavours with a strong focus on fresh, locally-grown produce. There are some restaurants serving international fare but not a huge selection. Don’t forget your vodka shots or try a hookah bar!
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