things to do in barnaul

Barnaul, often seen as a gateway to the stunning Altai Mountains, is so much more than just a transit hub. Drenched in history, bustling with a unique blend of cultures, and brimming with natural beauty, Barnaul offers a plethora of engaging activities and sightseeing destinations. So, if you’re planning a trip to this Russian gem, you’ve landed in the right place. Buckle up for an engaging journey through the “Things to do in Barnaul.”

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Popular Tourist Attractions in Barnaul

The Barnaul Planetarium

As one of the best things to do in Barnaul, a visit to the Barnaul Planetarium is a stellar journey through the cosmos. This celestial abode not only fascinates space enthusiasts but also educates its visitors with its captivating shows, making it a must-see place in Barnaul.

The Altai State Regional Shukshin Drama Theater

The Shukshin Drama Theater, named after a famed Russian actor and writer, is a historic building with a vibrant aura that pulls in theater-lovers. It hosts a range of theatrical performances, encapsulating the essence of Russian culture, making it one of the top things to do in Barnaul.

The Demidov Square

Located in the heart of Barnaul, Demidov Square is a bustling hub for locals and tourists alike. It’s an urban retreat showcasing vibrant flower beds, a stunning fountain, and several bronze statues narrating the city’s historical saga.

The Mountain Pharmacy Museum

Intriguing for its unique concept, the Mountain Pharmacy Museum is a delightful dive into the world of natural healing methods. The museum showcases the history of pharmacology with a special emphasis on medicinal herbs found in the Altai region.

Top Things to do in Barnaul

Rafting in the Ob River

Thrill-seekers, this one’s for you! If you’re wondering about the best things to do in Barnaul, try rafting in the Ob River. The adrenaline rush combined with the enchanting surrounding landscape makes this a top-notch adventure.

Take a Stroll along the Barnaul Arbat

A lively pedestrian street brimming with shops, cafes, and buskers, the Barnaul Arbat is the ideal place for a leisurely stroll. From picking up local handicrafts to savoring delectable Russian treats, the Barnaul Arbat offers an engaging experience.

Visit the Barnaul Zoo

Housing a diverse range of species, the Barnaul Zoo is an exciting destination for wildlife enthusiasts. It’s a remarkable place to see some rare Siberian animals, making it a top thing to do in Barnaul.

Embark on a Boat Tour on the Ob River

Nothing beats the serenity of a boat ride on the Ob River. This relaxing trip provides spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes and is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

Must-See Places in Barnaul

The Barnaul City History Museum

For history buffs, the Barnaul City History Museum is a treasure trove. The museum houses artifacts that narrate the city’s intriguing past, making it one of the must-see places in Barnaul.

Altai State Art Museum

The Altai State Art Museum is an aesthetic delight, showcasing a range of paintings, sculptures, and graphics by Russian artists. A must-visit place in Barnaul, the museum’s collection reflects the artistic vibrance of Russia.

The Altai Krai Museum of Local Lore

This museum offers a comprehensive look at the region’s natural history, ethnography, and archaeology. It’s home to a wide array of exhibits, providing an engaging exploration of the Altai Krai region.

Lake Aya

A tranquil natural retreat, Lake Aya is a must-see place in Barnaul. Its crystal-clear waters offer opportunities for swimming and boating, while the surrounding landscape provides hiking trails, making it a perfect outdoor escape.

Best Places to Visit in Barnaul for First-Time Visitors

Kolyvan Vase Monument

The Kolyvan Vase Monument commemorates the impressive artistry that went into creating a massive 19,500-kilogram jasper vase. It’s a symbolic tribute to the city’s lapidary tradition and a noteworthy stop for first-time visitors.

Barnaul’s Silver Springs

Unwind and rejuvenate at Barnaul’s Silver Springs, a scenic retreat enveloped by lush forests. The fresh, silver-hued springs are known for their therapeutic properties, making it an excellent spot for a relaxing day out.

Monument to the Social Networks

In the era of digital communication, this modern landmark honoring social networks is quite a sight. This unique monument stands as a testament to Barnaul’s progressive spirit.

Chapel of St. Nicholas

Standing tall since 1914, the Chapel of St. Nicholas is a symbol of the city’s resilience. This quaint chapel, reconstructed after its demolition during the Soviet era, is a must-visit for those seeking to experience the city’s spiritual side.

Best Places to Visit in Barnaul for Families

The Siberian Botanical Garden

A family trip to the Siberian Botanical Garden is among the top things to do in Barnaul. This verdant haven is home to a rich collection of flora from across the world, providing an educational and enjoyable experience for all ages.

Altai State Museum of Military Glory

The Altai State Museum of Military Glory offers families an engaging exploration into Russia’s military history. With exhibits ranging from weaponry to uniforms, this museum provides an educational outing for the entire family.

Puppet Theater “Skazka”

Keep your little ones entertained with a delightful performance at the Puppet Theater “Skazka”. This is a lovely family-friendly destination, known for its enchanting shows that captivate audiences of all ages.

Sokol Water Park

What better way to have some family fun than a day at Sokol Water Park? Offering thrilling water slides and relaxing pools, it’s the perfect place to unwind and make lasting memories with your loved ones.

Best Places to Visit in Barnaul for Couples

Altai State Theater of Opera and Ballet

The Altai State Theater of Opera and Ballet provides a romantic outing for couples. With its mesmerizing performances and grandeur architecture, it’s a perfect setting for a memorable evening.

Love Island

Yes, you read that right! This aptly named island on the Ob River offers a romantic retreat for couples. A quiet walk along its shores is undeniably one of the best things to do in Barnaul.

Open-Air Art Gallery “Art Wall”

Art-loving couples will find the open-air gallery “Art Wall” fascinating. It features captivating murals and street art, providing a colorful backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a photo session.

Barnaul’s Green Market

For a unique date experience, head to Barnaul’s Green Market. This vibrant market lets you sample local produce, pick up fresh flowers, and savor traditional Russian cuisine.

Best Places to Visit in Barnaul on a Budget

Barnaul City Park

For a refreshing, cost-free outdoor experience, the Barnaul City Park is your destination. The park offers scenic walking trails, charming picnic spots, and even winter sports like ice skating during the colder months.

The Geological Museum of Altai State University

An intriguing exploration of Earth’s geological history awaits you at the Geological Museum. Despite its rich collection, the museum is free to enter, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers.

Siberian Cats Park

A visit to this park is a charming and wallet-friendly way to spend an afternoon. Siberian Cats Park is dedicated to the city’s furry friends, with various cat sculptures scattered around the park.

Free Walking Tour

Join a free walking tour to explore Barnaul’s history and culture. These tours, led by knowledgeable local guides, provide a comprehensive overview of the city’s landmarks.

Best Day Trips from Barnaul


Just a short drive from Barnaul, Belokurikha is a renowned health resort. With its healing air and mineral springs, it’s a perfect day trip for those seeking relaxation and wellness.


For those interested in history and craftsmanship, a day trip to Kolyvan is a must. This small town is known for its ancient tradition of stone carving and the famous Kolyvan Vase.

Altai Mountains

No trip to Barnaul is complete without exploring the Altai Mountains. Whether you’re hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter, the Altai Mountains offer an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Lake Teletskoye

The serene Lake Teletskoye, surrounded by picturesque landscapes, is an ideal escape from the city. Its pristine waters and beautiful trails provide a refreshing day trip.

Hidden Gems in Barnaul

Museum of the History of Literature in Siberia

This museum is a haven for literature lovers, showcasing the rich literary tradition of Siberia. Its collection includes rare manuscripts and personal items of famous Siberian writers.

Nagorny Park

Nagorny Park, though lesser-known, offers stunning views over Barnaul and the Ob River. Its tranquil setting makes it an ideal spot for a peaceful walk or a picnic.

Decembrists’ House Museum

Tucked away in the city, the Decembrists’ House Museum provides a glimpse into the lives of political exiles during the 19th century. It’s a thought-provoking hidden gem in Barnaul.

Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin

This beautiful church often goes unnoticed by tourists but is worth visiting for its vibrant murals and peaceful ambiance.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Places in Barnaul

Tugay Forest

A unique ecosystem on the banks of the Ob River, the Tugay Forest is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. A visit here promises encounters with rare species and a serene environment away from the city bustle.

The Old Mill

The Old Mill, though not commonly frequented by tourists, offers a peek into Barnaul’s industrial past. It’s a fascinating destination, standing as a testament to the city’s former silver mining glory.

The Cherepanovs’ House

This restored house once belonged to the Cherepanov brothers, prominent figures in Russian engineering. The house now serves as a museum, showcasing a bygone era of technological breakthroughs in Siberia.

Barnaul Malting Plant

A tour of the Barnaul Malting Plant offers an interesting insight into the traditional process of malting. Here, you can learn about the brewing process and even sample some of the locally produced malt.

Best Places to Eat in Barnaul


This trendy restaurant is a delight for food enthusiasts, serving a fusion of Siberian and European cuisine. The warm ambiance and creative menu make Kukhnya a must-visit dining spot in Barnaul.

Sibirskoe Podvorie

For a traditional Russian dining experience, head to Sibirskoe Podvorie. With its rustic decor and authentic Russian dishes, it offers a gastronomic journey through Siberian culinary traditions.

Traktir na Polzunova

Known for its delicious grilled dishes and cozy atmosphere, Traktir na Polzunova is a popular choice among locals and tourists. The menu here offers a range of Russian and European dishes, ensuring there’s something for every palate.

Pasternak Cafe

Named after the famous Russian writer Boris Pasternak, this cafe exudes a literary charm. Here, you can enjoy a variety of drinks, pastries, and light meals while browsing through the books available for guests.

Must-See Sporting Teams in Barnaul

FC Dynamo Barnaul

Football enthusiasts will enjoy catching a game of FC Dynamo Barnaul, a well-known team in Russia’s second division. The matches promise an electric atmosphere and a taste of local passion for the sport.

Altai Ice Hockey Club

Altai Ice Hockey Club, part of the Russian Major League, offers thrilling matches that are sure to captivate sports fans. Watching a game is a unique way to immerse yourself in the local sporting culture.

Night-Life in Barnaul

Coyote Ugly Bar

Coyote Ugly Bar, part of the famous international chain, offers a lively night out with music, dance, and a wide range of cocktails. The energetic ambiance here guarantees a fun-filled evening.

Harat’s Irish Pub

Offering an extensive range of beers and live music, Harat’s Irish Pub is a popular hangout spot in Barnaul. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

AnderSon Bar

AnderSon Bar offers a unique combination of craft cocktails and delectable cuisine. The stylish decor and welcoming atmosphere make it a top spot for an enjoyable evening.

Rock-n-Rolla Bar

If live rock music is your preference, Rock-n-Rolla Bar is the place to be. Offering themed nights and performances by local bands, it’s a great spot to experience Barnaul’s music scene.

FAQ- Things to do in Barnaul

  • What is the best time to visit Barnaul?

    The best time to visit Barnaul depends on what you wish to do. If you want to experience the warm weather and enjoy outdoor activities, the summer months from June to August are ideal. For snow sports enthusiasts, winter months offer an authentic Siberian experience.

  • How can I reach Barnaul?

    The most convenient way to reach Barnaul is by air. The city has its own airport, Barnaul Airport (BAX), which has connections to major cities in Russia. Alternatively, you can also reach Barnaul by train or bus from other cities in Russia.

  • Is Barnaul safe for tourists?

    Yes, Barnaul is generally safe for tourists. Like any other city, it’s important to take usual safety precautions. Avoid isolated areas late at night and keep your personal belongings secure.

  • What is Barnaul famous for?

    Barnaul is famous for its rich history, particularly linked to the mining industry. The city is also known as a gateway to the stunning Altai Mountains and for its diverse cultural heritage.

  • Do I need a visa to visit Barnaul?

    Yes, most foreign tourists need a visa to visit Barnaul, as it is part of Russia. However, the requirements can vary depending on your nationality. It’s always best to check with your nearest Russian embassy or consulate for the most accurate information.

  • What languages are spoken in Barnaul?

    The official language spoken in Barnaul is Russian. English is not widely spoken, so learning a few basic Russian phrases can enhance your travel experience.

  • What local delicacies should I try in Barnaul?

    While in Barnaul, you should try local Siberian cuisine. Some specialties include Pelmeni (Russian dumplings), Borsch (beetroot soup), and Siberian honey. Additionally, you can also try a variety of locally brewed beers.

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