If you’re headed to Yekaterinburg on business, here’s what you need to know to make your trip a success – everything from how to book a last-minute hotel room to which mobile apps have the best city information.
Yekaterinburg. Photo: Lori Images / Legion Media
Yekaterinburg, located just over 1,000 miles from Moscow, is the fourth most-populated city in Russia. Located at the border of Europe and Asia, it is the administrative capital of the Sverdlovsk Region and the Urals Federal District. It is also the economic, scientific, cultural and industrial capital of the Urals. Below, we’ve collected 15 useful tips to help you make the most of your business trip to this rapidly developing city.
1. Take the express train from the airport to the center of the city. The international airport Koltsovo is the largest regional airport in Russia, making it both a regional and international hub. The Express Koltsovo train quickly shuttles passengers to the city, as does public transportation (buses 1, 29 and 67) and taxis.
2. Organize your trip to the city with a visit to the municipal tourism bureau. Here, one can find information and book accommodations ranging from budget hostels to rooms in big international chains. They can arrange pickups, car rentals and bus rentals for larger groups. Additionally, the bureau is able to organize excursions around the city and the region with more than 40 options from walking tours to weeklong hikes through the mountains.
Ulitsa 8 Marta 21
Monday-Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-17:00
+7 (343) 222-24-45
3. Book a last-minute hotel room with a single phone call once you arrive. To reserve a hotel room or to receive advice about selecting accommodations, call +7 (343) 278-62-08 or +7 (343) 278-62-08. There is no cost for this service and no deposit is necessary at the time of reservation. On the following website you can find a list of conference halls, along with prices, descriptions and available equipment: http://bronirovat.ru/.
4. Hire one of more than 300 independent translators via the Business Bureau of the Association of Interpreters. Using 32 different languages, these translators are experts in cultural knowledge including history and local traditions, both useful in business negotiations. The association can also arrange equipment for synchronized interpreting, set up foreign language excursions and organize tours for delegations and VIP guests.
Ulitsa 8 Marta 52, Office 607
+7(343) 237-03-37 or +7(343) 290-14-95
5. Organize your conference with the help of the Yekaterinburg City Congress Bureau. This organization is dedicated to the development of business tourism. It can help with conference planning and its services include transportation, excursions, translation, hotel reservations and tickets, catering and the leasing of all necessary equipment.
+7 912 24 65 715 or +7 (343) 371-79-26.
6. To rent a car visit Autorenter, an Internet portal uniting hundreds of car rental companies.
7. Take time out of your business schedule to experience the diverse cultural offerings of the city. Yekaterinburg has 15 professional theaters, including the renowned Sverdlovsk State Philharmonic Orchestra, which frequently hosts musicians from abroad who play along with the Urals Philharmonic Orchestra, which itself tours all over the world. The city also boasts more than 50 museums including the Ural Museum of Handicrafts, where visitors can find iron castings, embossed copper, painted metal trays, and handicrafts decorated with local gems. However, the most famous museum is probably the Museum of Stonecutting and Jewelry Art History, which features articles containing malachite, unique emerald ore and decorative jewelry from throughout the region.
Yekaterinburg is surrounded by a “green necklace” comprised of 15 parks. In the city itself there are 15 large parks, with locals' favorites being Kharitonovsky Garden, Mayakovsky Central Park and the Shartash stone formations. For something a little more rigorous, try the ski centers Volchikha, Gora Teplaya and Gora Yezhovaya, as well as the sport center and health spa, Gora Belaya.
8. If you’re not sure of where to go, visit one of the many informational kiosks located throughout Yekaterinburg’s center. These kiosks offer information on the city and provide services including hotel bookings and transportation tickets. They can be found at Koltsovo airport; Ulitsa 8 Marta 8e; Ulitsa 8 Marta 21; Ulitsa Vainera 11; Ulitsa Vainera 16; Ulitsa Voevodina 6; Prospekt Lenina 36; Prospekt Lenina 69/10 and Ulitsa Karla Libnekhta 26. There are also many maps on display throughout the city center to help visitors locate streets, museums, theaters, consulates and other places of interest.
9. Use the app 2GIS, or the detailed map for directions, hotel information, and for the locations and working hours of places of interest. Google Maps is also quite useful if you’re in the center of the city.
10. Connect with fellow expatriates or business travelers by reaching out to your nation’s diplomatic mission in the city. Yekaterinburg has the third largest collection of diplomatic missions in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg. Find their contacts here.
11. Take advantage of courier delivery services to get mail into and out of the city. There are many ways to send a package or letter using the post office or courier delivery services: Yekaterinburg post office +7 (343) 371-27-11 or (343) 371-68-22; DHL +7 (343) 310-12-40; EMS Russian Post +7 (343) 222-05-52, (343) 320-16-62; Pony Express +7 (343) 310-01-31\32\33; and TNT Express +7 (343) 220-12-93, 220-11-20, +8 (800) 100-27-77.
12. Be precise when giving and getting directions. Despite the fact that Yekaterinburg's layout is relatively straightforward, it is still easy to get lost here as many of the names of transportation stops do not correspond to the names of nearby streets. Just as an example, Lake Shartash, the Shartash train station, the Shartash market, the Shartash tram stop and the Shartashskaya tram stop are all in different parts of the city.
13. Use apps like Lingopal to help interact with locals. Few signs are translated into English and it is unlikely that passersby, sales clerks and waitstaff will know English very well. Using the mobile app Lingopal should help in solving most problems.
14. Do not drink water from the tap. Only drink bottled or filtered water that has been boiled.
15. Always take a little cash with you as not every establishment accepts cards and occasionally terminals are out of service.