One of Siberia’s oldest cities, Tomsk was Russia’s frontier back in 1604, much like trading outposts of the Hudson Bay Company in the Canadian prairies. Its fortunes ebbed when the Trans-Siberian railway line sidestepped the city in late 19th century, favoring rival city of Novosibirsk some fifty kilometers to the South. Turnabout came half a century later in World War II – Tomsk played host to several major industrial enterprises evacuated in the face of the German offensive on the Eastern front.
Winters are harsh; Tomsk barely escapes a subarctic classification with a January daily mean of -17 Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit). The lowest winter temperature recorded is -55°C (January 1931).Please check out weather network before scheduling a campus visit in winter months.
City of Youth
Yet, even in subzero temperatures, cultural life is vibrant: Tomsk is a university town, where one in five resident is a student, and it has an easy-going and youthful feel. Tomsk State University and Tomsk Polytechnic University are two major hives of activity in the metropolitan area. Be it for the students or otherwise, nightlife pulses into the wee hours.
With six theatres, 20 cinemas and entertainment centres, a planetarium, and about 15 museums Tomsk without any hesitation can be called a cultural center of Siberia. A partial list of museums in Tomsk includes a former secret police prison that operated from 1923 to 1944, an oil industry museum, a museum of wooden architecture etc. It's a great pleasure to walk through the streets of Tomsk, where one can see the masterpieces of wooden architecture, enjoy the beauty of Siberian nature.
Tomsk airport is a half-hour away from downtown area by car and about twice as long by municipal transport – buses leave from a stop 200 meters away from the terminal every half-an-hour. Bus ticket is just 17 rubles, less than twenty five cents at current exchange rate. Non-stop flight from Moscow – about 3,500 kilometers away – is about four hours.
Official Portal of the city of Tomsk