Many travelers pass through Perm on the Trans-Siberian Railway; however, few stay here, unless they are looking for a break from train travel. Highlights of the city include a walk along the Kama River, art museums and shows, and a visit to the nearby Gulag museum.
Perm is a large industrial city situated on the Kama river banks, at the western foothills of the Ural Mountain range. With a population of approximately 1 million people, Perm is the most populous city and the administrative capital of Perm Krai. The name of the city is derived from the same place as the "Permian" period, meaning "Far-away Land". Like Yekaterinburg, the city was founded in 1723 by Vasily Tatishchev, who was sent by Peter The Great to exploit the vast amounts of ores found in the region. From 1940 to 1957, the city was called Molotov (Мо́лотов), after Vyacheslav Molotov, the minister of foreign affairs under Jozef Stalin. The city is bifurcated by the Kama River. Perm was known as the "Gateway to the Gulag" and the horrors of the Gulags are on display at a nearby museum.
During Soviet times, Perm was a manufacturing center for artillery and weapons, some of which are on display at an outdoor museum. It was a "closed city" and was inaccessible by foreigners and most non-residents. It was "hidden" and did not appear on Soviet-made maps. Gorbachev opened the city in 1990 and Perm modernized rapidly.
Bolshoye Savino Airport, (PEE IATA), +7 342 294-97-71, also known as Perm International Airport, is 22km southwest of the city centre. There are regular to flights to many major Russian cities including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Ufa, and Yekaterinburg as well as international flights to Bishkek and Dubai.
Bus #42 operates every 9 minutes between the airport and the bus station (Автовокзал) in the southwestern part of the city. Bus #35 also operates to/from the airport.
Although Perm lies on the "Siberian Trakt", the main motorway from Moscow to Siberia, nearby roads are of poor quality, similar to most of Russia.
Perm is accessible through its Kama river port. Passenger transportation is limited to recreational cruises to Chaikovsky, Kazan, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Volgograd. Cruise companies tend to sell return tickets only.
Perm runs for 25km along the Kama River and traveling the entire distance by bus or tram requires several transfers. Therefore, it can be hard to get around.
Tram and bus tickets each cost RUB13 and can only be purchased from the driver or conductor. Transfers require the purchase of a new ticket.
Public transport operates 05:30AM-12:30AM.
- 1 PERMM (Perm Contemporary Art Museum) (Пермский музей современного искусства), Ordzhonikidze st., 2 (in the building of the old river port opposite the Perm-I train station), ☎ . 12PM-9PM. The first and the only contemporary art museum in Russia. RUB150.
- 2 Perm State Art Gallery, Ordzhonikidze st., 2 (the crossing of Komsomolsky Prospekt and Ordzhonikidze Street), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-W, F-Sa: 10AM-7PM; Th: 12PM-9PM; Su: 11AM-7PM; M: Closed. One of the largest museums of arts in Russia. RUB120.
- 3 Motovilikha open-air museum, Year 1905 Street #20 (At the intersection of Year 1905 Street & Lifanova Street, east of the city center near the river), ☎ . An impressive outdoor collection of warfare made in the city's Motovilikha factories. Includes tanks, scud launchers, and ballistic missiles that can be climbed upon.
- 4 Diorama Museum (Музей-Диорама), Ul. Ogorodnikova 2, ☎ . W-Su: 10AM-6PM; M-Tu: Closed. Museum detailing the armed uprising in Motovilikha in December 1905.
- 1 Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, Petropavlovskaya st., 25a, ☎ . One of the oldest and famous opera and ballet theaters in Russia, offers high-standard opera and ballet events.
- 2 Olympia Swimming Pool & Spa, Mira st., 41, ☎ . Clean, modern and big swimming pool (50x25m) with diving board swimming pool 75 minutes of entry: From RUB500.
- Flahertiana International Documentary Film Festival, ☎ . September or October.
- White Nights in Perm. Daily performances in the month of June.
- SlovoNOVA (Perm Poetry Festival), ☎ . Annual poetry festival which usually takes place in December.
- Arabesque. Annual ballet competition.
- Snow, Ice and Fire Festival (Park Gorkogo/Gorky Amusement Park on Komsomolsky Prospekt). The festival includes an international ice and snow sculpture competition with teams from all over the world competing. February.
With the city quickly developing, new shopping malls appear everywhere. Definitely worth seeing is the always crowded Central Bazaar, with uncountable kiosks and market stands, as well as huge market halls. The bazaar is located opposite the central bus station, at the very beginning of Kosmonavtov avenue. Perm also has a Chinese market, with mostly clothing being sold.
- Semya (Family) Shopping Mall, Revolution street, 13. 10AM-midnight. Includes a cinema and plenty of entertainment for children.
- Iceberg, Popova street, 16. 10AM-9PM. 60 stores with clothing, electronics, and a beauty salon.
- Tczemlyanika (Wild Strawberry), Parkovy avenue, 17. 10AM-9PM. A large discount center.
There is plenty of Russian, Georgian, Armenian, and Uzbek food in Perm.
- Blinnaya Skovorodka (literally: "Blini Skillet"). A chain of restaurants serving the famous Russian crepes.
- Grill-Tavern Montenegro, Maksima Gorkogo, 28. Excellent meat restaurant - cooked in a variety of methods.
- Karin Restaurant @ Hilton Garden Inn, 45 B Mira Street. High-end fusion cuisine.
There are many cafes in the city, all of them serving also food specialties. One of the most popular bars are the Coffee City chain (Кофе Сити).
- Hostel P (Хостел П), ul. Lenina, 67 (in the city centre), ☎ . Hostel has laundry, chill-out room, kitchen and friendly staff. Dorm bed: RUB400-1,500.
- Amaks Premier (Отель Амакс), 43 Monastyrskaya str., ☎ , , , e-mail: email@example.com. 163 rooms. The staff speaks many foreign languages, including English, Italian and French. The Kama boulevard, central shopping street Komsomolsky Prospekt and the "Chaikovsky" Opera & Ballet Theater are on walking distance. The hotel has a large bar/restaurant with a very affordable a la carte menu next to its modern bowling facilities. Small swimming pool with sauna/banya in the basement. From RUB2,600.
- Astor Hotel, 40, Petropavlovskaya St, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A 17-room 3-star hotel. Single: From RUB3,800; Double: From RUB4,600.
- Gabriel Hotel (Габриэль Отель), Permskaya, 78a, ☎ . Single: From RUB3,600; Double: From RUB5,000.
- Hilton Garden Inn Perm (Отель Хилтон Гарден Инн Пермь), 45B, Mira street, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. From RUB4,500.
- New Star Hotel (Новая Звезда), Gazety Zvezda (ул. Газеты Звезда), 38-Б (east from the railstation Perm II), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Upscale hotel. Since the building is among the tallest in the area, the top floors offer panoramic views over Perm's skyline. Single: From RUB4,500; Double: From RUB5,500.
- Prikamye Hotel (Отель Прикамье), Komsomolskiy pr., 27 (Next to Hotel Ural), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Although the hotel is quite large, it has few facilities.
- Ural (Отель Урал), 58, Lenin street, ☎ , fax: . Perm's largest hotel. Apart from a wide choice of room classes, the hotel offers a wide range of facilities. Although parts of the hotel were thoroughly renovated, it still has a grey Soviet look.
- Zhemchuzhina (Pearl) (Жемчужина), Gagarina Blvd. 65-A / ул. Бульвар Гагарина, 65-А, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A 10-story building opened in 2008. From RUB3,500.
Reckless drivers are probably the biggest safety threat. Pickpocketing is common in the crowded public transport and in the Central and Chinese Bazars. Occasional drunkards may be somewhat annoying but rarely pose any menace. It is wise to stay out of city parks, Balatovo Park, during the night.
Be prepared for cold weather from November through March. Despite cold temperatures outside, nearly all indoor spaces and public transportation are very well heated.
- Kungur is the next stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway going eastward, 50km from Perm, and is famous for its Ice Caves.
- Khohlovka Museum (Архитектурно-этнографический музей Хохловка), с. Хохловка, Пермский край (46km north of Perm), ☎ . 10AM-6PM. A museum of wooden architecture.
- The Gulag Museum at Perm-36, village Kutchino, Tchusovskoi region (100km northeast of Perm city), ☎ . 10AM-5PM. Prison camp Perm-36 was closed in 1988, and later turned into the only genuine Gulag museum in Russia. There is a small cinema and a few exhibitions describing life in the high security area and in the special treament area.
|Routes through Perm|
|Moscow ← Kirov ←||W E||→ Yekaterinburg → Novosibirsk|