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Siberia (Russian: Сиби́рь see-BEER') is a region in Russia. Historically, the term Siberia includes all Russian territory in north Asia, with the Urals and the Russian Far East; this article however only covers the Siberian Federal District.



Lake Kutserla in the Altai Republic

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Lake Baikal. The pearl of Siberia. It is the deepest and one of the purest lakes in the world.


See also: Russian Empire, Soviet Union

The name is of Turkic origin, "su" (water) and "bir" (wild land). With an area of nearly 10 million sq km., Siberia is vast. While the popular view of Siberia is of howling Arctic wastes dotted with penal colonies, the truth is more complex. The west of Siberia is covered by a swampy plain, the central plateau is heavily forested, and the east has mountains soaring to above 3,000 m. Only the extreme north is true tundra, with permafrost and temperature means that don't get over 10 °C (50 °F) even in July, but all of Siberia has cold winters.

The indigenous Siberians, like most indigenous Asian Russians, are more closely related to Turkic peoples or to the Inuit than to ethnic Russians. However, during Imperial Russian and Soviet times the government spent money to attract Europeans to Siberia's larger cities. Today the population of Siberia is majority ethnic Russian, though rural areas remain largely populated by the indigenous Siberians.


As with anywhere else in Russia, Russian is the dominant language in Siberia. However, there are also many indigenous languages that are spoken by their respective ethnic groups, particularly in rural areas. Almost everybody speaks Russian regardless of what their native tongue is, but learning some phrases in the indigenous languages can help ingratiate you to the locals.

English is rarely spoken.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Krasnoyarsk station, near the midpoint of the Trans-Siberian Railway

The Trans-Siberian Railway, connecting Moscow to Vladivostok, is by far the most famous method of transportation in Siberia. Covering a distance of 9,289 kilometres, making it one of the longest railways in the world, the full trip takes over 6 days and crosses 8 time zones. Its branches the Trans-Manchurian and Trans-Mongolian connect to Beijing in China, the first directly, the second via Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.

Less famed is the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), a northern line running parallel to the Trans-Siberian for 4,234 km. Completed only in 1991 and built mostly for military reasons, further away from the border of China, the BAM is less popular with tourists.

By car[edit]

The Trans-Siberian Highway, an unofficial grouping of seven Russian federal highways, open the path for a 11000km cross-country journey from St. Petersburg and Moscow to Vladivostok. The last section, the Amur Highway, was paved in 2010.

Get around[edit]


Cold ostriches in Siberia

Primarily natural attractions.

  • Mountainous Altai (Gorny Altai) — this region of Siberia is very popular among eco tourists. Mountaineering and mountain rivers' rafting are wide spread here. The area is famous for its stunning scenery. The mountains straddle the border between Altai Krai and the Altai Republic.
  • Siberian Traps Siberian Traps on Wikipedia is a large region of volcanic rock, originating in supervolcano activity 250 million years ago, continuing for 1–2 million years and causing extinction of most species of life. With an area of 7 million km2 (3 million sq mi) it covers much of Siberia.


With its vast areas of wilderness, Siberia is a challenging destination for outdoor life.


Despite its reputation, Siberia is not just about cold snow!
See also: Russian cuisine


  • Vodka (водка) and tea (чай)

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Siberia is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!