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Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Russian: Ю́жно-Сахали́нск, YOOZH-nuh suh-khah-LEENSK), also spelled Uzno-Sakhalinsk and previously known in Japanese as Toyohara (豊原), is the largest city and capital of Sakhalin Oblast, in the Russian Far East, with a population of around 173,000. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is a booming oil town. While the city in general looks quite rough, it does have some beautiful buildings from the Japanese period, as well as some state-of-the-art buildings.
The city was founded in 1882 under the name of Vladimirovka and originally populated by liberated convicts, but was transferred to Japanese control after the end of the Russo-Japanese war. The Japanese renamed the city as Toyohara, and made it the capital of the Japanese prefecture Karafuto occupying the southern half of the island. After the end of World War II, Soviet troops occupied Karafuto, and the city was renamed Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk when control of the city was transferred back to Russia.
Little remains of the Japanese administration apart from a very limited number of Japanese buildings, including the impressive old government building now used as a regional museum. The main heritage of the Japanese ownership of the city is a sizable number of Sakhalin-Koreans, deported here by the Japanese in the 1930s, and denied repatriation until the mid-1980s; many have decided to stay on Sakhalin, and around 20,000 reside in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. In the 21st century, the oil industry has brought in many expats from Europe and America. Due to this there are occasional English-language signs in the city, several upscale hotels, and an expat district.
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The climate is defined as humid continental. Summer and winter temperatures are less extreme than in Siberia or elsewhere in the Russian Far East, instead it rains more. Fog is common during the summer.
The city is located 25 km north of Aniva Bay and the same distance west of the Sea of Okhotsk, in the Susuya River valley and flanked by mountains to the west and east. Due to the risk of earthquakes, buildings are generally low-rise. The main industries – oil, coal and forestry – are located outside the city itself.
Ul Leninareet (Ulitsa Lenina), the main street, runs parallel to the railway from north to south, and downtown forms a rectangle around it. The Susuya River flows west of the city.
Sakhalin is a fairly remote island, so if you're coming from elsewhere in Russia, plane is by far the most hassle-free way for getting in.
Further information available
See also the itinerary Russia to Japan via Sakhalin for more information on the northern connection between the Trans-Siberian railway and Japan.
1 Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport Khomutovo (IATA: UUS) fields flights from major Russian cities and from several East Asian cities. As of 2017, Aurora (a subsidiary of the national carrier Aeroflot) has by far the largest presence on this airport. The airport is situated 8 km south of downtown and can be accessed by public buses 3 and 63 or by taxi.
Information: +7 4242 788390, +7 4242 788055 and the live flight information on the airport's website (in Russian). The airport is subject to long closures under bad weather conditions.
- Russia: Aeroflot, Rossiya and Aurora operate flights from Moscow (9 hours) and S7 from Novosibirsk. From Eastern Russia, there are a lot more flights. Vladivostok is served by Aurora and S7, and Khabarovsk by Aurora and seasonally Yakutia Airlines. Krasavia and Aurora fly in from Blagoveshchensk and Aurora moreover serves Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Bogorodskoye, Iturup, Okha and Yuzhno-Kurilsk
- South Korea: Asiana and Aurora operate flights from Seoul-Incheon.
- Japan: Aurora flies from Sapporo and has seasonal flights from Osaka. Yakutia Airlines has seasonal flights from Tokyo.
- China: Aurora services Harbin airport.
Despite its moderate size, the airport has a luggage room, a cafe and a food store. The airport closes during the night however police can let you stay overnight inside the terminal building if you have boarding card.
For towns close to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, it's often an easier and more convenient choice to jump on a bus, while the train is the main mode of transportation to destinations on the northern part of the island. It's a good idea to confirm these times as train schedules change fairly frequently. Check the website of the Passenger Company "Sakhalin" for train schedules.
- Korsakov: Trains depart daily at 5:30AM, 1:45PM and 7:44PM except on public holidays.
- Okha: Daily train 1 departs at 6:50AM, and runs most of the length of the island to Nogilki in the north, from where there is a connecting bus to Okha.
- Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky: Catch the train 1 above, and change to a connecting bus in Tymovsk.
The parking lot outside the train station doubles as a bus terminal, where scheduled and leave-when-full minibuses regularly depart for other parts of the island. The minibus is often the best choice, as the public buses are often slow, uncomfortable, and worn out.
Information on public buses: +7 4242 722553, the (unofficial) timetable.
- Kholmsk: Buses 516 and 518 depart on top of the hour, every hour between 8AM-9PM, the latter continuing onwards to Nevelsk for access to Moneron. The minibus alternative takes around an hour and costs RUB400.
- Korsakov: Bus 115 shuttles between Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Korsakov every 30 minutes between 7AM-10PM and takes around 90 minutes, and costs around RUB100. Double the price and you can catch a minibus that takes half the time.
Tour and travel agencies
While frequently visited by workers in the oil industry, Sakhalin has a very undeveloped tourism sector. If you don't speak Russian and don't have an abundance of time, enlisting the help of a travel agency to see the sights you want to see is probably necessary for all but the most adventurous travelers.
- 1 Bi-tomo (Би-томо), 1-1 Sakhalinskaya ul, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. A local travel agency specializing in Japan, and selling tickets for the Korsakov-Wakkanai crossing (Sakhalin-Fantastic, who used to sell tickets, no longer seems to be in business).
- 2 Mishka Tour (Мишка тур), Dzerzhinsky 40 office 306, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the very few agencies which arranges tours to the Vaida caves, which should only be visited with a guide and the necessary safety equipment. Can also help with fishing trips to the Lake Tunaycha region.
- 3 Omega Plus (Омега-Плюс), Kommunistichesky Pr 86, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The most frequent operator of tours to the Kuril Islands, and probably your best bet for ferry tickets there as well.
Intracity transportation is provided by a network of a few public buses, running along the main avenues, and large number of minibuses running on set routes, but with no particular schedules. A single bus ticket costs RUB20 as of 2017. The convenient route map (in Russian).
The drab rows of Soviet-style concrete blocks that makes up much of the island's capital are really not that interesting for travellers, especially not the ones who have been adventurous enough to come here in the first place. On the other hand, there should be enough to entertain you for a day while you get your bearings and organize things to venture out into Sakhalin's great outdoors — and you really owe it to yourself to get out there if you have come this far.
If you're short on time and only here to catch a ferry, skip these sights and hike up Chekov Peak — the trail head is a muddy dirt road just behind the Santa resort, the whole hike takes around 6 hours if you're in reasonable shape.
If you are interested in the Japanese heritage, consider the regional and art museums, the House of The Garrison Court (1908; Nevel'skogo St 44), and the small bridge on Sakhalinskaya St. Other Japanese buildings were destroyed before the 1970s.
- 1 Building at Sakhalin Street 44 (Сахалинская улица, 44). Now empty, this building from the Japanese (Toyahara) era has surprisingly survived intact.
- 2 Former Toyohara City Hall (Мэрия города Тойохара), Kommunisticheskiy pr 41. Built in the 1920s, now used as a office building. Next to the building there is a memorial to the Japanese crown prince Hirohito's visit to the city in 1925.
- 3 Headquarters of Karafuto Guard Units (Резиденция командующего охранными войсками губернаторства Карафуто/Гарнизонный военный суд), Nevelskovo ul 44a. The oldest standing building in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, built in 1908 as the residence of the commander of the Japanese forces. The house later hosted a museum of the Japanese period, but has again become a military building. It can be seen from the Dzerzhinsky or Sakhalin street.
- 4 Karafuto Conference Centre (Конференц-зал губернаторства Карафуто), Ul Dzerzhinskovo 30. Built by the Japanese in the 1930s in the style of post-constructivism. The building hosts a department of the Russian military.
- 5 Military Hospital (Городская больница), Ul Chekhova 41к2. 1930s postconstructivist building that is still used as a military hospital. The military hospital was modern for its time, being equipped with an elevator and a solarium.
- 6 Sakhalin Regional Art Museum (Сахалинский областной художественный музей), Ul Lenina 137, ☎ . Tu-Su 10AM-6PM. Opened in 1989 in the building of the former Japanese bank "Hokkaido Takushoku" from the 1930s. The three permanent expositions are: "Copies of Ancient Russian Frescos", "Art of Japan", and "Art of Korea". RUB60.
- 7 Sakhalin Regional Museum (Сахалинский государственный областной краеведческий музей), Kommunistichesky pr 29, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 11AM-6PM except Tu 11AM-5PM. (pictured) Housed in the former Japanese building dating back to 1937, the museum hosts exhibitions about the island's natural and climatic features, the history of Sakhalin, and a quite good ethnographic collection of the island's indigenous peoples. Don't miss the outdoor exhibition that includes Japanese steles and border stones, the houses of indigenous people, local plants, and old cannons. Foreigners RUB60.
- 8 Treasure house of Karafuto Shinto Shrine (Сокровищница главного синтоистского храма губернаторства Карафуто). This little cottage used to be part of the main Shinto shrine of Karafuto. Built in 1911 by the Japanese, war trophies from the Russo-Japanese war were placed here and later on gifts from the emperor like a bronze bell and a golden sword were added to the collection. During Russian times these were moved to local museums or disappeared and the cottage was used as a storage building and a summer house. It is still a summer house, but there is a small treasury and a spring on the premises.
- 9 Chekhov Literary and Art Museum (Городской литературно-художественный музей книги А.П.Чехова), Pr Mira 104, ☎ . Tu—Sa 10—18. Housed in a 1954 building somewhat reminiscent of Chekhov's house, there are some items from the everyday life of Anton Chekhov and his family, a collection of some of his artworks, and copies of Chekhov's book Sakhalin Island in various languages from all over the world and a facsimile edition from 1895. RUB20.
- 10 Railway Museum, Vokzal'naya ul 34 (near the train station), ☎ . M—F 8:30AM—5:30PM. An open-air exhibition of old locomotives and railway trucks, including Japanese machinery operated on Sakhalin. The tunnel boring machine is also on display here. The museum does not really follow the declared schedule, so arrange in advance or glance through the fence.
- 11 Sakhalin Botanical Garden (Сахалинский ботанический сад), Ul Gor'kovo 25, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Visits by appointment. This picturesque garden is at the same time an ongoing experiment; scientists are researching how plants from other parts of the world adapt to the climate of Sakhalin.
- 12 Sakhalin Zoo (Сахалинский зооботанический парк), Detskaya ul 4A, ☎ . 10-20:30 daily. Russian zoos are depressing, and this one founded in 1993 is no exception; though they seem to be genuinely interested in improving conditions, limited funds have thus far prevented any major improvements. They have 145 species up for display, mainly fauna related to Sakhalin such as wolves and brown bears. RUB80.
- 13 Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Mud Volcano (Южно-Сахалинский грязевой вулкан) (Take one of the two daily trains to Novoderevenskaya station and follow the abandoned railway track west for 9km (bring a lantern to pass through tunnels). Alternatively, take the bus to Klyuchi and then another 9km walk. The road directly to the volcano may be very dirty and impassable for regular cars.). Located 20 km northwest of the city, this sight consists of several cones within a 15-acre (6 hectares) site of volcanic mud which erupt periodically. In many places you can see fumaroles bubbling through the mud.
- You can see a large number of monuments in the city: of people who've played a role in the history of the city, famous Russians such as Chekhov and Pushkin, and memorials to victims of the Great Patriotic War and local conflicts and events.
A few notable religious buildings have been built since the end of communism, such as:
- 14 Catholic Church of St. James (костёл Святого Иакова), Pr Pobedy. Built in Neo-Gothic style in 2001.
- 15 Orthodox Resurrection Cathedral (Воскресенский собор), Komsomolskaya ul. Built in "pseudo-Russian" style in 1995.
- 1 Chekhov International Theatre Center (Сахалинский театральный центр Чехова), Kommunistichesky pr 35, ☎ . Really not that much "international" about it, this theatre is in a rather unusual (for a frontier region) building covered by mosaics in the socialist realism style (1964). The theatre's roots are in the 1930s. It sometimes has musicals and concerts on the repertoire, if sitting through 2 hours of incomprehensible Russian is not your thing.
- 2 Sakhalin Regional Puppet Theatre (Сахалинский театр кукол), Ul Karla Marksa 24, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. While mostly geared towards children, some of their shows are quite extraordinary, so it might be an option for a rainy day, even if you don't have kids. They are quite renowned within Russia and even booked abroad occasionally.
- 3 Kristall sports arena (Дворец спорта «Кристалл»), Ul Gor'kovo 29, ☎ . ALIH seasons: Sep-Apr. The local ice hockey team PSK Sakhalin plays in the Asia League Ice Hockey (ALIH) with Chinese, South Korean and Japanese teams. They play their home games in the Kristall arena, and you can watch their home games for free. Also the local basketball team play their home games here.
- 4 Spartak stadion (Стадион «Спартак»), Ul Gor'kovo 7, ☎ . FC Sakhalin, the local football (soccer) team, play in the Russian second division. The team has dedicated fans, many of who never miss a home game, and there are great views to the mountains from the station's grandstand.
- 5 Komsomolets (Культурный центр молодёжи «Комсомолец»), Sakhalinskaya ul 52, ☎ (voice message). The city's oldest movie theater has one auditorium with 197 seats and a very elegant lobby.
- 6 October (Киноконцертный зал «Октябрь»), Kommunistichesky pr 45, ☎ (ticket office), (voice message). One large and one small auditorium.
- 7 Premier (Кинозал «Премьер»), Kommunistichesky pr 20, ☎ .
- 8 The Best Movie Theater («Самый Лучший Кинотеатр»), 2nd Zentral'naya ul 1б (3rd floor at the City Mall shopping center), e-mail: email@example.com. Five auditoriums.
Parks and activities
- 9 Gagarin Park (Парк им. Ю.А. Гагарина). Scrappy but loved, the 220 acres (89 hectares) Gagarin Park is a nice place for a stroll, supposedly the largest in the far east and something of a leisure center for the local population. The park features athletic facilities, adventure playgrounds, a lake with small boats, a miniature railroad for kids, a zoo and a run down amusement park. On the eastern corner of the park there is a trail head leading up the hill for a nice view over the city.
- 10 Gorny Vozdukh Ski center (горнолыжный комплекс 'Горный Воздух'), Ul Gorkogo 7/1, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. noon-10PM. An alpine complex located within Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk city proper. It has nine runs (1 black, 5 reds & 3 greens) and three lifts, including a modern 2½ km gondola lift. There is also a bit of English information on the local snowboarding federation's website. If you're not into winter sports, you can still take the cable car to the top for nice views over the city and surroundings. From RUB100 for 1 ride, to RUB750 for 6 hours or more.
- 11 Sakhalin Diving (Сахалин Дайвинг), Ul Kryukova 70, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. This PADI dive shop can help with tours to Moneron island, listed in the Sakhalin guide. There is also a diving club on Kommunistichesky Pr 19 (DKS@sakhalin.ru/42-26-91)
- 12 Skiing track (Лыжероллерная трасса), Venskaya ul 5. In the winter, the track is for cross-country skiing (for a fee), in the summertime a walking and jogging path.
There is a sizable market at the corners of Lenina & Sakhalinskaya, where you can stock up with fresh fruits and vegetables, an outfit for your next 1980s party, or cheap Chinese goods. A bit more useful are the electronics stalls for new batteries and the like. You can find affordable eateries here too, mostly serving Russian, Korean and seafood.
- 1 City Mall (Торгово-развлекательный комплекс «Сити Молл»), 2nd Zentral'naya ul 1Б (in Khomutovo, near the airport), ☎ . 10AM-9PM. The mall has a supermarket, many smaller shops, eateries, a movie theater, a bowling club, a fitness club and a playground for kids.
- 2 Novyi Kontinent (Торговый центр «Новый континент»), Sakhalinskaya ul 82а, ☎ .
- 3 Slavyanskiy Bazar (Торговый центр «Славянский базар»), Ul Popovicha 65.
- 4 Uspekh (Торговый центр «Успех»), Sakhalinskaya ul 71.
For a Russian mid-sized city, eating out in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is on the expensive side. There are however cheap cafés here and there. In general you can choose between Russian, Japanese and Korean cuisine, although other Asian food is also available. Local seafood is surprisingly hard to find in restaurants, but is readily available in the market (mentioned in the Buy section) and its eateries.
- 1 Kolobok Café (кафе «Колобок»), Ul Lenina 220a, ☎ . 8AM—7PM.
- 2 Smak Café (кафе «Смак»), Khabarovskaya ul 84а, ☎ . 9AM—7PM. average dish RUB350.
- 3 Stolovaya Sovyetskaya (Столовая «Советская»), Pr Mira 106 (1st floor of the Market House «Дома Торговли»), ☎ . M-F 11AM-4PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM. A canteen from Soviet times, that was renovated in 2014 and lost some of its original character. There are still Soviet posters on the walls and music from the era is played. RUB300.
- 4 University Canteen (Столовая Сахалинского университета), Kommunistichesky pr 33 (corner of Kommunistichesky and Mira). Open during lunch time (except for student holidays).
- 5 Black Cat Café (кафе «Чёрная кошка»), Ul Chekhova 34A (Just off Popovicha St hidden away in an alley, look for a sign with a black cat), ☎ . Dishes out Russian and European meals, in a pleasant atmosphere with jazz music on the stereo.
- 6 Nihon Mitay Sushi Bar (суши-бар «Нихон Митай»), Pr Pobedy 28v, ☎ , . Self-service sushi bar and Japanese restaurant.
- 7 Restaurant Shanghai Blues (Ресторан «Шанхай Блюз»), Pr Mira 56/2, ☎ . 12-24. Cozy Chinese restaurant in the north of the city, also some western food on the menu. Large servings, friendly staff and popular with expats. mains about RUB400-800.
- 8 Taj Mahal Restaurant (ресторан «Тадж Махал»), Ul Antona Buyukly 38, ☎ . M-Th 11AM-11:30PM, F Sa 11:30AM-12:30AM, Su 11:30AM-10PM. Something as odd as an Indian cuisine from a Japanese franchise, which offers the usual popular Indian dishes, in Russia! To further add to the oddness, it's also the sole outlet of the only Sakhalin guidebook, Sakhalin Unplugged.
- 9 Furusato Restaurant, Ul Lenina 179, ☎ . noon—3PM, 6PM—11PM. A pretentious Japanese restaurant.
- 10 Restaurant Toyohara (Ресторан «Тоёхара»), Komsomolskaya ul 246а, ☎ . 12.00—22.00. Upscale restaurant serving Asian, primarily Japanese, cuisine.
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is a rather youthful town, so the nightlife is rather happening considering its size. Hotels do usually have bars, and these are the places to go if you want to meet expats. If the weather is nice, an alternative to the bars listed here is hanging out with the locals in the beer tents dotted around Gagarin Park. Don't miss the local beer!
- 1 Ice Glass Bar (бар «Ледяной стаканчик»), Sakhalinskaya ul 113, ☎ . Fresh beer from the local brewery.
- 2 Mishka Pub, Ul Chekhova 45, ☎ . noon-midnight (weekends till 1AM). Located in the basement of the same building as the Rubin hotel, this is a local expat hangout, mainly people from the oil industry. British style pub with the usual range of alcohol and pub food. Staff speaks English.
Due to the large number of visitors connected to the booming oil industry on the island, there are a substantial number of good hotels in the city. Room rates, however, are very expensive and budget alternatives are few: expect to pay at least RUB3,000 for a single room at Western style hotels. As a rule, Internet costs extra and rates can be rather high. As an alternative to hotels, you can rent an apartment at daily rates starting from around RUB2,000. These are advertised on http://board.sakh.com/realty/lease/ , in Russian only.
- 1 Moneron Hotel (гостиница «Монерон»), Kommunistichesky pr 86, ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A budget, but clean accommodation. Located next to the railway station. Common shower (charged). Singles from RUB1,900, doubles from RUB2,400.
- 2 Hostel Ostrova (Хостел «Ostrova»), Komsomolskaya ul 296 (3rd entrance, apartment 31), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. An apartment turned into a hostel. Rooms with 2, 4 and 6 beds, shared bathroom. Towels cost RUB100 extra. From RUB750.
- 3 Belka Hotel, Khabarovskaya ul 29b, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A modern hotel decorated in the wooden style. Single and double rooms en suite. Additional facilities include restaurant, bar, sauna, and spa. Single RUB4,600, Double RUB5,600.
- 4 Eurasia Hotel (гостиница «Евразия»), Vokzal'naya ul 54 (next to the railway station), ☎ , . En suite rooms. rates from RUB2,500.
- 5 Fisherman Hotel (гостиница «Рыбак»), Ul Karla Marksa 51 (next to the railway station), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Single, double, and even triple rooms. Shared facilities.
- 6 Jubilee Hotel (гостиница «Юбилейная»), Altayskiy Per 10, ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A modern hotel in the suburbs. Single rooms en suite, two-room suites. Breakfasts and Internet for additional cost. single RUB2,900, double RUB3,900.
- 7 Lotus Hotel (гостиница «Лотос»), Kuril'skaya ul 41a, ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. A modern hotel in the city center, en suite single rooms only. Free Internet access, free parking. Singles RUB3,400/ doubles RUB4,000.
- 8 Neptun Hotel (гостиница «Нептун»), Ul Dzerzhinskogo 14 (corner of Sahalinskaya Ul), ☎ . A small hotel in the city center: five en suite single rooms. rates from RUB2,500.
- 9 Oriental' Hotel (гостиница «Ориенталь»), Sakhalinskaya ul 2a (next to Gagarin's park), ☎ , , . Plain, but convenient en suite rooms, breakfast included.
- 10 Panorama Hotel (гостиница «Панорама»), Pr Mira 231, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Single and double en suite rooms, central location. Breakfast additionally charged. A large entertainment area with cafe, sauna, swimming pool, and cinema. rates from RUB3,300.
- 11 Tourist Hotel (гостиница «Турист»), Sakhalinskaya ul 2 (NE from the city center, next to Gagarin's park), ☎ . Single rooms en suite and two-room suites, wooden-style design. In house a Thai spa, a karaoke bar and a Japanese restaurant. Breakfast included for additional cost. Single RUB3,300, double RUB4,800.
- 12 Gagarin Hotel, Komsomol'skaya ul 133, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A business hotel with two restaurants, sauna, and other facilities. singles RUB4,500, doubles RUB5,500.
- 13 Mega Palace Hotel, Detskaya ul 4 (next to Gagarin Park), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A massive, modern, 10-storey luxury hotel located just north of the city center. Wi-Fi for additional cost (probably, free in the lobby), two restaurants, and many other facilities. Single RUB 6,300, Double RUB6,900, discount web rates possible.
- 14 Mira Hotel (отель Мира), Pr Mira 255, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Free Wi-Fi in the lobby, on-line booking system. Double RUB7,190, discount web rates possible.
- 15 Mytos Hotel (гостиница «Митос»), Tisovaya alleya 5 (south from the city, the road to the airport), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Two nice houses with en suite singles, suites, and a restaurant.
- 16 Natalya Hotel (гостиница «Наталя»), Ul Antona Buyukly 38, ☎ . Double rooms and apartments. doubles RUB3,600, apartments RUB4,800-6,500.
- 17 Pacific Plaza Hotel (Previously Ramada Plaza), Pr Mira 172, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A central 4-star business hotel. Rooms have satellite TV, and separate bath and shower. WiFi via scratch cards purchased at the reception. Also has 2 restaurants, a couple of bars and business centre, all with English speaking staff. Single from RUB5,900, double from RUB6,600.
- 18 Rubin Hotel (гостиница «Рубин»), Ul Chekhova 85, ☎ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Reputedly one of the best hotels in town, has a decent British-style pub downstairs. Wi-Fi in the lobby. Singles from RUB4,500.
- 19 Sakhalin-Sapporo Hotel (гостиница «Сахалин-Саппоро»), Ul Lenina 181, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the longer running hotels in town, centrally located. Looks Soviet on the outside but has been upgraded to Japanese standard on the inside. Singles from RUB4,500, doubles from RUB5,860.
- 20 Santa Resort Hotel, Venskaya ul 3 (next to Gagarin's park), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Nice hotel located outside of Yuzhno in a beautiful and peaceful landscape, features numerous sport facilities. Very close to Gagarin Park. Has two overpriced restaurants with good European and Japanese cuisine though. Wi-Fi internet for additional cost and free hotel-city-hotel shuttle service. Singles from RUB5,760, doubles from RUB7,260.
- 21 Strawberry Hills Hotel (гостиница «Земляничные холмы»), Ul Solnechnovo sveta 2 (south from the city, the road to the airport), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A modern hotel in the expat settlement, right outside the city. Rates from RUB4,000.
Businesses may also offer Wi-Fi (free or for a fee).
Desktop connection is available at certain post offices (see below) and in the central library:
- Central library, Ul Lenina 244, ☎ , . Tu—F 11AM—7PM, Sa 10AM—5PM. RUB60/hour (2017).
The postal code of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is 6930**. Post offices in the city center:
- Office № 6, Ul Emel'yanova 29, ☎ , . Internet access. M-F 8AM—8PM, Sa 9AM—6PM, lunch break 1PM—2PM.
- Office № 7, Pr Mira 157, ☎ . M-F 8AM—8PM, Sa 9AM—6PM, lunch break 1PM—2PM.
- Office № 8, Ul Lenina 268, ☎ . M-F 8AM—8PM, Sa 9AM—6PM, lunch break 1PM—2PM. Internet access.
While outwardly looking like a tidy and safe city, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk does have a reputation of street crime. Downtown is safer than the rest of the city.
- Japan, 234 Ul Lenina, 5F, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. M-F 10AM-11:30AM except Th 3PM-5PM.
- Netherlands, Ul Chekhova 80, Sfera Bldg, 1F, Royal Bank of Scotland's office, ☎ . M-F 3PM-7PM.
- International SOS Medical Clinic, Kommunisticheskyi pr 32, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-4PM, Sa 9AM-noon. Professional outfit with emergency room and a wide range of English speaking specialists
- Korsakov — a rather drab port town that's the departure point for ferries to Japan.
- Kholmsk — another port town with ferry connections to the Russian mainland, mainly known for the abandoned railway that leads there:it's now a hiking trail.
- Aniva Bay is a popular recreation area on the southern coast of Sakhalin. Most of the seashore as well as the lower part of the Lyutoga River are good for swimming, fishing, and other activities.
- The area around Lake Tunaycha along the west coast comprises not only the largest freshwater lake in Sakhalin (a popular destination in summer) but also a string of smaller freshwater lakes and Izmenchivoe, a salt lake popular for its mud baths. The coastline is sandy and beautiful, and a great place to watch the sun rise, but the ocean is too cold for swimming.