Dorena Harp

Dorena Harp

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


Murmansk, known as the “Gateway to the Arctic,” is a fascinating city with a rich blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Located in the far northwest of Russia, it is the largest city above the Arctic Circle and serves as an important naval port in the Barents Sea. Murmansk is known for its stunning landscapes, including the picturesque Kola Peninsula and the captivating Northern Lights that dance across its skies during the winter months.

In this article, we will delve into 39 intriguing facts about Murmansk that highlight its unique characteristics and attractions. From its resilient history as a strategic military outpost during World War II to its vibrant festivals and events, Murmansk offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking adventure and exploration. So, let’s embark on a journey to discover the wonders of Murmansk!

Table of Contents

Murmansk is the largest city in the world located above the Arctic Circle.

Murmansk holds the title as the largest city in the world situated north of the Arctic Circle, making it a unique and significant urban center.

Murmansk is situated on the Kola Bay of the Barents Sea.

Located on the Kola Bay, Murmansk offers stunning views of the Barents Sea and is known for its beautiful coastal landscapes.

The city was established in 1916.

Murmansk was founded in 1916 as a railway port during World War I and has since grown into an important economic and cultural hub in the region.

Murmansk experiences polar nights and midnight sun.

Due to its high latitude, Murmansk experiences polar nights in winter, where the sun does not rise above the horizon, and midnight sun in summer, where the sun remains visible throughout the entire day.

Murmansk is home to the northernmost trolleybus system in the world.

Murmansk boasts the northernmost trolleybus system, providing a unique and environmentally friendly mode of transportation for its residents and visitors.

Murmansk is famous for its Aurora Borealis sightings.

The city of Murmansk offers stunning displays of the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, painting the night sky with vibrant colors and creating a magical atmosphere.

Murmansk is a major hub for Arctic exploration and research.

With its strategic location and expertise in Arctic affairs, Murmansk serves as a pivotal center for Arctic exploration, research, and development.

Murmansk is home to the world’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker.

The city is proud to be the birthplace of the Lenin, the world’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker, which has played a significant role in facilitating Arctic navigation.

Murmansk has a vibrant cultural scene.

Murmansk embraces a rich cultural heritage, with numerous theaters, museums, and art galleries showcasing the city’s artistic talents and traditions.

Murmansk is known for its delicious seafood.

Being a coastal city, Murmansk offers a wide range of fresh and delicious seafood dishes, including local specialties such as Arctic salmon and king crab.

Murmansk’s Sami population adds to its cultural diversity.

The indigenous Sami people, known for their traditional reindeer herding, have a significant presence in Murmansk, contributing to the city’s cultural diversity.

Murmansk is surrounded by stunning nature.

Nature lovers will be delighted by Murmansk’s breathtaking natural landscapes, including fjords, lakes, and untouched wilderness, offering opportunities for hiking, fishing, and wildlife encounters.

Murmansk is known for its harsh winters.

Due to its northern location, Murmansk experiences long and cold winters, with temperatures often reaching below freezing, creating a winter wonderland for snow enthusiasts.

Murmansk has a rich World War II history.

During World War II, Murmansk played a critical role as a strategic port and was heavily involved in the Arctic convoys, supporting the Allied forces.

Murmansk is home to the Arctic State Medical University.

The Arctic State Medical University, located in Murmansk, is renowned for its reputable medical education and research programs.

Murmansk has a bustling fishing industry.

The city’s location near abundant fishing grounds makes it a significant center for the fishing industry, supplying fresh seafood to local and international markets.

Murmansk has a well-developed transportation system.

Murmansk boasts a well-connected transportation network, including airports, railways, and highways, facilitating travel to and from the city.

Murmansk is a popular destination for Arctic cruises.

Many tourists choose Murmansk as their starting point for Arctic cruises, allowing them to explore the stunning Arctic landscapes and witness the region’s unique wildlife.

Murmansk hosts the annual Aurora Festival.

The Aurora Festival, held in Murmansk, celebrates the beauty of the Northern Lights and includes various cultural events, music performances, and light installations.

Murmansk is famous for its ice swimming tradition.

Brave locals and visitors in Murmansk often participate in the exhilarating tradition of ice swimming, plunging into icy waters for health and adrenaline-inducing experiences.

Murmansk has a strong connection to the Russian Navy.

As a strategic naval base, Murmansk has a strong connection to the Russian Navy, which plays a vital role in the city’s economy and defense.

Murmansk has a diverse and multicultural population.

Murmansk is home to people of different ethnic backgrounds, creating a vibrant and multicultural community that adds richness to the city’s cultural fabric.

Murmansk has a thriving ice hockey culture.

Ice hockey is immensely popular in Murmansk, with dedicated fans supporting local teams and enjoying the fast-paced action on the ice.

Murmansk is a gateway to the Arctic Ocean.

Murmansk serves as a vital gateway to the Arctic Ocean, offering access to the remote and pristine Arctic region.

Murmansk has unique polar flora and fauna.

The Arctic climate of Murmansk is home to unique polar species of flora and fauna, including reindeer, Arctic foxes, and a variety of stunning Arctic plant life.

Murmansk has a strong connection to the nearby city of Kirkenes, Norway.

Murmansk is geographically close to the Norwegian city of Kirkenes, and the two cities have a history of cultural exchange and economic cooperation.

Murmansk has a ski resort.

The city boasts a ski resort, where locals and visitors can enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, and other exhilarating winter sports activities.

Murmansk has a rich architecture blending Soviet and modern styles.

The architectural landscape of Murmansk showcases a blend of Soviet-era structures and contemporary designs, creating a unique visual appeal.

Murmansk has a vibrant nightlife scene.

When the sun sets in Murmansk, the city comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene, offering a variety of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Murmansk is home to the iconic Murmansk Shipping Company.

The Murmansk Shipping Company, established in 1939, has a rich history in Arctic shipping and has contributed significantly to the city’s maritime industry.

Murmansk is a gateway to the Russian Arctic National Park.

Murmansk provides access to the Russian Arctic National Park, a protected area with diverse wildlife, pristine landscapes, and archaeological sites.

Murmansk hosts the annual Arctic Maritime Salon.

The Arctic Maritime Salon, held in Murmansk, is an important event showcasing the latest developments in Arctic maritime technologies, logistics, and infrastructure.

Murmansk has an extensive network of snowmobile trails.

For adventure seekers, Murmansk offers an extensive network of snowmobile trails, providing exhilarating rides through snowy landscapes.

Murmansk is a popular destination for birdwatching.

The region around Murmansk is a haven for birdwatchers, with numerous species of migratory birds and unique Arctic avian life.

Murmansk was named after the nearby Murman Coast.

The city of Murmansk takes its name from the Murman Coast, a stretch of coastline known for its natural beauty and rugged landscapes.

Murmansk is known for its strong maritime traditions.

With its deep-seated maritime history, Murmansk is known for its strong maritime traditions, including fishing, shipbuilding, and naval heritage.

Murmansk has a vast system of underground shelters and tunnels.

During World War II, Murmansk developed an extensive network of underground shelters and tunnels to protect civilians and military personnel from bombings.

Murmansk is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

Winter sports enthusiasts flock to Murmansk to enjoy activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, and husky sledding in the snowy landscapes.

Murmansk has a thriving arts and crafts scene.

The city’s arts and crafts scene is vibrant, with local artisans producing unique handicrafts that showcase the region’s cultural heritage.


Murmansk is a fascinating city with a rich history and unique characteristics. As the largest city within the Arctic Circle, it offers a truly distinctive experience for visitors. From the majestic Northern Lights to its strategic importance during World War II, Murmansk has many stories to tell. Whether it’s exploring the stunning landscapes or delving into its cultural heritage, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this Arctic gem.Despite its remote location, Murmansk is well-connected with modern infrastructure and offers a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for tourists. With its diverse attractions, vibrant city life, and adventurous spirit, Murmansk is a destination that should not be missed. So pack your bags and prepare for an unforgettable journey to this extraordinary city in the far north of Russia.


1. What is the best time to visit Murmansk?

The best time to visit Murmansk is during the winter months, from November to March, when you have a higher chance of seeing the mesmerizing Northern Lights.

2. Is English widely spoken in Murmansk?

While English may not be spoken as widely as in some other tourist destinations, most hotels, tourist attractions, and restaurants have English-speaking staff to assist you.

3. How do I get to Murmansk?

You can reach Murmansk by air, with regular flights from Moscow and other major Russian cities. Alternatively, you can travel by train or bus if you prefer a more scenic journey.

4. Are there any unique activities to do in Murmansk?

Absolutely! You can go on a snowmobile safari, take a tour to see the iconic nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin, or even try your hand at ice fishing.

5. Can I witness the Midnight Sun in Murmansk?

Yes, during the summer months, Murmansk experiences the Midnight Sun phenomenon, where the sun remains visible for 24 hours a day. It’s an incredible experience!