Home TravelType of tripCity trip Krasnodar, Russia: an off the beaten track city trip destination in Europe

Krasnodar, Russia: an off the beaten track city trip destination in Europe

by Flitter Fever
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Have you ever heard of Krasnodar? So far I have visited KrasnodaSitting on a royal bench with my initial in Krasnodarr twice and so I thought it might be nice to share some information about it. Not many non-Russians will be familiar with this off the beaten track destination. With a population of around 1 million inhabitants, Krasnodar is the 16th city of Russia, located in the southwest. The district is called Krasnodar Krai, which borders with Georgia on the south side, at the Black Sea. It’s still Europe! So what’s to do in this Russian city?

Kuban State Agrarian University Krasnodar
Kuban State Agrarian University Krasnodar (photo credits Dmitriy Poslavskiy)

History of Krasnodar

The Kuban River flows through Krasnodar, the city that used to be known as Yekaterinodar. The city was renamed Krasnodar after the October Revolution in 1920. ‘Kras’ means beautiful and ‘dar’ means gift in Russian language.

Krasnodar has a history of starting off as a military camp at the end of the 18th century. Especially the Cosaks ruled over Krasnodar and its surrounding area for longer periods of time, but also the Ottomans came here. And later, in 1942, the German Nazis arrived here. Tough times. Nowadays, Krasnodar is a modernized Russian city with parks, statues, etc. The 16th city of Russia by population (app. 1 million).

Pushkin Library in Krasnodar
Pushkin Library in Krasnodar
Russian building in Krasnodar
Sovjet-style building in Krasnodar

Sightseeing in Krasnodar

To be honest, Krasnodar does not include many super spectacular sights. It is a city to visit if you want to try and see something else, experience a real Russian city that is not influenced by globalization so much yet. Of course there are things to see in Krasnodar, otherwise there will be nothing to write about. And all together it forms a nice place to visit. For an off the beaten track city trip, or for example in transit, when you pass the city (more or less) anyway on a road trip to elsewhere.

Krasnodar has the largest fountain in Europe, the largest mall of southern Russia, various museums, concert halls and theaters, Pushkin’s Libary, etc. Enough to keep you busy for a couple of days.

The beautiful details of a building in Krasnodar
The beautiful details of a building in Krasnodar
Pretty architecture in Krasnodar Russia
Pretty architecture in Krasnodar


Shukhovskaya Bashnya, a tower designed by famous Russian architect and engineer Vladimir Shukhov. He designed more but this is one of the few remaining. The tower is also referred to as the Russian Eiffel Tower, Rashpilnaya Tower or Hyperbolic tower. This original 32-meters steel design was completed in 1928 and served originally as water tower. The steel grid work forms a sharp contrast with the surrounding old cathedrals and colorful tree gardens. Opposite the tower there is the famous Krasnodar State Circus.


St. Catherine’s Cathedral and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, two beautiful examples of Russian Orthodox style churches. Catherine the Great was the longest female ruling Empress of Russia in the 18th century. Alexander Nevsky was a Prince ruling over several parts of Russia in the 13th century. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized both saint. You will see their names popping up in many other Russian cities, such as the beautiful St. Petersburg.

Alexander Nevskiy Cathedral Krasnodar on a bright sunny day in July
Alexander Nevskiy Cathedral on a bright sunny day in July
Alexander Nevskiy Cathedral Krasnodar
Alexander Nevskiy Cathedral up close

Red Street

Krasnaya Ulitsa, also known as Krasnaya Street or Red Street, is the main boulevard that forms the heart of Krasnodar’s city center. The street is filled with all kinds of sights including fountains, Triumphal Arch, statues, etc. and ends at Avrora cinema center. I would highly recommend staying at or near this lively street should you spend a few days here.

Statues, monuments & sculptures

The bronze sculpture Walking Dogs, also known as Dog’s City. These are actually two dogs standing up like a human man and woman, which is a popular sight. Also popular amongst locals, who like rubbing their noses for good luck. There are a few more bronze sculptures at Red Street in similar style:

  • Monument Krasnodar Guest, a sitting man with an umbrella
  • Monument to Shurik and Lidochka, a boy and a girl reading a book

There are many more statues in Krasnodar. I marked the main ones located in the city center in below map.

Walking Dogs sculpture Krasnodar Russia
Walking Dogs sculpture
Monument to Shurik and Lidochka in Krasnodar
Monument to Shurik and Lidochka

Fountains & Parks

Theater Fountain on Theater Square is the largest splash fountain of Europe since 2011. There are dozens of other smaller fountains in Krasnodar, for example at Chistyakovskaya Grove. All fountains in the city are put back into action sometime mid-April, when temperatures will not go below freezing point anymore for sure. In the evenings, many fountains get illuminated.

In addition, Krasnodar has several city parks that are nice to stroll around, pick nick, hop on a bicycle, get an ice cream… whatever you are in the mood for on a warm spring or summer day! Some parks include other attractions such as Ferris wheel and carousel. The 30th Anniversary of Victory Culture and Rest Park includes a military museum and submarine. See map below for locations.


There is various architecture in Krasnodar. I really like these red brick buildings, they remind me a bit of parts of New York City. The blue white buildings with many details and ornaments are another level of pretty, they are shown in some photos earlier in this article, with a lot of elegance and classy glamour.

House with red bricks and roof tiles in Krasnodar
House with red bricks and roof tiles in suburb
Red brick building on a sunny day in Krasnodar
Red brick building on a sunny day in Krasnodar

Rainy day, need to kill time before a flight or simply in the mood for shopping? Go to OZ Mall, the largest shopping center of southern Russia.

F.C. Krasnodar

Krasnodar has a famous soccer team, F.C. Krasnodar, who have a huge, hypermodern stadium financed by its super rich owner (opened in 2016). Maybe your favorite soccer team had to play once against F.C. Krasnodar? The below video is not mine but gives a nice impression of the stadium that is said to be one of the best in Europe.


There are not so many tours available in Krasnodar yet, another sign this city is a real off the beaten track destination! A tour can be nice though, because a local guide will tell and show you things you would not hear or see on your own.

Where to eat & drink

Despite the fact that international cuisine has also made its appearance here, I would highly recommend to try and eat Russian food. You should absolutely taste delicious dishes like beef stroganoff, borsch (beet soup), pelmeni (dumplings), grilled shashlik (kebab skewers) and blini (pancakes). Obviously accompanied with a glass of crystal clear Russian vodka. Or whatever you like.

Some of my favorite restaurants in Krasnodar serving Russian food include for example Борщberry (Borsch Berry) and the House of Russian Cuisine. Bumbarash is also good, but serves Georgian food, not 100% Russian but with Russian influences. For more restaurant options see map below, also for some bar suggestions.

Bumbarash Georgian Restaurant in Krasnodar
Bumbarash Georgian Restaurant in Krasnodar
Interior of Борщberry (Borsch Berry) restaurant in Krasnodar Russia
Interior of Борщberry (Borsch Berry) restaurant

Where to stay in Krasnodar

I stayed twice at Hilton Garden Inn Krasnodar and would do so again, because of the international level of comfort and its central location right at Krasnaya Street (Red Street). You know what you will get and it is good. WiFi, air-conditioning, 24-hours reception, spacious rooms with private bathroom, gym, good breakfast, Hilton Garden Inn has it all. Prices start around EUR 64 per night. Best value for money.

Should Hilton Garden Inn Krasnodar be above your budget or full, you may want to consider staying at:

Hilton Garden Inn Krasnodar
Hilton Garden Inn Krasnodar (photo credits booking.com)
Krasnodar Marriott Hotel Russia
Krasnodar Marriott Hotel (photo credits booking.com)

Tip: Type C and F sockets are used in Russia. The voltage is 220 V. If you visit from the Netherlands, your own plugs should fit. Otherwise simply bring a world plug for electronic devices.

Map Krasnodar

This map includes places and spots mentioned in this article (and more). This one is ‘smartphone friendly’; you can easily use it via the Google Maps app. Click the icon at the top left to open the menu and see the categories. To adapt the map to your own preferences and interests, (de)select a category. Via Google Drive you can copy the map to your own My Google Maps account.

Distances from Krasnodar

Some distances from Krasnodar to other cities:

  • Dzhubga at the Black Sea 120 km
  • Novorissiysk 150 km
  • Sochi 300 km
  • Moscow 1350 km
  • St. Petersburg 2100 km
  • Amsterdam 3100 km

You may remember Sochi from the Winter Olympics 2014. Although the distance from Krasnodar to Sochi is only 300 km, and Google Map says the drive should take about 5.5 hours, I would recommend to fly in between those cities because of the challenging, bad road conditions, moreover in winter. Locals mentioned this to me as the smartest choice.

Watching over the Kuban River in Krasnodar
Watching over the Kuban River (photo Stanislav Kondratiev)
White Lada Taxi in Krasnodar
White Lada Taxi outside the city center

How to get to Krasnodar

Flights to Krasnodar (KRR) go from all three airports in Moscow, take about 4 hours and prices start around EUR 42 one way. Flights from Saint Petersburg take about 5 hours and ticket prices start around EUR 97 one way. Main airlines flying into KRR are Aeroflot, Utair, Pobeda, Hahn Air, Norwind Airlines, S7 Airlines and Red Wings.

To check possibilities and prices for flights to Krasnodar International Airport Pasjkovski (KRR) from anywhere around the world, Skyscanner is the way to go.

From Moscow you can also consider taking the direct overnight train from Moscow (Moskva Kazanskia station) to Krasnodar (direction Novorossiisk), it goes once a day. It takes 18.5 hours and train ticket prices should be somewhere between EUR 35 and EUR 80 per person one way.

In addition it is possible to take the bus from Moscow Orekhovo station, but you will have to transfer in Kropotkin. In total the bus ride from Moscow to Krasnodar takes about 21 hours and prices for bus ticket vary somewhere between EUR 36 and EUR 54 single ride.

It’s smart to book in advance online a taxi:

Aircraft at Krasnodar International Airport
Aircraft at Krasnodar International Airport (photo credits Sasha Krd)

How to get around

The number #1 transportation method for locals is still the car. For A to B private taxi rides you may want to use Yandex or Uber. A single taxi ride from Krasnodar International Airport to for example Hilton Garden Inn Krasnodar takes about 30 min and costs around RUB 280 (EUR 4). The airport is in the east of the city (see map above).

Krasnodar’s city center is pretty flat and most sights are pretty close to each other, so it is easy to walk around. Unless you would come in winter and you may want to avoid to freeze to death out on the street (kidding). There are clear road signs to the main sights so that’s easy-peasy too.

In addition, there are public buses, trams and so-called marshrutkas (taxis with fixed route). Cycling is also a do-able option here; the city council created new bike lanes around the city center, especially in and around the city parks.

Bicycle parked against a tree in Krasnodar
Bicycle parked at a tree (photo credits Stanislav Kondratiev)
Krasnodar trolley bus Russia
Krasnodar trolley bus

When to visit Krasnodar

You probably want to visit Krasnodar between April and mid-October. May, June and September are great months to go, usually September gets the least rain fall. But also summer is quite good in Krasnodar. Temperatures in July and August are on average between 20 and 32 degrees Celsius, so still pretty comfortable. In March I had grey weather, in July all sunny and bright blue skies. Up to you!

Winter temperatures are too cold for a city trip to Krasnodar. Maybe you want to explore possibilities for winter sports? In Krasnodar Krai there are some ski slopes with ski lift, but they are near Sochi, not Krasnodar city. See map above.

Do I need a visa for Russia?

The answer to that question highly depends on your nationality, how long you wish to stay, what you plan to do (tourist or other), etc. Check for example the website of iVisa to learn whether you need a visa or not.


Now a city trip to Krasnodar is something else than cities like Budapest or Prague, way more off the beaten track. Hope you liked this article and find it useful, that it will inspire you to start exploring Russia. In Krasnodar I found the people friendlier than in Moscow for example. Have you ever been to (this part of) Russia? Please feel free to leave a question or comment below.

Explore Central & Eastern Europe

Check out my other articles of Central & Eastern European cities:

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Last Updated on 05/09/2021 by Flitter Fever

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