If you think you’ve never heard of anything about Yakutsk before, then worry not… You’re not alone.
In fact, the first time I heard about Yakutsk was when Nicolas and Lena from Trips to Siberia reached out to me as they wanted to contribute for the $10, covering this city. As I’m writing this, I literally just googled about Yakutsk and I found out that the temperature could reach up to -64° Celcius during winter.
Dude, I totally can’t imagine how cold it could be around there as I get so used to hot weather. Blame the Southeast Asian in me who get used to tropical weather around here. 😛
But anyway, it’s only fair to start seeing how far you could go with $10 USD in one of the cities in Siberia. Also, this is gonna be the first city in Russia covered in the series, yeay!!
What to Do to Spend Your Rubels in Yakutsk
Yakutsk in Siberia is one of the most isolated and extreme cities in the world. It is located in the center of the Republic of Yakutia, which has the size of Western Europe but is inhabited by just a million people. Most of them belong to the indigenous nations like the Yakutsk or Evenks.
Yakutsk is known for its extreme climate conditions. In winter, the temperatures could regularly drop to almost minus 60 degrees. The summer is short, but comparably pleasant with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees. Most of Yakutia’s population live in Yakutsk or cluster around the city.
$10 in Yakutsk
Due to its richness in natural resources, the city is booming and living there is surprisingly expensive for a city being located in the middle of nowhere. So, what could you get for $10 USD in Yakutsk?
The good news for foreigners visiting Yakutsk is that the Russian Ruble (RUB) has depreciated over the last years, in which $10 USD equals to almost 700 RUB today.
The housing is the most expensive part of life in Yakutsk, while many of the other services are surprisingly cheap.
What to Do in Yakuts for $10 USD
Transportation, for instance, is really cheap in Yakutsk compared to most western cities.
A one-way ticket into the city is about 30 RUB (around $0.5 USD). But, don’t expect standard western bus lines, as most of the lines are serviced by so-called mashrutkas, which are very special ‘Russian made’ taxi cabs similar to a minibus.
Once you reach the center, you will be surprised that Yakutsk is a rather modern city with high-rises, shopping malls and countless international restaurants and entertainment complexes.
You may visit one of the cinema centers in Yakutsk, where it will cost you around 250 RUB (around $3.7 USD).
Other than that, there are also places you will find only in Yakuts. One of these places is the world’s largest mammoth museum. Due to climate change, Yakutia’s permafrost is increasingly melting and many of the mammoths that were trapped for thousands of years in the ‘eternal’ ice are found now.
Another great place to visit is also the city’s underground Permafrost museum. There, you will find absolutely stunning ice sculptures and you may eat a traditional Yakut dish, consisting of frozen, raw, thin, and long-sliced fish.
The entry fee for both the mammoth museum and the permafrost museum is only about 250 RUB ($3.7 USD) for each. So, what are you waiting for?!
Contributor: Lena and Nicolas from Trips to Siberia
Lena and Nicolas have organized several travels across entire Yakutia, as they are strong believers in the importance of the development of a responsible traveling industry in the country. Their mission is to maximize the benefits to local entrepreneurs and to minimize negative social impacts.