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Siberia Hotels Comparison & Online Booking

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What's important: you can compare and book not only Siberia hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Siberia. If you're going to Siberia save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Siberia online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Siberia, and rent a car in Siberia right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Siberia related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Siberia with other popular and interesting places of Russia, for example: Matsesta, Karelia, Astrakhan, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Petergof, Kazan, Zelenogradsk, Sakhalin, Lake Baikal, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Alupka, Cheboksary, Vardane, Tver, Golubitskaya, Izhevsk, Belgorod, Krasnoyarsk, Rybachye, Black Sea, Tomsk, Tuapse, Terskol, Curonian Spit, Abzakovo, Shakhty, Kurgan, Stary Oskol, Yessentuki, Mineralnye Vody, Blagoveshchensk, Rosa Khutor, Velikiye Luki, Massandra, Valday, Petrozavodsk, Kaliningrad, Irkutsk, Sudak, Lipetsk, Sheremetyevo, Olginka, Golden Ring, Kaluga, Kudepsta, Konakovo, Svetlogorsk, Ussuriysk, Ivanovo, Novyi Svit, Novorossiysk, Adler, Goryachy Klyuch, Dzhankhot, Kirov, Simeiz, Voronezh, Kursk, Veliky Ustyug, Dzerzhinsk, Feodosia, Grozny, Taman, Listvyanka, Yakornaya Shchel, Estosadok, Novokuznetsk, Armavir, Sea of Azov, Orenburg, Anadyr, Yenisei, Maykop, Yakhroma, Koktebel, Valaam, Alushta, Pervouralsk, Korolev, Sochi, Yakutsk, Syzran, Naberezhnye Chelny, Ulan-Ude, Novyy Urengoy, Kirovsk, Lyubertsy, Anapa, Volzhskiy, Vladikavkaz, Domodedovo, Nizhnevartovsk, Divnomorskoye, Tarusa, Miass, Cherkessk, Kamchatka, Khosta, Zvenigorod, Oryol, Balaklava, Vorkuta, Simferopol, Bratsk, Gelendzhik, Balakovo, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Suzdal, Komsomolsk on Amur, Chita, Zavidovo, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Moscow, Vnukovo International Airport, Samara, Gornaya Karusel, Usinsk, Khimki, Vyborg, Gorno-Altaysk, Mount Elbrus, Mytishchi, Volgograd, Lazarevskoye, Vityazevo, Cherepovets, Khabarovsk, Kizhi, Khanty-Mansiysk, Saransk, Nakhodka, Abakan, Temryuk, Belokurikha, Volga, Nebug, Solovetsky Islands, Khibiny, Arkhyz, Perm, Pereslavl Zalessky, Yeysk, Prielbrusye, Kerch, Biysk, Ukhta, Siberia, Pushkin, Pyatigorsk, Syktyvkar, Gurzuf, Tula, Kolomna, Norilsk, Chornomorske, Naryan-Mar, Smolensk, Surgut, Murmansk, Krasnodar, Magnitogorsk, Nalchik, Gorky Gorod, Nizhnekamsk, Partenit, Taganrog, Odintsovo, Podolsk, Dombay, Obninsk, Abrau-Dyurso, Orsk, Bolshoy Utrish, Caucasian Mineral Waters, Yaroslavl, Rybinsk, Kyzyl, Salekhard, Plyos, Loo, Omsk, Magadan, Saky, Uglich, Bryansk, Sheregesh, Arkhangelsk, Vladivostok, Murom, Stavropol, Dzhemete, Sestroretsk, Yelets, Dzhubga, Sortavala, Zheleznovodsk, Sergiyev Posad, Altai Republic, Sevastopol, Koreiz, Nizhny Tagil, Saratov, Makhachkala, Yoshkar-Ola, Nizhny Novgorod, Kamensk-Uralsky, Barnaul, Tolyatti, Zhukovsky, Gaspra, Penza, Vladimir, Krasnodar Krai, Torzhok, Pskov, Arkhipo Osipovka, Yalta, Bakhchysarai, Sukko, Pushkino, Baltic Sea, Veliky Novgorod, Ulyanovsk, Ufa, Kislovodsk, Vologda, Balashikha, Lake Seliger, Kostroma, Angarsk, Tyumen, Krasnogorsk, Gatchina, Elektrostal, Chelyabinsk, Popovka, Crimea, Tobolsk, Kemerovo, Engels, Tambov, Serpukhov, Kabardinka, Krasnaya Polyana, Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Repino, Elista, Pulkovo, Yevpatoria, Utes, Sterlitamak, Dagomys, Ryazan, etc.

How to Book a Hotel in Siberia

In order to book an accommodation in Siberia enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Siberia hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Siberia map to estimate the distance from the main Siberia attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Siberia hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Siberia is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Siberia is waiting for you!

Hotels of Siberia

A hotel in Siberia is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Siberia hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Siberia are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Siberia hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Siberia hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Siberia have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Siberia
An upscale full service hotel facility in Siberia that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Siberia hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Siberia
Full service Siberia hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Siberia
Boutique hotels of Siberia are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Siberia boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Siberia may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Siberia
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Siberia travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Siberia focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Siberia
Small to medium-sized Siberia hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Siberia traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Siberia hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Siberia
A bed and breakfast in Siberia is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Siberia bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Siberia B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Siberia
Siberia hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Siberia hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Siberia
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Siberia hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Siberia lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Siberia
Siberia timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Siberia often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Siberia on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Siberia
A Siberia motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Siberia for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Siberia motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

Why HotelsCombined

HotelsCombined is the leading hotel metasearch engine founded in 2005, with headquarters in Sydney, Australia. It is widely recognized as the world's best hotel price comparison site and has won many of the most prestigious tourism industry awards. The site operates in over 40 languages, handles 120 different currencies and aggregates more than 2 million deals from hundreds of travel sites and hotel chains. The number of users counts more than 300,000 people a year with over $1,000,000,000 in estimated total cost of hotel reservations.

The main purpose of HotelsCombined hotel price comparison service is to help the travelers in finding a perfect accommodation option in Siberia at the best price, eliminating the need to manually analyze hundreds of hotel booking sites and thousands of price offers. Through the partnership with the most popular hotel booking websites, online travel agencies and hotel chains, HotelsCombined allows its users to search for and compare the current rates on Siberia hotels in a single search. It also provides an aggregated summary of hotel reviews and ratings from external sites.

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Travelling and vacation in Siberia

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Siberia
Russian: Сибирь (Sibir)
Geographical region
Siberia-FederalSubjects.svg
Siberian Federal District

Geographic Russian Siberia

North Asia
Country Russia, Kazakhstan
Region North Asia
Borders on West: Ural Mountains
North: Arctic Ocean
East: Pacific Ocean
South: Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China
Parts West Siberian Plain
Central Siberian Plateau
others...
Highest point Klyuchevskaya Sopka
- elevation 4,649 m (15,253 ft)
Area 13,100,000 km (5,057,938 sq mi)
Population 36,000,000 (2017)
Density 2.7/km (7/sq mi)

Siberia (/sˈbɪəriə/; Russian: Сибирь, tr. Sibir'; IPA: [sʲɪˈbʲirʲ]) is an extensive geographical region, and by the broadest definition is also known as North Asia. Siberia has historically been a part of Russia since the 17th century.

The territory of Siberia extends eastwards from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic drainage basins. The Yenisei River conditionally divides Siberia into two parts, Western and Eastern. Siberia stretches southwards from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and to the national borders of Mongolia and China. With an area of 13.1 million square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi), Siberia accounts for 77% of Russia's land area, but it is home to just 40 million people-27% of the country's population. This is equivalent to an average population density of about 3 inhabitants per square kilometre (7.8/sq mi) (approximately equal to that of Australia), making Siberia one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth. If it were a country by itself, it would still be the largest country in area, but in population it would be the world's 35th-largest and Asia's 14th-largest.

Siberia: Etymology

The origin of the name is unknown. Some sources say that "Siberia" originates from the Siberian Tatar word for "sleeping land" (Sib Ir). Another account sees the name as the ancient tribal ethnonym of the Sirtya (ru) (also "Syopyr" (sʲɵpᵻr)), a folk, which spoke a language that later evolved into the Ugric languages. This ethnic group was later assimilated to the Siberian Tatar people.

The modern usage of the name was recorded in the Russian language after the Empire's conquest of the Siberian Khanate. A further variant claims that the region was named after the Xibe people. The Polish historian Chycliczkowski has proposed that the name derives from the proto-Slavic word for "north" (север, sever), but Anatole Baikaloff has dismissed this explanation. He said that the neighbouring Chinese, Arabs and Mongolians (who have similar names for the region) would not have known Russian. He suggests that the name is a combination of two words, "su" (water) and "bir" (wild land).

Siberia: Prehistory

The region is of paleontological significance, as it contains bodies of prehistoric animals from the Pleistocene Epoch, preserved in ice or permafrost. Specimens of Goldfuss cave lion cubs, Yuka (mammoth) and another woolly mammoth from Oymyakon, a woolly rhinoceros from the Kolyma River, and bison and horses from Yukagir, were found here.

The Siberian Traps were formed by one of the largest-known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history. They continued for a million years and are considered a possible cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago, which is estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time.

At least three species of human lived in Southern Siberia around 40,000 years ago: H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, and the Denisovans. The last was determined in 2010, by DNA evidence, to be a new species.

Siberia: History

Chukchi, one of many indigenous peoples of Siberia.

Siberia was inhabited by different groups of nomads such as the Enets, the Nenets, the Huns, the Scythians and the Uyghurs. The Khan of Sibir in the vicinity of modern Tobolsk was known as a prominent figure who endorsed Kubrat as Khagan of Old Great Bulgaria in 630. The Mongols conquered a large part of this area early in the 13th century.

With the breakup of the Golden Horde, the autonomous Khanate of Sibir was established in the late 15th century. Turkic-speaking Yakut migrated north from the Lake Baikal region under pressure from the Mongol tribes during the 13th to 15th century. Siberia remained a sparsely populated area. Historian John F. Richards wrote: "... it is doubtful that the total early modern Siberian population exceeded 300,000 persons."

The growing power of Russia in the West began to undermine the Siberian Khanate in the 16th century. First, groups of traders and Cossacks began to enter the area. The Russian Army was directed to establish forts farther and farther east to protect new settlers from European Russia. Towns such as Mangazeya, Tara, Yeniseysk and Tobolsk were developed, the last being declared the capital of Siberia. At this time, Sibir was the name of a fortress at Qashlik, near Tobolsk. Gerardus Mercator, in a map published in 1595, marks Sibier both as the name of a settlement and of the surrounding territory along a left tributary of the Ob. Other sources contend that the Xibe, an indigenous Tungusic people, offered fierce resistance to Russian expansion beyond the Urals. Some suggest that the term "Siberia" is a Russification of their ethnonym.

By the mid-17th century, Russia had established areas of control that extended to the Pacific. Some 230,000 Russians had settled in Siberia by 1709. Siberia was a destination for sending exiles.

The first great modern change in Siberia was the Trans-Siberian Railway, constructed during 1891–1916. It linked Siberia more closely to the rapidly industrialising Russia of Nicholas II. Around seven million people moved to Siberia from European Russia between 1801 and 1914. From 1859 to 1917, more than half a million people migrated to the Russian Far East. Siberia has extensive natural resources. During the 20th century, large-scale exploitation of these was developed, and industrial towns cropped up throughout the region.

Siberian Cossack family in Novosibirsk

At 7:15 a.m. on 30 June 1908, millions of trees were felled near the Podkamennaya Tunguska (Stony Tunguska) River in central Siberia in the Tunguska Event. Most scientists believe this resulted from the air burst of a meteor or a comet. Even though no crater has ever been found, the landscape in the (uninhabited) area still bears the scars of this event.

In the early decades of the Soviet Union (especially the 1930s and 1940s), the government established the GULAG state agency to administer a system of penal labour camps, replacing the previous katorga system. According to semi-official Soviet estimates, which were not made public until after the fall of the Soviet government, from 1929 to 1953 more than 14 million people passed through these camps and prisons, many of which were in Siberia. Another 7 to 8 million people were internally deported to remote areas of the Soviet Union (including entire nationalities or ethnicities in several cases).

Half a million (516,841) prisoners died in camps from 1941 to 1943 due to food shortages caused by World War II. At other periods, mortality was comparatively lower. The size, scope, and scale of the GULAG slave labour camps remains a subject of much research and debate. Many Gulag camps were positioned in extremely remote areas of northeastern Siberia. The best known clusters are Sevvostlag (The North-East Camps) along the Kolyma River and Norillag near Norilsk, where 69,000 prisoners were kept in 1952. Major industrial cities of Northern Siberia, such as Norilsk and Magadan, developed from camps built by prisoners and run by ex-prisoners.

Siberia: Geography

Physical map of Northern Asia.
Altai, Lake Kutsherla in the Altai Mountains
The peninsula of Svyatoy Nos, Lake Baikal
Vasyugan River in the southern West Siberian Plain
Siberian taiga
Koryaksky volcano towering over Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Kamchatka Peninsula

With an area of 13.1 million square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi), Siberia makes up roughly 77% of Russia's total territory and almost 10% of Earth's land surface (148,940,000 km, 57,510,000 sq mi). While Siberia falls entirely within Asia, many authorities such as the UN geoscheme will not subdivide countries and will place all of Russia as part of Europe and/or Eastern Europe. Major geographical zones include the West Siberian Plain and the Central Siberian Plateau.

Eastern and central Sakha comprises numerous north-south mountain ranges of various ages. These mountains extend up to almost 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), but above a few hundred metres they are almost completely devoid of vegetation. The Verkhoyansk Range was extensively glaciated in the Pleistocene, but the climate was too dry for glaciation to extend to low elevations. At these low elevations are numerous valleys, many of them deep and covered with larch forest, except in the extreme north where the tundra dominates. Soils are mainly turbels (a type of gelisol). The active layer tends to be less than one metre deep, except near rivers.

The highest point in Siberia is the active volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka, on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Its peak is at 4,750 metres (15,580 ft).

Siberia: Mountain ranges

  • Altai Mountains
  • Anadyr Range
  • Baikal Mountains
  • Chamar-Daban
  • Chersky Range
  • Dzhugdzhur Mountains
  • Gydan Mountains
  • Koryak Mountains
  • Sayan Mountains
  • Tannu-Ola Mountains
  • Ural Mountains
  • Verkhoyansk Mountains
  • Yablonoi Mountains

Siberia: Lakes and rivers

  • Anabar River
  • Angara River
  • Indigirka River
  • Irtysh River
  • Kolyma River
  • Lake Baikal
  • Lena River
  • Lower Tunguska River
  • Novosibirsk Reservoir
  • Ob River
  • Popigay River
  • Stony Tunguska River
  • Upper Angara River
  • Uvs Nuur
  • Yana River
  • Yenisei River

Siberia: Grasslands

  • Ukok Plateau - part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Siberia: Geology

The West Siberian Plain consists mostly of Cenozoic alluvial deposits and is somewhat flat. Many deposits on this plain result from ice dams which produced a large glacial lake. This mid- to late-Pleistocene lake blocked the northward flow of the Ob and Yenisei rivers, resulting in a redirection southwest into the Caspian and Aral seas via the Turgai Valley. The area is very swampy, and soils are mostly peaty histosols and, in the treeless northern part, histels. In the south of the plain, where permafrost is largely absent, rich grasslands that are an extension of the Kazakh Steppe formed the original vegetation, most of which is not visible anymore.

The Central Siberian Plateau is an ancient craton (sometimes named Angaraland) that formed an independent continent before the Permian (see the Siberian continent). It is exceptionally rich in minerals, containing large deposits of gold, diamonds, and ores of manganese, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt and molybdenum. Much of the area includes the Siberian Traps-a large igneous province. This massive eruptive period was approximately coincident with the Permian–Triassic extinction event. The volcanic event is said to be the largest known volcanic eruption in Earth's history. Only the extreme northwest was glaciated during the Quaternary, but almost all is under exceptionally deep permafrost, and the only tree that can thrive, despite the warm summers, is the deciduous Siberian Larch (Larix sibirica) with its very shallow roots. Outside the extreme northwest, the taiga is dominant, covering a significant fraction of the entirety of Siberia. Soils here are mainly turbels, giving way to spodosols where the active layer becomes thicker and the ice content lower.

Belukha Mountain
Autumn forest in the eastern Sayan Mountains, Buryatia

The Lena-Tunguska petroleum province includes the Central Siberian platform (some authors refer to it as the Eastern Siberian platform), bounded on the northeast and east by the Late Carboniferous through Jurassic Verkhoyansk foldbelt, on the northwest by the Paleozoic Taymr foldbelt, and on the southeast, south and southwest by the Middle Silurian to Middle Devonian Baykalian foldbelt. A regional geologic reconnaissance study begun in 1932, followed by surface and subsurface mapping, revealed the Markova-Angara Arch (anticline). This led to the discovery of the Markovo Oil Field in 1962 with the Markovo 1 well, which produced from the Early Cambrian Osa Horizon bar-sandstone at a depth of 2,156 metres (7,073 ft). The Sredne-Botuobin Gas Field was discovered in 1970, producing from the Osa and the Proterozoic Parfenovo Horizon. The Yaraktin Oil Field was discovered in 1971, producing from the Vendian Yaraktin Horizon at depths of up to 1,750 metres (5,740 ft), which lies below Permian to Lower Jurassic basalt traps.

Siberia: Climate

Russia vegetation.png

polar desert tundra alpine tundra taiga montane forest
temperate broadleaf forest temperate steppe dry steppe

Vegetation in Siberia is mostly taiga, with a tundra belt on the northern fringe, and a temperate forest zone in the south.

The climate of Siberia varies dramatically, but all of it basically has short summers and long and extremely cold winters. On the north coast, north of the Arctic Circle, there is a very short (about one-month-long) summer.

Taiga near Lake Baikal

Almost all the population lives in the south, along the Trans-Siberian Railway. The climate in this southernmost part is Humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) with cold winters but fairly warm summers lasting at least four months. The annual average is about 0.5 °C (32.9 °F). January averages about −20 °C (−4 °F) and July about +19 °C (66 °F) while daytime temperatures in summer typically are above 20 °C (68 °F). With a reliable growing season, an abundance of sunshine and exceedingly fertile chernozem soils, southern Siberia is good enough for profitable agriculture, as was proven in the early 20th century.

By far the most commonly occurring climate in Siberia is continental subarctic (Koppen Dfc or Dwc), with the annual average temperature about −5 °C (23 °F) and an average for January of −25 °C (−13 °F) and an average for July of +17 °C (63 °F), although this varies considerably, with a July average about 10 °C (50 °F) in the taiga–tundra ecotone. The Business oriented website and blog Business Insider lists Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon, in Siberia's Sakha Republic, as being in competition for the title of the Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold. Oymyakon is a village which recorded a temperature of −67.7 °C (−89.9 °F) on 6 February 1933. Verkhoyansk, a town further north and further inland, recorded a temperature of −69.8 °C (−93.6 °F) for 3 consecutive nights: 5, 6 and 7 February 1933. Each town is alternately considered the Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold, meaning the coldest inhabited point in the Northern hemisphere. Each town also frequently reaches 86 °F (30 °C) in the summer, giving them, and much of the rest of Russian Siberia, the world's greatest temperature variation between summer's highs and winter's lows, often being well over 170–180+°F (94–100+°C) between the seasons.

Southwesterly winds bring warm air from Central Asia and the Middle East. The climate in West Siberia (Omsk, Novosibirsk) is several degrees warmer than in the East (Irkutsk, Chita) where in the north an extreme winter subarctic climate (Köppen Dfd or Dwd) prevails. But summer temperatures in other regions can reach +38 °C (100 °F). In general, Sakha is the coldest Siberian region, and the basin of the Yana River has the lowest temperatures of all, with permafrost reaching 1,493 metres (4,898 ft). Nevertheless, as far as Imperial Russian plans of settlement were concerned, cold was never viewed as an impediment. In the winter, southern Siberia sits near the center of the semi-permanent Siberian High, so winds are usually light in the winter.

Precipitation in Siberia is generally low, exceeding 500 millimetres (20 in) only in Kamchatka where moist winds flow from the Sea of Okhotsk onto high mountains – producing the region's only major glaciers, though volcanic eruptions and low summer temperatures allow limited forests to grow. Precipitation is high also in most of Primorye in the extreme south where monsoonal influences can produce quite heavy summer rainfall.

Climate data for Novosibirsk, Siberia's largest city
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −12.2
(10)
−10.3
(13.5)
−2.6
(27.3)
8.1
(46.6)
17.5
(63.5)
24.0
(75.2)
25.7
(78.3)
22.2
(72)
16.6
(61.9)
6.8
(44.2)
−2.9
(26.8)
−8.9
(16)
7.0
(44.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) −16.2
(2.8)
−14.7
(5.5)
−7.2
(19)
3.2
(37.8)
11.6
(52.9)
18.2
(64.8)
20.2
(68.4)
17.0
(62.6)
11.5
(52.7)
3.4
(38.1)
−6.0
(21.2)
−12.7
(9.1)
2.4
(36.3)
Average low °C (°F) −20.1
(−4.2)
−19.1
(−2.4)
−11.8
(10.8)
−1.7
(28.9)
5.6
(42.1)
12.3
(54.1)
14.7
(58.5)
11.7
(53.1)
6.4
(43.5)
0.0
(32)
−9.1
(15.6)
−16.4
(2.5)
−2.3
(27.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 19
(0.75)
14
(0.55)
15
(0.59)
24
(0.94)
36
(1.42)
58
(2.28)
72
(2.83)
66
(2.6)
44
(1.73)
38
(1.5)
32
(1.26)
24
(0.94)
442
(17.4)
Source:

Researchers, including Sergei Kirpotin at Tomsk State University and Judith Marquand at Oxford University, warn that Western Siberia has begun to thaw as a result of global warming. The frozen peat bogs in this region may hold billions of tons of methane gas, which may be released into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas 22 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. In 2008, a research expedition for the American Geophysical Union detected levels of methane up to 100 times above normal in the atmosphere above the Siberian Arctic, likely the result of methane clathrates being released through holes in a frozen 'lid' of seabed permafrost, around the outfall of the Lena River and the area between the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea.

Siberia: Fauna

A Siberian tigress and cub.

Siberia: Order Artiodactyla

  • Manchurian wapiti
  • Siberian musk deer

Siberia: Order Carnivora

Siberia: Family Felidae

  • Amur leopard
  • Amur tiger

Siberia: Family Ursidae

  • Asian black bear
  • Brown bear
  • Polar bear

Siberia: Flora

  • Picea obovata
  • Pinus pumila

Siberia: Politics

Siberian flag used by Siberian separatists

Siberia: Borders and administrative division

Map of the most populated area of Siberia with clickable city names (SVG)
Comparison of the nine biggest Siberian cities' growth in the 20th century

The term "Siberia" has a long history. Its meaning has gradually changed during ages. Historically, Siberia was defined as the whole part of Russia to the east of Ural Mountains, including the Russian Far East. According to this definition, Siberia extended eastward from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific coast, and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the border of Russian Central Asia and the national borders of both Mongolia and China.

Soviet-era sources (Great Soviet Encyclopedia and others) and modern Russian ones usually define Siberia as a region extending eastward from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between Pacific and Arctic drainage basins, and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and the national borders of both Mongolia and China. By this definition, Siberia includes the federal subjects of the Siberian Federal District, and some of the Ural Federal District, as well as Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, which is a part of the Far Eastern Federal District. Geographically, this definition includes subdivisions of several other subjects of Urals and Far Eastern federal districts, but they are not included administratively. This definition excludes Sverdlovsk Oblast and Chelyabinsk Oblast, both of which are included in some wider definitions of Siberia.

Other sources may use either a somewhat wider definition that states the Pacific coast, not the watershed, is the eastern boundary (thus including the whole Russian Far East) or a somewhat narrower one that limits Siberia to the Siberian Federal District (thus excluding all subjects of other districts). In Russian, the word for Siberia is used as a substitute for the name of the federal district by those who live in the district itself and less commonly used to denote the federal district by people residing outside of it.

Ulan-Ude
Federal subjects of Siberia (GSE)
Subject Administrative center
Ural Federal District
Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug Khanty-Mansiysk
Kurgan Oblast Kurgan
Tyumen Oblast Tyumen
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug Salekhard
Siberian Federal District
Altai Krai Barnaul
Altai Republic Gorno-Altaysk
Buryat Republic Ulan-Ude
Irkutsk Oblast Irkutsk
Republic of Khakassia Abakan
Kemerovo Oblast Kemerovo
Krasnoyarsk Krai Krasnoyarsk
Novosibirsk Oblast Novosibirsk
Omsk Oblast Omsk
Tomsk Oblast Tomsk
Tuva Republic Kyzyl
Zabaykalsky Krai Chita
Far Eastern Federal District
Sakha (Yakutia) Republic Yakutsk
Amur waterfront in Khabarovsk
Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai
Federal subjects of Siberia (in wide sense)
Subject Administrative center
Far Eastern Federal District
Amur Oblast Blagoveshchensk
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug Anadyr
Jewish Autonomous Oblast Birobidzhan
Kamchatka Krai Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Khabarovsk Krai Khabarovsk
Magadan Oblast Magadan
Primorsky Krai Vladivostok
Sakhalin Oblast Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Ural Federal District
Chelyabinsk Oblast Chelyabinsk
Sverdlovsk Oblast Yekaterinburg

Siberia: Major cities

The most populous city of Siberia, as well as the third most populous city of Russia, is the city of Novosibirsk. Other major cities include:

  • Barnaul
  • Irkutsk
  • Kemerovo
  • Krasnoyarsk
  • Novokuznetsk
  • Omsk
  • Tomsk
  • Tyumen

Wider definitions of Siberia also include:

  • Chelyabinsk
  • Khabarovsk
  • Vladivostok
  • Yekaterinburg - Some sources such as Encyclopædia Britannica include this city as it lies in the Ural Mountains. Inhabitants have distanced themselves though saying that there is a difference between Siberian and Urals culture.

Siberia: Economy

Russia is a key oil and gas supplier to much of Europe.

Siberia is extraordinarily rich in minerals, containing ores of almost all economically valuable metals. It has some of the world's largest deposits of nickel, gold, lead, coal, molybdenum, gypsum, diamonds, diopside, silver and zinc, as well as extensive unexploited resources of oil and natural gas. Around 70% of Russia's developed oil fields are in the Khanty-Mansiysk region. Russia contains about 40% of the world's known resources of nickel at the Norilsk deposit in Siberia. Norilsk Nickel is the world's biggest nickel and palladium producer.

Siberian agriculture is severely restricted by the short growing season of most of the region. However, in the southwest where soils are exceedingly fertile black earths and the climate is a little more moderate, there is extensive cropping of wheat, barley, rye and potatoes, along with the grazing of large numbers of sheep and cattle. Elsewhere food production, owing to the poor fertility of the podzolic soils and the extremely short growing seasons, is restricted to the herding of reindeer in the tundra-which has been practiced by natives for over 10,000 years. Siberia has the world's largest forests. Timber remains an important source of revenue, even though many forests in the east have been logged much more rapidly than they are able to recover. The Sea of Okhotsk is one of the two or three richest fisheries in the world owing to its cold currents and very large tidal ranges, and thus Siberia produces over 10% of the world's annual fish catch, although fishing has declined somewhat since the collapse of the USSR.

Siberia: Sport

Bandy at Sibselmash Stadium in Novosibirsk, Siberia's biggest city and the third biggest one in Russia

Professional football teams include FC Tom Tomsk, FC Sibir Novosibirsk and FK Yenisey Krasnoyarsk.

The Yenisey Krasnoyarsk basketball team has played in the VTB United League since 2011–12.

Russia's third most popular sport, bandy, is important in Siberia. In the 2015–16 Russian Bandy Super League season Yenisey from Krasnoyarsk became champions for the third year in a row by beating Baykal-Energiya from Irkutsk in the final. Two or three more teams (depending on the definition of Siberia) play in the Super League, the bronze medalists SKA-Neftyanik from Khabarovsk, the quarter-finalists Kuzbass from Kemerovo and the 11th-placed Sibselmash from Novosibirsk. In 2007 Kemerovo got Russia's first indoor arena specifically built for bandy. Now Khabarovsk has the world's biggest indoor arena specifically built for bandy, Arena Yerofey.

The 2019 Winter Universiade will be hosted by Krasnoyarsk.

Siberia: Demographics

Tomsk, one of the oldest Siberian cities, was founded in 1604.

According to the Russian Census of 2010, the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts, located entirely east of the Ural Mountains, together have a population of about 25.6 million. Tyumen and Kurgan Oblasts, which are geographically in Siberia but administratively part of the Urals Federal District, together have a population of about 4.3 million. Thus, the whole region of Asian Russia (or Siberia in the broadest usage of the term) is home to approximately 30 million people. It has a population density of about three people per square kilometre.

All Siberians are Russian citizens, and of these Russian citizens of Siberia, most are Slavic-origin Russians. The remaining Russian citizens of Siberia consists of other groups of non-indigenous ethnic origins and those of indigenous Siberian origin.

Among the largest non-Slavic group of Russian citizens of Siberia are the approximately 400,000 ethnic Volga Germans. The original indigenous groups of Siberia, including Mongol and Turkic groups such as Buryats, Tuvinians, Yakuts, and Siberian Tatars still mostly reside in Siberia, though they are minorities outnumbered by all other non-indigenous Siberians. Indeed, Slavic-origin Russians by themselves outnumber all of the indigenous peoples combined, both in Siberia as a whole and its cities, except in the Republic of Tuva.

Slavic-origin Russians make up the majority in the Buryat, Sakha, and Altai Republics, outnumbering the indigenous Buryats, Sakha, and Altai. The Buryat make up only 25% of their own republic, and the Sakha and Altai each are only one-third, and the Chukchi, Evenk, Khanti, Mansi, and Nenets are outnumbered by non-indigenous peoples by 90% of the population.

According to the 2002 census there are 500,000 Tatars in Siberia, but of these, 300,000 are Volga Tatars who also settled in Siberia during periods of colonization and are thus also non-indigenous Siberians, in contrast to the 200,000 Siberian Tatars which are indigenous to Siberia.

Of the indigenous Siberians, the Buryats, numbering approximately 500,000, are the most numerous group in Siberia, and they are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic. According to the 2002 census there were 443,852 indigenous Yakuts. Other ethnic groups indigenous to Siberia include Kets, Evenks, Chukchis, Koryaks, Yupiks, and Yukaghirs.

About seventy percent of Siberia's people live in cities, mainly in apartments. Many people also live in rural areas, in simple, spacious, log houses. Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia, with a population of about 1.5 million. Tobolsk, Tomsk, Tyumen, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, and Omsk are the older, historical centers.

Siberia: Religion

Transfiguration Cathedral, Khabarovsk

There are a variety of beliefs throughout Siberia, including Orthodox Christianity, other denominations of Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism and Islam. An estimated 70,000 Jews live in Siberia, some in the Jewish Autonomous Region. The predominant religious group is the Russian Orthodox Church.

Tradition regards Siberia the archetypal home of shamanism, and polytheism is popular. These native sacred practices are considered by the tribes to be very ancient. There are records of Siberian tribal healing practices dating back to the 13th century. The vast territory of Siberia has many different local traditions of gods. These include: Ak Ana, Anapel, Bugady Musun, Kara Khan, Khaltesh-Anki, Kini'je, Ku'urkil, Nga, Nu'tenut, Numi-Torem, Numi-Turum, Pon, Pugu, Todote, Toko'yoto, Tomam, Xaya Iccita, Zonget. Places with sacred areas include Olkhon, an island in Lake Baikal.

Siberia: Transport

Many cities in northern Siberia, such as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, cannot be reached by road, as there are virtually none connecting from other major cities in Russia or Asia. The best way to tour Siberia is through the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Trans-Siberian Railway operates from Moscow in the west to Vladivostok in the east. Cities that are located far from the railway are best reached by air or by the separate Baikal-Amur-Railway (BAM).

Siberia: Culture

Siberia: Cuisine

Stroganina is a raw fish dish of the indigenous people of northern Arctic Siberia made from raw, thin, long-sliced frozen fish. It is a popular dish with native Siberians.

Siberia: Notable residents

  • Dmitry Kroyter (born 1993), Israeli Olympic high jumper
  • Lev Psakhis (born 1958), Israeli chess grandmaster
  • Tatyana Usova (born 1987), model

Siberia: See also

  • Siberian regionalism

Siberia: References

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Siberia: Bibliography

  • Batalden, Stephen K. (1997). The Newly Independent States of Eurasia: Handbook of Former Soviet Republics. Contributor Sandra L. Batalden (revised ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0897749405. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Bisher, Jamie (2006). White Terror: Cossack Warlords of the Trans-Siberian. Routledge. ISBN 1135765952. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Bisher, Jamie (2006). White Terror: Cossack Warlords of the Trans-Siberian. Routledge. ISBN 1135765960. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Black, Jeremy (2008). War and the World: Military Power and the Fate of Continents, 1450–2000. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300147694. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Nicholas B. Breyfogle, Abby Schrader and Willard Sunderland (eds), Peopling the Russian Periphery: Borderland Colonization in Eurasian history (London, Routledge, 2007).
  • Etkind, Alexander (2013). Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0745673546. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Forsyth, James (1994). A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581–1990 (illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521477719. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • James Forsyth, A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony, 1581–1990 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994).
  • Jack, Zachary Michael, ed. (2008). Inside the Ropes: Sportswriters Get Their Game On. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0803219075. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Steven G. Marks, Road to Power: The Trans-Siberian Railroad and the Colonization of Asian Russia, 1850–1917 (London, I.B. Tauris, 1991).
  • Mote, Victor L. (1998). Siberia: Worlds Apart. Westview series on the post-Soviet republics (illustrated ed.). Westview Press. ISBN 0813312981. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Igor V. Naumov, The History of Siberia. Edited by David Collins (London, Routledge, 2009) (Routledge Studies in the History of Russia and Eastern Europe).
  • Stephan, John J. (1996). The Russian Far East: A History (illustrated, reprint ed.). Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804727015. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Pesterev, V. (2015). Siberian frontier: the territory of fear. Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London.
  • Wood, Alan (2011). Russia's Frozen Frontier: A History of Siberia and the Russian Far East 1581 – 1991 (illustrated ed.). A&C Black. ISBN 034097124X. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Alan Wood (ed.), The History of Siberia: From Russian Conquest to Revolution (London, Routledge, 1991).
  • Condé Nast's Traveler, Volume 36. Condé Nast Publications. 2001. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Yearbook. Contributor International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs. 1992. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  • Novosibirsk: the center of Siberia
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