An engaging city, this one; a real junction for eastern and western Russia. We hit a cold snap in mid-Feburary and it was well below zero, but we had a great combination of snow and bright sun which really suited Ekat (as locals call it).
Main sites include the Church of the Blood, controversial and expensive, very recently built on the site where the Romanov family are thought to have died in July 1918. Walk through the exhibition space into the main interior of the church, which is a very tall open, bright space. It's an eyeful of icons and colour, and depending on the time of day you may hear the chanting of Russian Orthodox priests echoing around the tower.
Walking tours are great as the city is quite compact and full of interesting sites. Wear layers if it's winter! One pair of gloves might not be enough.
Ekaterinburg is a business and travel hub and has a growing number of very good Russian and Japanese restaurants as well as English and Scottish pubs and a microbrewery (with eating place) called Tinkoff.
BA flies direct to Ekaterinburg from London. The airport is 15km from the city centre and has domestic and international terminals, linking Ekat to most major cities across Russia.
Ekaterinburg used to be called Sverdlovsk and sometimes you still see the old name written on signs.
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