Volgograd (Russia)

Volgograd Travel Guide and Trip Resources

Mark Levisay

Russia's most Soviet city

Volgograd is the former city of Stalingrad
Site of one of the bloodiest battles in war history: world war 2's Battle of Stalingrad
History is thick here: massive monuments and museums

I wondered how the residents of Volgograd feel about the fact that most people outside of Russia are only familiar with its old name of Stalingrad. That is the name it carried between 1925 and 1961, including the second world war when one of the fiercest and bloodiest battles in war history was fought in and around the city. During that battle 2 million people lost their lives, which compares rather shockingly to the city's current population of 1 million.

But let's go back to the present for a moment. This is the twelfth largest city in Russia, situated along the Volga River (hence the name) in the country's southwest. Today the city is an industrial heavyweight, with a focus on shipbuilding, oil refining and commodities. But although that doesn't make it sound too appealing to tourists like us, actually Volgograd is anything but a bland industrial town. After the war the city had to be rebuilt, which was a perfect excuse for Soviet engineers to show off their city planning skills. Chuck in a few masterpieces in Stalinist architectural style like the Volgograd Railway Station, broad avenues and some massive Soviet monuments, and you have yourself an interesting looking city.

One of the more fascinating places to visit is the Memorial Complex (related to the earlier mentioned battle) where besides a guarded flame you will find the 87 meters high Motherland Calls Statue. It is hard to explain how massive this statue is from up close, but it took our breath away. It stands on top of a hill, and as you slowly ascend it you are presented with depictions of the battle through numerous other statues. Very moving.

In the same spirit the Hall of Military Glory and Eternal Flame within it are unmissable, as are the State Panoramic Museum and Pavlov's House (from which a Soviet sergeant fought against the Germans - a symbol of resistance). There are non-war related sights here too (like the All Saints Church), but really though, this is the place to go for history buffs. [Review by travelindicator]

Key info

  • Volgograd is a city in Russia. It has a population of 1,021,215, is situated at an altitude of 118ft and the best airport to fly into is VOG (Volgograd, Volgograd)
  • The main spoken language here is Russian, and the average English skill is low
  • Note: Volgograd is a good point of entry for trips to Russia as it is well internationally connected (by air)
  • The currency used in Russia is the Russian ruble (RUB)

Volgograd Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

25 27 41 59 72 81 88 86 73 55 41 28

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

1.1 0.9 0.8 0.9 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.1 1 1 1 1.3

More Volgograd travel resources

Lonely Planet calls it a city with grandeur. You may want to check out the Wikitravel or the much better source of Traveling for Fun. The Moscow Times wrote a piece about the city as well.

Volgograd Attractions (Foursquare)

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