Welcome to Yoshkar-Ola

About the city of Yoshkar-Ola

Yoshkar-Ola is the capital of Mari El Republic, Russia. It is situated on the banks of the river Malaya Kokshaga, the Volga affluent. The name of the city Yoshkar-Ola is translated as "red". Local people are sure that it means "beautiful". You will have a chance to see if its true!

One visit to Yoshkar-Ola is enough to believe in its beauty: green boulevards and streets, elegant bridges, numerous theatres and museums. Yoshkar-Ola is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia which is worth visiting.

Geological excavations prove that the lands of modern Yoshkar-Ola were populated by people in the Mesolithic period already. And the Cheremises, Ancient Mari tribes, came here 11 centuries B.C. In the 16th century a small military center was based there. In due course artisans and peasants came to the banks of the Malaya Kokshaga and this fortification developed into a city joining the neighboring villages.

How to get there

Yoshkar-Ola is situated just a bit over 800 km from Moscow, so its quite easy to get there. You can go by plane, train, bus or by car. It will take only 1 hour 20 minutes by plane, nearly 15 hours by train and 12 hours by bus. The buses to Yoshkar-Ola depart from Kazanskiy railway station and the bus terminal on metro station Partizanskaya. The flights to Yoshkar-Ola are operated by Utair Airline from Vnukovo airport.


The climate in Yoshkar-Ola is moderately continental. Winter is long and cold here and summer is warm. Thats why if you dont like great heat, come to Yoshkar-Ola in summer, you will love it. The average temperature in summer is 20 degrees above zero, Celsius. But sometimes the air temperature can reach 37 degrees Celsius. The coldest month is January when the average air temperature is 17 degrees below zero.

Entertainment, excursions and sights in Yoshkar-Ola

There are many tourist attractions in Yoshkar-Ola both old and modern ones. For example, the constructing of Tsarevokokshyskiy Kremlin was completed in 2009. You can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view from Patriarshaya Palace on Bruges embankment, built in the Danish style. Different ministerial and administrative offices are situated in its buildings. A walk along the embankment is a good choice for a romantic date or a photo shoot, especially in the evenings, when beautiful lights reflected in the river water are switched on.

Walking along the embankment you can feel you belong to the modern history of the city. Here you will see the Sports Island with its Ice and Water Palaces. You can walk along the Theatre Bridge to the Marriage Registration Hall, admire the embankment buildings in the north gothic style, enjoy the view of the medieval castle of the Puppet Theatre. A little further, on the left bank of the river you can find the Sunday Park, which is almost completed. It is perfect for families with children.

Monuments in Yoshkar-Ola

There are many interesting monuments in Yoshkar-Ola such as the monument to Peter and Fevronia: their sculptures are depicted standing in a boat surrounded by a beautiful cascade fountain. The monument is a pilgrimage for lovers. Another monument popular among honeymooners is the monument to the princess of Monaco Grace Kelly and her husband, the prince of Monaco Rainier III, placed in front of the civil registry office. The statue of Lorenzo di Piero de Medici il Magnifico decorates Italian garden on the Malaya Kokshaga river embankment. The statuary group named The tree of life embodying 3 Mari men of 3 different generations symbolizes the continuity of generations and cultures.

The monument Yoshkin Cat was gifted to the city by Moscow businessmen. The city guests cant resist but taking a picture with this funny cat, sitting on the bench.

There are other interesting modern sculptures such as the Blue Elephant, the Hammer, the Huge chair and the monument to a builder. The worlds only monument to tsar Fedor Ioanovich is located on the embankment. The monument to His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexiy II is placed on Patriarshaya square.

Theatres, museums and galleries of Yoshkar-Ola

Yoshkar-Ola is a very cultural, intellectual and interesting city, where you can always find what to do and what to see. For example, if you spend your holiday here with children, you should definitely visit the Republic Puppet Theatre that resembles a medieval castle. Also, you can see interesting expositions in the National Art Gallery, performed in the Italian style.

The curious chiming clock is set on the building of the gallery. Every hour you can watch the following iconographic scene here: to the music the donkey carrying an icon leaves the wall. In the 13th century the icon was in Serbia. During Turks invasion into Serbia, the Serbians wanted to save the icon; they put it on the donkey and sent it. The donkey brought the icon to the abbey gate.

One of the most interesting sightseeing in Yoshkar-Ola is the clock Twelve apostles on Patriarshaya square. Every 3 hours people who are on the square can watch an extraordinary performance. The 12 Christs disciples are moving on the balcony to the beautiful music. The sculptural group represents one of the plots of the New Testament. Jesus Christ comes first, he is followed by his apostles Peter, Andrew the First-called, John the Evangelist, James the Greater, Matthew, Doubting Thomas, Philipp, Bartholomew, James the Less, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas. The idea of 12 Apostles project was generated by the Head of the Republic and now it is one of the most popular places in the city.

You should necessarily visit the theatres of Yoshkar-Ola the Academic Russian Drama Theatre named after Konstantinov, the Mari State Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Mari Theatre for the Young and others. The city is rich by museums: the Mari El Republic Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of History of Yoshkar-Ola, collecting more than 17 thousand exhibits, the Museum of Folk Applied Art. Cultural institutes of Yoshkar-Ola are justly considered to be among of the best in Russia.

Over the past decade the image of Yoshkar-Ola has changed a lot: new buildings are built, parks are laid out, monuments are set, new cultural centers are opened. This beautiful and rapidly increasing city is worth of seeing. Then a picture paints a thousand words, you know. The more so as we, residents of Yoshkar-Ola, welcome guests!