One of Russia’s most easterly cities, Khabarovsk provides Trans-Siberian Railway travellers with a welcome respite following the seemingly never-ending expanse of Siberia. Situated at the junction of the Amur River and its tributary, the Ussuri, Khabarovsk feels more like a relaxed coastal town than a bustling Siberian city, particularly in the summer when the sandy river banks are virtually transformed into a beach resort.
There’s plenty to see and do here to fill an overnight stopover such as the cluster of Far Eastern Museums which house hundreds of thousands of artefacts, icons, military equipment and wildlife from Russia, China and Japan inside attractive pre-Revolution buildings, and the leafy Muravyova-Amursgoko main street which bustles with life amongst some wonderful 19th-century architecture.
Khabarovsk Arboretum. With 27 acres of over 800 different varieties of trees, bushes and flowers this is a tremendous place for a peaceful stroll.
If you happen to be passing by during the chilly month of January then make sure to check out Khabarovsk’s Ice Fantasy Festival. This excellent ice sculpting competition attracts some of the best ice sculptors in the world.