Situated in the very heart of Western Siberia, Tomsk Oblast is home to real Siberian nature; the endless taiga forests, rivers, lakes and swamps allow you to imagine yourself as one of the first settlers who came to this land more than 400 years ago. The best souvenir from Tomsk Oblast is the pine nut, after all, the region is called the pine capital. Tomsk is officially recognized as the student capital. Unique wooden architecture gives the region a unique cultural foundation.
There are 18 nature reserves in Tomsk Oblast, and the unique Vasyugan Swamp is the largest swamp system in the world attracting tourists from all over the world. You should also visit the Talovskiye Chashi, the Star Spring and the famous Siny Utyos. The region is considered to be the "pine capital" and offers a unique collection of pine cones and unique pine souvenirs.
Hunting and fishing is a traditional local pastime, but is also very popular with visitors to the region. You can take a hunting or fishing tour, while forest lodges offer hunting or fishing as an additional service.
Tomsk is one of Russia's historical settlements. Many houses here are listed as federal and regional architecture monuments; there are 18 federal wooden architecture monuments and 98 regional, while more than 700 houses are protected to preserve the unique architectural landscape. Tomsk's wooden architecture is a true open-air wooden architecture museum.
Tomsk is an ancient town shrouded in numerous secrets and legends. One of which states that Tsar Alexander I, who is believed to have died suddenly from illness, actually staged his own death and lived in Tomsk for many years as Feodor Kozmich, an old hermit. After his death, he was canonized as Saint Feodor of Tomsk. Many pilgrims visit the Bogoroditse-Alekseevsky Muzhskoy Monastery that contains relics of the famous elder.
Another secret of Tomsk is the Tomsk Catacombs. There is plenty of evidence that there is a whole network of corridors and rooms under the city. Some people say they were built by merchants and bandits to allow them to move freely around and to store their goods. Others believe that it is the ancient Slav state of Grustina on which Tomsk was built.
Tomsk is the student capital of Russia. This is confirmed by the trade mark officially registered in 2015. The first university beyond the Urals was opened in Tomsk. More than 80,000 students live in Tomsk. Students from 75 regions of Russia and 47 countries study here.Numerous festivals are held in its Tomsk and its districts that are well worth visiting: the Blacksmith Festival, Zolotaya Beresta and the Mushroom Festival. A particular highlight is the International Axe Festival, which in 2016 was awarded first place in the Wonders of Russia video tourism competition and brings together hundreds of woodworkers from all over the world. The festival takes place in Okolitsa Park – a unique open-air museum. Another interesting festival is the Studies of the North festival of indigenous peoples which is visited by representatives of Siberian peoples from several regions. While at the Yanov Day festival you can get to know the culture of Estonians who settled in Tomsk Oblast more than 100 years ago.