Tyumen Oblast is in the south-west of the West Siberian Plain. This is where exploreres began to open up new territories in the 16th century and where many visitors today start their trip to Siberia. Tobolsk is home to the only stone Kremlin in Siberia. There are many different examples of wooden architecture—you can see baroque incarnated in wood. The region has even older artifacts: dinosaur bones and prehistoric human settlements.
Tyumen Oblast is one of the largest Oblasts in the Russian Federation; it stretches from the Arctic Circle in the North to the border with Kazakhstan in the south.
If you have not seen the Tobolsk Kremlin and Tyumen churches, the house carvings in Tyumen and Ishim, it is hard to distinguish the features of Baikal, Kranoyarsk, and Yeniseysk architecture. Tyumen Oblast is one of the top seven Russian regions in terms of cultural and tourism sites, and is comparable to developed countries such as Canada, Norway, and Germany.
There are different types of tourism available here—cultural and educational, sporting and hunting, health, environmental, religious, etc. Visitors to Oblast can see historical and cultural monuments, picturesque landscapes and lakes; stay at holiday homes, health resorts with mineral waters and therapeutic sapropelic mud, and hunting and fishing camps.
Tyumen was the first Russian city in Siberia. The city is home to the first Orthodox Christian churches in Siberia, steamboats, the first telegraph, the first water mains and even the first railway station. Tyumen also has some interesting modern attractions—the only park in Russia dedicated to cats, Lovers' Bridge and Tsvetnoy Boulevard.
Tobolsk is the oldest town in Tyumen Oblast. The main architectural and historical monument is the Tobolsk Kremlin, the only stone Kremlin in Siberia. From the moment of its foundation, Tobolsk was known as the "city of exiles". The Tobolsk Kremlin ensemble includes the Prison Castle–an old prison which held Decembrists and other exiles and political prisoners. The Prison Castle now houses a museum that retains the atmosphere of those times, while models of prisoners can be seen in the cells.
The Abalak complex in Tobolsky District is very popular with tourists. On the high banks of the Irtysh River, you can see an ancient fort, a reconstruction of a Siberian fort from the time Siberia was conquered by the cossack Yermak Timofeyevich. The complex has the reputation of a fairytale town filled with curiosities. Every year it hosts the Abalak Field historical re-enactment festival, where you can try your hand at military skills, put on real armor and learn how to use old types of weapons.
The small village of Pokrovskoe is a very popular destination; this is the birthplace of Grigori Rasputin, one of the most mysterious characters in the Russian history. You can visit the Rasputin Museum in Pokrovskoe and look at his personal items and original photographs.
One of the most beautiful places in the south of Tyumen Oblast is the Maryino Gorge; this is a unique place where the Iset River has a 60 meter drop and where rare plants, including four species of orchid, grow on the steep slopes and in deep shaded ravines.
Not far from the Maryino Gorge is an archaeological district–Ingalskaya Valley where more than 600 archaeological monuments have been discovered: settlements, towns, and burial sites from different periods–from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages. The archaeological complex is estimated to be 8,000 years old.