A Route Through Abandoned Russian Cities

The abandoned Russian cities are the result of the end of the Cold War, the misuse of resources or natural and nuclear catastrophes. In short, a walk through the closest Russian history.
A route through abandoned Russian cities

Abandoned Russian cities are perhaps the best representation of Russia’s most recent past. More specifically, from the years in which this great country was part of the USSR, in which the functional, the military and the exploitation of resources prevailed. With these objectives, new cities were built, but over the decades they became obsolete and abandoned.

Reasons to visit abandoned Russian cities

We cannot fool anyone, abandoned Russian cities are not the most beautiful places in the country. Whoever wants to admire beauties is better off visiting the city of Saint Petersburg or taking the trip of a lifetime on the Trans-Siberian train.

However, those who want to discover some relevant episodes of the last 20th century in Russia or want to soak up the Soviet spirit, can always visit some of these places. There are many abandoned Russian cities, but here we have made a selection with some paradigmatic examples:


View of Alikel

Due to the ancient gulags and its harsh climatic conditions, the Siberian region is one of the areas where more Russian cities have been abandoned. A good example is Alikel, who shows us an example of a city conceived for the army. Pilots and soldiers from an air base were expected to live there, but when that squadron moved to another location, Alikel died and was abandoned.


In this other case, it was also the transfer of military forces that caused the population to disappear. But in Finval, on the beautiful Kamchatka peninsula, it was a submarine base that was mobilized and caused the total abandonment of the place.


View of Kandikchan, one of the abandoned Russian cities

Kadikchan is another variable within Russian cities that have already gone down in history. Today it is one of those shocking cities that travelers meet from time to time. And it is that here there was a real city living from the nearby coal mines. But after an explosion at the end of the 20th century and the death of several miners, it was abandoned and time seems to have stood still.


The Cold War that for decades was established between the Soviet bloc and the United States led to the creation of new cities on Russian territory, conceived only as possible defenses of the country. One of them was Gudym, also known by its military names Magadan 1 or Anadyr-1. Today it is a great ghost barracks in the middle of the tundra. Shocking!

Verjniaya Gubaya

This other city near the Ural mountain range is older. In fact, it arose in the seventeenth century due to its mining deposits, a veritable seam that was exploited for centuries. So much so, that the environmental situation of the place became unsustainable in the 70s. It was something alarming that forced the authorities to transfer the inhabitants to other settlements.

Abandoned russian city


It was still the oldest Mologist, founded in the thirteenth century, with the name of its river. But the site was submerged under the waters of the Ribinsk reservoir during the Soviet regime. You can’t usually see it, but when the level of the reservoir drops, this place from another era re-emerges.


Now we are going to another of the abandoned Russian cities, but this time for natural reasons. It was the year 1995 and in the city of Neftegorsk life continued as usual, but in the month of May it was shaken by a strong earthquake that completely destroyed it, killing almost the entire population. After that, it was neither rebuilt nor inhabited again.

Pyramiden, one of the most unique abandoned Russian cities

View of Pyramiden

We now visit one of the most spectacular abandoned Russian cities, although it  is on the territory of Norway. We refer to Pyramiden, an enigmatic and suggestive city, and to which more and more travelers are approaching to delve into the mysteries of its abandonment.


We end by mentioning the most famous nuclear tragedy of all time: Chernobyl. It was April 26 when one of its nuclear reactors exploded and caused an unprecedented ecological disaster.

The victims were counted and are counted in the thousands. Among them, the 40,000 inhabitants of the city of Pripyat who left their homes for good immediately. Of all the abandoned Russian cities, this is the creepiest.

The ghost town of Kilamba in Angola

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