Yoshkar-Ola city, Russia (Ioshkar-Ola)

The capital city of Mari El republic.

Yoshkar-Ola overview

Yoshkar-Ola (other spelling Ioshkar-Ola) is the capital and administrative center of Mari El Republic of Russia. It is situated on the banks of the Malaya Kokshaga River. Yoshkar-Ola is included in the list of historic cities of Russia. There are two universities: Mari State University and Mari State Technical University.

The city is located in the region of temperate continental climate. Long cold and snowy winters with the average temperature of about -18 degrees Celsius are usual. January and February are the coldest months. From the other side the summers are warm with the July average temperature of about +24 degrees Celsius.

Yoshkar-Ola has the population of about 253,000 (2012).

The phone code is +7 8362; postal codes - 424000-424045.

Yoshkar-Ola city flag

Yoshkar-Ola city flag

Yoshkar-Ola city coat of arms

Yoshkar-Ola city coat of arms

Yoshkar-Ola city map, Russia

Yoshkar-Ola city map of Russia

Yoshkar-Ola transportation

Yoshkar-Ola is connected with others cities and towns of Russia by several bus and railway routes. There are regular runs to/from Moscow and Kazan by trains from Yoshkar-Ola railway station (daily). Also the cities and towns of neighboring regions can be reached from the bus station located nearby.

The airport is located about 9 km north of Yoshkar-Ola. Since June 2008, the regular flights to Moscow (Domodedovo airport) were available. In 2009, the flights were stopped as the result of the economic crisis.

The flights are available again from November 1, 2010. The plane is Bombardier CRJ-200.

Departure from Moscow (Vnukovo airport, airline “UTair”, flight UT-195) is at 19:55 local time on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday. Arrival to Yoshkar-Ola is at 21:15.

Departure from Yoshkar-Ola is at 06:15 (flight UT-196) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Arrival to Moscow is at 07:35.

The transport system of the city is based on networks of route taxis (marshrustka), buses and trolleybuses. The taxi system is also well developed.

Yoshkar-Ola views

Yoshkar-Ola kremlin

Yoshkar-Ola kremlin

Author: Sergey Kozin

Yoshkar-Ola architecture

Yoshkar-Ola architecture

Author: Sergey Kozin

Ioshkar-Ola city street

Ioshkar-Ola city street

Author: Sergey Kozin


Yoshkar-Ola history

In 1584, after Mari people lands were captured by the Russian forces a small fortress Kokshatsk was founded (later Kokshatskiy Gorodok). In 1708, the town became the part of Kazan province of Russia.

Before 1919, the city was known as Tsarevokokshaisk. In 1919-1927, it was called Krasnokokshaisk. The present name of the city, Yoshkar-Ola, means “Beautiful city” in Mari people language.

During the World War II, several large military factories were evacuated to Yoshkar-Ola. It was the main reason of Yoshkar-Ola growing after the war and becoming important regional industrial and transport center.

After the end of the Soviet Union, military enterprises lost state support. The manufacturing activity in the city decreased greatly. There is a Strategic Rocket Forces base near Yoshkar-Ola.

Yoshkar-Ola sceneries

Yoshkar-Ola embankment

Yoshkar-Ola embankment

Author: Sergey Kozin

Yoshkar-Ola embankment view

Yoshkar-Ola embankment view

Author: Sergey Kozin

Yoshkar-Ola view

Yoshkar-Ola view

Author: Sergey Kozin


Yoshkar-Ola places of interest

Yoshkar-Ola museums

Museum of the History of Yoshkar-Ola is located on one of the oldest and most enchanting streets of the city (Voznesenskaya) in the merchant’s mansion of the early 20th century. The exhibition shows a rich material about the foundation of the city, its socio-economic development, life, religious beliefs and traditions of the citizens. Address: Voznesenskaya Str., 39.

National Museum of the Republic of Mari El bears the name of the prominent local historian and scholar T.E.Yevseyev. This is one of the leading museums of the republic having more than 200 thousand exhibits.

The most valuable collections are archaeological and ethnographic ones, including costumes, jewelry, weapons, household items of Mari and other nations of the 19th-20th centuries, as well as masterpieces of applied art. Also the museum has unique collection of stuffed animals and birds of the region. Address: Sovetskaya Str., 153.

Republican Museum of Fine Arts. The main section of the museum is devoted to Mari national visual arts. Address: Gogol Str., 15.

National Gallery of Art. It is a subdivision of Republican Museum of Fine Arts. The exposition is located on two floors and is presented in the form of a twisting spiral. The exhibition shows the cultural heritage of the Republic of Mari El. Adress: Lenin Ave., 24.

Yoshkar-Ola places

Yoshkar-Ola boulevard

Yoshkar-Ola boulevard

Author: Sergey Kozin

Yoshkar-Ola park view

Yoshkar-Ola park view

Author: Sergey Kozin

Yoshkar-Ola city hall

Yoshkar-Ola city hall

Author: Sergey Kozin


Yoshkar-Ola main theaters:

  • Mari National Drama Theater named after M.Shketan (Lenin Square, 2).
  • Mari State Opera and Ballet Theater named after Eric Sapaev (Lenin Square, 2).
  • Russian Academic Drama Theater named after G.V.Konstantinov (Nikonov Square, 1).

National Library named after S.G.Chavain is the largest library of Mari El. It is a leading information and documentation center in the republic. Address: Pushkin Str., 28.

Cultural heritage of Yoshkar-Ola reflects different historical periods of the formation of the city, from the early stages of urban development of the 18th century to the buildings of the middle of 20th century. Almost all the architectural monuments are concentrated mainly in the historic center of the city.

At the present time there are four parks in Yoshkar-Ola. The main one is the Central park of culture and rest, a popular place of citizens and guests of the city.

Yoshkar-Ola Obolensky-Nogotkov Square

The square was opened on November 4, 2007 in the center of Yoshkar-Ola, in front of the Government House and City Hall. The area includes the complex of office buildings, National Gallery of Art, the Tsar Cannon monument, the monument to the city’s founder Obolensky-Nogotkov, the monument to Leonid, Bishop of Mari. Also the place is known for “Mari Chimes” - the clock tower, symbolizing the Christian faith.

Yoshkar-Ola city of Russia photos

Yoshkar-Ola attractions

Yoshkar-Ola university

Yoshkar-Ola university

Author: Sergey Kozin

Yoshkar-Ola founder monument

Yoshkar-Ola founder monument

Author: Sergey Kozin

Yoshkar-Ola square view

Yoshkar-Ola square view

Author: Sergey Kozin


Yoshkar-Ola cathedrals

Yoshkar-Ola cathedral

Yoshkar-Ola cathedral

Author: Sergey Kozin

Yoshkar-Ola city cathedral

Yoshkar-Ola city cathedral

Author: Sergey Kozin


Explore the streets of Yoshkar-Ola


The questions of our visitors

Mary Rose asks: Hello, we will stay in Yoshkar Ola in September 2013. We have found an interesting offer to fly from Germany to Moscow and then to Y.O. Is that ok? Or would you prefer to go there by train? Thanks, Mary
Expert's answer:
Yes, it is definitely the fastest way to go to Yoshkar-Ola. But if you want to understand Russia a little better I think going by train from Moscow will be interesting experience, if you haven't had such trips before of course. The daily train leaves Kazansky railway station in Moscow at 16:40 local time and arrives to Yoshkar-Ola at 06:52 in the morning.
Peter asks: Why are there so many more women than men in Yoshkar-Ola?
Expert's answer:

The official statistics (2010) says that 55% of the population in Yoshkar-Ola are women, and 45% - men.

According to it, in average there are 813 men per 1000 women in Yoshkar-Ola. The main reason is that a lot of men die in the working age (81,3% of all deaths in the working age) because of injuries and accidents, cardio-vascular system diseases and oncology.

The average life expectancy in the region is 67.4 years: men - 61.3 years, women - 74.1 years.

Mike asks: I am planning to visit friends in Yoshkar-Ola, and need to know would it be best to fly to Moscow and catch the train from Kazansky Rail Station or fly to Kazan and catch a train from there? Also could you give me some idea on cost, I am travelling on my own from London.
Expert's answer:
The more comfortable way it to go by train from Kazansky railway station of Moscow because the train leaves the city in the evening, you have a night in the train and in the morning you are in Yoshkar-Ola. The average costs were already mentioned in one of the answers on Yoshkar-Ola city page.

The comments of our visitors

Dave
Re Chris message

Yoshkar Ola is a lovely city. Most people are very friendly, you get good and bad in all cities. I have been to Yoshkar Ola 15 times, the reason I go back is because it is so nice and there's plenty to do.

Chris you are very negative they do not speak English because they don't have to, they are Russian, I suggest you learn some Russian, do you also expect to get fish chips and mushy peas in Russia? Perhaps the people you have met are similar to yourself.


Will
One of the friendliest cities I have ever visited
We couchsurfed in Yoshkar-Ola for three days and had an absolutely fantastic time. Our hosts were incredibly generous and hospitable. They took us to the 'Courchevel of Mary El' for some extreme sledging on bits of linoleum! Chris - you obviously had a bad day and want to take it out on Yoshkar-Ola - how on earth do you think you can judge if people are nice/nasty/happy/unhappy when you clearly don't even speak their language; and about the lack of English spoken - do you speak Russian for Russian tourists in America?

Chris
The city
The city is ok on the front but very bad behind the facade. Most people have little money and many people ask for it. The rest of them can be nice or nasty it is hard to tell the difference. No one speaks English or they just don't care. There are no tourism facilities at all and nothing is written in English. For sure this place has seen some hard times and the people are mostly angry. I think may be 5 % of the people are happy. For sure this is not a good place to visit for an international tourist unless you want to be taught a big lesson. I will never return.

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