Official language: Russian
Time zone: UTC +9
Currency: Russian ruble (RUB)
Although relatively small, Chita is an important Siberian university city. There are several high education schools there, including a university and a medical academy.
Chita is located on the border between the subarctic and humid continental climate. Winters are long and with strong frosts (down to -40ºC), and summers are short and quite warm (about 20ºC).
In the city there has been recently built a new datsan, a Buddhist temple that impresses with its architecture. It is located 15 minutes from the centre at Bogomyagkova street.
Chita is a South Siberian city located in the Asian part of Russia, right on the border with Mongolia. Lying on the main route leading to China and on the Trans-Siberian railway route, it is rather a commercial center than a tourist one. Despite post-Soviet symbols and military on the streets, it positively surprises visitors.
According to a legend, the first village was founded in today's Chita in 1653 by Piotr Beketov, a traveler and discoverer of Siberia, who together with a branch of Cossacks built the winter hut Ingodinskoye at the mouth of the river Chita. In 1851, the settlement received the name Chita and became officially a city. Thanks to the construction of the railway line in 1900, the town began to develop. Today, it has become an important commercial, industrial and administrative center in the Zabajkalsk region. Thanks to the location, it is also a good starting point for Lake Baikal, as well as Mongolia and China.
How to spend time here? It is worth going to the historic center of the city, where a rectangular street network designed in 1862 has been preserved. The most important of the local monuments are the Decembrists church from the end of the 18th century, which now houses the branch of the Trans-Baikal Regional Museum, and wooden merchant houses built at the beginning of the 20th century. Must see is also the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God and the Railway Trans Siberian Museum. Nature lovers can also spend time in the city botanical or zoological garden.
What to eat in the south of Siberia? This region, due to its proximity to Lake Baikal, is famous for its fish dishes, including from the Omula caught in this lake, which is served smoked, fried or dried on a stick. It is also worth to be tempted by caviar, sugudai (raw fish with salt, pepper and oil) or gruzinchiki (rolls of pasta with pieces of fish). Because many Mongolian ethnicities live there, you can also find poses (baked dumplings stuffed with mutton or beef fillet), buhler (a large portion of mutton meat in a bowl of steaming broth) among local specialties. After dinner, enjoy traditional strong Mongolian tea. Where to eat? We recommend Schastye, Ayan, and Shashlychny Dvorik.