The City of Arkhangelsk (Russian) is proud to be the cultural capital of North Russia. Located off the major tourist routes, the Port of Arkhangelsk has plenty to offer to visitors. The best time to visit is during the summer from May through July when the sun seems never to set. Spring comes late to the Port of Arkhangelsk, and snow is normal in May. Winters are harsh, and the first snows come in October or November. From November until May, the rivers and the White Sea are frozen, and ice-breakers are needed for navigation. Temperatures range from an average high of 21 °C (70 °F) in July to an average low of -16.6 °C (2 °F) in January.
Visitors to the Port of Arkhangelsk will not want to miss the Arkhangelsk Regional Museum of Local History. This museum is one of the oldest in Russia, and its exhibits are rich with information and objects related to the culture and nature of North Russia. Exhibits contain monuments dated to the 12th to 18th Centuries. In this museum, you will learn about the first living multi-cellular organisms on the planet, as some of the largest deposits of Vend fauna in the world (from 650-550 million years old) are found on the coast of the White Sea. You will see collections of the river pearls that decorated Russian women's clothing and caskets made of carved bone that were famous throughout Europe.
The Gostinye Dvory (the Guests' Yard) in the Port of Arkhangelsk is a Russian stone monument from the 17th Century of which only a few remain in this preserved condition. The Yard was under construction from 1668 until 1684. Eventually, the structure was converted into the stone town-fortress. Town walls, towers, and ditches were constructed around the Gostinye Dvory and its companion, the German Guests' Yard. Today, the building houses the Arkhangelsk Regional Museum of Local History.
The Malye Korely is an open-air museum of North Russia's wooden architecture. Located on the high bank of a small river just outside the Port of Arkhangelsk, the museum has many wonderful wooden houses, churches, and other buildings. The Malye Korely is a great day-trip, but you can also stay overnight in a new hotel complex built in the traditional Russian style. During the winter, visitors can rent equipment to ski or sled.
The Museum Union in the Port of Arkhangelsk holds a wonderful collection of about 30 thousand pieces illustrating the various schools and styles of Russian art over the centuries. The museum contains a very special and unique collection icons from the 14th to 18th Centuries. The Museum Union has five subsidiaries: the Fine Arts Museum, the Museum of Artistic Opening up of the Arctic (named after A.A. Borisov) the S.G. Pisakhov Museum, E.K. Plotnikova's city home, and an old private residence in Naberezhnaya.