Recent investment has boosted Saransk’s architectural heritage – the beautiful golden-domed Theodore Ushakov Cathedral, for example, was consecrated in 2006 and stands in front of an interesting World War II memorial. The city is also home to several brilliant museums: learn about Russia’s 20th-century battles at the Military Museum and peruse over 200 works by acclaimed sculptor Stepan Erzia at the Mordovian Museum of Visual Arts.
Venture further afield to explore stunning forests and natural landscapes – such as the Mordovian State Smidovich Nature Reserve, where you can spend the night in the woods and spot rare plants and animals – or uncover the traditional Mordva way of life in the ancient town of Temnikov. Back in the city, peruse the latest fashions at a range of modern malls and enjoy spellbinding evenings of opera and ballet.
Saransk is home to a great selection of restaurants serving freshly-prepared regional and local cuisine, which is characterised by hearty meat and fish dishes thanks to the area’s rich history of hunting and fishing. Dine at the tsarist-chic Vosmoe Chudo Sveta for a true taste of modern Russia and tuck into juicy steaks at Kaban y Bryukva. Mordovskoe Podvore serves traditional Mordovian fare in a stylish canal-side setting.
Visitors to Saransk can choose from a handful of centrally-located high-end hotels. Opening in April 2018 ahead of the World Cup, Four Points by Sheraton Saransk is located near the city’s impressive new football stadium and boasts modern rooms and a sleek fitness centre, while the recently-opened Admiral Hotel features a relaxing spa and swimming pool. The Meridien Hotel offers boutique accommodation, with just 32 spacious rooms.
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