Murmansk is the largest city in the world located within the Arctic Circle. At the height of summer the sun doesn’t set, but in the depth of winter it’s dark all day. It is a port on the Barents Sea and during the war years it received vital supplies, which were delivered in the Arctic convoys from western allies, making its defence extremely important. For this role Murmansk was subsequently named a Hero-City of the Soviet Union and many of its sights are connected with this era - especially the giant Alyosha Statue representing the Red Army soldiers who lost their lives defending the city.
Murmansk also serves as a good base for further exploring the Kola Peninsula. From here you can take a car to Teriberka - the only spot place in European Russia where foreigners can gain access to the coast and see the Arctic Ocean. It is also possible to go hunting for the Northern Lights here from late autumn to early spring.