Nikel (Ни́кель) is a small town in Murmansk Oblast close to the Norwegian border.

4 things to do

All Places

Hotel Northern Lights

Small hotel in the lower part of town, the priciest and arguably the best hotel in town but don't expect anything too fancy. There's a small café downstairs, breakfast must be ordered the night before.

Nikel Zoo

Possibly the world's northernmost zoo. Small but still holds about 100 animals, including several monkeys.

White Nights

One of the larger restaurants in town, serving hearty Russian cuisine.

Club Oasis

DRINK   —  +7 81554 -50933 —  ul. Mira, 26

About Nikel

Panoramic vista over Nikel.
Panoramic vista over Nikel.

Nikel is an small industrial town a few kilometres away from the Norwegian border with just over 12,000 souls living and working here, down from 21,000 in Soviet times. As the town's name hint Nikel owes its existence to the vast quantities of nickel that have been mined nearby since the 1930s. Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel owns the mines and operates a huge smelter plant just outside the town where a large part of the population finds employment. This smelter also happens to be one of the world's biggest emitters of sulfur dioxide affecting the environment (and people!) living nearby - including those on the other side of the border. Emissions and the future of the Nikel smelter continues to engage both the Norwegian government as well as the general population.

Visa requirements have been eased in the last few years in the border area which has led to a large increase of visitors from Norway, mostly interested in cheap gasoline but in the process driving a small boom economy.


Source: wikivoyage