Everyone knows about the Chirkey Hydroelectric Power Plant in Dagestan and the Sayano-Shushenskaya one in Khakassia. That coal is mined in Kuzbass, and helicopters are assembled in Ulan-Ude. That in the Leningrad region there is the Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant, one of the oldest operating in Russia, and in the Krasnodar Territory — dozens of wineries. And it is really possible for an ordinary tourist to visit all these enterprises and facilities.
It’s important to remember that if you want to visit a factory, it is hardly possible to do it on the same day. You need to inquire and book such tours in advance, plus, all enterprises have their own conditions.
Some allow tourists on weekdays, some — only once a month. At one facility you’ll be admitted with a passport, at another — only as part of a large group. Some offer free tours, while others — will ask you to pay. And all this needs to be found out in advance.
We tell you where to start and whom to ask, to get to the factories:
Industrial Tourism Aggregators
They work roughly the same way: you need to choose a region, sphere of activity, and tourist category. Tourists are not allowed everywhere; some facilities conduct tours only for schoolchildren and students.
On promtourism.online, the page for each enterprise provides detailed descriptions of the routes, conditions, and dates of visits. Contact details — phone numbers and emails are at the very bottom. The website has a feedback form, but why wait for a specialist to contact you when you can find out everything yourself.
On promtourism.ru, by clicking on the selected object, you are immediately offered to fill out a feedback form. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll get a response, but the site will at least show the major enterprises in the region. And having chosen, you can contact the factory directly.
Regional Tourist Information Centers
Do not ignore tourist information centers. Check if the region’s website you are planning to visit has a section dedicated to industrial tourism. If it doesn’t, look for factories included in routes, excursions, or tours.
If you can’t find information on the website, still give them a call and inquire. The tourist information centers are in contact with the enterprises; they have more offers and can provide information on who, where, when, and for how much can take you to a factory.
Dear Passengers Telegram Channel have compiled a list of all the tourist information centers a while ago — here and here. Use it; they will help you plan your route and suggest a couple or three new places.
Industrial tourism is rapidly developing now, and enterprises are actively inviting tourists. Companies have not only special sections on their main websites but also separate websites dedicated to tours.
Here is the separate website of “RusHydro” — visit.rushydro, where they invite you to the Chirkey and Sayano-Shushenskaya HPPs, and they plan to launch another 14 tours to facilities all over Russia soon. Here is an ice cream factory in Belgorod “Bodraya Korova“, here “RusAgro” — invites to sugar factories, and here “Metalloinvest” — invites to its metallurgical enterprises. And almost every brewery and winery are also happy to show you the production. Here, for example, “Vyatich” in Kirov or “Skalisty Bereg” near Anapa.
See what is produced in the regions, look for the websites of the enterprises, and write emails or call.
Local Tour Operators
You can also access enterprises through local tour operators. Sometimes, this is the only way. Most likely, the Tourist Information Centers or the factory itself will provide you with their contacts. But don’t forget about searching on the Internet as well.
A visit to a factory is always something new (unless you work there). Productions allow a different perspective on the city or region, and sometimes such a tour can become the main reason for the trip. Plan your visits in advance, and if you didn’t manage to, look for breweries. There are almost always daily tours available there.