Murmansk is a port city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia, located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, an inlet of the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, close to Russia's borders with Norway and Finland. The city is named for the Murman Coast; Murman is an older Russian term for Norwegians.
Despite its extremely northern latitude of 68°58'N (just 2° north of the Arctic Circle at approximately 66°33'N), Murmansk is in many ways similar to other Russian cities of its size at far lower latitudes, with highway and railway access to the rest of Europe, and the northernmost trolleybus system on Earth. This is in stark contrast to the isolation of other major Arctic maritime cities such as Dikson, Krasnoyarsk Krai (73°30'N) in the far-north of Siberia on the shores of the Kara Sea or Iqaluit, Nunavut in Canada on Baffin Island's Frobisher Bay off the Labrador Sea (actually further south at 63°44'N). While still having long, harsh winters, Murmansk enjoys somewhat warmer temperatures, relatively speaking, than other regions at similarly high latitudes due to the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream on the Barents Sea.
Although Murmansk's population is in decline — 299,148 (2014 est.); 307,257 (2010 Census); 336,137 (2002 Census); 468,039 (1989 Census) — it remains by far the largest city north of the Arctic Circle and is a major port on the Arctic Ocean.