The city is the unofficial capital of the oil producing region of Russia and everywhere you travel in the region you’ll see the towers burning off the excess petroleum gas and at night, the scene is quite hypnotic. Surgut has a historical centre with many old buildings and it’s certainly worth a few hours of your time in the city to understand what it was like before the discovery of oil reshaped Surgut, adding modern buildings and facilities.
There’s a Museum of Regional Studies, quite common to Russian cities in which you’ll find out the interesting history of the people of the region and the migration south towards Hungary. The city has plenty of Orthodox churches and other important religious sites including the Holy Transfiguration Temple.
Visit the city’s art gallery too and you’ll see again how oil money has improved facilities in the city by adding many works of art that would have not made it as far as Surgut had it not been for oil revenue.