Tyumen is not a typical tourist destination and therefore has minimal options for accommodation. Unwilling to pay 120 euros per night, we decided to try couchsurfing for the first time (it's a website based organisation that helps travellers find couchs/spare beds to sleep on). We were apprehensive putting ourselves in the hands of strangers when we stepped off the train but were quickly put at ease by our host, Alexander, and his brother who very kindly picked us up from the station. Alexander went back to work and we explored Tyumen - the highlights being the statute of Lenin and the amusement park where we read our books for two hours whilst watching children being entertained by ponies and electronic minature cars.
The great thing about couchsurfing is that it is the perfect opportunity to meet locals. Alexander and his friends were amazingly accomodating and showed us things in Tyumen that we wouldn't have discovered alone. Fortunately, for us they enjoyed a good drink too and took us to some bars including good live bands. For those of you who are wondering - yes, going out in Russia is very expensive, especially for those on a backpacker's budget. I almost fainted when I saw the bill but it had been a good night and was worth it!
It turned out that Alexander and his friends had never visited Tobolsk, the town that. we had come to the region to visit. On the Saturday morning we all piled into two cars and drove (very fast...) the three hours to Tobolsk. If you're nearby it is worth the petrol - the Kremlin is absolutely gorgeous and has just been renovated. It's a very picturesque fortress town although I'm not sure if you need more than a few hours to look around.