The eastern shore is craggy and precipitous, the western one is comparatively level. The ports of Murmansk and Severomorsk sit on the east side. Polyarny, the main base of Russia's Northern Fleet, is on the west side of the bay.
Semidiurnal tides in the Murmansk Fjord are as high as 4 metres. In winter, the southern part of the bay may be covered in ice. The Kola Bay Bridge spans the Kola Bay near its southern end.