Welcome to Novosibirsk!

Dear visitor from whatever corner of the world!

I am happy to welcome you in this blog and I hope you find it useful! This blog is for you, if you are planning a travel or stay in Novosibirsk and other places in Siberia or you are only considering it.

My name is Olga Tkachenko, I work and live in Novosibirsk, Western Siberia, Russia, together with my  husband and our three sons. I am a freelance English-Russian and German-Russian tour guide, interpreter, and translator. Me and my team of experienced and dedicated tour guides and interpreters, all of whom are experts in everything in and around Siberia, offer tailor-made tours of Novosibirsk, its surroundings and the nearby cities and towns like Tomsk, Kemerovo, Barnaul, Omsk and Biysk, in English, German, Spanish, Italian and French. At your request tours to Altai Mountains are also possible.

The idea of blogging came to me in 2010 when I realized that people from the other countries know practically nothing about Novosibirsk and Siberia, that the information about my region in English is scarce, and that planning travels around Siberia was close to impossible. At the same time I started my tourguiding career, first working for travel agencies only. However, lots of travelers were not really happy traveling in big groups. According to them, organized travels in big groups only allowed them to see basics but not grasp the idea of the place, but they would rather experience something more customized to their unique needs to be able to understand the place, the country, the people and the whole spirit of it. Many travelers initially want to travel alone or with their partner, but they have to join a group just because of the lack of helpful information about my region. I felt a push to help people discover Siberia, Novosibirsk and other destinations in my region. This is how it all started.

Now my and my team’s mission is to help you plan and arrange your travel to Siberia, to provide necessary information, to make your stay in Novosibirsk and everywhere in Siberia comfortable, enjoyable and memorable. Together with my team I offer you hand-picked tours designed according to your wishes and preferences.

In the «About Me» page you can learn more about me and my professional career.

And contact me to ask your questions about Novosibirsk or book a tour with me.

Do you like this blog and find it useful? Have you found what you were looking for? You can help me make it better and even more useful for you and the other travelers by donating any amount via my PayPal account: novosibirskperevod@gmail.com. All funds received will be invested into the development of more exciting tours, taking photos, finding guides speaking languages other than English, German, French and Spanish, and promoting Siberia and Novosibirsk among travelers from all over the Globe.

Email: novosibirskperevod@gmail.com

WhatsApp: +79138916081

New for you! Itineraries for self-guided tours!

Dear travelers!

Right now we are all physically prevented from travelling. God knows how long the pandemics will last, but no pandemics ever lasted forever, and history knows a lot about all sorts of pandemics and other troubles and disasters. Sometimes they took months, sometimes years, but there is always something in common — they NEVER lasted forever!

I guess you are having as much free time as everyone out there right now. Let us not waste this precious time, but let us make plans and DREAM about the future to come. And when it comes, we’ll be ready to start right away.

Perhaps you have always wanted to visit Siberia, or have though about getting here in the near future. Or maybe you are planning your Siberian travel right now? Great! Me and the whole team of AskNovosibirsk is here to help you.

Many places in Russia, including Siberia, still remain a big ‘white spot’ for travelers. Exactly that’s why lots of globetrotters still prefer addressing travel agencies when it comes to Siberia. Their common fears: lack of information, especially in the English (let alone other than English) language; no knowledge of the Russian language and enormous difficulties to grasp at least some bits of it due to the high complexity of the Cyrillic script;  lack of information on lifestyle in Russia, cultural and social peculiarities, etc. One feels more protected in a group, and, though there is not much freedom and not many opportunities to see and explore real life, people turn to agencies.

I assure you — a travel across Russia and Siberia is NOT dangerous. Thousand or maybe millions of travelers have already tried that and they were happy. I constantly get mails from my past customers with thank-you words and wonderful memories of their travel to Novosibirsk and many other Siberian destinations.

So, again — it’s exactly the time to plan and dream, and this is my today’s offer: exactly for YOU I create and thoroughly develop itineraries of your future travels to Siberia including Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg (which is not exactly Siberia but still), Krasnoyarsk and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and Altai Mountains! If you want an itinerary for St.Petersburg or Moscow, or any other Russian destination, this can be arranged, too.

You describe what you want, what your budget is and what your dreams are, and I’m giving you the itinerary with all contacts, recommendations and schedules of your walks/drives. Being a local, I know best how to get around, how long it takes, what the best museums or restaurants are, what off-the-beaten track or traditional sights you should visit, the most interesting open-airs and events, all this translated to either English, German, French, Italian or Spanish.

For the cities and places other than Novosibirsk you book all hotels, trains/planes. For Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk I offer the FULL range of services, including  booking hotels and restaurants, and purchasing tickets to museums, theatres, arranging meetings with locals, etc.

You arrange your Russian visa yourself, however, if you need assistance with this, I give you the most reliable contacts.

I offer you the complete PLAN of your travel and stay. All recommendations are be given with account of the weather during the season you travel across Siberia.

I offer itineraries you can use completely on your own. However, if you still want to be guided around or want to know as much as possible from a local’s perspective, me and my team are always there for you!

Contact me for more info and order your itinerary of the Siberian travel right now!

Facing the challenges of the situation…

Dear readers, customers and friends of www.AskNovosibirsk.com!

Like all fellow tour business owners from all around the Globe, we at AskNovosibirsk are affected by the COVID outbreak as well. Though as of today Russia is one of the safest countries with several dozens registered cases and 0 deaths, the situations can and does change every day.

Till May 1 Russia has closed its state border for visitors from lots of affected countries. We are all in hope that the situation settles down by that date but now it is obvious that all tours already booked have to be cancelled.

A Day in Blagodatnoye

Blagodatnoye is a so-called «kinship homestead» settlement (родовое поместье, rodovoye pomest’ye) located 100 km to the south of Novosibirsk, overlooking the picturesque Ob Reservoir. A ‘kinship homestead’ is somewhat similar to the popular concept of an eco-settlement, however, the concept is broader and is based on the idea of Vladimir Megre, a Siberian businessman and writer best known as the author of the Ringing Cedars of Russia (also known as Anastasia) series of books, which since the 1990s has given rise to a very special socio-religious movement focused on the correct approach to planning, conceiving and raising children, which should all occur at the same location: a family homestead, or self-sufficient plot of land surrounded by a hedge with a water source, dwelling, woods, a meadow, vegetable gardens, berries, herbs, mushrooms, a greenhouse, a banya and beehives.

Zaeltsovsky Park

If you are tired of the ‘stone jungles’, it’s the right time to go to a park for some fresh air. In a city so crowded with cars as Novosibirsk it is vital. The city center is not especially rich in parks, but the outskirts offer wonderful opportunities, besides, they are easily accessible by public transportation.

Open-air Railway Museum in Novosibirsk

Railway is very important for Novosibirsk. In fact, Novosibirsk appeared only thanks to the railway.  In 1891 the Tsar Alexander III and his government resolved to build the Transsiberian Railway and a group of engineers was sent to Siberia to find the best position for the railway bridge over the river Ob along with the overall layout of the Transsiberian. At that time there was just a huge forest where Novosibirsk is located now, and a couple of small villages here and there. Besides, 30 km to the north of the current center of Novosibirsk there was a big town Kolyvan, and the initial plan was to build the bridge there, but that idea was not approved by the engineers. In 1896 the bridge was put into operation. All aspects of life in Novosibirsk, economic and social, have been driven by railway ever since.

Rocks on the Berd, Novosibirsk Region, all year round

Rocks on the river Berd, also known as Zveroboy, in Maslyaninsky District, is one of the most beautiful areas in the whole Novosibirsk Region. Tastes differ, of course, but I think there is hardly any person, who would feel indifferent standing on top of a rocky hill looking at the curve of a small river.

Winter Fun in Novosibirsk. Huskypulled Sled Riding!

AskNovosibirsk is happy to announce an absolutely new winter fun for the city guests and residents. The one you can experience only in areas with snowy winters, and, despite global warming, Siberia is still snow-covered for nearly five months, mid November to late March! 

Winter Fun in Novosibirsk. Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is one of the everlasting favourites here in Siberia. Everyone who is interested in sports like skiing and biathlon can name a couple of famous athletes born, living and/or training in Novosibirsk. There are a couple of honoured specialized skiing schools and clubs for professionals; and each winter, December to March, a number of high-level competitions, marathons and other events take place here, including 30-km and even 60-km marathons.

Winter Fun in Novosibirsk. Ice Skating.

Siberia is one of the places associated with cold, frosts, everlasting and never-melting snow. Shortly: it is associated with WINTER. And winter is associated not just with staying indoors and drinking hot or long drinks, but, first of all, with outdoor winter fun.

In this post and so forth I’m starting to share with my subscribers what fun you can have in Novosibirsk in winter. Let’s start with ice-skating. 

Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, or NOVAT

‘Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, of NOVAT, is the largest theatre building in Russia’. This is how we typically start the downtown tour. When we say ‘the largest’, we really mean it. Of course, everyone has heard of the Bolshoy Theatre in Moscow or the Maryinsky Theatre in St.Petersburg at least once, but it is worth mentioning that the whole building of either of them will easily fit inside the great hall of NOVAT.

Russian ballet is famous all over the world for its premium performance and skills of dancers. Russian opera has been gaining popularity for several decades. In Novosibirsk you can enjoy both opera and ballet of the highest quality, but at prices considerably lower than in  Moscow and  St.Petersburg.