Welcome to Novosibirsk!

16.06.2017 прогулка по Академу_038

Dear visitor from whatever corner of the world!

I am happy to welcome you in this blog and I hope you find it useful!

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 interpreter, translator and tour guide, and all three occupations are more than my job, they are my life.

My translation and interpreting career started in 2000. As an in-house translator and interpreter, I used all opportunities to constantly master my skills. In 2004 my first son was born, and freelancing looked like a better choice. In 2006 I started tour guiding in Novosibirsk, and since then it has been my greatest pleasure.

The idea of blogging came to me in 2010 when I realized that people from other countries do not know much about Novosibirsk and Siberia, that they can’t find any information about my region in English, so they can’t plan travels here, and that in the available sources my home city doesn’t look like an exciting travel destination. I felt a push to change it. This is how it all started. Now I feel it my mission to help you arrange your travel to Siberia, to get necessary information, to make your stay in Novosibirsk and everywhere in Siberia comfortable.

In the «About Me» page you can read what has become of it.

And ask your questions about Novosibirsk.

Delicatessen Store. New Way of Eating Out

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The concept of delicatessen stores is not completely new for Russia. They existed during the Soviet Era, too, however, it was not common to eat out there and the food was rather plain, mostly represented by a few  types pirozhkis (buns or patty cakes). For eating out there were canteens, the Soviet kind of fast food, offering very typical set of dishes, including mashed potatoes, chops, borsch and a salad or two. Of course, it was not common to ‘spend time’ there, and the quality of food left much to be desired. The modern delicatessen stores resemble their ancestors only in terms of plain interior, though of course it’s lots more comfortable and welcoming. Otherwise they are a fast, convenient, cheap and healthy variant of eating out suitable for all sorts of visitors. Fans of traditional food, vegetarians, vegans, followers of gluten-free diet and even raw-food enthusiasts won’t stay hungry here. Everything is always fresh, the choice is abundant, the staff is helpful and ready to explain what is what, and the service is quick, and the prices are very affordable. Exactly what you need, if you are in a rush, or if you are a traveler who want to eat healthy local food but don’t want to spend hours waiting for your dish. In the early hours you can be offered a traditional Russian or continental breakfast, and around lunchtime you will always choose one of 2 or 3 soup varieties. All food and drinks can be packed, so that you can enjoy them at home or in your hotel room.

Kolyada Cafe. Traditionally Russian and Great Food for Everyone

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Kolyada is perhaps the best place to eat in Novosibirsk. Traditional Russian cuisine, traditional Russian interior, nice music, prompt service, great location close to the major attractions and business quarters. It’s affordable for everyone: families with kids, office workers, students, budget travelers, but it’s not surprising to see wealthy business owners and public figures here.

The best time to visit Novosibirsk. When?

The idea to write this post came to me a week ago when I guided a group of Thai tourists. We had planned a great itinerary for 8 hours, including a visit to a nearby village to get an idea of the rural Russia, a visit to Academgorodok to see how people of science live surrounded by the forest, and a lot more. But we had to go to the market and the shopping mall instead as the day was impossibly dull — snow-rain, grey sky, dirty melting snow… Novosibirsk refused to show its best to this Thai group, apart from one of the Beerman restaurants, which are exceptionally good all year round.

But these travelers read about Novosibirsk in a blog of another Thai traveler, who was lucky to come to Novosibirsk on a beautiful December day. It was about -20 that day, it was snowing, but we had a great time exploring the pine forest, and the village, and the city covered in sparkling snow.

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The Largest Aquapark in Russia

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For many long years aquapark was one of the most anticipated projects in Novosibirsk. Numerous design projects replaced each other; the location was changed many times. Finally all details were settled and coordinated, and a huge construction started several years ago to be finished in 2016. Now Aquaworld (AquaMir) is the largest in the country and one of the ten largest in the world.

Novosibirsk-Glavny Railway Station

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If you arrive to Novosibirsk by train, the first building you see is the railway station, and even if you don’t see anything else in the city but this building, you will still see enough. The Main Railway Station (Novosibirsk-Glavny in Russian) is one of the main city attractions and one of the largest railway stations in the country with the total area of more than 29000 m2. Its shape resembles a locomotive heading eastwards.

Coffee Collective. Tasty and Trendy.

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Coffee Collective is a coffee shop close to the downtown. It’s hard to surprise visitors with good coffee; it is good nearly everywhere, so coffee shops try to surprise us with exclusive service, trendy interiors and specialties. 

Traditional Russian Festivals in Novosibirsk

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Russia values its tradition, and in summer Novosibirsk attracts lots of visitors to different events related to folk arts, crafts, music and traditions. The previous week offered two events of the kind, both demonstrating how important and valued Russian and Slavic traditions are and how many people are into them.

Edutainment Opportunities in Novosibirsk

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The concept of edutainment is not new in terms of schools and educational institutions, but it is definitely a new way of spending free time with benefits for the mind. As a city of science, Novosibirsk just can’t be behind the rest of the world, so today it has two big edutainment centers visited mostly by families with kids, but visitors of any age feel excited to be there, to see with one’s own eyes what the Pythagoras theorem means or a gyro sensor is. 

The Monument of Glory.

Memorial Ensemble devoted to heroic deeds of Siberians in the Great Patriotic War.

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The Monument of Glory is one of the most impressive sights in Novosibirsk, but it is hardly ever included into the standard guided tours. One of the reasons is that it is situated on the left side of the Ob River far from all other attractions, but many guides and locals also suppose that heroic deeds of Russians during the War just can’t be interesting for foreign visitors. However, I try to bring people there every time, and nearly always we spend long minutes walking along the shady alleys speaking about war and peace. In my opinion, this park is one of the most ‘philosophic’ destinations in the city, as it reflects the most dramatic periods in history of our country.

Horse-Riding Club ‘Kudryashovskaya Zaimka’

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Do you like horses? Don’t miss a chance to go for a ride in the pine forest, even in winter.