Novosibirsk: City Life

Winter Fun in Novosibirsk. Sleighing

Sleighing is another winter fun for everyone, though you may think it’s for kids only. But try, and you will never be able to stop!

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. 

Vegetarian/vegan in Novosibirsk. No problem!

Vegetarian life-style is getting more and more common and trendy, and Novosibirsk is not an exception. There is a common disbelief that one just won’t survive in Siberia as a vegetarian/vegan, especially in winter, and that there’s basically nothing to eat here other than meat. But as an experienced vegetarian (7 years) I know perfectly well how wrong these assumptions are. In this post I offer you a short ‘vegetarian/vegan guide’ of Novosibirsk.

Winter Walking Tours of Novosibirsk.

You’ve finally determined to book a walking tour of Novosibirsk in the middle of winter? Congratulations! Snow-covered trees, beautiful ladies in luxurious fur coats, happy kids in funny snow suits, snow and ice figures, Christmas decorations — you will experience the REAL Siberia! You’ll surprise your friends with great pics you are about to have! 

Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, or NOVAT

‘Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, of NOVAT, its brand name, is the largest one in Russia’. This is how I typically start the downtown tour. When I say ‘the largest’ I really mean it, as it is the biggest theatre building in Russia. 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 here that the whole building of either of them will easily fit inside the great hall of NOVAT.

Not to mention the quality and grandeur of ballets and operas. Russian ballet is famous all over the world for its premium performance and skills of dancers. Russian opera has been gaining popularity recently. In Novosibirsk you can enjoy both opera and ballet of the highest performance quality, but at prices considerably lower than in both capital cities.

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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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.

‘Ice Town’, Embankment of the Ob

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The ‘Ice Town’ at the embankment of the Ob river is a good old Novosibirsk tradition, and each year it is devoted to a certain theme. This year we are celebrating 55 years of the first space flight done by Yuriy Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut.