Novosibirsk: City Life

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.

Top 5 Must-See Places in Novosibirsk

Novosibirsk is a young and vibrant city. Every guest has loads of opportunities and choices as to what to see or do.But what if you have just a few hours and want to get the most of Novosibirsk?

Here are 5 must-see places in Novosibirsk you should not miss.  They are the highlights reflecting the character and soul of the Siberian capital.

  1. NOVAT, Opera and Ballet Theatre. It is the largest theatre building in the country, the great hall of which is larger than the famous Bolshoy in Moscow. The huge stage of 1000 m2 is ideal for spectacular performances. Its dome is a unique engineering work with the diameter of 55 m and thickness of only 8 cm in its upper part. 
  2. Lenin Square. The heart of the city, this huge square in front of the NOVAT impresses with its broadness. It is the crossing point of several important traffic arteries, a famous meeting point and the most popular site for open airs of all kinds.  The colossal Lenin Monument, though grey and military-like, does not feel gloomy and depressing, as it matches perfectly with the surrounding architecture. The prevailing architecture belongs to the famous ‘constructivism’ style, popular in the 20-ies, and it gives the general idea of the city image and character.

Summer Open-Airs. Siberian Fire.

Summer is coming soon! Here in Siberia it’s the time of amazing open-airs. Within three short months there are dozens of them. They can be big, with thousands of visitors, or small, visited by a couple of hundreds. They can include lots of various activities, like sports, wellness and fitness, healthy lifestyle, music and dancing, arts and crafts, esoteric, sacred and mystical practices, or all of these together. 

Novosibirsk Museum of Fine Arts

As a young city born only in 1893, Novosibirsk has just a few museums. However, some of them are worth a visitю Important: in NO museum in Novosibirsk you will be surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of other visitors, however, you can see some exclusive exhibits and enjoy them as long as you wish nearly all by yourself!

Novosibirsk Metro/Underground/Subway

It doesn’t really matter how you call it. The matter is — we do have it in Novosibirsk, and it’s one of the easiest and most comfortable and cheapest ways of getting around.

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! 

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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