Novosibirsk: Destinations

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Holy Spring in Lozhok Village, one of the Former GULAG Locations.

There is a quiet and peaceful place to the south of Novosibirsk, on the outskirts of Lozhok village. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to get there from the center of Novosibirsk. An elegant newly built Orthodox  church overlooks a tiny chapel off a small creek surrounded by picturesque birch trees. On popular Orthodox holidays the place is packed with worshipers,  but even on ordinary days the place is never empty. People from nearby villages and even from Novosibirsk arrive with bottles, cans, and barrels to get some water from the creek, while the most courageous ones dive into the ever-freezing waters in specially arranged pools, some doing it even in the middle of Siberian winter.

Suzun. Old Copper Factory and Mint.

I invite you for a day trip to Suzun, a settlement located approximately 150 km to the south of Novosibirsk.

Surrounded by everlasting pine woods, this settlement was officially founded by the order of Catherine II in 1763 for construction of a copper factory and a mint. Copper was excavated in Altai, but it was very expensive to transport it to the European Russia for making coins, so a mint in close proximity to the mines was necessary. 

Tomsk. Day or two-day trips from Novosibirsk

IMG_1914Have a longer stay in Novosibirsk?  Don’t hesitate, go on a one or two-days trip to Tomsk. Located approximately 250 km to the north of Novosibirsk, this cozy city will be a cherry on your cake. It is filled with carved wooden houses looking like they come from Russian fairy tales. Its world-recognized universities opened long before Novosibirsk was first mentioned. Old but youthfully vibrant, it won’t leave you untouched.

A spare day in Novosibirsk. Possible day trips.

You are coming to Novosibirsk for several days and have a spare one? There are many options. You can visit a museum or two and go to the Opera in the evening or you can just wander along the broad streets of the Siberian capital. But what if you have already done all that? There are many variants of day trips. If you choose one of them, you will have an idea of life an remote Russian village or in a small town, or you will enjoy natural landscapes typical for the Western Siberia. Some of these day trips may include an easy hiking tour.

Novosibirsk Zoo

bg-bear-low  The Zoo in Novosibirsk is one of the largest in Russia and one of the main city sights. It history started in 1933, when a small activity center for children was organized, where kids were suppose to learn about animals and to take care of them. In 1950 it was turned to the zoo. It was home to 82 species of animals and was well visited, though its general condition was rather poor. The cages were small and uncomfortable and visitors had difficulties moving around. Everyone understood that the new premises was urgently required, but the construction did not start until 1983. The huge territory is located amidst the pine forest ensuring nature-similar conditions for the residents. In 2005 all the animals and the administrative staff relocated and overnight the zoo became one of the most visited places in the city where everyone can easily spend the whole day under green trees looking at animals and birds.