Novosibirsk: Things to do
For many long years the aquapark was one of the most anticipated things in Novosibirsk. Numerous design projects replaced each other; the location was changed many times. Smaller neighboring cities like Omsk and Barnaul already had aquaparks, so we had to go there to have some water fun. But finally all details were settled and coordinated, and a huge construction started several years ago to be finished by summer 2016. Now Kvarsis Aquaworld (this is the aquapark’s name) is the largest of the kind in the country and one of the ten largest in the world.
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.
Do you like horses? Don’t miss a chance to go for a ride in the pine forest, even in winter.
The idea of this post was suggested by one recent tourist from Malaisia who liked some of the churches in Novosibirsk so much that he asked me if there is a special ‘church tour’ of the city. There wasn’t any until that question was asked, as churches are quite a few of them in the city, with most of them built only a few years ago. This is easily explained by the fact that Novosibirsk was built and developed mainly during the Soviet period, when religion was as good as prohibited and all churches built before the Revolution 1917 were either destroyed or turned into something else. During the Perestroyka the ban on going to churches was lifted, all the existing buildings of churches were returned to the believers and construction of a lot of new churches started, mainly, of course, Russian Orthodox, but Catholic churches and mosques, too.
You are coming to Novosibirsk for several days and have a spare one? There are many opportunities. 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 see life in an ordinary 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.
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.
For some the notion of ‘banya’ sounds totally unfamiliar, while others think it is just a Russian word for a sauna. However, banya and sauna are two different things. Besides, for Russians a banya is a symbol of health, purification, joy of body and soul.
The center of healthy recreation MIRA opened in Novosibirsk in the fall 2013 and since then it has been the best place to relax in the city.
If you are traveling with kids, don’t miss these objects. Such kinds of entertainment are new, but they are so popular now, that you can find them in multiple places in the city.
‘Birch Grove’, or Birch Park (Berezovaya Roscha) is a park close to the city center but not exactly in the downtown. A hundred years ago it was a city cemetery, and, according to some ‘witnesses’, it is still possible to find occasional human bones there. But it is no more than gossip, as the park exists there for several decades now, and it was rearranged many times. Now it is a big green territory offering various recreation opportunities for the visitors, like bicycle and inline skates rental in summer and skiing, skating and tobogganing opportunities in winter.