Novosibirsk: What to see

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.

Museum of Siberian Birch Bark

The Siberian Birch Bark Museum is one of the TOP places and a must for everyone who wants to see and experience the real crafts. Lots of souvenir shops all over Russia offer nice birch bark objects, but in this unique museum you are offered a huge collection and variety of birch bark objects, from icons to dolls.

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.

Kolyvan’

Kolyvan’ is included into the list of historical places of the Novosibirsk Region; it is one of the oldest settlements in the region. Located only 30 km to the north of Novosibirsk and close to the river Ob, this settlement was founded much earlier than Novosibirsk, and it is definitely worth visiting if you are interested in Russian history and the history of Siberia in particular, or just want to enjoy picturesque and peaceful landscapes of the Siberian countryside or get an idea of the typical lifestyle in the country.

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. 

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.

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.