Novosibirsk: What to see

Forgotten Airport

If you love everything, which is off-the-beaten track, mysterious and obsolete, you will surely love the deserted airport Severny (northern). It was built in 1929 and till 1957 it was the only airport in Novosibirsk, but air traffic was not too intensive at that time, besides, the city was not that big, even though it was growing very fast. Though the airport was (and still it) at the distance of only 5 km from the downtown, it didn’t really disturb the city life.

Downtown Walks. Spiritual Route.

With this post I’m starting a new series of post on theme walks of Novosibirsk, mostly downtown, each of which can be booked as a tour, of course. Read, enjoy, explore Novosibirsk the way YOU want, choose, AND book YOUR walk!

Spirituality and Faith is our core. It is what supports us in times of troubles and what makes us grateful in times of joy and glory.

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.

Open-air Railway Museum in Novosibirsk

Railway is very important for Novosibirsk. In fact, Novosibirsk appeared only thanks to the railway.  In 1891 the Tsar Alexander III and his government resolved to build the Transsiberian Railway and a group of engineers was sent to Siberia to find the best position for the railway bridge over the river Ob along with the overall layout of the Transsiberian. At that time there was just a huge forest where Novosibirsk is located now, and a couple of small villages here and there. Besides, 30 km to the north of the current center of Novosibirsk there was a big town Kolyvan, and the initial plan was to build the bridge there, but that idea was not approved by the engineers. In 1896 the bridge was put into operation. All aspects of life in Novosibirsk, economic and social, have been driven by railway ever since.

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.

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.