Novosibirsk: What to see

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.

Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, or NOVAT

‘Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, of NOVAT, its brand name, is the largest one in Russia’. This is how I typically start the downtown tour. When I say ‘the largest’ I really mean it, as it is the biggest theatre building in Russia. 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 here that the whole building of either of them will easily fit inside the great hall of NOVAT.

Not to mention the quality and grandeur of ballets and operas. Russian ballet is famous all over the world for its premium performance and skills of dancers. Russian opera has been gaining popularity recently. In Novosibirsk you can enjoy both opera and ballet of the highest performance quality, but at prices considerably lower than in both capital cities.

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.

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.

The Monument of Glory.

Memorial Ensemble devoted to heroic deeds of Siberians in the Great Patriotic War.

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The Monument of Glory is one of the most impressive sights in Novosibirsk, but it is hardly ever included into the standard guided tours. One of the reasons is that it is situated on the left side of the Ob River far from all other attractions, but many guides and locals also suppose that heroic deeds of Russians during the War just can’t be interesting for foreign visitors. However, I try to bring people there every time, and nearly always we spend long minutes walking along the shady alleys speaking about war and peace. In my opinion, this park is one of the most ‘philosophic’ destinations in the city, as it reflects the most dramatic periods in history of our country.