Winter Fun in Novosibirsk. Ice Skating.

Siberia is one of the places associated with cold, frosts, everlasting and never-melting snow. Shortly: it is associated with WINTER. And winter is associated not just with staying indoors and drinking hot or long drinks, but, first of all, with outdoor winter fun.

In this post and so forth I’m starting to share with my subscribers what fun you can have in Novosibirsk in winter. Let’s start with ice-skating. 

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.

MIRA SPA

Winter in Siberia is associated with frosts, lots of snow all around and, of course, BANYA!

Banya is where you purify your body, mind and soul. Banya is the place to relax, to forget about all your everyday worries and troubles, to remember who you really are, to restore your balance. And, of course, to get warm.

MIRA Spa is the unique location. Travelers from all over the world claim there is nothing like this in any other Russian city.

It is the largest SPA in Siberia. Here you indulge yourself to all sorts of banyas and saunas, a huge warm swimming pool, invigorating whirlpools, salt rooms or just relax overlooking the tranquil lake and pine forest.

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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.

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.

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.

Summer Open-Airs. Siberian Fire.

Summer is coming soon! Here in Siberia it’s the time of amazing open-airs. Within three short months there are dozens of them. They can be big, with thousands of visitors, or small, visited by a couple of hundreds. They can include lots of various activities, like sports, wellness and fitness, healthy lifestyle, music and dancing, arts and crafts, esoteric, sacred and mystical practices, or all of these together. 

Veggy — Raw-Vegan Cafe

As a vegetarian, I’m always happy when a new vegetarian/vegan/raw cafe or restaurant appears. I was really excited to know that we now have Veggy, a place for vegans, raw eaters and everyone who values fresh and absolutely natural food. The place has a perfect location in the downtown, and just 10-15 walking minutes from the Railway station. 

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.