The best time to visit Novosibirsk. When?

The idea to write this post came to me a week ago when I guided a group of Thai tourists. We had planned a great itinerary for 8 hours, including a visit to a nearby village to get an idea of the rural Russia, a visit to Academgorodok to see how people of science live surrounded by the forest, and a lot more. But we had to go to the market and the shopping mall instead as the day was impossibly dull — snow-rain, grey sky, dirty melting snow… Novosibirsk refused to show its best to this Thai group, apart from one of the Beerman restaurants, which are exceptionally good all year round.

But these travelers read about Novosibirsk in a blog of another Thai traveler, who was lucky to come to Novosibirsk on a beautiful December day. It was about -20 that day, it was snowing, but we had a great time exploring the pine forest, and the village, and the city covered in sparkling snow.

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The Largest Aquapark in Russia

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For many long years aquapark was one of the most anticipated projects in Novosibirsk. Numerous design projects replaced each other; the location was changed many times. Finally all details were settled and coordinated, and a huge construction started several years ago to be finished in 2016. Now Aquaworld (AquaMir) is the largest in the country and one of the ten largest in the world.

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.

Coffee Collective. Tasty and Trendy.

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Coffee Collective is a coffee shop close to the downtown. It’s hard to surprise visitors with good coffee; it is good nearly everywhere, so coffee shops try to surprise us with exclusive service, trendy interiors and specialties. 

Traditional Russian Festivals in Novosibirsk

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Russia values its tradition, and in summer Novosibirsk attracts lots of visitors to different events related to folk arts, crafts, music and traditions. The previous week offered two events of the kind, both demonstrating how important and valued Russian and Slavic traditions are and how many people are into them.

Edutainment Opportunities in Novosibirsk

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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. 

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.

A Tour of Novosibirsk Churches

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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 before that question was asked, as there are very few churches in the city, the majority of which built only recently. This is understandable, because 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 situation changed, all the remaining church buildings were returned to the Orthodox community and a lot of new churches were constructed, mainly, of course, Russian Orthodox, but Catholic churches and mosques, too.

‘Ice Town’, Embankment of the Ob

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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.

Visit a Russian banya, feel like a new man!

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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.