Novosibirsk was founded in 1893 at the future site of the Trans-Siberian Railway bridge crossing the great Siberian river Ob, in place of Krivoshchekovskaya village, which was founded in 1696. At first the town received the name Novonikolayevsk (Новониколаевск), in honor both of Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. At the time of the bridge's opening in 1897, Novonikolayevsk hosted a population of 7,800 people. In 1907, Novonikolayevsk, now with a population exceeding 47,000, was granted town status with full rights for self-government.
In the 1950s, the Soviet Government directed that a center for scientific research be built in Novosibirsk, and in 1957, the multi-facility scientific research complex of Akademgorodok was constructed about 30 km south of the city center.
On September 2, 1962, the population of Novosibirsk reached one million. At that time, it was the youngest city in the world with over a million people, having taken fewer than seventy years to achieve this milestone.
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Most foreigners find Novosibirsk to be gray and boring. Despite its size, there is no tourist infrastructure in Novosibirsk and you will not find tour buses or many tour guides in the city. With the exception of a limited number of young people, most of the population of Novosibirsk does not speak English well and it is recommended to learn some Russian before you travel or travel with someone who can speak Russian.
Summers in Novosibirsk are typically warm, but sometimes cold and rainy. Winters can be really cold with temperatures as low as -40° Celsius.
Tolmachevo Airport, (IATA: OVB), +7 383 216-98-41, also known as Novosibirsk International Airport, is 16km from the city centre. The airport serves over 4 million passengers per year. There are regular to flights to many major Russian cities including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Krasnodar, Omsk, Ulan-Ude, Samara, Ufa, and Yekaterinburg as well as international flights to Dushanbe, Istanbul, Baku, Prague, Yerevan, Beijing, Almaty, Osh, Bishkek, and Dubai.
To travel between the airport and the city:
- Bus #111 (RUB35) operates between the airport and the main train station "Novosibirsk-Glavny" (Новосибирск-Главный) and Avtovokzal (Автовокзал), the bus terminal (30 minutes).
- Minibus #312 operates between the airport and the main train station.
- Bus #112 (RUB30) operates between the airport and shopping mall "Mega" (IKEA).
- A taxi takes around 30 minutes and should cost RUB500 if negotiated in advance.
- See also: Trans-Siberian Railway
Vokzal-Glavny station is very close to the Garina Mikhailovskogo (Гарина Михайловского) metro station.
There are also regional trains to most nearby cities.
Timetables and fares can be searched for on the RZD website.
The city center is fairly compact and a walk from the railway station to Lenin's square takes around 20 minutes.
By public transport
Public transport includes a Metro system in the city centre as well as buses, trams, marshrutkas, and trolleybuses. A ride on intra-city public transport costs RUB35 or less.
- Novosibirsk State Museum of Local History and Nature (Новосибиркий Государственный Краеведческий Музей), Krasnyi Prospekt 23 (Metro: Ploshid Lenina), ☎ +7 8(383)227-15-43. Sometimes closed to the public. Displays showing the history of Novosibirsk and Siberia. RUB100.
- Novosibirsk Zoo (Новосибирский зоопарк), ☎ +7 383 220-97-79. 9AM-9PM. With 10,000 animals, it is one of the largest zoos in Russia. Adults: RUB250; Children/Students: RUB100.
- As in every Russian city, there are multiple monuments to heroes of the Great Patriotic War (WWII), including an eternal flame guarded at special ceremonies by youths with replica Kalashnikovs.
- Lenin's Square has a grey-color monument of Lenin left from Soviet era standing right in front of the Opera and Ballet House.
- The exact geographical center of former Soviet Union just south of Lenin Square, marked by the Chapel of St. Nicholas, originally built in 1915 to commemorate 300 years of Romanov rule, destroyed in 1930 and rebuilt in 1993.
A visit to Akademgorodok, built in the 1950s as a mecca for academics but suffering from neglect in the post-Soviet years, is still pleasant as a day trip. This formerly elite institution is located about 30 KM south of the city and features several museums and nice, tree-lined streets.
While you're in the area, you might also visit one of several nice beaches on the Ob Sea, the large body of water created by a dam on the Ob River.
Also south of the city, about 2 km north of Akademgorodok, is the open-air West Siberian Rail Museum. There are about 90 historical trains and rail cars there.
- Opera House (Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater) (In the city centre), ☎ +7 (383) 222-60-40, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Many of the performances are famous works and it is interesting to see the Siberian interpretations. Recommended to purchase tickets in advance.
- Since there is plenty of snow in Siberia during the winter, going skiing or ice skating could be a lot of fun in Novosibirsk. There are a lot of ice arenas in the city. Some of them are free of charge, but those don't usually rent skates. The ones that rent skates may be not free of charge. One of the centrally located stadiums is "Spartak".
There are a lot of malls, shops, boutiques and stores in Novosibirsk. They offer a lot of goods from all round the world and you can have a great time while shopping. However, be careful when buying anything there - always check what you buy, before you pay. Sometimes the goods you buy may be produced not by a brand company but by a company in an Asian country that has a license for producing products under this brand name. Sometimes the quality of these goods doesn't correspond to the quality of the original brand. This may be especially applied to the European brands. For example, the same scents may have a different aroma in Novosibirsk and somewhere in Europe. It doesn't mean that the goods have bad quality and you shouldn't shop. But be careful if you want to purchase anything. You could have a lot of fun if you go to markets like Central Market ("Центральный рынок") or "Baraholka". There you'll see people from around the world selling stuff that is not brand but it may have a good quality. Be careful there as well, as you may run into pocket pickers. You may even find some local food there and try some specials. There are a lot of different markets in the city but the most famous are Central Market and Baroholka. You may buy nothing there but what you see, you'll see nowhere in the world. It literally looks like an Asian market with only difference it's in the Russian way.
- Aura Planeta Mall (Торгово-развлекательный центр Аура Новосибирск), Voyennaya ul., 5, ☎ +7 383 230-30-40. 10AM-10PM.
There are many good dining options and many local chain restaurants. Lenin Square is a popular place to eat. Italian food, sushi, and Russian food are all very popular. Many cafes offer lunch specials on weekdays.
- Beerman. Friendly beer restaurants with several locations in the city: Beerman&Grill (1 Vokzalnaya Av., Novosibirsk Hotel), Beerman&Pelmeni (7 Kamenskaya St., Hilton Hotel), Beerman&Pizza (7 Karla Marksa Sq.) Great food and in-house beer.
- Pechki-Lavochki (Печки-Лавочки), 11 locations. Rustic "Traktir"-type restaurants with typical Russian cuisine — grilled and/or smoked beef and pork, sausages. Several kinds of fish dishes. Wide selection of hot and cold appetizers, and hearty soups like Solyanka and Borscht. Their most central location is at 1 Lenina St. Mains: RUB450.
- People's Grill & Bar, Krasny prospect #17 (Down a stairway opposite St. Nicholas Chapel), ☎ +7 383 218-09-39. noon-2am. Celebrity hangout. Serves burgers, wraps, pasta, pizza, sushi, fajitas and cocktails.
- Pub 501, ul. Lenina, 20, ☎ +7 383 218-09-39. Serves great food as well as drinks. Prices are higher than most places..
- Truba Jazz Club (Труба), pr. Dimitrova, 1, ☎ +7 383 227-15-69. 7PM-6AM. Visit if you want to meet Novosibirsk's "underground" culture. Foreigners usually like this place.
The Russian café chain Coffee House (Кофе Хауз) has several locations in Novosibirsk, but the food is considered to be subpar and overpriced.
- Travelers Coffee, Several locations. Good selection of tea and coffee. English menu is available. Some light snacks such as sandwiches, wraps, and cheesecakes, muffins and cookies. Free WiFi and plug sockets for your laptop. Very good service.
- Kardamon, ул. Чаплыгина (Chaplygina) 39. An alternatively looking tea room with nice travellers' atmosphere. Tea for 100 RUB, light meals for 100-150 RUB.
With the exception of some high-end hotels, all hotels and hostels offer free WiFi and many have computer terminals. Almost all accept credit cards. Hotels and hostels will usually provide a visa invitation and registration for an additional fee.
- Central Hostel of Novosibirsk, Ordzhonikidze st. 33 - 4 (In the centre, two minutes away from metro station Ploschad Lenina.), ☎ +7 (383) 222-56-89. Check-in: 12pm, check-out: 1pm. The staff is always pleased to help with everything. 3 bedrooms; capacity is 16 customers. Dorm bed: US$12-20; Double: US$50-57.
- Dostoevsky Hostel, ulitsa Maksima gorkogo, Apt. 85 (City center near the Opera House; across the road from Rechnoy Vokzal metro station), ☎ +7 8-983-510-75-83, e-mail: email@example.com. A modern hostel with excellent security. The owners are very welcoming and look after all the guests. Dorm bed: RUB350-700.
- FunKey Hostel, Frunze st. 5/2 (5 minutes walk from Lenina Square), ☎ +7 (383) 263-65-03. Very spacious and beautiful hostel. Each room is issued in individual style. Spacious drawing room, kitchen. Staff is very friendly. Dorm bed: RUB500-700.
- Zokol Hostel, Shchetinkina st. 34 (2 minutes walk from the main street, Lenina St; 10 minute walk from the train station), ☎ +7 383 2233611. Very comfortable rooms, more akin to a hotel, with single beds and a nice communal kitchen/living area. The staff speaks excellent English and are extremely friendly, helpful and enthusiastic. Dorm bed: RUB500-900.
- Azimut Hotel Siberia, Lenina Street #21, ☎ +7 383 223-12-15. Check-out: exactly 24h after check-in. In a concrete tower. Breakfast buffet. Sauna. From RUB1,600.
- Centralnaya / Tsentralnaya Hotel, Lenina street 3 (On the street opposite the opera/ballet house.), ☎ +7 383 222-72-94, 222-36-38. Check-in: anytime(?), check-out: exactly 24h after check-in. TV, fridge, and sink in the room. Grim, shabby Soviet-era accommodations for hardy, budget-conscious travelers. Not recommended for families. From RUB1,200; shared bathroom.
- Metelitsa Hotel, Dobrolyubova, 195, ☎ +7 383 285-30-00. Restaurant serves European, Russian, and Japanese cuisine.</ From RUB2,500, breakfast included.
- River Park. Formerly known as the Ob Hotel, on the bank of the Ob River, is situated close to the Metro just southeast of the city center. After being gutted by fire in the 1990s, it has been refurbished, with reasonably clean rooms, a business center, and a nice Russian restaurant on the first floor. Don't look for English-language television or air conditioners, but there are plenty of rooms with private bathrooms. Single: RUB2,800; Double: RUB4,000.
Many cafes and restaurants offer either free or paid WiFi. There is also WiFi available in the main train station, public libraries, shopping malls, cinemas, universities and other establishments.
Internet cafes and computer clubs are also commonly found.
- Germany, Krasny Prospekt, 28, ☎ +7 (383) 231-00-52, 231-00-20, fax: +7 (383) 231-00-55, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Thu 8-30AM - 4PM; Fri 8-30AM - 3PM.
- Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Malta, and Spain (EU Visa Center), Sibirskaya street, 57, ☎ +7 (383) 209-0379. Mon-Fri 9AM - 4PM.
- Italy, Lenina street, 52, ☎ +7 (383) 238-0723, fax: +7(383) 238-0723. Mon-Fri 9AM - 4PM.
While it's better to stay away from some run-down areas the overall situation is not bad. Pervomayskiy rayon and far-off neighborhoods of Leninskiy and Kirovskiy rayons should be avoided at any time.
The safest place is the center (nearby Lenin Square), stay there and you will be all right.
|Routes through Novosibirsk|
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