Novosibirsk, Siberia's capital
Updated: Jul 28
Novosibirsk is the unofficial Siberia’s capital, Russia’s third largest city and a worthwhile Trans-Siberian pit stop. Founded in 1893, the city boasts a warm, welcoming atmosphere and is home to nice wooden architecture, exceptional theatres and museums and a renowned research center. Novosibirsk is really easy to get to, as you can take a plane to it from almost any town in Russia and from a number of cities abroad. What’s more, there are many interesting places nearby, like Tomsk.
How to get to Novosibirsk?
Tolmachevo airport has a lot of connections, both domestically and internationally. You can fly to Novosibirsk from almost anywhere in Russia as well as Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Erevan, Larnaka, Cairo, Sharjah, Dubai, Dushanbe, etc. The Moscow-Novosibirsk ticket costs from $50.
Novosibirsk is a stop on the Trans-Siberian railway. You can take a train from Moscow, and the trip will last about 3 days. The prices start from $70.
What to see in Novosibirsk?
Novosibirsk is full of great things to see, from exceptional theatres and galleries to one of Russia’s biggest zoos to the museums of railway technology and more.
Novosibirsk Zoo is the first Siberia’s zoo and accounts for over 11,000 individual animals and 700 species, of which 350 species are rare or endangered. It is considered one of the most responsible zoos in the world and hosts over 70 ecological events and festivities each year. In summer, the zoo is open from 9am to 9pm, in winter - from 9am to 6pm. An adult ticket costs $5.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
The cathedral is one of the first stone structures in Novosibirsk, created during Novosibirsk’s construction boom late in the 19th century. It is built in the neo-Byzantine style, with a gilded dome and breathtaking murals inside, so it feels much older than its actual creation date. The cathedral is named after an outstanding Russian military leader Alexander Nevsky, who earned his surname after defeating the Swedes at the Neva River in the 13th century. Before the cathedral, you can see a monument to Tsar Alexander III, the one that started building the railway and donated money for it.
Stunning architectural mix
Novosibirsk is famous for its mixture of different architectural styles. Krasniy Prospect, its main avenue, is home to many buildings created under Soviet rule, such as the 100-flat building or the USSR Museum. By the way, there you can try on real Soviet costumes! Wandering around the city, you will stumble upon many wooden houses, most of which are now museums or municipal offices. The city center also hosts many modern edifices.
The Opera and Ballet Theatre
The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre was created in 1945 and is known for its top-notch performances of opera and ballet as well as for being Russia’s biggest theatre, even larger than the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The repertoire includes masterpieces such as Swan Lake.
The USSR Museum
The museum welcomes the visitors right into the atmosphere of the Soviet Union. You’ll feel taken back in time and experience what a typical home looked like under the Communist rule. You’ll also see vintage apparel, household items, and other curiosities from that time.
The planetarium in Novosibirsk is the fourth biggest in Russia, even though it’s a recent addition to the city infrastructure. Created in 2012, the planetarium has already earned a fine reputation across Russia. Before the building, you can see a park resembling the solar system with representations of different planets, the sun and a few comets.
Akademgorodok (or Academic town) is the “town of scientists” situated 30 kilometers from Novosibirsk. Created in 1957, the town hosts dozens of research institutes. Notably, one of its avenues was even added to the Guiness Book of Records as the “most intelligent street in the world”. Today, the town accounts for over 75 thousand inhabitants. One of the main sights is Technical Support Akadempark, created in order to develop productions in high-tech areas, such as IT technologies, biomedicine, electronics and instrumentation.
How to get around Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk has a metro system, connecting two river sides, which is very convenient if you need to get from one part of the city into another. There is a well-developed bus system. You can take a train to go to the suburbs. Finally, you can also take a taxi, for example, Yandex Taxi.
How expensive is it to live in Novosibirsk?
While prices can go up and up, here are some basic things for you to know:
Hostels - from $8 per night
Hotels - from $19 per night
Restaurants - from $5 per meal, from $1 per coffee cup
Metro/bus ticket - about $0.5
Movies - from $1.5 per ticket
Theatre - from $15 per ticket