Novosibirsk holds quite a few records, too:
Novosibirsk is the heart of Western Siberia - a megalopolis, an important transportation hub, and a cultural and scientific center. The city's architecture is dominated by constructivist and post-Soviet eclectic styles, but modern high-rise buildings are mostly built in high-tech and modern styles.
Novosibirsk unofficially holds the title of the third capital of Russia and capital of Siberia. It is the third largest Russian city in terms of population with over 1.6 million people living here. Novosibirsk surpassed even New York, Chicago and Tokyo in growth rate, becoming a million city in just 70 years and entering the Guinness Book of Records (however, the title of the fastest growing city currently belongs to Shenzhen in China).
Novosibirsk was founded in 1893, and before 1925 was called Novonikolaevsk. The city is located on the two banks of the Ob river. You can often hear that there is a sea in Novosibirsk, meaning the Ob Sea, an informal name of the Novosibirsk Reservoir, created artificially by damming the Ob with a hydroelectric power plant dam. It does, in fact, resemble a sea: there are multiple beaches, recreation centers, even surf stations and yacht clubs on its shores.
Novosibirsk is multinational but safe. It is rightfully called a city of science and culture: there are dozens of theaters, museums and modern cultural centers, and Akademgorodok hosts more than 20 research institutes.
The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre is called the Siberian Coliseum for its size and scope, being the largest theater building in Russia.
The Novosibirsk zoo is the largest in Russia, and it was here that the world's first liliger was born to a liger and a lion. It was nursed, however, by an ordinary house cat.
The right and left banks of the Ob River are connected by the world's longest subway bridge with a total length of 2145 meters, of which one kilometer goes right over the water. The bridge is built using unique subway construction technology and can move on special rollers. This is necessary since, due to temperature rises and falls, the bridge stretches and shortens by almost 50 cm.
Novosibirsk is the hometown of Director Andrey Zvyagintsev and world-famous violinists Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov, who studied under a professor at the Novosibirsk Conservatory. Wolf Messing, a psychic and hypnotist, lived in Novosibirsk in the 1940s.
The Novosibirsk State Public Scientific-Technical Library houses more than 14 million printed books, including The Words of Gregory the Theologian, the oldest Slavonic manuscript from 1362 on paper.
Novosibirsk - the snowiest megalopolis.The difference between the minimum recorded winter temperature (-51°C) and maximum summer temperature (+37°C) is 88 degrees Celsius.
What to see in Novosibirsk:
top 10 attractions
Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
The most famous architectural landmark of the city. This grandiose project, built in the difficult 30s-40s, has been functioning since 1945. The largest theater in Russia, with an auditorium hosting up to 1774 spectators, it almost always plays to the full house. A plethora of world-famous ballet and opera stars - Ivan Vasiliev, Natalia Osipova, Sergey Polunin, Anna Netrebko Yusif Eyvazov and many others - often perform here. The theater dome itself is a unique self-supporting construction, having a diameter of 60 meters while being just 8 cm thick.
USSR Museum and Gallery of Time
A huge fascinating museum divided into two parts. Gallery of Time, an exhibition of Russian and Soviet vintage vehicles, displays restored motorcycles, as well as Volga, Chaika, and GAZ cars. The gem of the collection is a pre-revolutionary Russo-Balt car. Museum of the USSR, the second part, has thematic expositions presented as showcase halls as well as stylized rooms so you can visit a Soviet school, a communal apartment, a sewing workshop, and a music store of 1950-70s.
Local History Museum
The most central museum of Novosibirsk, occupying the historical building of the City Commerce Building, has been operating since 1920. The main exposition of the museum is dedicated to the history and local lore of Siberia from the Paleolithic age to the ethnographic modernity. Showcased in the museum halls are hundreds of artifacts of original culture and life of indigenous peoples.
R. A. Shilo Novosibirsk Zoo
An enormous zoo in the middle of a pine forest, it is home to more than 10,000 animals, and many of them are included in the Red Book. The zoo became world famous when first the liger and then the world's first liliger were born here. Open-air cages with polar bears, Pallas's cats and penguins attract a lot of visitors. By the way, you can get to the zoo by a small train on the children's railroad, which runs from Zayeltsovsky Park.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
An important historical landmark of Novosibirsk, the city’s first stone building, majestic and monumental, was built in 1898. It is one of the best examples of temples in the Neobyzantine style. The main object of worship is the Our Lady of Iveron icon painted on Mt. Athos in Greece, a sacred place for all Orthodox believers. The temple has undergone a major restoration, but its outer appearance was preserved as close as possible to the original.
Museum of World Funeral Culture (Death Museum)
An absolutely unique landmark - the first and only death museum in Russia and one of the largest death museums in the world. Despite the fact that the expositions are devoted to the funeral traditions of different peoples, the museum does not scare, but instead fascinates. There are exhibits from the 19th to early 20th centuries: historical mourning gowns, hearses, engravings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, postcards. Cemetery architecture exhibition also has its corner here.
One of the most popular promenades in Novosibirsk. You can enjoy the view of the Ob River and its bridges from the embankment. In one end of the embankment there is a pier with entertainment river buses cruising the Ob all day long. An important historical monument is situated at the other end - a span of the first bridge built across the Ob River, which became the starting point for the city development. There is also a monument to Tsar Alexander III.
Chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
This restored Orthodox chapel, a copy of the 1914 chapel destroyed during the Soviet period in the 1930s, was originally located in a symbolic point that was considered to be the center of the Russian Empire. The modern chapel, though, stands a little farther from the place. The chapel contains an icon of St. Nicholas and a part of his relics.
Museum for Railway Technology
An open-air museum with a lot of electric locomotives, steam locomotives, diesel locomotives and electric trains and carriages Western Siberian railroads had previously in service. The total length of the exposition is about 3 km, at the moment it consists of several dozens of exhibits. The museum is located at the Seyatel railway station on the road from Novosibirsk to Akademgorodok.
Novosibirsk is impossible to imagine without Akademgorodok, one of the most important scientific and educational centers of Russia. The smartest street in the world with 20 research institutes is located here. However, Akademgorodok is also a wonderful place for a simple stroll: you can enjoy a leisurely walk to the beach of the Ob Sea. It is highly recommended to visit the botanical garden of SB RAS. (Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences), the History and Ethnography Museum, and the open-air Historical and Architectural Museum, where the old Spasskaya church of the 17th century was relocated to. Visiting to the Eureka scientific cafe, the Museum of the Sun and the Integral Museum Apartment will surely add a nice touch to the experience.
The best way to see the city is via the Yandex.Maps application, there is an English version available.
UTC time zone +7, MSC +4 City telephone code for local calls 383 Currency: Ruble Average winter temperature: -18…-22 C Average summer temperature: +20…+22C The main landmarks, parks, theaters and the main streets of the city are on the right bank of the Ob. The main streets of Novosibirsk are Lenina st., Vokzalnaya st., Sovetskaya st. and Krasnyy Prospekt.
Novosibirsk Subway operation hours: 6 am to 12 pm The subway has two lines, the interchange stations are Krasnyy Prospekt (Leninskaya line)/Sibirskaya (Dzerzhinskaya line). The fare is 27 rubles, payable by debit/credit card.
Buses and fixed-route taxis operate till 10 pm. The fare is 25-50 rubles, cash only (for most carriers). Trolleybuses and streetcars operate till 11:30 pm. The fare is 25 rubles, payable by debit/credit card. Taxi services are recommended for late evening use.
The most common taxi services in Novosibirsk:
Yandex +7 (383) 383-00-00
Citymobile+7 (383) 3-888-888
Vezyot +7 (383) 319-19-19
Maxim +7 (383) 288-88-88
Grand Avto +7 (383) 355-10-10
Where to eat:
the best and most fascing cafes in Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is proud of its wide range of gastronomic facilities, with numerous unusual bars, cafes and restaurants welcoming adventurous eaters.
A gastronomic theater and a two-storeyed art object. You will find yourself in an art salon with antique buffets and custom-made furniture from Milan exhibitions, authentic Impressionist paintings, sculpture fragments, and a mid-nineteenth-century clavichord available to have your meal on. Unique collections of rare puppets from all over the world, as well as ancient European porcelain and furniture can be viewed on the second floor. The menu lists many exquisite items of Siberian cuisine, including game dishes.
A traditional and modern Siberian cuisine restaurant with an atmospheric interior. The halls are actively packed with samovars, teapots, birdhouses, jars with pickles and other elements of Russian Siberian everyday life. You will see a warm wall with valenki (traditional winter felt boots), a ceiling decorated with shining spoons and a fireplace. The restaurant not only serves Siberian cuisine, but also has a separate Vodochnaya drink room with hundreds of types of vodka available for degustation. Note the rich wine rack holding 1,200 bottles.
The restaurant with the widest assortment of pelmeni in the world! Pelmeni (traditional Russian dumplings) are strongly associated with Siberia, being the most dearly loved everyday menu item here. The restaurant offers traditional Russian pelmeni with three kinds of meat, Georgian hinkali, Japanese gyoza, black pelmeni with shrimp and squids, Chinese dim sum, Italian ravioli and many more. And the cooking is all done in a show kitchen, so you can watch the making process. Awards: 2009 Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) Award for the best restaurant concept, Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2011.
The oldest eating place in the city, open since the 1960s. Immerse yourself into the atmosphere of an unadorned Soviet buffet. The pride of the cafe are its large wall mosaics made of broken tiles. The most popular menu item is, of course, pyshki (something like doughnuts) with jam or sour cream.
A colorful ethnic Novosibirsk shop serving original dishes of Eastern and Arabian cuisine. The exterior of the restaurant combines the styles of Central Asia, India and even Italy, and the interior is just as complex and eye-catching. “Lavka pustyakov” (a trivia shop) offering unusual jewelry and souvenirs is a nice bonus to the experience.
Where to stay:
Novosibirsk has numerous hotels with exceptional service. Closest to the train station are MarinsPark, Domina and Cosmos hotels.
In the center of the city you can stay at Marriott, Double Tree by Hilton and Azimut chain hotels well-known all over the world. Right at the Ob quay is an excellent three-star River Park hotel overlooking the Ob river.
The best place to stay on the left bank of the river is the Gorsky City Hotel with a beautiful view of the city and a restaurant with original Siberian menu. Mirotel, just 1-minute walk from the Ploschad Marksa subway station, is also an excellent option.
As for hostels, No Bears Hostel, Funkey Hostel, Why Not Hostel, Taiga Nsk and Kupecheski Dvor Hostel can be recommended.
Novosibirsk is a well-established trading city, so you can buy vitrually anything here. Thousands of stores, boutiques and small shops are open almost every day and until late, even on weekends and holidays.
the biggest shopping malls
Novosibirsk is not a very touristy city, so there are few specialized souvenir stores. You can find typical souvenirs (such as magnets, key chains, mugs and figurines) in small kiosks at the Novosibirsk Main railway station, subway stations and bookstores. Honey, pine nuts, fireweed, thyme and oregano herbal teas, knitted mittens and socks, wood and semi-precious stone jewelry, birch bark products, felt boots and felt products are traditional souvenirs from Siberia, and you can find them in many shopping malls.
The Central Market
The Central Market is a place you simply have to visit, with large halls of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and goods from Central Asia. You can try Uzbek flatbread and sour cream, and find some amusing edible souvenirs. But please be careful when you pay, and be sure to ask the price .
Galereya Novosibirsk is a beautiful shopping center with a large number of European brand stores: Lacoste, Massimo Dutti, Mango, Lee, Wrangler, Guess, Mustang, United Colors of Benetton, Tommy Hilfigther, Calvin Klein and others. Aura is a large shopping center with a lot of quality inexpensive stores with medium price segment brands such as H&M, Zara, Levi's, Oysho, as well as plenty of sports, cosmetics and shoe stores .
MEGA is the largest shopping center in Novosibirsk with IKEA (a Swedish furniture store chain), Leroy Merlin (a French homegoods chain store) and Auchan (a grocery chain store).
Royal Park is not the biggest, but it’s very conveniently located on the city's main street, the Krasnyy Prospekt.
Aura is a large shopping center with a lot of quality inexpensive stores with medium price segment brands such as H&M, Zara, Levi's, Oysho, as well as plenty of sports, cosmetics and shoe stores.
Siberia has always been famous for its tradition of Russian steam bathing with sauna whisks and cold pool dipping. You can enjoy this recreational activity accompanied by excellent service in comfortable atmosphere at the city’ many bathhouses.
A high class steam bath recreational complex in the center of Novosibirsk. Sanduny is a public bathhouse with a men's and a women's section in a beautiful, carefully restored building. The interior of the baths will surely amaze you - bright beautiful rooms with mosaics and columns are a feast to the eye. In addition to Russian steam rooms, there are outdoor barrel baths available. Enjoy the bathing experience to the fullest with a delicious lunch at the local restaurant of Siberian cuisine.
A European-class thermal complex located in a pine forest on the shore of a small lake within the city. The complex has no analogues in Russia. It is an urban one-day resort, convenient to come in the morning and enjoy the leisurely experience till the evening. There are several zones inside the resort: a swimming pools zone, a zone with steam baths of different countries and a beach zone. In addition to relaxing steam baths there are also luxurious SPA treatments to elevate the experience.
Parovozov is a public bathhouse of the highest class. Its interior filled with many railroad references, from podstakanniks (traditional tea glass holders) widely used in railroad sleeper carriages to a whole railroad carriage itself where individual steaming sessions are held. The restaurant offers a special menu of Siberian cuisine: sterlet choush (a type of appetizer made from pickled sterlet), Indigirka raw fish salad, stroganina (frozen fish or meat cut into thin slices), bear meat pelmeni, smoked meat from the restaurant’s smokehouse, pickles and desserts with cranberry, honey and pine nuts.