Novosibirsk Russia, An Epic Stopover in Siberia
Novosibirsk, the heart of Siberia is an Epic Stopover on the Trans Siberian journey in Russia. With a population of over 1.6 million, Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia. It is the third-largest city of Russia after Moscow and St Petersburg. It lies in the West Siberian Plain on the banks of the Ob River. Novosibirsk is an important city on the Trans Siberian route and many people take it as a stopover. So, particularly, people take a day or two to stay here before continuing their Trans Siberian Adventure.
The other potential stopovers on Trans Siberian Train Route might be Irkutsk, Ulan Ude, Krasnoyarsk, and Ekaterinburg. We had a short time so we planned Novosibirsk as a day trip. So, we reached Novosibirsk in the morning and left it on the same day. Then after spending about 12/14 hours in the city we boarded again on the next train and continued to our next destination on the Trans Siberian route. So, If you have only one day in Novosibirsk we would suggest you for a self-guided tour and you can follow our plan.
How to get to Novosibirsk Russia?
The closest airport to Novosibirsk is Tolmachevo Airport. It is located about 16 kilometers from the city center. So, you can get a flight for Novosibirsk from most of the major domestic airports of Russia. Buses run from the airport to the train station and into the town.
Novosibirsk is a major stop along the Trans Siberian Route and a journey to Moscow takes around two days. Similarly, you can reach Novosibirsk from Irkutsk in one day. Furthermore, there are 4 big railway stations in Novosibirsk. These are The Main Station, the South, the East, and the West stations. More than 60 thousand people travel through these stations every day. Moreover, the Main Station, Novosibirsk Glavny is the biggest railway station in the Asian part of Russia. Importantly, you can book your train seat by using the Russian Railway Website.
The Novosibirsk bus station or avtovokzal serves intercity as well as international routes. While bus service connects Novosibirsk with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Whereas intercity buses go to Tomsk, Barnaul, Krasnoyarsk, Kemerovo, and other prominent cities of the region.
Following are the important distances from Novosibirsk to other prominent cities of the regions
- Novosibirsk/Moscow: 3400km
- Irkutsk/Novosibirsk: 1850km
- Novosibirsk/ Almaty: 1800km
- Ulan Bator/ Novosibirsk: 3000km
- Novosibirsk to Kazan: 2500 km
How to get Around Novosibirsk Russia?
As in any Russian city, there are many public buses, trolleybuses, minibusses (marshrutkas), and even a metro in Novosibirsk.
The fastest way to travel around the city of Novosibirsk is by the metro. It is open from 6 a.m. to midnight. The metro has two lines and 13 stations. The length of both lines is 15.9km. The fare is 20 rubles per trip. You can get a token from a ticket office/ token machine at every station. The Novosibirsk metro is an essential part for day to day travel within the city. In addition, it is particularly inexpensive. It includes the main stops like Krasny Prospekt and Ploshchad Lenina (Lenin Square).
You can take a taxi by Yandex. However, in Novosibirsk tourists used it for short journeys as it is a bit expensive than the other means of transport. Although it is convenient, however, the usages of taxis among tourists are less frequent.
Where to Store Luggage in Novosibirsk for Day Trip
Sometimes, we have very little time for a new place. So, instead of staying overnight, we just take a day trip there. The biggest problem we have right then is, where do we put our luggage during our day visit. So, for my present Trans Siberian Journey, I did a lot of research on luggage storage at different Railway stations. My initial plan helped me a lot and I used the luggage storage facility at Novosibirsk and Kazan. Consequently, here is the relevant information that we have collected and exercised. The renting price varies that depends upon the size and time duration of locker renting.
Where to Stay in Novosibirsk Russia?
Although, I didn’t stay a night in Novosibirsk. So the options that I am going to share are recommended by a couple of my friends who stayed there for a night. For budget option in a dorm bed, you can stay in FOXHOLE Hostel for under $10. It is very near to Lenin square on Krasny Prospect. For midrange, you can try the Marins Park Hotel which is near to Novosibirsk Glavny Train station.
Novosibirsk Russia, Places to Visit
Although it is considered an industrial city, yet Novosibirsk has plenty to offer tourists. So, you can find several spectacular architectural examples here. Most of them are located around the city center especially around Krasny Prospect.
Krasny Prospect Novosibirsk
Krasny Prospect is the long street of almost all the attractions along with it. If you have short of time then even you can plan and visit this only street in Novosibirsk. It is 5 ~ 6 km in length is a busy street in the city center. It starts from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and goes to Chaplin Square towards the North of the City. You can visit almost all the major tourist attractions of Novosibirsk on this street. These attractions include Alexander Nevsky, WWII monuments, Chapel of Saint Nicholas, Lenin Square and Opera, and Pervomaysky Square. You can add a lot of other monuments along both sides of the street too.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
As I decided to go to the far end and then have to come all the way back to Novosibirsk train station. So, I got on the bus to reach this prestigious cathedral. This is an Eastern Orthodox cathedral named in honor of St Alexander Nevsky. It was constructed between 1896-1899. At that time the building was one of the first in Novosibirsk to be constructed from stone. It was built in the Neo-Byzantine architectural style. So, its history is as old as the city of Novosibirsk. AT the south of the Cathedral, you can spot monument of the Tsar Nicholas II and Tsar Alexy. It is a beautiful monument that depicts the time of two generations
State Art Museum Novosibirsk
On the day of our visit, there was a light shower of rain. So, after spending a few hot days in St Petersburg, Moscow, and Irkutsk, we finally got very pleasant weather here in Novosibirsk. From Alexander Nevsky, we followed the Krasny Prospect toward Lenin Square. After a few minutes gentle walk, we saw a gorgeous building at our left. It was the building of the State Art Museum of Novosibirsk.
This Museum was opened in 1958 as Novosibirsk Regional Picture Gallary. It has several departments, like departments of painting and graphic art. In addition, decorative and applied art, sculpture, and contemporary art can also be seen there. Moreover, it has an exhibitions center in the Museum too. You can see a fair number of sculpture monuments beside this museum. This Museum has three stories that have many artifacts that include Icon-Painting art of 16th century, Europian art of 17/18th century, and soviet Art of 19th century. It has a very vast open area in front of the main entrance so, one can relax on many of the sitting points.
Chapel of Saint Nicholas
Chapel of Saint Nicholas or Chasovnya Vo Imya Svyatogo Nikolaya Chudotvortsa is about 100 years old as built-in 1915. As per many legends, It’s the geological center of Russia. This church was built right in the center of the Russian Empire. This church was demolished in 1930 And again restored in 1993. Saint Nicholas church is located just in the center of Krasny Prospect. In addition, it separates the two-way traffic of Krasny Prospect.
The weather was chilly then, so for a short break, we sat in a café beside the chapel and enjoyed a couple of coffee rounds. The café’s name, Organic Coffee is a new addition to the town. It has a great ambiance to sit for an hour or two.
This park wasn’t on our marked list but we couldn’t miss its location while walking on the Krasny Prospect. Again, it came to our left side. It is a public garden in Novosibirsk and is located opposite the building of city hall. The main attractions of the park include a long and relaxing walk, a couple of fountains, many flower beds, and many sitting places at different places in the park. The park displays the works of the participants of the annual symposium of stone sculptures held in the city.
You definitely want to take a selfie with a Stony Love Sign of the park. In addition, there is a tree that is associated with love and wish. That’s why people tie ribbons or tag a love lock to fulfill their wishes. So, you can tag your lock near the small fountain beside the love sign. Since 2000, a place of the park has been designated for the Annual Snow Sculptural Festival of Siberia in Novosibirsk.
Lenin Square and Opera Theater
This square is the most famous in the city of Novosibirsk. Lenin Square is a common landmark in most of the Russian cities. However, in Novosibirsk, you can see the biggest Theater of Opera and Ballet beside the square. You can see the memorial sign of the first cinema in the square too.
This monument is the Iconic Symbol of Novosibirsk city. You can find Lenin Monuments in every city of Russia. However, the monument of Novosibirsk is a unique one. Instead of a single monument, it is an architectural composition that has several monumental figures. When you see it from Krasny’s side, the giant monument of Lenin is in the center. You can locate a couple of symbolic monuments of a worker, soldier, and peasant at its left. On the right side of Lenin, you can see the monument of a young man and girl that holding a torch. It is the symbol of the continuity of generations.
NOVAT – Novosibirsk State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet
Just behind the Lenin Monument, we can spot the NOVAT Opera. NOVAT is known as Novosibirsk State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet. It is considered the cultural center of Siberia and one of the cultural centers of Russia. Especially, NOVAT is the one of most important theatres in Siberia. Moreover, it is a symbol of pride in the Siberian region. Indeed, the theatre is one of the best musical theatres in Russia. It has participated in a variety of international and Russian festivals.
Novosibirsk-Glavnyy Railway Station Russia
This green and white color building of Novosibirsk Glavny is a pleasant attraction in the city. Novosibirsk-Glavny railway station is the largest passenger railway station of the West Siberian Railway. It is not only a station but a famous city attraction too. The building of this railway station was the largest in the country during Soviet times. The station building reflects a resemblance with an old steam locomotive.
Other Attractions for Multi-DAy Stay in Novosibirsk
As we have taken Novosibirsk as a day visit on our Trans Siberian Train journey in Russia. So these were the places that we could explore on our day tour. However, if you have more time, then you can extend your stay for more couple of days. In this way, you can explore many of the city attractions that we have missed. Indeed, the list of top attractions is very long. However, you can choose and visit from
- Novosibirsk Zoo
- Botanical Garden.
- Novosibirsk Circus
- Aqvamir Water Park
- Ascension Cathedral
- Sun Museum
We started our Trans-Siberian Journey from Irkutsk where we visited Lake Baikal and Listvyanka Village. Now after visiting Novosibirsk, we are going to Kazan for a similar stopover. Consequently, we will go to our final destination to Moscow or St Petersburg Russia.