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Nizhny Novgorod

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Nizhny Novgorod

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Nizhny Novgorod (Russian: Ни́жний Но́вгород NEEZH-nee NOHV-guh-ruht), colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is Russia's fifth largest city, ranking after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. It had a population in 2005 of 1,297,600. It is the economic and cultural center of the vast Volga economic region, and also the administrative center of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District.

From 1932 to 1990 the city was known as Gorky (Го́рький), after the writer Maxim Gorky. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the old name was restored.

Nizhny Novgorod on the Oka



The city was founded by Grand Duke George II of Russia in 1221 at the confluence of two most important rivers of his principality, the Volga and the Oka. Its name literally means Newtown the Lower, to distinguish it from the older Novgorod. A major stronghold for border protection, Nizhny Novgorod fortress took advantage of a natural moat formed by the two rivers.

Along with Moscow and Tver, Nizhny Novgorod was among several newly-founded towns that escaped Mongol devastation on account of its insignificance and grew up into important centers of Russian political life during the period of Tatar yoke. For a short period of time it was the capital of the Suzdal Principality and competed with Moscow for the power in the region. However the competition with Moscow was lost and in 1392 the city was incorporated into Muscovy. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin was built in 1508-1511 (under supervision of the Italian fortress engineers) and became one of the strongest Russian citadels. There is a legend saying that the project was initially developed with participation of Leonardo da Vinci. However there is no documented proof of Leonardo's work for that project, the only thing the legend is based on is the striking resemblance of Leonardo's sketches and the actual kremlin schemes. The fortress was strong enough to withstand Tatar sieges in 1520 and 1536.

In 1612, the so-called national militia, gathered by a local merchant Kuzma Minin and commanded by Knyaz Dmitry Pozharsky expelled the Polish troops from Moscow, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles and establishing the rule of the Romanov dynasty.

In 1817, the Makaryev Monastery Fair, one of the liveliest in the world the 16th-18th centuries, was transferred to Nizhny Novgorod, which thereupon started to attract numerous visitors and by the mid-19th century it turned Nizhny Novgorod into trade capital of the Russian Empire.

Under the Soviet rules the trade connections of the city were abandoned and Nizhny Novgorod turned to become an important industrial centre instead. During the communist time the city was closed to foreigners to safeguard the security of Soviet military research. The physicist and the Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov was exiled there during 1980-1986 to limit his contacts with foreigners.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -6.6 -5.7 0.7 10.5 17.4 22.5 23.4 21.2 14.8 6.9 -1.1 -4.6
Nightly lows (°C) -13.0 -12.2 -6.3 2.3 7.6 12.5 14.1 11.9 6.8 1.2 -5.8 -10.3
Precipitation (mm) 42 33 28 36 52 64 76 67 57 59 56 50

Averages of Nizhny Novgorod

The climate in the region is humid continental and it is similar to the climate in Moscow, although colder in winter, which lasts from late November until late March with a permanent snow cover.


The city is divided by the river Oka into two major parts: the Upper city (Nagornaya chast) on the hilly right side and the Lower city (Nizhnyaya or Zarechnaya chast — what literally means "the part over the river") on the left bank of the river. The Upper city is the old historical part of Nizhny Novgorod, whereas the Lower city is larger, newer and consists of more industrial districts.

The Upper city is administratively divided into three districts (rayons):

  • Nizhegorodsky (the central historical part, plus the part along the river Volga)
  • Prioksky (is situated along the river Oka)
  • Sovetsky

The districts of the Lower city:

  • Kanavinsky (Kananvino)
  • Sormovsky (Sormovo)
  • Avtozavodsky (Avtozavod)
  • Moskovsky
  • Leninsky

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

The train station in Nizhny Novgorod is located in the northern part of the city centre, near the Metromost Bridge. It is reachable via the metro. The main hall of the train station is beautiful and includes a chandelier as well as soviet-style mosaics symbolizing the life of Russian people.

       See also: Trans-Siberian Railway

All Trans-Siberian trains stop at Nizhny Novgorod.

When searching timetables and fares on the RZD website, enter "Nizhniy Novgorod" as the station for Nizhny Novgorod.

There are several options for train travel to/from Moscow including high speed Sapsan trains (3.5 hours, RUB1,200-1,700) and slower late night trains (7 hours, from RUB700). Trains are generally cheaper if purchased in advance. Most trains to/from Moscow arrive to/depart from Moscow's Kursky or Yaroslavsky train stations.

There are 2 daily overnight trains to/from Saint Petersburg (15-16 hours, from RUB900).

There are also direct train connections with Vladimir, Dzerzhinsk, Kazan, Samara, Kirov (6-7 hours, from RUB550), Yaroslavl (9 hours, from RUB450), Kungur (16 hours, from RUB1,200), Yekaterinburg, (20 hours, from RUB1,400), Novosibirsk (40 hours, from RUB2,500), Irkutsk (69 hours, RUB10,000), Astrakhan, Simferopol, Novorossiysk (52 hours, from RUB1,900), Vladivostok, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, and many other cities. Suburban commuter trains connect Nizhny Novgorod with towns within 200km of the city.

By plane[edit]

Strigino Airport, (IATA: GOJ), +7 800 100-03-33, also known as Nizhny Novgorod International Airport, is 20km southwest of the city centre. The airport serves over 1.2 million passengers per year. There are regular flights to many major Russian cities including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Surgut, and Yekaterinburg, as well as international flights to Tashkent, Yerevan, Osh, Prague, Dushanbe, and Dubai. In addition, Dexter Air Taxi operates flights on small planes to nearby cities in Russia such as Kirov and Perm.

The airport is connected to the city by public transport including buses 11, 20, T-29, T-46. The journey by public transport to the city centre takes approximately 1 hour. A taxi ride takes around 30 minutes and should cost under RUB1,000 if negotiated in advance.

By car[edit]

Nizhny Novgorod is situated on the M7/E30 road. The road is in decent condition, although with traffic it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to drive to/from Moscow.

By bus[edit]

There are several stops for buses arriving in Nizhny Novgorod; however, departing buses leave from either Kanavinskaya bus station, near the railroad station, for buses going to points north and west, and the main bus station (Avtovokzal) near pl. Lyadova, for the buses going to points south and east.

Buses are generally uncomfortable and slower than the trains.

MR Trans operates buses to/from Moscow (9 hours, RUB600-1,000), Yoshkar-Ola, Kazan, Cheboksary, and other nearby cities.

By boat[edit]

Turflot, Infoflot, and many other companies operate multi-day river cruises down the Volga from early May to the end of September.

Many companies operate ferries between Moscow and Astrakhan, with stops at most cities along the Volga River.

Get around[edit]

By foot[edit]

The city centre is compact and walkable. However, there are many inclines or steps from the river banks. The bridges are not pedestrian friendly since the sidewalk is very narrow and cars drive extremely fast close to the pedestrians.

Via public transport[edit]

Metro in Nizhny Novgorod

There is a network of trams, trolleybuses, buses, marshrutkas and a 2-line metro system. Google maps can be used for directions via public transport.

The fare on public transport is RUB16 per ride and operating hours are generally 05:15am to midnight.

On surface public transport (trams, trolleybuses, buses and marshrutkas) you are expected to pay within one stop after you enter, the fare is fixed for one ride. A konductor who will come to you, take money and issue a ticket; if there is no konductor, you should pay directly to the driver. Both the driver and konductor will give change if needed, although notes of RUB1,000 and larger are sometimes denied. It is best to have exact change ready.

Marshrutkas do not stop at every stop. To indicate your intention to exit a marshrutka, press a button and to indicate your intention to enter a marshrutka en-route, you need to wave your hand.

The metro consists of 2 lines and 14 stations, with more stations planned in the future. The system was designed during Soviet times and stops are located near factories and industrial areas. However, the demographics have shifted and as a result, the metro is not as useful as it once was and surface transport is more popular and more crowded. The metro system uses tokens that can be purchased in the stations. The 2 lines intersect at Moscovskaya Metro Station. This is the only metro station in the ex-USSR with 4 adjacent tracks.

By bicycle[edit]

Nizhny Novgorod does not have any bicycle infrastructure such as bike lanes or parking and cycling is prohibited within the Kremlin and on part of Malaya Pokrovskaya Street. However, many locals still travel by bicycle.

The upper city is very hilly and full of steep inclines and even many locals will get off their bicycles and push their bikes up the hill by foot. Drivers can be reckless and pose a danger to cyclists. The roads can also be icy during the winter.

Bike rental[edit]

  • X-line, 22 Malaya Pokrovskaya, (), [1]. 10:00-21:00. Bicycle rentals, sales, and service. From RUB500/day.  edit


Exhibition Hall of the Fair
the Kremlin
Map of the Kremlin, 12 towers
M12 in GAZ Museum

Historical center[edit]

  • The Kremlin is worth a wander around and contains a church, war monument with eternal flame, a reasonable art museum and impressive views along the Volga River.

Note that the walks on the Kremlin's wall are cariied out from 1, May to 1, October.

  • Yarmarka, (the Fair) - Nineteenth century complex abound with exposition, exhibition and conference halls[2].
  • Square of Minin and Pozharsky, the main square of Nizhny at the south-east side of the Kremlin.


  • Museum-house of the writer Maxim Gorky.(19, Semashko st)- a big house with several rooms keeping the atmoshpere of the 1900s.
  • Museum-flat of Andrey Sakharov, the father of the H-bomb and human rights activist. (214, Prospekt Gagarina). The museum is inside the appartment house.
  • Russian museum of photography[3] (9a, Piskunova st.)
  • Museum of steam engines - 15 engines constructed before 1950 in various countries, located 200m away from the suburb station "Nizhny Novgorod Sortirovochnaya".
  • Nizhegorodsky Ostrog. (Museum of prison). 2 Svobody sq. (пл. Свободы, д.2. Built in 1823-1824 and had amongst its prioners writers and politicians.
  • History Museum of GAZ, Russian car-producer. 95, Lenina st. Mo-Fr 08:00-11:30 12:30-16:00.
  • Arsenal (National Center for Contemporary Arts, Volga region branch) [4] (Kremlin, building 6)


  • Monument to Valery Chkalov, a test pilot, known for his ultra long flight from Moscow to Washington State via the North Pole.
  • Maxim Gorky
  • Alexander Pushkin (at the entrance to the Theatre of Opera and Ballet)
  • Prince George and Saint Simon of Suzdal (inside the Kremlin).


  • A big variety of churches and convents.
  • Bolshaya Pokrovskaya st. and the museum of Russian traditional art on it.
  • Varvarskaya st.
  • Rozhdestvenskaya st.
  • Ilyinskaya st. - buildings of merchant development.
  • Chkalov Footway.


Take a ride on the new cable-car from Nizhny to Bor on the other side of the river. The station is a bit hard to find, but if you walk along the Volga eastwards you can see the cables spanning the river. Just walk along the bank and you will find the station hidden behind some newly constructed building.

Cross the river and ejoy the great view. There is not much to do in Bor, except for if you like Russian suburban tristesse. One ride is 80 Rubles.


Shopping malls[edit]

  • Mega — the leading shopping mall in Nizhny Novgorod (located in Fedyakovo, a southern suburb on the road to Kazan). Auchan, IKEA, OBI and 160 other shops in this huge shopping centre. [5]
  • Fantastika (Фантастика) — 178, Rodionov Str. (Родионова, 178). [6]
  • Chocolade (Shokolad, Шоколад) — 124, Belinsky Str. (Белинского, 124).
  • Etazhi (Этажи) — 63, Belinsky Str. (Белинского, 63) — [7].
  • Respublika (Республика) — the big mall right in front of Moskovsky station. [8]
  • LP Fashion Gallery - the only one a Premium shopping mall in the city center (в здании бизнес-центра "Лобачевский PLAZA") — 10/16, Alexeevskaya Str. (Алексеевская 10/16). [9]


There are 4 centrally-located McDonald's restaurants in Nizhny Novgorod.

  • Planeta Sushi, Belinskava Road. Really good japanese food serves at a reasonable price.Fused together with Italian restaurant Il Patio.  edit
  • Yaponamama. Another sushi chain store,cheapest set lunch found in town. With 7USD you can get a bento,a soup and a drink.Can be found at Minin Square (opposite the Kremlin), Fantastika (2nd floor) and Gorky Square (just below new york pizza)  edit
  • Biblioteka. Excellent Italian restaurant situated at Pokrovskaya Street. Good atmosphere, great food and reasonable price. Weekdays lunch time from 12 to 3pm you can get 20% discount on all menu,but the place will be packed.  edit
  • Goriachy Obed, (at the Medical Street Station at Gagarin Prospect). 8AM-4PM. Here you can get a typical Russian meal at a very cheap price.  edit
  • Yakitoria. Located at Gordkovo Street near to Svabodi Square,here serves japanese and chinese cuisine.Reasonable priced set lunch serves at noon.  edit
  • Bocconcino, 10/16, Alexeevskaya Str. (800 meters from the Kremlin), +7 831 296 55 73, [10]. 12:00-00:00. Located at LP Fashion Gallery near with Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Str. Here you can get a typical Italian food. Reasonable priced (350 rub) set lunch served at noon.  edit


  • Boss Bar, Alekseevskaya St 10/16, entrance from October Street, +7 (831) 296 55 72, [11]. Drinks: RUB300; Meals: RUB300.  edit
  • Fabrika Bar & Club, Rozhdestvenskaya St, 43, +7 831 212-81-11 (), [12]. Su-Th: 11AM-1AM; F-Sa: 11A-6AM. Cocktails: RUB400.  edit
  • Franky Cocktail Bar, ul. Zvezdinka, 10 в, +7 831 434-01-66, [13]. Su-Th: Noon-2AM; F-Sa: Noon-6AM.  edit
  • Mixtura Bar, Lower Volga Embankment #16, +7 831 413-82-32 (), [15]. Su-Th: 8PM-6AM; F-Sa: 7PM-6AM. Cocktails: RUB300-400; Meals: RUB500.  edit
  • Rock Bar, ul. Piskunova, 11, +7 831 419-26-36, [16]. Noon-5AM. Cocktails: RUB400-500; Meals: RUB200-500.  edit


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.



  • Gorky Hostel, Bolshaya Pokrovskaya St, 5/6, +7 831 439-09-00 (), [17]. Colorful décor. 7-bed dorm: RUB490; 5-bed dorm: RUB590; 4-bed dorm: RUB690; Double room: RUB1,590.  edit
  • Like Hostel (Лайк Хостел), Gruzinskaya ul., 8, 24, +7 908 232-50-38, [18].  edit
  • Smile Hostel, Bolshaya Pokrovskaya St, 4, +7 800 500-25-62 (), [19]. 8-bed dorm: RUB390; 6-bed dorm: RUB450; 5-bed dorm: RUB490; Double room: RUB1,590.  edit
  • Sweet Hostel, Kozhevennyy per., 3, +7 800 700-02-05, [20]. 6-bed dorm: RUB400; 4-bed dorm: RUB500; Double room: RUB1,800; RUB90 extra per night on weekends.  edit


  • Azimut, ul. Zalomova, 2 (At the intersection of the 2 rivers), +7 831 461-92-42, [21]. 157 rooms. From RUB2,400; 15% discount for 7-day advance booking.  edit
  • ibis Nizhny Novgorod, Maxim Gorky St, 115, +7 831 233-11-00 (), [22]. 3-star hotel with 220 rooms. Mediterranean-themed hotel. From RUB2,900.  edit
  • Marins Park Hotel, Sovetskaya ul., 12, +7 831 211-55-00 (), [23]. With 500 rooms, this is the largest hotel in Nizhny Novgorod. Single: From RUB3,300; Double: From RUB3,800.  edit
  • Oka, Gagarina avenue, 27 (Bus stop: Hotel Oka (Gostinitsa Oka)), (831) 275-94-49, [24]. Next door to a supermarket. From RUB2,800.  edit



For information on purchasing a SIM card in Russia, see Russia#Contact

Note that Nizhny Novgorod is in the Volga region zone, and SIM cards purchased elsewhere, such as in Moscow or Saint Petersburg may be subject to roaming charges.

There are payphones in the streets; however, you can only buy phone-cards in the post offices and in a few newspaper kiosks.


Free WiFi is available in most hotels, shopping malls, university buildings, restaurants and cafes, the airport as well as several metro stations. There is also free public WiFi on B. Pokrovskaya street.



  • Au-flag.png Austria (Honorary Consulate), 29 Piskunova st, (831) 4-185-100 (, fax: (831) 2-786-769), [26]. Mo-Fr 10:00–13:00, 14:00-16:00; except weekend.  edit
  • Ez-flag.png Czech Republic (Honorary Consulate), Minina street, 18, (831) 419-8593, +7 (910) 382-6875, +7 (905) 665-5078 (, fax: +7 (831) 419-9866), [27]. Mon-Fri 9-00AM - 6-00PM.  edit
  • It-flag.png Italy (Honorary Consulate), 46 Ulyanova st, (831) 215-2215 (fax: (831)215-2215).  edit
  • Kn-flag.png North Korea (Honorary Consulate), Nizhne-Volzhskaya naberezhnaya, 17/2, +7 (831) 430-1687 (fax: +7 (831) 430-1687).  edit

Visa Centers[edit]

  • Bu-flag.png Da-flag.png Gr-flag.png Ic-flag.png Mt-flag.png Sp-flag.png Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Malta, and Spain (EU Visa Center), Osharskaya street, 16. Mon-Fri 9AM - 4PM.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Gorodets - a town founded in the XIIth century, famous for its Museum of samovars.
  • Makaryev Monastery is located 100km southeast of Nizhny Novgorod. It was constructed between 1651 and 1667. Approximately 20 nuns live there.

Routes through Nizhny Novgorod
MoscowVladimir  W noframe E  KirovYekaterinburg

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