With a population of over 1.5 million people, Novosibirsk is the third most populous city in Russia.
The city was founded in 1893 as a transport hub. The city was originally called Novonikolayevsk (Новониколаевск), in honor of both Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II. It became a large industrial centre during the Stalin period. In 1962, it became the first city in the world to reach a population of 1 million people within 70 years of being founded.
The majority of the population lives in 5-story block apartments and private houses are rare.
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.
Novosibirsk State Museum of Local History and Nature (НовосибиркийГосударственныйКраеведческийМузей), Krasnyi Prospekt 23 (Metro: Ploshid Lenina), ☎ +7 8(383)227-15-43, . Sometimes closed to the public. The museum is closed for at least the remainder of 2015 but some exhibits, regarding the history of the local area, are being shown at the Central Department Store at Vokzalnaya Magistral #11.RUB100. edit
Novosibirsk Zoo (Новосибирскийзоопарк), ul. Timiryazeva, 71/1, ☎ +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. edit
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 grey-color monument of Lenin left from Soviet era is standing right in front of the Opera and Ballet House.
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.
Novosibirsk Regional Puppet Theater (over 70 years old in an interesting historic building)
In winter residents build an ice town on the Ob River, and in summer you can go to the beach.
Opera House (Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater), (In the city centre), ☎ +7 (383) 222-60-40 (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.(55.030371,82.924516)edit
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.
There are plenty of good cafes and restaurants around the city, where you can get quality, non expensive food and drink. Most of the best cafes in the city are chains, and you will find five or six other branches around. Most are located around Lenin Square, and will be in the big shopping centres. The most popular choice of food in Novosibirsk is Italian or Sushi, however you can find places with Russian food, and there are also a few well known fast food chains. You can generally get a good meal with wine for under 500 rubles, but look out for the Business Lunch menu, found in all cafes from 12pm -4pm. Portion sizes the same, but prices are very low. Starter, main and wine can be bought for 200-250 rubles.
Perchini (Перчини) Over looking Lenin Square. Free WiFi. During summer there is also a rooftop bar which is open from 9th May. They don't speak much English, but the menu is in Russian and English and has pictures. They serve good pizza, pasta ranging from 200-400 rubles. Business Lunch 10am-4pm - small pizza or normal sized pasta for 115 rubles.
Il Patio (IL Патио) Next to Lenin Square. Smoking upstairs, downstairs non smoking. Free WiFi. Service in this branch is excellent, and there are some waitresses with really good English. The menu is all in Russian but you will find the usual classic dishes. Recommended is the lasagne, and the pizza is really good quality. Business Lunch 12pm -4pm - full sized pizza or pasta for 150 rubles or a combination menu.
Riba Ris (Риба Рис) Lenina Street next to Lenin Square. Large menu, all tables are booths - remember to push the button for service! And the waiting staff wear red beanie hats with big eyes on top. Menu is in Russian but lots of pictures. 8 pieces of sushi cost between 120-300 rubles.
Shashlikof (ШашлыкоFF) Found all over the city - Lenina Street, Krasnyy Prospekt etc. Fun cafe, music, cheap prices, always busy, so for a Friday/Saturday night always book a table. Speciality is Shashlik - barbecued meat on a stick, which you can have with a choice of potato or salad.
Buffet No 1 Lenina Street. USSR recreation cafe serving traditional food from that time. No table service, but very cute, retro style. And prices are very cheap. Breakfast costs no more than 100 rubles.
Pechki-Lavochki network of 11 restaurants which offers traditional Russian food at prices of around RUB450. They can be crowded in the evenings.
Travelers Coffee Good selection of tea and coffee. They have an English menu if you ask. Some light snacks - sandwiches, wraps, and cheesecakes, muffins and cookies. Free WiFi and plug sockets for your laptop. Very good service.
Coffee House Good coffee and tea. Cakes are nice. Food reasonable.
Kardamon Chaplygina (Чаплыгина) str. 39. An alternative tea room, 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, Semji Shamshinyh st. 12, flat 113, ☎ +7 (383) 217-48-13, +7-913-759-50-36, . checkin: 12pm; checkout: 12pm. In the centre, ten minutes away from metro station Ploschad Lenina.Close to cafes and restaurants, bars and night clubs and The Pervomaysky Park. For those who like shopping there are boutiques and different shops like one of the biggest shopping centers of Novosibirsk - Aura. The hostel offers Wi-Fi and 135 TV channels. The staff is always pleased to help you with everything. Maximum number of customers is sixteen.10-57$. edit
Dostoevsky Hostel, Inskaya st., Building 56 - Apt 8, ☎ +7 913 002 7189, . A new modern hostel with a western feel and excellent security. The owners Ksenia and Marina are very welcoming and look after all the guests. Situated across the road from Rechnoy Vokzal metro station. Easy to get to from the Central Train Station (20 min). Excellent accommodation for Trans-Siberian Railway travellers, general tourists and business travellers. email@example.com $19-$23. edit
Zokol Hostel, Shchetinkina st. 34 (2 minutes walk from the main street, Lenina St), ☎ +73832233611, . Close to the main train station, around a 10 minute walk. 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. There's free wi-fi and a shared toilet and bathroom.500 Rubles for a shared room and 650 for a private.. edit
FunKey Hostel ((5 minutes walk from Lenina Square)), Frunze st. 5/2 (firstname.lastname@example.org), ☎ +7(383)263-65-03, . Very spacious and beautiful hostel. Each room is issued in individual style. Spacious drawing room, kitchen. Personnel very friendly. Free Wi-Fi.500-700 Rubles. edit
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, free wi-fi internet, 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.
Tsentralnaya Hotel, Lenina street 3 (On the street opposite the opera/ballet house.), ☎ (+7383) 222-72-94, 222-36-38. checkin: anytime(?); checkout: exactly 24h after checkin. TV, fridge, and sink in the room. Won't get any cheaper than this for a private room. Grim, shabby Soviet-era accommodations for hardy, budget-conscious travelers. Not recommended for families.From 1200 rubels for shared toilet/shower. edit
Beerman. up market friendly bars at 3 locations in the city - 2 "Beerman" and "Beerman Pelmini" are downtown in the Novosibirsk Hotel (by the station) and Hilton Hotels. Great food and their oen brew of beer edit
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