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Difference between revisions of "Nizhny Novgorod"

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[[Image:Nizhny Novgorod Kanavinsky Bridge.JPG|thumb|350px|Nizhny Novgorod on the Oka]]
[[Image:Nizhny Novgorod Kanavinsky Bridge.JPG|thumb|350px|Nizhny Novgorod on the Oka]]
'''Nizhny Novgorod''' ([[Russian phrasebook|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 Region|Volga]] economic region, and also the administrative center of [[Nizhny Novgorod Oblast]] and [[Volga Region|Volga Federal District]].
'''Nizhny Novgorod''' ([[Russian phrasebook|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 Region|Volga]] economic region, and also the administrative center of [[Nizhny Novgorod Oblast]] and [[Volga Region|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.
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.

Revision as of 17:08, 20 December 2010

Nizhny Novgorod on the Oka

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.




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 — 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 Makariev 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.


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

By train

Trains are probably the best and the most convenient way to get to Nizhny Novgorod. Most of the Trans-Siberian trains (including the legendary train No.1 between Moscow and Vladivostok and the train from Moscow to Beijing) pass via Nizhny Novgorod.

Note: In train timetables the old name of the city, "Gorky(Горький)", is still used as the destination name instead of Nizhny Novgorod.

By train from Moscow:

The fastest option is to take Burevestnik express which commutes between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod twice per day (departure from Moscow's Kursky station at 1400 and at 1655). It will take around 4 and a half hours to get Moskovsky station in Nizhny. There are also comfortable overnight trains departing from Moscow's Kazansky station at 2225 and from Kursky station at 2355. Of course it is possible to use other trains going eastward departing from various Moscow's stations.

By train from Saint Petersburg: the night train "Volga" departs everyday at 1732 and arrives to NN at 0850 next morning.

There are also direct train connections with Kazan, Samara, Kirov, Yaroslavl and other cities of the region (there are mainly night trains). As well as with Vladivostok, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Irkutsk, Astrakhan, Simferopol, Novorossiysk and many others.

By plane

The international airport of Nizhny Novgorod (GOJ) is situated in Strigino district what is about 30-40 minutes by taxi from city centre (if there are no traffic jams). The airport is very small. There are several daily flights to Moscow, also there are connections with Baku (Azerbaijan), Frankfurt (Germany), Kaliningrad, Novosibirsk, Surgut, Vienna (Austria), Yekaterinburg and Yerevan (Armenia). Most of the flights are operated by the Russian airlines, but there are also regular flights by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.

You can get to the airport by buses number 11, 20, T-29 or by taxi (normal price from city centre will be around 700 roubles — appr. 30 USD).

By car

Nizhny Novgorod is situated on M7/E30 road. The road is quite ok and it usually takes about 4 hours to get to Nizhny from Moscow. However the traffic jams in the suburbs of Moscow can make the way longer. The story about speed regimes and the road police will follow soon ...

By bus

There are regular state-owned daily bus connections with Moscow (from Kanavinskaya bus station in Nizhny to metro Schelkovskaya in Moscow) but the buses are very slow (it can take up to 10 hours with several stops in all the towns along the road) and rather uncomfortable. There are also faster private daily and overnight buses between Kursky railway terminal in Moscow and Moskovsky railway terminal in Nizhny Novgorod.

Also there are buses to Chuvashia, Mari El, and Mordovia (from main bus station near pl. Lyadova).

By boat

River cruises [1] [2]] down the Volga operate during the summer months (early May to end of September). Dozens of boats operated by different companies run from Moscow to Astrakhan and back. One way or return cruises may be reserved to/from practically any city along the Volga.

Get around


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.


  • Jet fighter flight on Sokol Airbase in MiG Jets, Nizhny Novgorod, MiGFlug & Adventure GmbH, Badenerstrasse 286, 8004 Zurich, +41 44 500 50 10 (), [3]. Very nice but expensive experience. The customer can fly itself under close watch of the pilot. Supersonic flights and stratospheric Edge of Space flights are possible €12,500 for a MiG-29 Fulcrum flight including transfer from Moscow and all preparations.


  • Picnic in biggest park in the city.

Shopping malls

  • 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. [4]
  • Chocolade (Shokolad, Шоколад) — 124, Belinsky Str. (Белинского, 124).
  • Etazhi (Этажи) — 63, Belinsky Str. (Белинского, 63) — [5].
  • Respublika (Республика) — the big mall right in front of Moskovsky station. [6]
  • Fantasy (Fantastika, Фантастика) — 178, Rodionov Str. (Родионова, 178). [7]


  • Tinkoff, Belinskii Street, Etazhi Shopping Complex (Bus stop : Opera Theatre (Operny teatr) or Poltavskaya Street). variety of food including Japanese cuisine. Its cheaper to go on weekdays from 12 — 4 pm to order their "business lunch" which is like a bento meal. moderate to high.
  • McDonalds, - one in Gorky Square, one in front of Moskovsky railway station, one near Park Kultury of Avtozavod, one in MEGA shopping mall.
  • Planeta Sushi, Belinskava Road. Really good japanese food serves at a reasonable price.Fused together with Italian restaurant Il Patio.
  • 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)
  • Biblioteka. Excellent Italian restaurant situated at Pakrovskaya 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.
  • Gariachy Obed, (at the Medical Street Station at Gagarin Prospect). 8AM-4PM. Here you can get a typical Russian meal at a very cheap price.
  • Yakitoria. Located at Gordkovo Street near to Svabodi Square,here serves japanese and chinese cuisine.Reasonable priced set lunch serves at noon.



  • Hotel Oka, Gagarina avenue, 27 (Bus stop : Hotel Oka (Gostinitsa Oka)), (831) 275-94-49, [8]. offers a variety of room options and very close to the city centre. located next door to a newly opened supermarket 3300 Roubles.


By phone

If you are planning to spend in Russia more than several days and you are going to communicate with your Russian colleagues by mobile (and send SMS to your home country) it would be reasonable not to spend on roaming and to buy a local SIM-card. There are five GSM networks in the city: three major Russian mobile networks ("big three": MTS, Beeline and Megafon), Tele 2 and NSS (HCC). Also there is a network working in AMPS/DAMPS standard and there was one in NMT-450 (not sure if it's still there). The prepaid tariffs are more or less the same in all GSM networks. A SIM-card can be purchased in numerous shops, kiosks, and special salons. Usually it costs you just to pay some 3 or 4$ for your future calls.

However if you come to Nizhny Novgorod with a SIM-card bought in Moscow or Saint Petersburg be aware that you will be charged higher prices for your calls since providers consider this as inner-Russian roaming (basically the country is divided in several huge roaming zones). Mobile numbers registered in Nizhny Novgorod are of the Volga region zone.

There are payphones in the streets however you can buy phonecards only in the post-offices and in few newspaper kiosks.

By internet and wi-fi

There are several wi-fi spots for free internet access in the city. For example, there is wi-fi coverage in the cafe at KARO cinema on the top floor of "Shokolad" (Chocolade) shopping-mall in Belinsky Str. Free Wi-Fi (with the purchase of a meal/drinks) is also available at a cafe called "Artbus" ("Артбус", the Russian word for "watermelon"). Be aware, though, that this cafe has a monthly bandwidth limit, so if you try to use the Wi-Fi there toward the end of the month, you may not succeed.

In the Upper city (Nagornaya chast' Нагорная часть):

  • Stalker — 100 meters from Poltavskaya bus- and tram-stop in Belinsky Str., the exact address is 226 Gorky Str. (ул.Максима Горького, 226).
  • Shlyuz (Шлюз) — close to Sennaya Square, on campus of Linguistic University. It's more like a game club; the address is 36 Bolshaya Pecherskaya (ул. Большая Печерская, 36). Open 24/7. (??)
  • Also there is 24/7 internet access available at the main post-office in Gorky Square.

In the lower city (Zarechnaya chast' Зарэчная часть):

Get out

Routes through Nizhny Novgorod
MoscowKostroma  W noframe E  KirovYekaterinburg

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