Novgorod (Russian: Великий Новгород Velikii Novgorod) is one of the oldest cities in Russia. It was first mentioned in the manuscripts as early as 859.
The city of Novgorod The Great (Novgorod Veliky) is located between Moscow and Saint Petersburg; its population is estimated at 230,000 people; it is one of the most culturally important cities in Russia.
Novgorod was first mentioned in the manuscripts as early as 859. Together with Kiev, Novgorod was a very important cultural, social and economical centre in Rus'.
Novgorod Airport (IATA code: NVR) is currently not operational. It was a busy airport during USSR, but then, due to country's economical situation, had to cease its operations. It has reopened in 1998 with a daily flight to Moscow's Sheremetyevo I (on Yak-40 fleet). This charter flight also came to an end in late 1999. There were plans to open Krechevitsy as a civil airport for the 1150 Anniversary of the city, but the progress in not confirmed.
Train is usually the cheapest way of getting to and from Novgorod. The station is located at the west end of the city center, within 15 minutes' walk of the Detinets (Kremlin). Note that for the elektrichka trains from/to St. Petersburg (train number begins with a 6), tickets can only be purchased on the day of travel, there are no assigned seats, and the cost is about 250 Rubles. For trains # 801 and 802 tickets can be purchased in advance. Two cars have soft seats, versus plastic ones in other cars and other elektrichkas. The price is 275 Rubles for a regular seat, 295 Rubles for a soft seat, which is assigned on a ticket. Also note that only trains # 801 and 802 have bathrooms on board - in the first and the last car. Other trains and elektrichkas do not have bathrooms, and a 15-minute stop in Chudovo is your only option.
From Saint Petersburg, two trains daily from Moskovskiy Vokzal terminal for suburban trains. The seats are not very comfortable, but there is a lot of leg-room space and the windows are there to enjoy the scenery. In between the wagons it is also allowed to smoke.
Train #6905 departs St. Petersburg at 08:13 and arrives Novgorod 11:49
Train # 801 departs St. Petersburg at 17:18 and arrives Novgorod 20:24
Train #6916 departs Novgorod at 16:55 and arrives St. Petersburg 20:54
Train # 802 departs Novgorod at 08:05 and arrives St. Petersburg 11:21
From Saint Petersburg, one daily from Vitebskiy Vokzal. It is the slowest of the trains from St. Petersburg.
Train #6685 departs St. Petersburg at 07:53 and arrives Novgorod 13:02
Train #638E departs Novgorod at 17:13 and arrives St. Petersburg 22:12
From Moscow, daily overnight train run from Leningradskii Vokzal and arrive in Novgorod early in the morning. This train is more comfortable, with seats designed for both sitting and sleeping. Personal suites for 2 or 4 are also available.
Several buses run daily from Saint Petersburg Bus Terminal to Novgorod, with a travel time of about 3.5 hours. Buses to Moscow run only during the summertime, but the trip is way too long and inconvenient.
Novgorod has both bus and trolleybus systems. Running approximately every 5 minutes, buses and trolleybuses will get you to every part of the city.
Like almost everywhere in Russia you can wave your arm and a car will stop to take you anywhere in town. You can cross the whole center for 80 roubles (3 USD).
Novgorod is a walking-friendly city, and if you like long walks, everything in the city is within walking distance. The advantage is also that you have a chance to see the beautiful architecture of the city.
- Kremlin, (City Center). Novgorod's Kremlin, or Detinets, is free to visitors and includes many of the main places of interest in the city. Admission is free, and two gates (one from the footbridge on the river; the other by Sofiyskaya Square and the Lenin Statue) are open to pedestrians. A beach along the bank of the river can be accessed from a gate inside the Kremlin wall.
- Monument of the Millennium of Russia, (In the Kremlin). This iron statue is in the park in the center of the Kremlin. It was created in 1862 and is ringed by an interesting panorama of famous individuals in Russian history up to that time. Russian Tsars and Patriarchs appear on one half of the panorama, and cultural figures on the other half.
- St. Sophia Cathedral, (In the Kremlin). 8AM to 8PM daily. This eleventh-century cathedral is the centerpiece of Novgorod's religious buildings. The iconostasis and frescoes inside are especially interesting. On the north-west exterior of the cathedral, see the Magdeburg Doors, a bronze twelfth-century German creation with reliefs of biblical scenes and, allegedly, the doors' sculptors themselves in one of the scenes. Free..
- Yaroslav's Court, (Across the river from the Kremlin). Across the footbridge from the Kremlin is the old commercial district, which is marked by a long arcade along the river bank. Within the commercial district are several churches, many of which are in typical Novgorod style: a square base topped by a dome. Some wooden houses in Yaroslav's Court also hold temporary museum exhibitions.
- Fine Arts Museum, Sophiyskaya Square 2 (Across from the Lenin Statue), ☎ +7 (816 2) 73 22 65. 10AM to 6PM except Monday and the first Thursday of the Month. A collection of Russian art, including Repin and other 19th and 20th Century artists.
Souvenirs, particularly wooden handicrafts and birch-bark paintings, can be found at many locations, including the souvenir market on Sennaya Square (to one's right as one faces the Kremlin from Sofiyskaya Square and the Lenin Statue).
- Detinets, Pokrovskaya Tower (Inside the Kremlin), ☎ +7 (8162) 774-624 (fax: +7 (8162) 773-015). Located in the cellar of one of the defensive towers, this restaurant serves old Russian food and drink. English menu. Average entree is about 250-400 Rubles.
- Cafe Charodeyka, Ul. Volosova 1 (Corner of Sofiyskaya Square across from the Fine Arts Museum), ☎ +7 (8162) 730-879 (firstname.lastname@example.org). A comfortable, trendy cafe with excellent food and coffee, a short walk outside the Kremlin walls. For both salads and main courses, you choose your own ingredients and sauces from a list on the menu. English menu. Has a sidewalk cafe in the summer.
Honey mead is a local favorite.
- Beresta Palace, Ul. Studentechskaya 2 (North of the city center on the east side of the river,), ☎ +7 (8162) 94-09-10 (email@example.com), . Novgorod's top class hotel, with the most amenities, a moderate distance from the city center. Singles starting at 3000 Rubles.
- Intourist Hotel, 16 Velikaya St (On the river north of the Kremlin), ☎ +7 (8162) 77-42-36 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +7 (8162) 77-41-57), . Singles starting at 1500 Rubles.
- Sadko Hotel, Ul. Fedorovsky Ruchei (Across the river from the Kremlin, about a 30-40 minute walk from the train station), ☎ +7 (8162) 66-09-20 (email@example.com, fax: +7 (8162) 60-30-17). Mid-range, clean, renovated 3-star hotel with restaurant. Price starts at about 2000 for a single, including breakfast..
- Volkov Hotel, Ul. Predtechenskaya 24 (Between the train station and the Kremlin, about a 10-minute walk from each.), ☎ +7 (8162) 33-55-48 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +7 (8162) 33-55-51). Mid-range 3-star hotel
- Akron Hotel, Ul. Predtechenskaya 24 (Next to the Volkov Hotel but with a separate entrance), ☎ +7 (8162) 73-69-08, 73-69-12 (email@example.com, fax: +7 (8162) 73-69-18). One of the less expensive decent options in the city center, at about 1500 Rubles for a single.
Some of the wooden buildings at the museum
- Museum of Wooden Architecture. The museum is in the forest near the shore of Lake Ilmen. It is a collection of rural houses from around Novgorod region that were transported to the area in the 1960s to create this museum. Includes wooden churches, traditional houses, and even a windmill and blacksmith's shop. To get there, take the bus # 7 from the bus stop across the street from Sennaya Square and the tourist information office. The stop for the museum is about 20 minutes from the city center, and one stop after the Yurev Monastery. There is a large wooden hotel/restaurant on the left side of the road at the bus stop, but the entrance to the museum is on the right side of the road. To return to the city, board the #7 bus at the same bus stop where you got off; the bus makes a loop on the one-way road, and thus the same bus will bring you back to the city center. 110 Rubles for foreigners, 50 Rubles for Russians.