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Nizhny Novgorod

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Revision as of 09:08, 2 August 2013 by Sentellen (talk | contribs) (By train)

Volga Region : Upper Volga : Nizhny Novgorod Oblast : Nizhny Novgorod
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Nizhny Novgorod

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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 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

the Fair

By train

Wikitravel has a guide to Trans-Siberian Railway.

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.

By train from Moscow:

The fastest option is to take Sapsan [6] that will carry you for 3h 55m (departure from Moscow's Kursky station twice per day, one early at the morning, the other at evening). The other option is Burevestnik express which commutes between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod twice per day (departure from Moscow's Kursky station). 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 and from Yaroslavsky station. 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 each evening and arrives to NN 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 rather small. There are several daily flights to Moscow, also there are domestic connections with Chelyabinsk, Mineralnye Vody, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Surgut and Yekaterinburg. International connections include Baku (Azerbaijan), Dubai, Dushanbe, Frankfurt (Germany), Prague (Czech Republic), Tashkent and Yerevan (Armenia) as well as various seasonal charter flights to resort destinations, mainly in the Mediterranean. Most of the flights are operated by the Russian airlines, but flights to Frankfurt are by Lufthansa and to Prague by Czech Airlines.

You can get to the airport by buses number 11, 20, T-29, T-46 (20 rubles in July 2012) or by taxi (normal price from city centre will be around 700-1000 rubles or $25-$30 US).

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 [7] [8]] 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 (quite out-of-date) map of transport routes could be downloaded here: [9]

2GIS site has an up-to-date (and often updated) information on all transport routes, together with route planner: [10] (in Russian, but just click on the map and on the pop-up use "Маршрут отсюда" for source and "Маршрут сюда" for destination).


Metro in Nizhny Novgorod

There are two lines in Metro, both connected in Moskovskaya station. The first line goes from Burevestnik. The second one goes to Park Kultury. Several stations are going to be built. Working hours: 05:15am - 12:00pm. Price: 16RUB. Railway station is above the Moskovskaya station.

A new segment from Moskovskaya across the river to the Gorkovskaya at the city center was opened in November 2012.


  • Vezyot.[11], from 80RUB. Phone: +7-(831)-215-55-55, +7-(831)-216-01-01.
  • Mustang.[12], from 100RUB. Phone: +7-(831)-2-488-488.
  • Nizhegorodets [13].Phone: +7-(831)-4-216-116, 230-22-44
  • Poehali (Let's go!) [14], from 70RUB.Phone: +7(831) 413-48-38

Car rent

  • The center of car rent (Центр проката автомобилей) [15] 1450-1550RUB for 3 days. Phone: +7(831)4145-095.


Tram communications were opened in 1896 and now there are about 30 lines operating in the city.


Extensive network of 25 lines.


About 80 lines of government-owned buses.

Also about 80 lines of privately-owned buses calles marshrutnoe taksi (literally routed taxi) or marshrutka. These are generally smaller than government-owned buses and usually (but not always) feature a letter "T" before the number of route. Note that they have different routes from that of government buses, so a bus and a marshrutka with the same number have usually completely different route. Note also that in contrast to other public transport, these do not stop at every stop; to indicate your intention to exit a marshrutka, you should press a button above the door, and to indicate your intention to enter an oncoming marshrutka, you need to wave your hand.


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. Some vehicles (almost all trams and trolleybuses and about a half of buses and marshrutkas) have a special man called 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 large notes (1000 and 5000 RUB) can sometimes be denied.

If it is crowded, it is customarily to ask other passengers to pass your money to a driver or konductor (however, if a vehicle has a konductor, he/she will usually find a way to you unless the vehicle is indeed completely packed). This is safe and money losses are very rare (and in most cases unintended), although it is better to pass the exact amount so that no change is needed, or at least not pass large notes. In any case, it is better to prepare you money before entering a vehicle.


the Kremlin
Map of the Kremlin, 12 towers
M12 in GAZ Museum

Historical center

  • 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[16].
  • 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[17] (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.


  • Monument to Valery Chkalov, a test pilot, known for his ultra long flight from Moscow to Vancouver 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 70 Rubles.


  • 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. [18]
  • Fantastika (Фантастика) — 178, Rodionov Str. (Родионова, 178). [19]
  • Chocolade (Shokolad, Шоколад) — 124, Belinsky Str. (Белинского, 124).
  • Etazhi (Этажи) — 63, Belinsky Str. (Белинского, 63) — [20].
  • Respublika (Республика) — the big mall right in front of Moskovsky station. [21]
  • 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). [22]


  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Bocconcino, 10/16, Alexeevskaya Str. (800 meters from the Kremlin), +7 831 296 55 73, [1]. 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.



  • Hotel Oka, Gagarina avenue, 27 (Bus stop : Hotel Oka (Gostinitsa Oka)), (831) 275-94-49, [2]. offers a variety of room options and very close to the city centre. located next door to a newly opened supermarket 3300 rubles.
  • Hotel Tsentralny (Центральный), 12, Sovetskaya st, +7 (831) 277-55-00, 277-56-00 (, fax: +7 (831) 277-55-66), [3]. 3300 rubles.


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", wordplay on the Russian word for "watermelon" - "arbuz"). 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.
  • LP Fashion Gallery — 800 meters from Kremlin – Alexeevskaya Str. 10/16 (ул.Алексеевская, 10/16). There are several wi-fi coverage in the gallery, for example, at the Bocconcino pizzeria, Romanov Lounge, Boss Bar.

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



  • Au-flag.png Austria (Honorary Consulate), 29 Piskunova st, (831) 4-185-100 (, fax: (831) 2-786-769), [4]. Mo-Fr 10:00–13:00, 14:00-16:00; except weekend.
  • 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), [5]. Mon-Fri 9-00AM - 6-00PM.
  • It-flag.png Italy (Honorary Consulate), 46 Ulyanova st, (831) 215-2215 (fax: (831)215-2215).
  • Kn-flag.png North Korea (Honorary Consulate), Nizhne-Volzhskaya naberezhnaya, 17/2, +7 (831) 430-1687 (fax: +7 (831) 430-1687).

Visa Centers

  • 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.

Get out

Routes through Nizhny Novgorod
MoscowVladimir  W noframe E  KirovYekaterinburg

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