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 (530km) and Saint Petersburg (108 km). Its population is estimated at 230,000 people. Novgorod is inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Novgorod was first mentioned in manuscripts as early as 859. Together with Kiev, Novgorod was a very important cultural, social, and economical centre in Rus, and was the capital of one of the first European democracies, the Novgorod Republic.
Novgorod Airport (IATA code: NVR) is not operational. It was a busy airport during the time of the USSR.
The Novgorod-Na-Volhove train station is located 1.5km west of the city center, the river, and the Detinets (Kremlin).
Russian Railways operates trains between the Novgorod-Na-Volhove train station and Saint Petersburg's Moskovskiy Vokzal station (3 hours, early morning and late evening, ~400 руб) as well as Moscow's Leningradskii Vokzal station (8 hours, overnight, 800+ руб). The trains to/from Saint Petersburg are all seated and can be uncomfortable, although there is a lot of leg room. The overnight trains to/from Moscow feature soft berths and compartments for an additional charge.
All trains and elektrichkas make a brief stop in Chudovo, where you can get out of the train and use a very unpleasantly dirty bathroom.
Left luggage services are available at the Novgorod-Na-Volhove train station.
The bus station in Novgorod is located across the street from the train station.
Several buses run daily from Saint Petersburg's Main Bus Terminal to Novgorod (several daily, 4 hours, ~200 руб). Buses to Moscow operate only during the summer, but the trip is long and inconvenient. Buses also operate to Tver, Pskov, Riga, and other cities in the Novgorod region.
Novgorod has both bus and trolleybus systems. Running approximately every 5 minutes, buses and trolleybuses will get you to every part of the city. Bus & trolleybus route maps and timetables are available online in Russian. An trip costs 22 Rubles (Summer 2016).
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.
Bicycles are a perfect way to get around Novgorod. Bicycle and rollerblade rental are available at the "Shooting Club" on the Main Alley of the Kremlin Park. Phone: +7 921 731 74 32.
Taxis are cheap and plentiful.
- 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.
- Aleksandr Nevsky Monument
- Monument to St. Peter and Fevronia
- Monument Novgorod Militia 1812
- St. Sophia Cathedral, (In the Kremlin). 10AM to 4PM 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. 500 руб.
- 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.
- St. George Monastery
- Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin
- Church Simeona Bogopriimtsa
- Saviour Church on Nereditsa
- Church of Spasa-na-Iliene
- Paraskeva Church at the Marketplace
- St. Nicholas Cathedral
- Cathedral of the Virgin of the Sign (Znamensky)
- Church of Theodore Stratilates on the Brook
- Monastery of The Virgin Nativity
- Church of Peter and Paul
- Church of St. Philip the Apostle and St. Nicholas
- Demetrios Solunskiy Church
- Church of Andrew Stratilat
- St. Basil's Cathedral
- Church of the Saint Great Martyr Fedor Stratilat on the Brook
- Church of Saints Boris and Gleb
- Church of the Assumption on the Volotovo Field
- Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin at the Marketplace
- Church of the Intercession
- Holy Spirit Monastery
- The Church of the Transfiguration
- Zverin Monastery
- The Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
- Church of St. George at the Marketplace
- Church Of Nikolai Bely
- Fine Arts Museum, Sophiyskaya Square 2 (Across from the Lenin Statue), ☎ +7 (816 2) 87 22 65. 10AM to 4PM except Monday and the first Thursday of the Month. A collection of Russian art, including Repin and other 19th and 20th Century artists.
- Vitoslavitsy Museum of Folk Wooden Architecture, (Take 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). 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, . 110 руб for foreigners, 50 руб for Russians.
- Museum of History and Art
- Kokui Tower Museum
- State Art Museum of Novgorod Land
- Sofiyskaya Zvonnitsa Museum
- Center of Musical Antiquities
- Likhudov Building Museum
- Vorotnaya Bashnya Gostinogo Dvora Museum
- Nikolskiy Cathedral Museum
- Faceted Chamber Museum
You can try water taxis or a boat trip. Novgorod from the river looks pretty amazing, especially the Kremlin. Boats leave from the bridge outside the Kremlin, with the first departing at 11 am. They offer a 2 and 1 hour tour (500 and 400 Rubles). Great way to start the day.
There are different activities and services available at the Volchov Most River Complex - you can rent a boat or catamaran, play badminton or Russian game "Gorodki" and even swim in a swimming pool. In winter you can try hockey or rent cross-country ski.
If you have a bit more time, you can go to Ilmen (a village just a few kilometres away from Novgorod) to the rope park. It consists of 2 routes (4 and 11 meteres high) of different complexity. A great activity for kids but not only:).
- Novgorod Drama Theater (Новгородский академический театр драмы имени Ф.М. Достоевского), 14 Velikaya st., ([email protected]), .
- DinoLand Family Entertainment Centre, . 10AM–9PM. Child 150 руб (weekdays), 190 руб (weekends); Adults: Free.
- King Festival, . Mid-April
- Summer festival "Sadko" - you can see real old-Russian folklore
- Ivan Kupala Day at Ilmen-lake
- International Music Festival and the International Young Pianists Contest - April-May
- Christmas fortune-telling at Vitoslavlitsy
- International Bell Ringing Festival at Vitoslavlitsy
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).
- Cafe Charodeyka, Ul. Volosova 1 (Corner of Sofiyskaya Square across from the Fine Arts Museum), ☎ +7 (8162) 730-879 ([email protected]). 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.
- McDonald's, Oktyabrskaya ul. 11 (Right outside the train station to the left). A good place to relax after the 6 am arrival with the night train from Moscow, as most other sights and places open around 10 am. Place gets very busy right after the arrival as everyone from the train goes there. Hurry up or you will have to wait a bit to be served.
Honey mead is a local favorite.
Loft Bar (Дом быта), nab. Reki Gzen' 5, ☎ 8 (816) 260-63-33. 12-6am on weekends. Good place for a night out in the city.
- Yaroslav Hostel, Nikolskaja Street #4 (Just east of the river). checkin: 1PM; checkout: 12PM. Bright colors! Dorm bed: 390-590 руб.
- 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 protected], fax: +7 (8162) 60-30-17), . Mid-range, clean, renovated 3-star hotel with restaurant. Single: 2,000-2,100 руб; Double: 2,800-3,000 руб, including breakfast..
- Volkhov Hotel, Ul. Predtechenskaya 24 (Between the train station and the Kremlin, about a 10-minute walk from each.), ☎ +7 (8162) 33-55-48 ([email protected], fax: +7 (8162) 33-55-51), . checkin: 11:00; checkout: 12:00. Mid-range 3-star hotel Single: 2,150 руб; Double: 3,100 руб, including breakfast.
- Hotel Acron, Ul. Predtechenskaya 24 (Next to the Volkhov Hotel but with a separate entrance), ☎ +7 (8162) 73-69-08, 73-69-12 ([email protected], fax: +7 (8162) 73-69-18), . One of the less expensive decent options in the city center. Single: 1,600 руб; Double: 2,200 руб.