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Russian Federation
Novosibirsk Oblast
Type of Location
About Location

Novosibirsk is Russia's third-largest city, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the largest city of Siberia, with a population of 1,473,700 (2010 Census preliminary results).It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District.The city is located in the southwestern portion of the federal district and occupies an area of 477.2 square kilometres (184.2 sq mi).The city was founded in 1893 at the future site of a Trans-Siberian Railway bridge crossing the great Siberian river of Ob.It was named Novonikolayevsk,in honor of both Saint Nicholas and the reigning tsar, Nicholas II.The bridge was completed in the spring of 1897, making the new settlement the regional transport hub.The importance of the city further increased with the completion of the Turkestan-Siberia Railway in the early 20th century.The new railway connected Novosibirsk to Central Asia and the Caspian Sea.

At the time of the bridge's opening, Novonikolayevsk hosted a population of 7,800 people.Its first bank opened in 1906, with a total of five banks operating by 1915. In 1907, Novosibirsk, now with a population exceeding 47,000, was granted town status with full rights for self-government.The pre-revolutionary period saw the population of Novosibirsk reach 80,000.During this period the city experienced steady and rapid economic growth, becoming one of the largest commercial and industrial centers of Siberia and developing a significant agricultural processing industry, as well as a power station, iron foundry, commodity market, several banks, and commercial and shipping companies. By 1917, Novosibirsk possessed seven Orthodox churches and one Roman Catholic church, several cinemas, forty primary schools, a high school, a teaching seminary, and the Romanov House non-classical secondary school. In 1913, Novonikolayevsk became one of the first places in Russia to institute compulsory primary education.

Novosibirsk is home to Russia's most powerful shortwave relay station east of the Ural mountains. This relay station can reach most of South Asia, the Middle East, and the China.The Magadan and Vladivostok relay stations when operated in conjunction with Novosibirsk can guarantee that the Voice of Russia or any other broadcaster renting time at Novosibirsk is heard in the intended target area.Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia (after Moscow and St. Petersburg) and the first in Siberia in which a metro system was established (the Novosibirsk Metro, opened in 1985). The city is served by Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport with regular flights to Europe and Asia as well as to other Russian cities. Tolmachevo is the hub for S7 Airlines. There is also the auxiliary Novosibirsk Elitsovka Airport and a smaller field for general aviation at Novosibirsk Severny Airport. Novosibirsk was one of the stops for the 2008 edition of the popular television show, "The Amazing Race (Series 14, Leg 5).Novosibirsk is a large industrial center.The industrial complex consists of 214 large and average industrial enterprises.These produce more than two thirds of all industrial output of the Novosibirsk region.Leading industries are the electric power industry, gas supply, water supply, metallurgy, metal working, and mechanical engineering.According to the television station RBC Novosibirsk took third place in 2008 in the list of the cities of Russia most attractive to business (in 2007 it was placed thirteenth).Before the relocation of its headquarters to Ob, S7 Airlines had its head office in Novosibirsk.

How to Reach

By Air

The city is served by Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport with regular flights to Europe and Asia as well as to other Russian cities.Tolmachevo is the hub for S7 Airlines.There is also the auxiliary Novosibirsk Elitsovka Airport and a smaller field for general aviation at Novosibirsk Severny Airport.

By Train

Novosibirsk is a major station on the Trans-Siberian Railway, in fact the Vokzal-Glavny station is the largest station along the route.This means that there are daily trains avalible from Moscow and Saint-Petersburg with a journey time of 2-3 days. Coming from the other direction, there are direct trains from Beijing, Ulaan Baator and Vladivostok amongst others. Also, Novosibirsk is also the final destination of the Sibirjak express train, the longest train journey originating in the European Union. This weekly train leaves Berlin each Saturday afternoon and arrives Wednesday at lunch time. Apart from the long-distance trains there are plenty of local and regional trains connecting with most nearby cities. Vokzal-Glavny station is very close to the Garina Mikhailovskogo Metro stop.

Key places to visit
St. Alexander Nevsky's Cathedral, Lenin Square, Novosibirsk Zoo, Akademgorodok


Places to Visit

St. Alexander Nevsky's Cathedral

Is the Orthodox Cathedral in Novosibirsk, Russia.It is one of the first stone constructions in Novonikolayevsk (former name of Novosibirsk). The church was built in Neo-Byzantine architectural style in 1896–1899.It was opened and consecrated on December 29, 1899. In 1915 it became a cathedral.The Cathedral was a specific monument to the emperor Alexander III who initiated construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway which resulted in foundation of Novonikolayevsk as a new railway station.In 1988 – the year of the 1000th anniversary of Baptizing of Rus – there began a movement for the restitution of the Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1989 it was restituted.

Lenin Square

See the Lenin's square with a grey-color monument of Lenin left from Soviet era standing right in front of the Opera and Ballet House which, by the way, is beautiful at night. It is also the largest opera house in Russia. There's also 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. In winter residents build an ice town on the Ob River, and in summer you can go to the beach. Near the city center on Krasny Prospekt,you can also see some excellent works in the Novosibirsk Art Museum and Local Studies Museum. You could also consider the Novosibirsk Regional Puppet Theater (over 70 years old in an interesting historic building), Novosibirsk Circus, and several other theaters. 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. Those are standard touristic places, but you should definitely make friends with locals to see the "best" parts of the city.

Novosibirsk Zoo

The zoo is one of the largest in Russia (after Novosibirsk had a really tiny one for decades until 90-s). Much money have been invested in the zoo during "prosperous 00-s", thanks to the zoo's devoted director Shilo, a member of the bureaaucrat United Russia party. The zoo is very well-attended and one of the best places to visit that Novosibisk can offer.The Novosibirsk Zoo is a world-renowned scientific institution as well as a popular tourist attraction. The zoo has over four thousand animals and is an active participant of thirty-two different captive breeding programmes for endangered species. On average, around 700,000 people visit the zoo each year.


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.

Right Time to Visit

January - May
October - December


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