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jorgesanchez Novosibirsk - A travel report by jorge
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Novosibirsk,  Russia - flag Russia -  Novosibirskaya Oblast'
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jorgesanchez's travel reports

Novosibirsk, capital of Siberia

  23 votes
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Novosibirsk is a very convenient stop in your journey to or from Europe to Asia. From Novosibirsk you can reach Alma Ata or Tashkent by train, the Transturkestan. There is also a regular flight to Urumuchi, in Sinkiang, China.

Opera and Ballet, and Lenin
Opera and Ballet, and Lenin
If you go to Russia, please, do not miss Novosibirsk. I know that Novosibirsk (the third Russian city by population), does not have an impressive Kremlin like Moscow, or a beautiful avenue like Nevski Prospek in Saint Petersburg. Nevertheless, Novosibirsk is more russian than those two cities. In Novosibirsk you will feel thousands of kilometres away from Europe, in the middle of Asia, and will notice that their people keep the old Russian traditions. Furthermore, Siberians are very mixed with local races, with Tatars and from other republic people of the old Soviet Union. In winter, under 30 below zero, many people will dig a hole in the frozen river Obi and will spend hours fishing, listening to the radio or drinking beers. It is also common that in winter days, early in the morning, many citizens will have a cold shower in the street, almost completely naked. Novosibirsk was founded recently, only in 1893, when the Russian government was constructing the Tran Siberian train. But now the population is over one and a half million souls. They have a Metro, and the greatest Opera and Ballet of Russia (do not miss a ballet or opera, for a few rubles). People in Novosibirsk are very hospitalary and anxious to make friends with foreigners. A good place to make friends is the central Biblioteka (Public Library), in the ulitsa (street) Sovietskaya, where many people join every evening to practice foreign languages, such as German, English, French and Spanish. You will be more than welcome if you visit the biblioteka, and immediately will offer you chai and sladki, or tea and biscuits. People in Novosibirsk are specially nice and helpful, much more than in Moscow or Saint Petersburg.

Favourite spots:
Novosibirsk Cathedral and me
Novosibirsk Cathedral and me
While in Novosibirsk you should visit the central painting gallery, with many fantastic paintings by the Russian artist Nikolai Roerich, who was born in Saint Petersburg and died in India, in the Himalaya Mountains. He loved Sibir (Siberia), and believed that near Novosibirsk, in the Altai Mountains, you can find Shambhala, or the mitic Shangri-la. Other tourist attractions are the central market, with Asiatic people selling fruits from Uzbekistan, and the orthodox cathedral. The main boulevard is called Krasny Prospekt.

What's really great:
People from the central BIBLIOTEKA (central public library) are very friendly and will help you. The Public Library is in Ulitsa Sovietskaya.

Not far from Novosibirsk, is AKADEMGORODOK, the town of the scientifics, with more than one hundred academies.
The place is pleasant and all the buildings are Stalin style.

You can sleep very cheap in the same railway station. They will offer you dormitories with 2 or 3 beds for 8 hours or half a day. In theory you need to show your train ticket, but in the practice they will allow you to spend the night there if you are a foreigner. You will not pay more than 6 or 7 euros for a bed. The showers are in the corridor, but the place is clean, warm and safe. If you can afford 20 or 25 euros for a single, then, in front of the station you will find a huge hotel, but with cold atmosphere and full of speculants.

Not far from the railway station, in the Voksal Magistral avenue, there is a restaurant in the middle of the street, like a kiosk, where prepare oriental food. It is called UIGHUR, and the staff employees are from Sinkiang, China, and speak all the turkish dialects like uzbek, kirghis, kazakh, turkmeno, uighur, etc., apart from broken russian and some english. They serve shashlikis or shish kebaps and other exotic dishes, such as tibetan momos, very cheap, and several juices and all kind of colas, but there are not seats, only tables, and you have to eat standing, or take the food with you and eat it in the nearby railway station.
Inside the station there are a few shops with cheap food and supermarkets, but after having tried all these places, I prefer the UIGHUR kiosk.

Published on Sunday June 19th, 2005

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Mon, Feb 11 2008 - 09:32 AM rating by krisek

Another very useful report. I will definitely use it when I go to Siberia this summer for the total eclipse of the sun. Thanks!

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 02:14 PM rating by milana

An interesting report, especially for me. I've never been to Novosibirsk, though I'm Russian. Shame of me :-(
It was very interesting to find out that this city is more russian than Moscow and St.Petersburg and that people keep old Russian traditions there. Thanks a lot!!Hope I'll visit it also!

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 06:53 AM rating by rangutan

Another nice report Jorge, unusual places, this specially tucked away from usual tourist routes, very interesting!

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 06:10 AM rating by gloriajames

Interesting report. Would be nice if you could place more photographs in your report.

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 01:13 AM rating by picasso

Pretty interesting and informative.Well done.I personally like your warning about speculants at the larger hotel.
Thank you


Sun, Jun 19 2005 - 11:34 AM rating by davidx

Very informative.

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