5 Awesome Places to Explore in Novosibirsk, Russia

XcelTrip|5 min read|Sep 24, 2019

After the world-famous St Petersburg and Moscow, Novosibirsk is Russia‘s third most important city. Off limits to foreigners during Soviet times, this beautifully historic town is only just being discovered by outsiders and its unspoiled nature makes Novosibirsk the ideal place to gain a true and authentic taste of Russia.

5 Awesome Places to Explore in Novosibirsk, Russia

The State Art Museum

Novosibirsk’s Art Museum is one of the most extensive art galleries in the whole of Siberia. This cultural capital of the Siberian region houses everything from sculpture, to ancient local crafts, to fine paintings, to exquisite Russian Orthodox icons, to the most cutting edge of Russia’s modern art, and with over 10,000 exhibits, there’ll be no end of masterpieces to explore. The immense, grey art deco building is one of the city’s most striking sights and a must-visit for any art buffs travelling the Siberian region.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Completed in 1898, this historic cathedral was one of the first buildings in Novosibirsk to be made of stone. The immense domes, sweeping arches, and superb brickwork are characteristic of the Neo-Byzantine style of Russian architecture at the time and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is one of the finest examples of this style. The gleaming gold dome still retains all the glory of its past and the peaceful interior of the cathedral itself acts as a wonderfully tranquil hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Novosibirsk’s main streets.

The Lenina Square

The beating heart of Novosibirsk: this square is a centre of activity, culture, and local life. Lenina Square is home to many of the city’s most important buildings and also acts as an exhibition of some of the city’s most spectacular architecture. The square is a perfect place to soak up the unique architecture, bustling atmosphere, and fabulous culture of Novosibirsk. The Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the State Concert Hall, the city hall, and the humongous Opera and Ballet Theatre, are all to be found here, radiating out from the square’s focal point: an enormous statue of leader of the Russian Revolution and Russia’s most infamous socialist, Vladimir Lenin. Many lush green parks are located just a stone’s throw from Lenina Square.

Novosibirsk Zoo

This world-famous zoo is home to over 10,000 different exotic animals, around 150 of these from the World Red Book of Threatened Species. Its idyllic pine forest setting makes it a wonderfully natural getaway from the city centre, but at only a 10-minute bus ride from Novosibirsk’s centre, the zoo remains a very accessible attraction. The Novosibirsk zoological gardens play a vital role in protecting wildlife across the world and saving endangered species from extinction. Almost 40 different captive breeding programs here ensure that exotic species are preserved and allowed to thrive in as natural an environment as possible. In 2012 the zoo was the site of the birth of a hugely rare liger cub, with a male lion and female liger (half lion, half tiger) for parents.

The Novosibirsk Planetarium

Only unveiled in 2012, this new addition to Novosibirsk’s excellent array of attractions has already earned itself a fine reputation across the entire country. This planetarium, the fourth largest in Russia, was named in 2015 the best social infrastructure in the country. You won’t need to be an astronomy buff to appreciate the beauty and scale of the solar system through Novosibirsk Planetarium’s observatory and star hall. The centre is stunningly located overlooking a natural plateau and surrounded by an astronomically themed park. The park’s lush green alleys are dotted with representations of the sun, planets, and many comets. Observations often coincide with important astronomic events and the centre is also home to a café and Foucault tower with a pendulum that demonstrates the earth’s rotation.

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