Trans-Siberian Railway – The best things to do in Novosibirsk

by Gaetano
Opera and Ballet Theater - Novosibirsk

Novosibirsk was the fourth stop of my Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian trip from Moscow to Beijing. Getting to Novosibirsk from Yekaterinburg means doing 24 hours by train in a row. A whole day.

Since the distance between the two cities is about 1500 km, it means that the train travels on average around 65 km per hour. Let’s not forget, however, that it makes many stops, some of which are also very long (up to an hour). Meanwhile, we are about 2800 km as the crow flies from Moscow.

Many travelers don’t even stop in Novosibirsk. They go straight for 2 or 3 days to Krasnoyarsk (to visit the Stolby Nature Sanctuary) or to Irkutsk (to visit Lake Baikal).

It was a long but pleasant journey. During a stop, we got off the train (as everyone else does) and took the opportunity to buy something to eat. Vendors and sellers arrive from the hinterland to offer smoked fish (Omul, endemic to Siberia), sweets, or even scarves and other embroideries. Apparently, this type of sale is waning, someone said to me that it is nowadays officially prohibited.

Novosibirsk was founded in the late 1800s and is today an industrial city. In fact, many of the factories located in the western part of Russia were moved here at the behest of Stalin, so that they could continue operating during the World War.

Novosibirsk’s story is closely linked to the Trans-Siberian Railway. It was, in fact, founded right near one of the railway bridges over the Ob River. I realized here for the first time that the somatic traits of the people were changing: darker hair and skin tone, and slightly almond-shaped eyes. Not in all persons, of course, but in some of them.

Novosibirsk in a nutshell

The following is an interactive map. Some of the main points of interest are marked with purple pins, and the yellow one marks the Baranjhar Restaurant, where we stopped for dinner. I recommend it because it is a beautiful place, the waiters are very kind, and they also spoke English! The central station is marked as usual with a black pin.


Speaking of must-sees…If you see a red line drawn on the sidewalks, follow it! It will take you to all the main attractions of the city. I had first noticed these lines on the ground in Yekaterinburg (they were in different colors), but I had not paid too much attention to them. This time I searched the internet for the meaning and immediately took advantage of having a free walking tour painted on the ground.

Sightseeing - Red line

Sightseeing – Red line

Lenin Street (Ulitsa Lenina)

It is one of the main streets in the city, with several traditional buildings, theaters, and restaurants. It ends right in front of the Lenin Monument. Some of the things to see here are:

  • Red Torch Theater

  • Puppet Theater

  • Houses of the Merchants Surikov

  • Pobeda Cinema

Pobeda Cinema

Pobeda Cinema

Lenin Square

In this square and its surroundings are some major attractions in Novosibirsk:

  • State Museum of Local Lore

  • Monument to the Heroes of the Revolution

  • Lenin Monument

Lenin Monument - Novosibirsk

Lenin Monument – Novosibirsk

Opera and Ballet Theater

It is one of the most prestigious theaters in Russia and the most important in Siberia.

Opera and Ballet Theater - Novosibirsk

Opera and Ballet Theater – Novosibirsk

Opera and Ballet Theater - Novosibirsk

Opera and Ballet Theater – Novosibirsk

It is currently (2019) the largest theater in Russia.

Opera and Ballet Theater - Novosibirsk

Opera and Ballet Theater – Novosibirsk

Saint Nicholas Chapel

It is located near Lenin Square and was first erected in 1915. It was unfortunately destroyed but then rebuilt.

Saint Nicholas Chapel

Saint Nicholas Chapel

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

This Neo-Byzantine Cathedral is one of the most important religious buildings in Novosibirsk.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Other buildings or places of interest

Most of the things to see in Novosibirsk are located in the center, but if you have extra time, you can go exploring the north part of the city:

  • Circus of Novosibirsk

  • Central Park

  • Spartak Stadium

  • Ascension Cathedral

Ascension Cathedral - Novosibirsk

Ascension Cathedral – Novosibirsk

It’s time to pick up your luggage in the hotel and go to the central station. Around 7 pm, the next train leaves. It’s a 12-hour journey, destination: Krasnoyarsk.

Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian Railway – All you need to know

Travel arrangementsGeneral Information
Departure stationMoscow
First stopNizhny Novgorod
Second stopKazan
Third stopYekaterinburg
Fourth StopNovosibirsk
Fifth stopKrasnoyarsk and Stolby Nature Sanctuary
Sixth stopLake Baikal
Seventh stopIrkutsk
Eighth stopUlan-Ude
Ninth stopUlaanbaatar
Tenth stopDatong
Arrival stationBeijing

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