Novosibirsk has plenty to offer tourists and you can find a number of spectacular architectural examples located around the city centre in Lenin’s Square. There are a circus, a zoo and a puppet theatre and with its thriving theatre and music scene, Novosibirsk is a haven for those interested in arts and culture. There also worthwhile destinations for day trips outside the city, such as the Akademgorodo with many museums and the Russian version of the Silicon Valley, the beaches on the shores of the Ob Sea and an open-air rail museum. Despite of the city’s size there is plenty of opportunity for outdoor breaks, such as hiking, boat trips or horseback riding in the summer and skiing or ice skating in the winter.
Most importantly, Novosibirsk offers and authentically Russian experience, so travellers should make sure to do as the locals do and try some local food. The perk is that, contrary to Moscow and other Russian tourist hubs, Novosibirsk can be enjoyed on a budget without having to compromise. We have included a short list below of some of the best things to do in Novosibirsk:
1) Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral named in honour of St Alexander Nevsky. Constructed between 1896-1899, the building was one of the first in Novosibirsk to be constructed from stone and was built in the Neo-Byzantine architectural style. The Cathedral was shut down in 1937 with the aim of destroying the building, however the idea was abandoned and was taken over by documentary film studio producing the movie magazine ‘Siberia of the Screen’. The Cathedral has now returned to its original function and attracts tourists from all over the world with an interest in the local history of the region.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Novosibirsk
2) NOVAT – Novosibirsk State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet
One of the most important theatres in Siberia, the NOVAT (Novosibirsk State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet) is a symbol of pride of the Siberian region. The theatre is one of the best musical and theatre groups in Russia and has participated in a variety of international and Russian festivals. The theatre offers a mixed repertoire of classic ballets and operas such as Swan Lake and Giselle as well as contemporary performances and competitions for young musicians looking to make their mark.
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NOVAT Opera & Ballet Theatre, Novosibirsk
3) Novosibirsk Zoo
Novosibirsk Zoo is a firm favourite of tourists and locals alike with 1.5 million tourists visiting the park each year. The zoo is famed for having one of the closest surviving relatives of the extinct Cape Lion of South Africa, the black-maned lion. Novosibirsk Zoo doubles as a scientific institution and a popular tourist attraction for visitors housing 11,000 animals, 738 species and is committed to various breeding programmes for endangered species.
Stuck for something to do? Why not browse our full list of Novosibirsk excursions.