With its often mild summers (thanks to its relatively southerly location) and extremely cold winters, the Russian city of Novosibirsk is a popular stop-off on the epic six-day Trans-Siberian railway journey that courses its way through the country from Moscow to Vladivostok. Novosibirsk, the third-most populous city in the Russia, has a few points of interest such as a handful of quaint museums and historical monuments, though most of the passing visitors here use this as a base to refuel on their long cross-country journey, rather than carry out any extensive sightseeing.

That said, Novosibirsk does offer plenty of shopping opportunities, as well as rows of bars, cafes and restaurants in the city center – but be warned, few can, or are willing, to speak English in these parts, so it’s best to stick with your guide for a hassle-free experience. Most of the accommodation options here are in the form of basic, inexpensive hostels, although there are a few larger and more luxurious hotels to be found.


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Ice Skating

Novosibirsk is freezing in the winter months, and many of its lakes inevitable ice over. This provides the opportunity for some fun recreational activities, with many locals donning their ice skates and taking to the lakes. For some safe and better-regulated ice skating fun, head to the central Spartak stadium where you can also rent equipment.

Lenin Square

Marking the official center of Novosibirsk is Lenin Square, which includes a large concrete statue of the former Soviet leader. Although the monument is probably not worth a day-trip on its own merits, the area is worth a visiting for the nearby Opera House and Ballet House, which is brilliantly illuminated by night.

Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater

Located at the central Lenin Square, this stunning building stages predominantly operatic performances, and is the largest of its type in the whole of Russia. Regular classical performances are held in the evenings, drawing in Russians from far and wide, as well as the occasional visitor who is spending the night in town.

Novosibirsk State Museum of Local History and Nature

As the largest and most popular museum in Novosibirsk, this three-building complex is home to various exhibitions detailing the history of the city and surrounding Siberia area. Two of the buildings are separated (but walking distance from one another) and include some more diverse galleries including artistic and scientific pieces of interest.

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