As well as its railway history, the city is famous for its opera, ballet and an excellent zoo.
Top things to see and do in Novosibirsk
- With over 4,000 animals representing 400 different species, Novosibirsk Zoo is an exciting day out. It also does great work in preserving endangered species.
- Housed in an architecturally stunning building, the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre is nicknamed the ‘Siberian Coliseum’. The biggest opera house in Russia, it’s known for its great productions, excellent acoustics and huge auditorium.
- The beaches on the banks of the Novosibirsk Reservoir – known locally as the ‘Ob Sea’ – near the city are a great place to relax in summer. The area is also surrounded by pine forests that are home to animals including reindeer and bears.
- One of the first sights you’ll see when arriving in the city is the neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its gilded dome. Built in 1899, it was reopened in 1989.
- The historic centre of the city is Lenin Square, which also marks the exact centre of the former Soviet Union. A monument of Lenin still stands in the square left over from the Soviet era.
Tips for travellers
You can learn about the history of the famous Trans-Siberian line at the West Siberian Railway History Museum 22km south of the city. The museum, which houses 80 locomotives as well as a collection of tractors and trucks, is set out like a station and is a great place for taking photos.