Not everyone falls in love with Novosibirsk…I didn’t. It may be the third-biggest city in Russia, it may be called Siberia’s capital, but there’s no point to visit it for more than a day. Boring, big city, has not much to offer for travelers on the famous “Trans-Siberian route”.
If you traveled already all the way from Moscow, you probably stopped in other bigger cities. Kazan, Yekaterinburg or Perm, they probably had to offer much more than Novosibirsk. A compensation of that, can be a big variety of restaurants, night clubs and lively life music scene. Despite its size, Novosibirsk’s city center is quite simple and focused on pl. Lenina. You can easily walk around or use trams or metro, just for fun.
The train ride from Yekaterinburg to Novosibirsk was for the moment the longest one. Twenty two hours in the train can be exhausting. This time, I chose upper bunk bed, as I wanted to have my tiny kingdom there. It wasn’t the best either the worse decision. There are dos and don’ts of upper bed bunk in the train. Main DO is that you can sleep/read/watch movies/relax as much as you want, and no one will sit around your bed. Main DON’T, is that you don’t have enough space to sit straight so finally to not be laying down all 22h, you’ll need to go down.
But, you can walk around, eat “downstairs”- people from the lower beds will always ask you if you want to sit next to the table to eat, or you can simply sit at their bed to change the position (mostly if they don’t sleep and rather ask)
GOOD TIP FOR THE TRAIN RIDE:
Take a book/guide to read if you go alone or, if you want to rest from your companions. Subscribe to NETFLIX -they have one month fro free! And download all the movies you wanna watch. You can then watch them offline. Even tho you’ll have a Russian SIM card, there will be no internet along the way. Only when passing by cities(usually will last less than few minutes) or on the stops. Take an external battery for your phone. There is one or maybe two sockets in one compartment. You’ll probably will have to spend all the time waiting next to the bathrooms for it to charge, if you don’t want someone to steal it. However I have seen someone left an iPhone 5 to charge…and nothing happened.
Take lots of goodies for the way. As I said, you can buy food on the train, not always it’s a “good” food. Mainly sweets, instant soups, coffee or tea from provodnik. This time there was a lady passing along the train with some food and salads, but they didn’t look to tasty…
Making the point. I am tired of seeing big cities, museums and churches: I need nature, bears, mountains, lakes and rivers. Breath the fresh air! Hear nothing but the nature sound. Tomorrow i am going to Irkutsk, finally the Lake Baikal. I was supposed to go to Altai Mountains before…thinking and researching how to visit it for about two weeks, and decided in 5 min to go to Irkutsk and see Altai on Mongolia side.
The main sights of Novosibirsk are:
Opera and Ballet Theatre
State Art Museum
Chapel of St. Nicolas
Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral
Despite of not best weather during my stay, the first day I arrived was truly warm (24 degrees) and so, I could walk around and do some other things. I went to couple of parks, to listen life music, saw cutest couples dancing like tire’s no tomorrow and enjoyed my first “Siberian” caramel smoothie!