The Best Things to Do in Nizhny Novgorod

Chkalovskaya Lestnica
Chkalovskaya Lestnica | © Bestalex / WikiCommons

Nizhny Novgorod, founded in 1221, is one of the oldest cities in Russia, so is home to an array of historic attractions. If you’re headed to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and happen to find yourself in Nizhny Novgorod, it would be an absolute shame to miss out on seeing the city. Here are the best things to see and do.

Loved by over 40s

Go back in time on Bolshaya Pokrovskaya

If you’re a fan of the Golden Age of Russian literature, Bolshaya Pokrovskaya is the place for you to go. As one of the city’s central streets, long lines of well-preserved 19th-century buildings stretch along both sides. It’s not only the architecture that will transport you back in time: sculptures of past inhabitants of the town, each with a story to tell, will make you feel as if you were a character in a Dostoevsky novel.

Bolshaya Pokorovskaya, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Bolshaya Pokrovskaya at night, a perfect film set

Have a picnic on the riverbank

The Chkalov Staircase, consisting of almost 600 stairs, leads from the Kremlin to the riverbank. On a sunny day, after a long walk around the Kremlin, head down to the Volga river, stroll along it and have lunch sitting on one of the benches placed near the boardwalk.

Chkalov Stairs, Kreml, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Chkalovskaya Lestnica

See the river from above

A cable car runs above the river from Nizhny Novgorod to Bor, a town on the other side of the Volga river. It is often used by locals as a means of public transport and the views from it are breathtaking. Spend an afternoon going to Bor and back; a trip that is most certainly worth your time.

Nizny Novgorod Cable Car, Kazanskaya Naberezhnaya 8, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

The cable car over the frozen river

Spend an afternoon in space

In a district just outside the city centre you’ll find a very special monument dedicated to Gromozeka, a well-loved character from a sci-fi Soviet cartoon. Gromozeka, whose metal sculpture can now be found on the playground in Nizhny Novgorod, was a friendly alien archaeologist from a far-away planet called Chumaroz. A few benches around the monument are hidden in what look like USSR space helmets. A must-see for all the space geeks out there.

Gromozeka monument, Tropina, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Visit the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin


© Vladimir Menkov / WikiCommons
Are you a WWII history junkie? The Great Patriotic War, as the part of the war that took place on Russia’s territory grew to be called, is still vivid in Russians’ memories. The monuments and memorial boards devoted to it are scattered all over the country, and Nizhny Novgorod is no exception. Those from the city who died in the war are commemorated at the Kremlin with a display of armoured vehicles typical of the era.

Get a sneak-peek into Nizhny Novgorod's pre-revolutionary literary world

Building, Museum

© Bestalex / WikiCommons
Maksim Gorky, one of the most prominent Soviet writers, was born in Nizhny Novgorod. The city was named Gorky in his honour from 1932 to 1990, but before this, he rented a flat in a building on Semashko Street. This flat was later transformed into his museum. Visitors can see the interiors exactly as they were in Gorky’s era as, once again, the city takes you on a journey back in time.

Become a 19th-century nobleman or woman for the day

Building, Museum

© Maria Krivoishena / WikiCommons
Due to its prominence in the pre-revolutionary Russia, Nizhny Novgorod was home to quite a few wealthy families. The Rukavishnikovs were one of them. Having purchased a mansion on the Verkhne-Volzhanskkya embankment in 1840, they renovated it in the style of an Italian palazzio. After the revolution, the building was taken away from the family and a variety of museums were opened here. Now, the 19th-century estate is open for visits.

Looking for things to do in Moscow? Check out our guide here.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.