Novosibirsk’s Art Museum is one of the most extensive art galleries in the whole of Siberia. This cultural capital of the Siberian region houses everything from sculpture, to ancient local crafts, to fine paintings, to exquisite Russian Orthodox icons, to the most cutting edge of Russia’s modern art, and with over 10,000 exhibits, there’ll be no end of masterpieces to explore. The immense, grey art deco building is one of the city’s most striking sights and a must-visit for any art buffs travelling the Siberian region.
The State Art Museum, Krasny Prospekt, 5, Novosibirsk, Russia, +7 383 223-53-31
The beating heart of Novosibirsk: this square is a center of activity, culture, and local life. Lenina Square is home to many of the city’s most important buildings and also acts as an exhibition of some of the city’s most spectacular architecture. The square is a perfect place to soak up the unique architecture, bustling atmosphere, and fabulous culture of Novosibirsk. The Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the State Concert Hall, the city hall, and the humongous Opera and Ballet Theatre, are all to be found here, radiating out from the square’s focal point: an enormous statue of leader of the Russian Revolution and Russia’s most infamous socialist, Vladimir Lenin. Many lush green parks are located just a stone’s throw from Lenina Square.
Inaugurated in 1945, the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre is famous both across Russia and the world for hosting world-class performances of opera and ballet. The repetoire is chock-a-block with masterpieces and the building itself is a sight to behold. The theater is famed for being the largest in Russia, larger even than Moscow‘s celebrated Bolshoi Theatre. With its three halls, the largest seating around 2,000 people, the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre has a simply huge capacity. Due to its size and grandeur, many have dubbed it the ‘Siberian Coliseum’.
This world-famous zoo is home to over 10,000 different exotic animals, around 150 of these from the World Red Book of Threatened Species. Its idyllic pine forest setting makes it a wonderfully natural getaway from the city center, but at only a 10 minute bus ride from Novosibirsk’s centre, the zoo remains a very accessible attraction. The Novosibirsk zoological gardens play a vital role in protecting wildlife across the world and saving endangered species from extinction. Almost 40 different captive breeding programs here ensure that exotic species are preserved and allowed to thrive in as natural an environment as possible. In 2012 the zoo was the site of the birth of a hugely rare liger cub, with a male lion and female liger (half lion, half tiger) for parents.
Novosibirsk Zoo, Timiryazeva Ulitsa, 71/1, Novosibirsk, Russia, +7 383 220-97-79
A natural haven, the wildlife of the Siberian region is some of the rarest and most iconic on earth. This has hugely impacted the Siberian cuisine which is one of the most interesting in the world. The fabulous restaurants here offer unparalleled opportunities for trying rare meats and fish. Siberian pelmeni (traditional dumplings) are a delicacy across Russia and certainly worth a try. The freshness of the produce in this city makes Novosibirsk one of the best places to try traditional Russian delicacies such as caviar. Novosibirsk’s food scene is one of the best and most varied in Russia.
This fascinating museum prioritizes interactivity to draw visitors right into the world of the Soviet Union. Crossing the entrance way, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back in time to a world of Socialism, monumental architecture, and 20th century culture. The space is designed to resemble a typical family home during the Communist period and gives visitors an intriguing snapshot of Russia’s Soviet past. Rumor has it that the building itself was a former headquarters for the KGB. The USSR Museum is a true treasure trove of vintage clothes, busts of Soviet leaders, historic toys, and other curiosities that are sure to keep you entertained for hours on end.
The USSR Museum, Maksima Gorkovo Ulitsa, 16, Novosibirsk, Russia, +7 383 210-08-11
Only unveiled in 2012, this new addition to Novosibirsk’s excellent array of attractions has already earned itself a fine reputation across the entire country. This planetarium, the fourth largest in Russia, was named in 2015 the best social infrastructure in the country. You won’t need to be an astronomy buff to appreciate the beauty and scale of the solar system through Novosibirsk Planetarium’s observatory and star hall. The center is stunningly located overlooking a natural plateau and surrounded by an astronomically themed park. The park’s lush green alleys are dotted with representations of the sun, planets, and many comets. Observations often coincide with important astronomic events and the center is also home to a café and Foucault tower with a pendulum that demonstrates the earth’s rotation. Novosibirsk Planetarium, Klyuch-Kamushenskoye Plateau Ulitsa, 1/1, Novosibirsk, Russia, +7 383 347-77-11