Isn’t it time you visited Nizhny?
After Moscow and St Petersburg, one of Russia’s most popular tourist cities is Nizhny Novgorod.
Often shortened to just Nizhny, it’s Russia's fifth-largest city after Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. It’s the economic and cultural centre of the vast Volga economic region, and the administrative centre of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District.
By Neonbaraban (my camera) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Thinking of visiting Nizhny? Then here are some useful facts and figures…
- The city was founded by Grand Duke George II of Russia in 1221 at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers.
- Its name literally means Newtown the Lower, to distinguish it from the older Novgorod.
- For a short time, it was the capital of the Suzdal Principality and competed with Moscow for power in the region.
- Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin was built in 1508-1511 and became one of Russia’s strongest citadels, which managed to withstand Tatar sieges in 1520 and 1536.
- By the mid-19th century, Nizhny Novgorod had established itself as a trade capital of the Russian Empire.
- Under Soviet rule, Nizhny Novgorod became an important industrial centre.
- From 1932 to 1990, the city was known as Gorky, after the writer Maxim Gorky, who was born there. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the old name was restored.
- The region’s climate is humid continental, similar to Moscow. Winter, which lasts from late November until late March, sees a permanent snow cover.
- The city is divided by the river Oka into two major parts: the Upper city on the hilly right side, and the Lower city on the left. The Upper city is the old historical part of Nizhny Novgorod, whereas the Lower city is larger, newer and consists of more industrial districts.
- The main hall of the city’s train station includes a chandelier and Soviet-style mosaics symbolising the lives of Russian people.
- All Trans-Siberian trains stop at Nizhny Novgorod.
- Strigino Airport is 20km south-west of the city centre and serves over 1.2 million passengers per year. The journey by bus to the city centre takes approximately an hour, while a taxi ride takes around 30 minutes.
- Several companies operate multi-day river cruises down the Volga from early May to the end of September.
- The Kremlin is worth seeing and contains a church, war monument with eternal flame, an art museum and impressive views along the Volga River.
- Minin and Pozharsky Square, the main square in Nizhny, can be found at the south-east side of the Kremlin.
- There’s a museum-house of the writer Maxim Gorky and a museum-flat of Andrey Sakharov, the father of the H-bomb and human rights activist.
- There are museums of photography, steam engines, prisons and GAZ, the Russian car-maker.
- You’ll find monuments to Valery Chkalov (a test pilot, known for his ultra-long flight from Moscow to Washington State via the North Pole), Maxim Gorky, Alexander Pushkin and Prince George and Saint Simon of Suzdal, along with a wide variety of churches and convents.
- We also recommend taking a ride on the cable-car from Nizhny to Bor on the other side of the river.
- There are a number of well-stocked shopping malls in the city, and no shortage of places to eat and drink, from traditional Russian to McDonald’s via sushi, Italian, Chinese … the list goes on.
- Nearly all hotels and hostels offer free WiFi, and many have computer terminals. Almost all accept credit cards, and will usually provide a visa invitation and registration for an additional fee.
- If you want to explore outside the city, the town of Gorodets, founded in the 12th century, is famous for its museum of samovars, while Makaryev Monastery, 100km south-east of Nizhny Novgorod and constructed between 1651 and 1667, is home to approximately 20 nuns.
For all your travel and accommodation needs, there’s only one place to go – RNTO! Book your trip to Nizhny with us and we’ll be with you every step of the way.