From the Kremlin to the Oka River, passing through the most picturesque restaurants; the best things to do and see in Nizhny Novgorod, the pearl of Russia.
Whether you are looking for a weekend away fromMoscowor plan a trip to the less impressive and well-known cities of Russia,Nizhny Novgorodit is a destination not to be missed. Conveniently located between Moscow and Kazan, the administrative center of the region looks like a small town at the same timelively and calm, where it is possible to follow contemporary art trends and celebrate the holidays with traditional clothes and songs.
Perhaps not everyone knows that for years the name of Nizhny Novgorod has beenGorky, by the famous writer Maksim Gorkji, author of the novel "The Mother" which gave rise to socialist realism in Russia. Since the end of World War II, and throughout the Soviet period, this city has been closed to foreigners due to the large military industries located there. It is only since 1990, with the fall of the USSR, that Nizhny Novgorod has been reopened to foreigners with its original name.
WHEN TO GO
They say it's beautiful all year round. We recommend going there the first weekend of November for theunity party, which is really felt. Throughout the day the inhabitants pour into the streetRozhdestvenskaya, where a fair with local food and products, concerts and open-air theater performances are organised. The singing and dancing elderly ladies dressed in the traditional clothes of their neighborhood create an enthralling and lively atmosphere reminiscent of the Italian contrade parties.
HOW TO GET TO NZINIY NOVGOROD
To reach Novgorod you can experience the night trains, with beds included, in which everyone makes as if they were at home and more often than not you find yourself having long chats with your neighbour. The advice is to travel inPlatzkart(third class): the only difference from the Coupe (second class) is that you are not divided into compartments of four people, so if you have nothing to do you can watch the others.
WHAT TO SEE ANZINIY NOVGOROD
What will strike you most about this city will be its intimate, peaceful dimension. Wrapped in its cloak of snow, Nizhny Novgorod has no need for glaring shouts and publicity: right under her eyes, beyond the high walls of the Kremlin, theOka Riverit throws itself into the Volga in a passionate embrace that gives life to a romantic and breathtaking, unrepeatable landscape. Observe it in the evening from the top of thewalls of the Kremlinit is a suggestive experience: the snow, warm covered by an otherwise steppe land whose bare trees stretch their arms to the sky, seems to slide straight into the waters of this river which in size seems to be a lake, and the blue tones of the sky and water merge creating an illusion of infinity.
Among the must-see things in Nizhny Novgorod stands out the suggestive view from the top ofчкаловская лестница, a stairway connecting the lower and upper parts of Nizhny. Climb all his442 stepsit can be tiring, but the view that opens upon arrival is definitely worth it. From here, skirting the walls of the Kremlin, you can get to the beautifulбольшая покровкая, a kind of "Arbat”. This long pedestrian street unwinds for a few kilometers from the entrance to the Kremlin and is dotted with cafes, restaurants and small shops. Here are other attractions to see such as thedrama theater by Nizhny Novgorod, whose repertoire includes plays by Gogol and Chekhov, and thephotography museum. Prices are more than affordable – starting from 100-200 rubles (1.50-3 euros) for a theater ticket, while a museum ticket costs only 150 rubles (about 2 euros).
The atmosphere is somewhat different from that of Moscow, where everyone is running from one metro stop to another, heading for the next engagement. If the rhythm of Moscow is the fast and sustained one of a tarantella, in Nizhnythe slow waltz is danced. And so, with the lightness of a slow waltz, head towards theArsenal contemporary art museum,just inside the Kremlin walls. With the 150 ruble ticket (about €2) you will get access to both exhibition floors.
Among other things to do and see in Nizhny Novgorod also includes the experience ofcable carfrom Kazanskaya Naberezhnaya. Get ready for the spectacular view that will open below you: from the Ascension MonasteryPechersky to the distinctive shapes created by snow and ice on the surface of the Volga, all of Nizhny Novgorod will be at your feet. Once you get to the other side there isn't really much to do; the best thing is to have a drink in a pub and go back to visit the monastery in more detail, which can be reached easily from the base of the cable car. Finally, simply take your time, lose yourself browsing among its thousands of colorful churches, take a slice of cake and a particular coffee fromCoffee Cake, stop and chat with locals, feel at home in short. This is the essence of Nizhny Novgorod.
WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT
Among the best places to eat in Nizhny Novgorod, the cute one stands outArt Café "Bufet"in Osharskaya ul., dom 14, which in addition to the welcoming and original environment offers an interesting choice ofcraft beers. For lunch instead, nothing better thanхудяблишная, directly in the main street большая покровкая. What do you eat in these areas and generally in Russia? Soups, vareniki, cebureki and khudabliki. Also recommend the solyanka soup and худяблики по-нижнегородский (“chudyabliki alla nizhnenovgorodiana”). Other characteristic places where you can eat typical dishes of Russia are the худяблишная, Coffee Cake and the Bufet cafe, as well as the restaurant of Georgian dishesKaciapuri, which offers a large choice of traditional dishes at a good price.