Nizhny Novgorod On a BudgetNizhny Novgorod, commonly referred to as simply Nizhny, is the fifth largest city in Russia. It has a population of over 1.2 million and it is the primary economic and cultural center for the Volga region. The city dates back to 1221 and it sits at the intersection of the Volga and Oka Rivers. It became popular with tourists back in 1817 when the Makaryev Monastery Fair was moved to the city. The city continued to grow in popularity and by the middle of the 19th century it was a major trade center for the country. During the Soviet Union times the city became an industrial center as trade connections were abandoned.
Nizhny has a humid continental climate that is comparable to that of Moscow. It does stay colder during the winter months and snow is typically on the ground between late November and late March. The average high temperature during the month of July is 25 degrees Celsius and the average low during the month of January is -12 degrees Celsius.
SightsAt the historical center of Nizhny is the Kremlin. There you will find a church, a war monument that has a eternal flame, and an art museum. There are also some good views of the river. You can walk on the wall only between May 1st and October 1st. Museums around town include the House of Writer, Maxim Gorky, the Flat of Andrey Sakhorov, the father of the H-bomb, the Russian Museum of Photography, the Museum of Seam Engines, the Museum of Prison (Nizhegorodsky Ostrog), and the History Museum of GAZ. Famous monuments around town include the monument to Valery Chkalov, a test pilot who flew from Moscow to Vancouver through the North Pole, Maxim Gorky, Alexander Pushkin, and Prince George and Saint Simon of Suzdal.
NeighborhoodsNizhny Novgorod is split into two sections by the Oka River. On the eastern sidy is the hilly Upper City and on the western side is the Lower City. The Upper City has three districts which include Nizhegorodsky, Prioksky, and Sovetsky. Nizhegorodsky is at the historical and administrative heart of the city. The Lower City has five different districts. These include Kanavinsky, Moskovsky, Sormovsky, Avtozavodsky, and Leninsky. The city's main train station is located in Kanavinsky. This is also the site of the Nizhny Novgorod Fair.
ActivitiesThere are a variety of activities that you can enjoy in Nizhny. There's a new cable car that goes from Nizhny to Bor on the other side of the river. You might have some trouble finding the station but just follow the river until you find the station in a newly built building. Once you get to Bor there want be much to do, but there is a good view so it's worth the trip.
Food and DiningThere is a reasonable diversity of food options available around the city. In addition to typical Russian food, there are a good number of international options including Italian, Japanese (with several sushi places) and Chinese, among others. If you're really desperate for some fast food from home, then there are a couple of McDonalds as well. There is one in Gorky Square, one in front of Moskovsky Railway Station, one near Park Kultury of Avtozavod, and one in MEGA shopping Mall. For affordable and decent Russian food head to Goriachy Obed, which is located at the Medical Street Station at Gagarin Prospect. They do close at 4 pm, but they have typical Russian food for a very cheap price.
TransportationThe best prices for buses and trains in Russia can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.
There are a variety of forms of public transportation in Nizhny including the underground, trams, buses and trolleybuses. The Underground has two lines that cross at the Moskovskaya Station. The first line starts at Burevestnik and the second at Park Kultury. The trams began operation in 1896 and now there are about 30 lines that make their way around the city. Trolleybuses have about 25 lines and buses have around 80 routes that are government operated. There is also a private bus company called marshrutnoe, or marshrutka. They are smaller and do not stop at every stop. If you wish to get off then you must signal to the driver.
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