For the end of August I am considering visiting Novosibirsk. Despite the long journey, I prefer train to airplane because of the opportunity to see beautiful nature and the authentic Siberian way of life.
In this respect, any tips and recommendations are welcome - of course, especially from those of you who did it already. How did you manage with food and beverages during those 48 hours? How did you book your tickets: do you find [original link] reliable?
What about Novosibirsk? Is there any surroundings where you can find the typical Siberian landcape - endless plains, birch forests, lakes, etc.?
Thanks in advance!
Novosibirsk is mainly known as the academic capital of Siberia, not for its birches or lakes :))
Another famous destination is its opera theatre
Tutu is OK as an information source, never tried to book anything
Thank you, Muscovite!
What about another city in Siberia then? Yekaterinburg is too close to Europe, while the towns around Baykal lake are too far ... What would you suggest?
All of them :))))
We used to have a tourist route - Transsiberian Moscow - Khabarovsk (now you can go up to Vladivostok, it used to be closed for foreigners), and back by plane.
I used to rather like Irkutsk and Baikal, but things have certainly changed through the last 25 years...
Thank you, Muscovite!
OK, so you think Novosibirsk is a good choice, right? Where can I find lakes and more Siberian nature though? Is Novosibirsk a good starting point?
Lakes and Siberian nature - Baikal, certainly (as long as we still have, it may evaporate, like the Aral Sea)
Better if you book a hotel there, there are quite a few now [original link]
When I was there last, there was just one, and a tourist in my group lost his visa there (visas were inserted then, not fast), I had lot of a headache restoring it.
Then you can look for the nature of the Far East - Khabarovsk and Vladivostok - lost of endemic species you will never see anywhere else in the world
Ok, I see but it is further eastwards from Novosibirsk, so it means more days on the train and more expensive. Something closer to European Russia? What about Tomsk, Omsk, Kazany, Yekaterinburg?
All of them have their own advantages
Tomsk is a lovely old little gem of a 17th - 19th centuries' architecture, a very typical provincial town, trim and tidy, with a huge Catherine the Great's German diaspora. I am not sure it lies on the Transsib route, I remember it was somewhat off-side.
Omsk, on the contrary, is a big industrial city, same as Ekaterinburg.
Kazan stands out because it is a not Siberian at all, it is located on the Volga. And it is the capital of the Tartar republic, with their specific architecture. Kazan has been very much brushed up lately and positions itself as 'the third capital of Russia' (although not every Russian is so sure about that)
Frankly, it's a bit of a difficult choice :)) Making up your mind about what you actully want to see and reading VT city guides would help a lot, I think...