Nizhny Novgorod – capital of sunsets, graffiti and delicious food
Nizhny Novgorod is one of the oldest cities in Russia, a city of contrasts, where old merchant streets neighbor modern high-rises, the capital of graffiti and sunsets, IT people and universities. In 2021, Nizhny Novgorod will celebrate its 800th anniversary on a grand scale.
I have been in love with Nizhny Novgorod since 2006. I will tell you what to see in our city, where to eat delicious pizza and listen to street musicians. Come enjoy Nizhny Novgorod sunsets and walk along the walls of the Kremlin!
A must-see in Nizhny Novgorod
The city has won the geographical jackpot: it’s close enough to Moscow that Nizhny Novgorodians can often go on business trips, but also remote enough to not be subject to the frenetic pace of the capital. In 2018, Nizhny Novgorod was even named the most comfortable city to live in Russia. To experience at least some of the sights, come for at least three days and prepare to walk a lot. I marked for you the most interesting places on the map.
Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin
Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin stands on the high bank of the Volga. On its territory there is one of the most popular sightseeing platforms of the city with a view on the junction of the Oka and the Volga, Pochainsky ravine and People’s Unity Square. You can view the panorama of the lower part of the city with binoculars installed on the observation deck (you will need a coin of 10 ₽).
Thanks to its location, the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin has never been invaded by enemies. Its 5-meter-thick brick walls are joined by 13 mighty battle towers, and a deep moat has been dug around it, making it nearly impossible to approach the Kremlin. And it is also the only fortress in Russia, on the walls of which you can walk without entering the towers. From May to September they are open, and an adult ticket costs ₽250.
In summer, it’s nice to walk and sit or even lie directly on the lawn, spreading a plaid on the grounds of the Kremlin. In winter the coziest place is a small café in the museum complex “Arsenal”, where exhibitions of modern art are often held (you can see the poster on the site of the complex).
Oka and Volga arrow
Nizhny Novgorod arrow is a place of confluence of two great rivers Oka and Volga – a visiting card of Nizhny Novgorod. There used to be the river port, to which from all over the country and from abroad flew merchant ships to the fair. On the spit and now stand openwork warehouses – the basis of cargo warehouses. Areas for walks are arranged, there is a large playground for children.
Here rises the largest temple in the city – Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Soborny bell weighing 60 tons is placed near it. It was made in St. Petersburg in memory of the victory of the people’s militia, which was headed by Minin and Pozharsky.
Nizhny Novgorod Fair
The fair in Nizhny Novgorod was immodestly called “the eighth wonder of the world”. Every year here was held the largest trade in the Russian Empire, which brought together merchants from different countries. The Nizhny Novgorod Fair had a gala courtyard, a grand square and over 2,500 market stalls. As part of the struggle against the NEP, the fair was liquidated, and most of the structures were destroyed.
Since 1991, the fair has been developing as an exhibition complex; now there are six pavilions on its territory, the schedule of exhibitions can be seen on the official website.
There is a walking area with awnings and swings on the territory of the fair, in 2022 a playground with viewing places for parents will open.
This is one of the longest streets in Nizhny Novgorod, overlooking Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the stadium built for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. For a long time the street was inaccessible to the citizens – for eight years there were repair works and it was closed with a blue fence (the city even had a bar called “Blue Fence”). Now it is one of the most popular locations for strolls: in summer, concerts are often held here, many cafes with tables on the roof are open, and there are attractions for children. Along the promenade there is a bike lane, electric scooters and bikes for rent.
In the warm season you can watch the stunning sunsets, Nizhny Novgorod is even called the capital of sunsets. And all thanks to a unique location on the high bank of the Volga overlooking the northwest, where in our strip in the warm season is just the sunset.
Going for a walk along the Lower Volga embankment in winter, dress warmer: even in windless weather near the river is very cold. The thermos of tea will be useful, because most of cafes of the embankment are closed in winter.
From the Nizhne-Volzhskaya Embankment you can enjoy a fantastic view of the Chkalovskaya Stairs, one of the longest in Russia
Another great vantage point where you can see the old town (Nizhny Posad), the Nativity Church, the river station, the Kanavinsky bridge, the arrow, the fair, the stadium. Here is a monument to Maxim Gorky (before 1990 Nizhny Novgorod was called Gorky), and also a bronze Jules Verne on a balloon. By the way, the Kristovsky brothers from the band Uma2rman from Nizhny Novgorod wrote a song about it, where other Nizhny Novgorod landmarks are also mentioned.
In 2021 Fedorovsky embankment has been improved, now there are many benches and tables, awnings to shelter from the sun, sports and children’s playgrounds.
On Fedorovsky embankment installed more than a thousand lights. Not far from the Gorky monument there is an interactive screen. Enter your year of birth there and find your “personal” lantern – it will start flashing
Great Pokrovskaya Street
Old pedestrian street of the city, connecting Gorky Square and Minin and Pozharsky Square. Pokrovka was also renovated for the anniversary of the city, now there are a lot of benches, flower beds, a large playground for children. In summer in one of the courtyards there is an outdoor food market.
On the square in front of the Drama Theater, sit on a bench next to the bronze Evgeny Evstigneev, a famous actor originally from Gorky, and feel the atmosphere of the city: here street musicians often perform and young skaters hone their tricks.
GAZ history museum
Here you can see rare GAZ automobiles, which were used by the heroes of such films as The Diamond Arm, Three Plus Two, and Beware of the Car: the famous Chaika, the Volga, and the Pobeda. All museum exhibits are restored and on the move, you can take pictures with them. During the tour you will learn the history of not only the Gorky Automobile Plant, but the entire Russian automobile industry.
Information about tour formats and prices can be found on the museum’s official website. Please note: at the time of writing, the museum was under restoration, so be sure to check the website before planning a visit.
The development of street art in Nizhny Novgorod dates back to the 90s, when the first graffiti teams appeared, and at the beginning of zero it became a separate subculture. Now there are more than 100 drawings in Nizhny, some of them are united by common themes. To see these objects, use the map of Nizhny Novgorod graffiti.
Every summer the street art festival “Place” is held in Nizhny Novgorod, organized by the artist Nikita Nomerz. Street artists from different countries come here, and the city acquires new graffiti.
If you want to know more about the sights of Russia, see our research.
One of the works of the famous street artist Pokras Lampas in Nizhny Novgorod, source: VKontakte group “KZ Jupiter” https://vk.com/upiterkz?w=wall-176535222_1884
Portrait of the Nizhny Novgorod actor Evgeny Evstigneev on a house on Obukhov Street, source travelblognn.ru
What to see on the outskirts of Nizhny
At 70 kilometers from Nizhny Novgorod, near Bogorodsk, is the old manor Priklonskiy-Rukavishnikov, founded in the 16th century by wealthy merchants and built as a mini replica of St. Petersburg Palace Square. It is situated near the Oka river on the high bank, it’s a beautiful place where often make photo shoots. On the site of the estate is written, how to get to it is more convenient.
By the way, the city residence of the Rukavishnikovs is located on the Verkhne-Volzhskaya embankment in Nizhny Novgorod – a blue house decorated with figures. Now there is a museum, in which the most beautiful interiors of the former merchant’s house are recreated.
In an hour’s drive from Nizhny Novgorod is the Nizhny Novgorod Racing Ring . Here you can take a master class on driving a racing car, take a lesson in the School of Driving skills. There is a hotel on the territory of the complex.
On the opposite bank of the Volga is a satellite city of Nizhny Novgorod – Bor. There is not much for tourists to do there, but you can take a ride there and back on a cable car and look at Nizhny from above. One way ticket costs 100 rubles, travel time is 12 minutes. The ropeway station is located on the Nizhne-Volzhskaya embankment near Sennaya Square. By the way, Nizhny Novgorod ropeway is included in the “European Book of Records” as the ropeway with the longest span over the water.
An hour’s drive from Nizhny Novgorod is a beautiful lake Toskanka, on one of the islands of which is the Holy Trinity Ostrozersky monastery. The lake is given the status of a natural monument of regional importance. From the Toskanka flows out a meandering river, on which it is great to ride on the sap-boards.
In 50 kilometers from Nizhny Novgorod is located Gorodets – a city, which is famous for craftsmen. In the museum “House of Craftsmen” offers master classes in Gorodets painting, making rag dolls, clay whistles and many others. You can get to Gorodets by bus or by ship on the Volga.
And, of course, our Gorky Reservoir – the Gore-Sea. It makes sense to go here if you want to try your hand at surf camp. The road to the reservoir by car takes about an hour.
Where to eat in Nizhny Novgorod
There is no special local cuisine in Nizhny Novgorod, but in restaurants you can often see dishes of Volga fish, mushrooms and pickles.
Traditional Volga dishes can be tasted in the Gallery of Taste “Park Kultury”. The founders of the restaurant say that they have brought together cooking and art under one roof: both the first and the second with a connection to the Nizhny Novgorod land. Here you can taste author’s dishes made of local farm products – for example, Okskaya pike-perch with potatoes or farmer’s quail with spelt, and see pictures of Nizhny Novgorod masters. The restaurant is located on the Upper Volga embankment, so the view of the Volga will be the perfect complement to the delicious dishes. Average bill starts at 2,000 ₽.
There is a gastronomic phenomenon in Nizhny Novgorod: that same shawarma on Sredniy. There are legends about it, guests of the city are treated to it, you can see a line of 20 people near it in any weather. It’s a simple stand where they make shawarma, but they say it’s incredibly good. Want to try it? Get off at the Midway Market stop, see a line, that’s where you are.
Monica is a pizzeria restaurant with a spacious bright hall, panoramic windows, and friendly staff. It offers Neapolitan pizza made with Italian ingredients and delicate gelatos. The average bill is ₽1,000.
Herring and Coffee is a gathering place for Nizhny Novgorod youth. At Selyedka you can order delicious pies, and there’s also a large selection of infusions. There’s vinyl music inside and DJ sets on Fridays. The room is small, but that doesn’t stop patrons of all ages from splashing out on Christmas and chugging tinctures outside. The average check is 300-700 ₽.
Salute Burger Shop. Very tasty burgers that are cooked on a charcoal grill. Even sophisticated out-of-towners are waiting to meet them. If you come at the weekend, you will find the famous “Nizhny Novgorod flea market” next to “Salute” – among the old records, watches and posters you can find cute badges as a gift for yourself and friends. Children will appreciate the large playground at Salute. The average check at the burger joint is 500 ₽.
Flash is a small, soulful dumpling shop on Alekseevskaya Street. You can get a classic dumpling for 15 ₽, or you can get one with Belgian chocolate or a more hearty one with salmon and cheese. They’re all delicious.
Copper Pipes is a bar with great cocktails and tasty appetizers. If you don’t know the cocktail list, you can tell the bartender what flavors you like. The prepared drink is sure to get you in the mood. The bar is small, book a table in advance. You can find a menu with prices on their website.
There are few specialized vegan cafes in Nizhny, but as a rule, several vegan items are on the menu of every cafe. Vegan friends recommend Ceylon, Hot and Noot.
When to go to Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny is beautiful at any time of year. In 2022, it was the New Year’s Capital of Russia, with several outdoor ice rinks working for visitors, and the city streets beautifully decorated with lights.
You can go skiing and take a walk in the winter forest on the Shchelkovsky farm, there is a small slope for snowboarders and skiers in the city – Pechyorsky Canyon. The average temperature in winter is -12 … -14 ° C.
In summer, the city is especially good. The reason is its unusual landscape: Nizhny stands on seven hills and when the trees on all slopes and ravines turn green, the view from the observation platforms on the arrow becomes much more interesting than in winter.
And then there are the long evenings in the summer, when you can fill the entire memory of the phone with pictures of sunsets. By the way, every Saturday on the Lower Volga embankment there is a concert in the framework of the festival “Capital of Sunsets”. At first it was planned to be held only in the summer of 2021, but it was decided to extend it to 2022.
Every year in July, Nizhny Novgorod hosts Bitter Fest, a festival of new Russian cinema, where famous actors and directors can be seen on the streets of the city. Mesto Street Art Festival also takes place every year in summer.
The average temperature in Nizhny Novgorod in summer is +18 … +20 °С. There is nowhere to swim – almost all the city reservoirs were checked and found unsuitable. The beach on the Volga Rowing Channel is usually crowded with people, but the water there is quite dirty.
How to get to Nizhny Novgorod
Most tourists come to Nizhny Novgorod by train or private car. The city is connected with Moscow by an expressway M7, the travel time is about five hours.
From Moscow and St. Petersburg you can get to us by high-speed train Sapsan, as well as high-speed Lastochka and Strizhi depart from Moscow (Muscovites, note that from 2021 Nizhny Novgorod trains leave from the Vostochny station). Most trains arrive at the Moskovsky station, which is located near the city center. But in 2021 also opened Strigino station, which is located near the airport. If your train arrives at this station, be prepared that you will have to take a cab to the nearest stop.
By plane, travel time from Moscow and St. Petersburg is about an hour. From the airport, it is more convenient to get to the city center by cab – in the daytime, without traffic jams, it takes 40 minutes and 300-400 ₽.
Buses from other cities usually arrive at Shcherbinka bus station or Kanavinskaya bus station. But directly in the city there are also other places of stops. The buses to Nizhny Novgorod from Moscow depart from Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo airports or from the Central bus station, with a travel time of about eight hours.
Another option is to go on a river cruise on a tourist ship. For example, from Moscow there is a seven-day tour called “Nizhny Novgorod Fair”, which stops in Nizhny twice on the way.
How to get around the city
Nizhny Novgorod has good transport links: municipal buses, streetcars and trolleybuses, marshrutkas. There is also metro which connects upper and lower parts of the city. A subway fare costs ₽28 ₽ and a shuttle bus fare of ₽30 ₽. In the evening, it is possible to leave by public transport, but you will have to wait a little longer. Traffic jams occur during rush hours: in the mornings from the lower part of the city to the center, in the evenings in the opposite direction.
You can occasionally find a carshare car in the city, but there are very few of them. Parking in the city center has recently become a paid option almost everywhere. It’s easier to take a cab.
It’s not always convenient to ride a bike in the city – there are six bridges in Nizhny Novgorod, and bicycle lanes are only found in parks and on the waterfront. This, however, does not prevent Nizhny Novgorod residents from actively using electric scooter rentals as a means of transportation.
Scooters Whoosh and Delisamokat are often found in Nizhny Novgorod. To rent a scooter, you need to install a mobile app on your phone and link a bank card to it, the money for the rental is deducted from it. The cost of the ride is ₽5 per hour, plus ₽40 per rental.
Where to stay in Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny Novgorod is divided by the river into the upper and the lower, backwater parts. Typically, lodging in the lower town is cheaper, but be prepared for a trip to the city center.
In the city there are chain hotels – Ibis, Sheraton, Marins Park Hotel – and inexpensive and cozy hostels, many of which are located on the historic streets.
What to bring from Nizhny Novgorod
From Nizhny Novgorod we bring handmade items by local craftsmen: wooden crockery and trays painted with Khokhloma and Gorodets painting, golden embroidery from the masters of Gorodets, famous Semenov matryoshkas. You can buy all this at the big store “Folk Arts and Crafts” on Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street. Prices for souvenirs range from 200 ₽ for a birch bark lighter case to hundreds of thousands for a silver samovar.
At Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street there’s a store “Nizhny 800” that also sells souvenirs, including those with symbols of the 800th anniversary.
An excellent gift would be a box of chocolates from the Sormovo confectionery and Gorodets gingerbread.
Tips for guests of the city
1. Remember, the residents of Nizhny Novgorod are Nizhny Novgorodians. Not Novgorodians! When confused, we are offended.
2. Come in comfortable shoes and prepare to walk a lot. And, unfortunately, you’ll have to take into account that the accessible environment is not so accessible – not all stairs and descents have ramps.
3 If you’re planning a trip in the summer, make sure you don’t fall on mass race days – usually on this day they close off the entire embankment and the city is jammed with traffic. Check the local news.
4. During the warm season, I recommend taking a river trip. From the ship there is a stunning view of the Chkalovsky Stairs and the Ascension Pechyorsky Monastery. Adult ticket costs from 350 ₽, you can buy at the ticket office of the river station.
5. Ride around the city on the sightseeing streetcar. It has several different routes and the ticket costs from 650 ₽.
6. Walking through the center of Nizhny, look for the quarter of the Church of the Three Saints – this name unites several courtyards restored by city enthusiasts.
7. A good way to get to know Nizhny is to sign up for an author’s tour. Such tours are led by Lena Mityagina and Dima Four.
Most of the photos of Nizhny Novgorod (where no other source is specified) were provided by Alexander Ivasenko’s photography studio .
What a tourist can see in Nizhny Novgorod
State Academic Philharmonic of Mstislav Rostropovich
State Centre for Contemporary Art Arsenal
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Kremlin Concert Hall
Museum-Estate of the Rukavishnikovs
Nizhny Novgorod aerial tramway
Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum
State Circus of Nizhny Novgorod
Monument to the artist on Rozhdestvenskaya Street
Terrace Park for active recreation
People’s Unity Square
Russian Museum of Photography
Shopping and Entertainment Center “Fantastika
Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street
Ariel” Christmas toys factory
Church in honor of the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin
On our site you can find all the information you need about places of interest and attractions in Nizhny Novgorod. KudaNizhny Novgorod is an interactive catalog of the best places and places to visit in Nizhny Novgorod.
On KudaNizhny Novgorod you will find information on where to go as a tourist or a resident of Nizhny Novgorod. We choose only the best places for tourism, walking, dating and holidays with children.
KadaNizhny Novgorod knows about 27 Places to go for tourists in Nizhny Novgorod . If you know of a place that isn’t on the site, let us know!
Last added places to visit
State Circus of Nizhny Novgorod
Former factory “Lighthouse
SHIZGARA AVTOZAVOD karaoke bar in Nizhny Novgorod
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