Nizhny Novgorod (Нижний Новгород)

Image of Nizhny Novgorod




Location: Nizhny Novgorod Oblas



Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

Interesting information and useful tips



Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

Interesting information and useful tips


Description of Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod is the one of the largest cities along a Volga river (longest in Europe) in the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast in Russia. In the Soviet times it was briefly renamed to Gorky since it was home to famous Russian writer Maxim Gorky who was born here. Nizhny Novgorod is located in the center of the East European Plain at the confluence of the Oka and Volga. River Oka divides the city into two parts: the upland one - the upper one, on the Dyatlovy mountains, and the river bank - the lower one, on its left lowland coast.

In 1500 - 1515 a stone Kremlin (Castle) was built, which was not taken even once in the whole history. Under its walls in 1612, the district warden Kuzma Minin raised funds and, together with Prince Pozharsky, organized a people's militia to liberate Moscow from the Poles. Since 1817, with the transfer to the city of the Makaryevsky fair, which was previously located near the Zheltovodsky Makariyev Monastery, it has become one of the largest shopping centers in Russia. In 1896, the All-Russian Art and Industrial Exhibition took place in the city, giving development to the Russian tram. During the Soviet industrialization of the 1930s, large machine-building enterprises were built, including the largest auto giant, the Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ). During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, the city was the largest supplier of military equipment, by virtue of which it was subjected to bombardment, the most powerful in the entire Middle Volga region. After the war, the city was awarded the Order of Lenin. November 20, 1985 in the city was launched the first section of the metro. This is the third largest metropolitan in Russia and the tenth in the former USSR.


Travel Destinations in Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin



Archangel Michael Cathedral (Собор Архангела Михаила)

Church of Saint John the Baptist (Церковь Рождества Иоанна Предтечи)


Pechersky Ascension Monastery (Печерский Вознесенский монастырь)


Chkalov Staircase (Чкаловская лестница)


Annunciation Monastery (Благовещенский монастырь)


Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Собор Александра Невского)




House museum of A.D. Sacharov (Музей-квартира А.Д.Сахарова)


House Museum of A.M Gorky (Музей-квартира А.М.Горького)


History of Nizhny Novgorod

Originally the name was just Novgorod ("Newtown"), but to distinguish it from the other, older and well-known Novgorod to the west, the city was commonly called "Novgorod of the Lower lands". This land was named "lower" because it is situated downstream, especially from the point of view of other Russian cities such as Moscow, Vladimir and Murom. Later it was transformed into the contemporary name of the city that literally means "Lower Newtown".

Seat of medieval princes
The city traces its origin from a small Russian wooden hillfort that was founded by Grand Duke Yuri II in 1221 at the confluence of two of the most important rivers in his principality, the Volga and Oka rivers. Its independent existence was threatened by the continuous Mordvin attacks against it; the major attempt made by forces under Purgaz in April 1229 was repulsed, but after the death of Yuri II on March 4, 1238 at the Battle of the Sit River, the Mongols occupied the fortress. Later a major stronghold for border protection, Nizhny Novgorod fortress took advantage of a natural moat formed by the two rivers.

Along with Moscow and Tver, Nizhny Novgorod was among several newly founded towns that escaped Mongol devastation on account of their insignificance, but grew into (great) centers in vassalic Russian political life during the period of the Tatar Yoke. With the agreement of the Mongol Khan, Nizhny Novgorod was incorporated into the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality in 1264. After 86 years its importance further increased when the seat of the powerful Suzdal Principality was moved here from Gorodets in 1350. Grand Duke Dmitry Konstantinovich (1323–1383) sought to make his capital a rival worthy of Moscow; he built a stone citadel and several churches and was a patron of historians. The earliest extant manuscript of the Russian Primary Chronicle, the Laurentian Codex, was written for him by the local monk Laurentius in 1377.

Strongest fortress of the Grand Duchy of Moscow
After the city's incorporation into the Grand Duchy of Moscow in 1392, the local princes took the name Shuisky and settled in Moscow, where they were prominent at the court and briefly ascended the throne in the person of Vasily IV. After being burnt by the powerful Crimean Tatar chief Edigu in 1408, Nizhny Novgorod was restored and regarded by the Muscovites primarily as a great stronghold in their wars against the Tatars of Kazan. The enormous red-brick kremlin, one of the strongest and earliest preserved citadels in Russia, was built in 1508–1511 under the supervision of Peter the Italian. The fortress was strong enough to withstand Tatar sieges in 1520 and 1536.

In 1612, the so-called "national militia", gathered by a local merchant, Kuzma Minin, and commanded by Knyaz Dmitry Pozharsky expelled the Polish troops from Moscow, thus putting an end to the "Time of Troubles" and establishing the rule of the Romanov dynasty. The main square in front of the Kremlin is named after Minin and Pozharsky, although it is locally known simply as Minin Square. Minin's remains are buried in the citadel. (In commemoration of these events, on October 21, 2005, an exact copy of the Red Square statue of Minin and Pozharsky was placed in front of St John the Baptist Church, which is believed to be the place from where the call to the people had been proclaimed.)

In the course of the following century, the city prospered commercially and was chosen by the Stroganovs (the wealthiest merchant family of Russia) as a base for their operations. A particular style of architecture and icon painting, known as the Stroganov style, developed there at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries.

The historical coat of arms of Nizhny Novgorod in 1781 was a red deer with black horns and hooves on a white field. The modern coat of arms from 2006 is the same, with a ribbon of order of Lenin and gold crown from above.

Great trade center
In 1817, the Makaryev Fair, one of the liveliest in the world, was transferred to Nizhny Novgorod, and started to attract millions of visitors annually. By the mid-19th century, the city was firmly established as the trade capital of the Russian Empire. The world's first radio receiver by engineer Alexander Popov and the world's first hyperboloid tower and lattice shell-coverings by engineer Vladimir Shukhov were demonstrated at the All-Russia industrial and art exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod in 1896. According to official Imperial Russian statistics the population of Nizhny Novgorod as of 14 January 1913 was 97,000.


The largest industrial enterprise was the Sormovo Iron Works which was connected by the company's own railway to Moscow station in the Lower Area of Nizhny Novgorod. The private Moscow to Kazan Railway Company's station was in the Upper Area of the city. Other industries gradually developed, and by the start of the 20th century the city was also a first-rank industrial hub. Henry Ford helped build a large truck and tractor plant (GAZ) in the late 1920s, sending engineers and mechanics, including future labour leader Walter Reuther.

Soviet era
There were no permanent bridges over the Volga or Oka before the October Revolution in 1917. Temporary bridges were built during the trade fair. The first bridge over the Volga was started by the Moscow–Kazan Railway Company in 1914, but only finished in the Soviet Era when the railway to Kotelnich was opened for service in 1927.

Maxim Gorky was born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1868 as Alexey Maximovich Peshkov. In his novels he described the dismal life of the city proletariat. When he returned to the Soviet Union in 1932 on the invitation of Joseph Stalin, the city was renamed Gorky. The city bore Gorky's name until 1990. His childhood home is preserved as a museum, known as the Kashirin House, after Alexey's grandfather who owned the place.

During the World War II, from 1941 to 1943, Gorky was subjected to air raids and bombardments by Germany. The Germans tried to destroy the city industry because it was the main supplier of military equipment to the front. These attacks became the most powerful in the entire World War II in the rear of the Soviet Union.

During much of the Soviet era, the city was closed to foreigners to safeguard the security of Soviet military research and production facilities, even though it was a popular stopping point for Soviet tourists traveling up and down the Volga in tourist boats. Unusually for a Soviet city of that size, even street maps were not available for sale until the mid-1970s. In 1970, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the city was awarded the Order of Lenin. Mátyás Rákosi, communist leader of Hungary, died there in 1971. November 20, 1985 in the city was launched the first section of the metro. The physicist and Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov was exiled there during 1980–1986 to limit his contacts with foreigners. An end to the "closed" status of the city accompanied the reinstatement of the city's original name in 1990.






Get in
By train
The train station in Nizhny Novgorod is located in the northern part of the city centre, near the Metromost Bridge. It is reachable via the metro. The main hall of the train station is beautiful and includes a chandelier as well as soviet-style mosaics symbolizing the life of Russian people.

All Trans-Siberian trains from Moscow except for train 99/100 (which goes via Yaroslavl instead) stop at Nizhny Novgorod.

When searching timetables and fares on the RZD website, enter "Nizhniy Novgorod" as the station for Nizhny Novgorod.

There are several options for train travel to/from Moscow including high speed Sapsan trains (3.5 hours, RUB1,200-1,700) and slower late night trains (7 hours, from RUB700). Trains are generally cheaper if purchased in advance. Most trains to/from Moscow arrive to/depart from Moscow's Kursky or Yaroslavsky train stations.

There are 2 daily overnight trains to/from Saint Petersburg (15-16 hours, from RUB900).

There are also direct train connections with Vladimir, Dzerzhinsk, Kazan, Samara, Kirov (6-7 hours, from RUB550), Yaroslavl (9 hours, from RUB450), Kungur (16 hours, from RUB1,200), Yekaterinburg, (20 hours, from RUB1,400), Novosibirsk (40 hours, from RUB2,500), Irkutsk (69 hours, RUB10,000), Astrakhan, Simferopol, Novorossiysk (52 hours, from RUB1,900), Vladivostok, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, and many other cities. Suburban commuter trains connect Nizhny Novgorod with towns within 200km of the city.

By plane
1 Nizhny Novgorod (Strigino) International Airport (GOJ IATA) (located 20km southwest of the city centre). The airport serves over 1.2 million passengers per year. There are regular flights to many major Russian cities including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Surgut, and Yekaterinburg, as well as international flights to Tashkent, Yerevan, Osh, Prague, Dushanbe, and Dubai. In addition, Dexter Air Taxi operates flights on small planes to nearby cities in Russia such as Kirov and Perm.

The airport is connected to the city by public transport including buses 11, 20, T-29, T-46. The journey by public transport to the city centre takes approximately 1 hour. A taxi ride takes around 30 minutes and should cost under RUB1,000 if negotiated in advance.

By car
Nizhny Novgorod is situated on the M7/E30 road. The road is in decent condition, although with traffic it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to drive to/from Moscow.

By bus
There are several stops for buses arriving in Nizhny Novgorod; however, departing buses leave from either Kanavinskaya bus station, near the railroad station, for buses going to points north and west, and the main bus station (Avtovokzal) near pl. Lyadova, for the buses going to points south and east.

Buses are generally uncomfortable and slower than the trains.

MR Trans operates buses to/from Moscow (9 hours, RUB600-1,000), Yoshkar-Ola, Kazan, Cheboksary, and other nearby cities.

By boat
Turflot, Infoflot, and many other companies operate multi-day river cruises down the Volga from early May to the end of September.

Many companies operate passenger boat service between Moscow and Astrakhan, with stops at most cities along the Volga River.

Get around
By foot
The city centre is compact and walkable. However, there are many inclines or steps from the river banks. The bridges are not pedestrian friendly since the sidewalk is very narrow and cars drive extremely fast close to the pedestrians.

Via public transport
There is a network of trams, trolleybuses, buses, marshrutkas and a 2-line metro system. Google maps can be used for directions via public transport.

The fare on public transport is ₽20 per ride and operating hours are generally 05:15am to midnight.

On surface public transport (trams, trolleybuses, buses and marshrutkas) you are expected to pay within one stop after you enter, the fare is fixed for one ride. A konductor who will come to you, take money and issue a ticket; if there is no konductor, you should pay directly to the driver. Both the driver and konductor will give change if needed, although notes of ₽1,000 and larger are sometimes denied. It is best to have exact change ready.

By metro
The metro is open from 5:15AM to 12:15AM. In order to go inside, you need to find an underground passage with the red letter M on top and go down under the ground. At the entrance to the metro you need to go through the security system. Police officers have the right to examine you, if necessary. The metro is accessible by tokens, city transport smart cards and bank cards. The fare is ₽20, as of May 2017. There are also electronic transport cards for ₽90 for 24 hours of travel on all types of public transport and ₽20 for 70 minutes.


The metro consists of 2 lines and 14 stations, with more stations planned in the future. The system was designed during Soviet times and stops are located near factories and industrial areas. However, the demographics have shifted and as a result, the metro is not as useful as it once was and surface transport is more popular and more crowded. The 2 lines intersect at Moscovskaya Metro Station. This is the only metro station in the ex-USSR with 4 adjacent tracks. In the afternoon you can expect a train about 8 minutes, in the evenings intervals reach 13-15 minutes. Therefore, you can see what happens with the interval clock: after reaching 10 minutes they just go out and time stops. After 22:00, the movement of trains going in an interesting way. From the Park Kultury to the Proletarskaya train move from the right platform, then the passengers are planted at the station and they pass to the other side of the platform, where trains run from Gorkovskaya (or Burevestnik) to Proletarskaya and back. Meanwhile, passengers who need to get to the Park Kultury get on the train that came from this station, and go back to the Avtozavodsky City District.

The Nizhny Novgorod metro is useful for those travelers who want to visit the city center, the well-organized industrial Avtozavodsky City District and the Sormovsky City District with a large number of pre-revolutionary and Stalinist buildings, and, at the same time, spend a minimum of time for transportation. The first stations were built in the early 1980s, from an architectural point of view, they are of little interest. However, two of them deserve attention: Moskovskaya (the only station with four routes and 2 lines) and Gorkovskaya (its walls are decorated with a panel depicting the main attractions of the city). Transportation between them on the train, you'll see a metro-bridge, Oka panorama, Strelka and Rozhdestvenskaya street. Also interesting is the terrestrial covered station Burevestnik - this is the only station of the Nizhny Novgorod metro with lateral platforms. Another interesting station is Zarechnaya, where the walls are decorated in the form of a river wave, and in the end of the station there is a panel "Grad Kitezh".

Line 2 (Blue) is now extended to the Strelka station under construction. This is part of the preparation of the city for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The station should begin functioning in April 2018.

By bus and trolleybus
As of May 2017 in each district of the city there are several city bus routes. The number of trolleybus routes is much less. In one district of the city there are 1-2 trolleybus routes. Trolleybus routes are completely absent in the Leninsky city district. It is worth noting that trolleybuses do not connect the Lower City to the Upper. This is because the trolleybuses do not have enough power to climb the mountain.

The trolleybus network is divided into 3 parts:

The upper trolleybus network (it unites all three districts - Nizhegorodsky, Sovetsky and Prioksky) with a turning circle on the Minin Square, near the Kremlin.
The lower trolleybus network (connects Kanavinsky, Moskovsky and Sormovsky districts)
The Avtozavod trolleybus network (connects all the distant sleeping microdistricts among themselves)

By tram
Throughout the city, land trams run. The longest route of all is 417. It connects the outskirts of Avtozavodsky district with the Moskovsky Rail Terminal. The journey takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The route passes through the sleeping areas (approximately 75% of the way). Also in remote neighborhoods there are routes of several more trams, but in most cases, they are in the Upper City. By the way, you can reach there by tram 27 or 10 directly from the Moscow railway station.

By marshrutka
Marshrutkas do not stop at every stop. To indicate your intention to exit a marshrutka, press a button and to indicate your intention to enter a marshrutka en-route, you need to wave your hand.

By bicycle
Nizhny Novgorod has not very developed bicycle infrastructure. Special bike paths exist only on the Upper-Volga and Lower-Volga embankments and on Rozhdestvenskaya Street.

The upper city is very hilly and full of steep inclines and even many locals will get off their bicycles and push their bikes up the hill by foot. Drivers can be reckless and pose a danger to cyclists. The roads can also be icy during the winter. City cyclists solve this problem by replacing summer tires with winter tires.

Also, in 2017 the implementation of a new integrated transport scheme of the city began. It provides for a large number of bicycle paths in the Upper City (including on Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street) and in the Lower City.

Bike rental

Bicycle station Dynamo, 53 Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Большая Покровская (Dynamo Stadium), ☎ +7 960 182-12-11, e-mail:  10:00-21:45. Bicycle rentals and service. From ₽800-1000/day.
X-line, 22 Malaya Pokrovskaya Малая Покровская, ☎ +7 831 212-88-99, e-mail:  10:00-21:00. Bicycle rentals, sales, and service. From ₽500/day.


Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

Interesting information and useful tips