Nizhny Novgorod City Information:
A Student Travel Guide
(Nizhney Novgorod; Nizhnii Novgorod)
Table of Contents (jump to)
I. Weather/seasonal concerns back to top
Visitors are astonished at the abundance of snow and low temperatures that are so common in Russia during the winter season. It usually doesn't thaw until March in Nizhni Novgorod, and only in April does spring really begin.
May, as well as August and September, are probably the best months to visit the city. Summer is hot and humid with occasional showers, although the temperature rarely exceeds 86 F. Early fall is rather warm, while October is usually rainy and November gradually turns into winter.
Tap water in Nizhny Novgorod is OK to drink, but most people still prefer to buy bottled water.
II. City Transportation/Orientation back to top
Nizhny Novgorod is a relatively small city and you can usually walk to where you need to go. The main street is Bolshaya Pokrovskaya, where you'll find the majority of Nizhny Novgorod's shops, cafes, restaurants and clubs. However, in some cases you may choose to take public transportation. The best way to get around on public transportation downtown is to take the trolleybuses. The best way to get from downtown to other areas and vice versa is to take the busses. If you can read Russian, you can see the public transportation routes on this site. You can also buy a city map with the bus and trolley routes marked (in Russian karta goroda s marshrutami transporta) at any magazine stand or bookstore.
III. Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, and Music back to top
Traditional and Not Entirely Traditional: the CCCP café (Bol. Pokrovskaya, 22; Tel: 33-99-17) gives you a patriotic atmosphere (in a remolded 70's soviet pub) and various national dishes. Probably one of the cheapest options in town! Shtolnya (Bol. Pokrovskaya 8) offers traditional Russian food at affordable prices. A fast-food option is Blinnaya-Blinnaya (Bol. Pokrovskaya 37) – the menu includes blini, pelmeni, soup, and now even pizza.
Urban Bohemian: Biblioteca (Bol. Pokrovskaya 46) caters to the young and artistic with a hip atmosphere and cheaply priced, tasty dishes.
Cafeteria-Style: For a quick and cheap bite to eat not far from LUNN, head to Pechka (Bol. Pecherskaya, 27). You can get a couple pastries and cup of coffee for about $2. This is a hotspot for students to grab a quick snack between classes, however – so be forewarned: if you come at the exact wrong time, there will be a huge line (though it moves quickly).
Jungle Bar (Bol. Pokrovskaya, 21) features live concerts of Jazz, Blues, and Rock almost every night. Rock Club (Piskunova ul. 21) is also a fairly popular venue offering live music and a dance floor. DJs usually play American classic rock. It is open 24-7, does not have face control, and offers free Wi-Fi. Entrance fee for concerts is 200 rubles. Also, from jazz to Russian pop, the concert hall "Jupiter
" (Pl. Oktyabrskaya, 1. Tel: 419-44-28, 410-40-42;) is another great place to go for concerts in Nizhny. Call for ahead or see the website for the schedule and tickets.
For the Homesick: At Broadway Pizza (Bol. Pokrovskaya 46), you can get a large slice of thick pizza for 70 rubles and a pitcher of beer for 180 rubles. They also have delicious banana splits, and surprisingly decent burritos. You order at the counter and are given a number – the food is brought to you, but for the drinks you take the receipt to the drink counter and pick them up there. They offer 20% off for groups of 5 or more, and a 20% discount for you on your birthday (7 days before or after the actual day). Another option for steak and hamburger lovers is Sport Bar Grill & Steak (ul. Piskunova 41, Tel: 278-08-24). McDonald's now has five locations (Pl. Revolyutsii, 5a; Pl. Gorkovo, 2; ul. Vedenyapina 2a, Torgovly Tsentr "Mega", and prospekt Gagarina 105a). There is also a Subway in town (Bol. Pokrovskaya 47).
For the Romantically Inclined: At Mega (Nizhny-Volzhskaya Nab., 23 tel: 31-37-20) you will hear some of the city's best techno on a large dance floor. Wednesdays are ladies nights, with free admission for girls and (they advertise) a population heavily weighted in favor of men (98% female!). The cover increases as the club gets fuller, so get there early.
An easy walk home: Rokko (Minina St., 10) opened just down the street from the LUNN dorms, has been operating for almost a decade and remains one of Nizhy's top nightspots. Laser shows, dancing, gambling and cabaret are all available for a nominal cover charge of about $10.
For Coffee-Lovers: There are no Western-style coffee shops to speak of; however, you might check out Coffee-Club Bessonnitsa ("Insomnia") hidden on a side-street just off Osharskaya, at 1/2 Chernoprudksaya pereulok. It's dark and smoky and its liquor menu is larger than its coffee menu, but frankly you're hard up for options in Nizhny Novgorod for a place with Joe.
Cooking At Home: there are plenty of small grocery stores (produkty) around town, but for stores with larger selections check out own of the plentiful 24-7 Spar stores in town (find a location near you on their site). The closest one to LUNN is on ul. Minina 16a. You'll find slightly cheaper prices and an even wider selection at Nizhnegorodskii Universam on 41 Piskunova. If you're looking for specialty items like soy milk, your best bet is going to be Real, in the Fantastika shopping center at Rodionova St. 187-V.
IV. Internet cafes back to top
(Maksima Gorkoga ul. 226; Tel: 78-79-49)
This is the closest internet café to LUNN.
This internet-café has two locations. The first is at Maksima Gorkogo pl, Dom Svyazi; Tel: 430-00-83. The second is at Barentsa ul. 7; Tel: 26-54-25.
Ul. Poltavskaya 3. Tel: 78-76-11
Rozhdestvenskaya ul. 13; Tel: 72-89-72
Wi-Fi: many restaurants will offer Wi-Fi (usually marked "Wi-Fi" on the front door or window), especially those located on Bol.Pokrovskaya. However, if you are living at the dorms a more convenient place to use Wi-Fi is at the movie theater Karo in the Shokolad shopping complex (Belinskogo 124, floor 3), which is a 5 minute walk from the dorms.
V. Doctors and Clinics back to top
Unfortunately, outside of Moscow, there are not many English-speaking clinics and there are none to speak of in Nizhny. Below are two clinics chosen for their proximity to the LUNN campus.
Centr Profilaktiki I Bor’by So Spidom Oblastinoi
(Minina ul., d. 20, korp. E)
Can provide aids tests in case you need to renew your visa.
Zdorove Lechnevno-Konsultativnii Center
(Minina ul., d. 35; Tel: 361877)
General health services located very near the university and dorms.
International SOS Clinic
Free Advice!: firstname.lastname@example.org
VI. Theatres and Music back to top
See also this list, posted by the Nizhny Novgorod City Administration.
Classical and Folk Music
The Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory named for M. Glinka
(ul. Piskunova, 40; Tel: 419-43-45; website: - in Russian)
Nizhny Novgorod's main academic school for music also gives some of the best (and cheapest) concerts of classical music. There are no student discounts, but a concert will only set you back about $4.
Nizhny Novgorod Academic Philharmonic Theatre
(Kremlin, bldg. 2; Tel: 439-11-87)
Every year the Philharmonic Society arranges about two thousand concerts (for 400 thousand spectators) in the central assembly-rooms of Nizhny Novgorod (the Kremlin Concert Hall, the Conservatoire Hall, the assembly-rooms of M.Gorky State Museum and the Region Universal V.I. Lenin Library).
Municipal ensemble of folk songs "Ljubava"
(Engels str., Krasnoye sormovo Club; Tel: 23-13-03)
This theatre, as well as the Municipal Troupe of Soloists "Sofia," (Minin square, 4; Tel: 36-67-89) will serve all your folk music needs.
Municipal Chamber Chorus "Nizhny Novgorod"
(Minin square, 4; Tel: 36-67-89)
Note about theaters in Nizhny Novgorod: for evening shows, almost every play or concert begins at 6 pm, and tickets cost from $3-15. If you have a student ID ask for a discount, but not all theaters will give you one.
Nizhny Novgorod Academic Drama Theatre of the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in the name of M. Gorky
(ul. Bolshaya Pokrovskaya, 13; Tel: 419-52-59)
Yes, the name is a mouthful, but as the theatre has been the main dramatic theatre of the Nizhny Novgorod region for some 200 years, it has gone through a few "nominal enhancements." Plays an array of modern and classic pieces in family-friendly presentations. Tickets are still less than 100 RU.
Nizhny Novgorod Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in the name of A. Pushkin
(ul. Belinskogo, 59; Tel: 428-50-56)
Opened in 1935 and largely financed by Gorky himself, this theatre now specializes in classic ballet and opera.
Municipal Children's Theatre "Vera"
(Meshersky bulvar., 10; Tel: 47-41-64)
As is the case with many children's theatres in Russia, this one plays family-friendly fare in the afternoon and more adult pieces in the evening. See also the
Nizhny Novgorod Academic Puppet Theatre
(ul. Bolshaya Pokrovskaya, 39; Tel: 434 09 22).
Puppet Theatre is widely practiced and respected in Russia. This is a great cultural experience!
Nizhny Novgorod Comedy Theatre
(ul. Gruzinskaya, 23)
One of N. Novgorod's more "cutting edge" theatres, they spell their name with a Ukrainian "i" (Ko ìeäiÿ) and feature everything from musical comedy to political satire. Now housed in a beautiful, new building.
Nizhny Novgorod Theatre of a Young Spectator of the Badge of Honour in the name of N. Krupskaya
(ul. Gorkogo, 145; Tel: 428-31-25)
Plays classics. Originally aimed at children and adolescents, the theater now also produces plays meant for adults.
Municipal Chamber Musical Theatre in the name of V.Stepanova at the Garrison House of Officers
(ul. Bol. Pokrovskaya, 30; Tel: 433-02-45, 434-15-90)
Many from this theatre have gone on to be Soviet and Russian movie stars.
(ul. Piskunova, 10; Tel: 436 63 50)
A theatre run by actors and for actors, this features mostly modern plays presented in an intimate "chamber theatre atmosphere."
Youth theatre "LIK"
ul. Komintern, 166, 73-05-45
VII. Museums of Nizhny Novgorod back to top
The Kremlin Wall (site in English)
(Kremlin; Tel: 39-18-88)
The Kremlin is Nizhny Novgorod's main attraction. Take a walk along the battlements and see spectacular views of the city and the Volga. Within the Kremlin walls is an interesting array of WWII weaponry and vehicles, and an odd assortment of architecture from a seventeenth century cathedral to a nineteenth century governor's mansion to the ultra-soviet concrete building block known as the "House of Soviets." (It's supposed to look like an airplane, if you look at it from an airplane).
A. Sakharov Museum (in English, the Sakharov Foundation)
(Prospekt Gagarin 214; Tel: 66-86-23)
Sakharov was one of the Soviet Union's most vocal and successful Soviet dissidents who worked to better human rights in the USSR and stop nuclear proliferation. He spent six years in exiled Nizhney Novgorod, then a bleak, closed town with an early curfew largely enforced by its own incredibly high crime rate. The apartment he lived in is now a museum to human rights and those who better the world. They still land in hot water from time to time for their occasionally politically charged and/or controversial displays.
(In Makarevo, accessible from the River Station in N. Novgorod)
If not for the chance to see an operational monastery, then come for the boat ride and the village. Catch a boat on the Volga in the morning and ride to a quaint village of a couple hundred. Bring a swimming suit to jump in the Volga. Bring a lunch as well, as things to purchase here are few. The Monastery itself has a history that goes back to 1450, but the buildings here were almost all built in the 1600’s, as Tartars torched the originals. From reading Russian history, indecently, it seems the Tartars were a little prone to pyromania. The boat will bring you back in the evening (make sure you don’t miss it!).
The Gorkys (site in Russian)
Nizhny Novgorod is where Maxim Gorky, the writer, lived for most of life. There are now several museums dedicated to him there, including places where he lived, preserved as he knew them, and museums devoted his and to Russian literature in general. See all entries under "Literature" below.
(Pochtovy descent, 21; Tel: 34-15-02, 36-56-29)
The communists preserved this house because it is where their favorite playwright and poet, Maxim Gorky, spent his childhood. Even if you don't like Gorky, or know who he is, the museum is an interesting preserved specimine of how middle-class families lived in pre-revolutionary, provincial Russia. Note you have to set up a tour ahead of time – they will not allow on-the-spot visitors. On the up side the price is ridiculously cheap – a mere 10 rubles for adults, or 2 rubles with a student ID.
The Ethnographical Museum of Volga-region
(Gorbatovskaya, 41; Tel: 65-15-98)
There are several of these open-air museums across Russia now, which celebrate the Russian tradition of wooden architecture. Basically, several examples of regional architecture from various periods are dismantled and reassembled in a location not far from a major city into a sort of preserved mini-village.
The Annunciation Monastery
This is surrounded by strong walls and has another five-domed cathedral (1649) and the Assumption church (1678).
The Monastery of the Caves (Pechorsky) features the austere five-domed cathedral (1632) and two rare churches surmounted by tent roofs, dating from the 1640s.
The Museum of History of Art-Crafts
(Bolshaya Pokrovskaya str., 43; Tel: 433-34-27)
Displays anything and everything that might be considered "the peoples," especially those produced by minorities. Clothing, furniture, metal work, arts-and-crafts, etc. can be seen on display.
(Kremlin, bdg. 3; Tel: 439-13-73)
This is the main art museum of N. Novgorod. While certainly not as impressive as the massive collections of St. Petersburg, this provincial cultural center does provide an interesting visual array of Russian and European painters and sculptors. Worth a look while you are at the Kremlin!
The Yurkova Gallery
(Bol. Pokrovskaya, 9; Tel: 439-07-38)
Dedicated to "non-standard art," this museum displays paintings made on dry leaves and other interesting experiments.
(Minin sq., 2/2; Tel: 439-09-71)
Expositions of paintings, drawings, applied art
The Yemelina Gallery
(Vaneyeva ul., 1 à ; Tel: 35-84-38)
This museum presents the art of and art concerning "the ancient Russian way of life." On permanent display are a collection of original "three-dimensional" paintings by I. Yemelina
Russian Museum of Photography
(Piskunova, 9; Tel: 437 37 43)
This museum houses the work of two of Russia's earliest photographers, Andrei Karelin and Maxim Dmitriev, as well as 19th and 20th century cameras. It also features modern exhibitions. A must-see for photography buffs as well as anyone interested in getting a look at 19th century Russia through photography.
(Minin str., 26; Tel: 36-65-83, 36-56-29)
Dedicated to Maxim Gorky and part of the triad of museums in his name, this museum offers exhibitions on history of the intelligentsia, plus occasionally live music and poetry evenings.
A.M. Gorky Museum
(Semashko ul, 19A; Tel: 36-16-51 )
This is the apartment that Gorky lived in with his family from 1902-1904, restored to look like it did when he lived there. It has additional displays on literature, etc. as well.
(Pochtovy descent, 21; Tel: 33-85-89 )
The communists preserved this house because it is where their favorite playwright and poet, Maxim Gorky, spent his childhood. Even if you don't like Gorky, or know who he is, the museum is an interesting preserved specimen of how middle-class families lived in pre-revolutionary, provincial Russia.
N. A. Dobrolyubov Literary Memorial Museum
(Naberezhnaya Lykova Damba, 2-2a. Tel: 433-5389, 433-16-44)
A couple centuries ago, this priest was one of Russia's most important literature critics. This museum is an exhibition of the priest's life and the Golden Age of Russian Literature that he worked in. An affiliate of the A.M. Gorky Museum
Technology and Science
The Museum of History of N. Novgorod Railway, Museum of Locomotives
Iyulskikh Dney, 1 à ; Tel: 248-35-17
Nizhny Novgorod is one of the many regions in Russia to have hosted a "Children's Railway," a short rail line which not only provided a limited, regional transportation line, but also gave children a chance to receive first-hand experience running a railway! Find out more about these railways in English!
The Museum of the History of "GAZ"
(Lenin, 95; Tel: 56-14-38)
Gas and natural resources are very important to the Nizhney Novgorod region, as to Russia in general. This museum exhibits the products and processes of N. Novgorod's gas refinery. It has been named one of the best technical museums in Russia (there are many of them, thanks to the Communists) and sevices some 11,000 people each year.
The Memorial Museum of V.P. Chkalova
(Chkalovsk ul., 5. 83160-2-2499, 83160-2-1706)
Dedicated to a hero-pilot of the Soviet era, this features an interesting collection of aviation history and a hanger with a few soviet airplanes.
(ul. Revolutsionaya, 20.Tel: 272-50-94)
The first digital planetarium in Russia, this place regularly features educational shows about space, with most shows falling on the weekend.
VIII. Other Entertainment back to top
(Yaroshenko, 7B; Tel: 271-67-37, 416-14-14)
Nizhny Novgorod's zoo!
(ul. Kommunisticheskaya, 42; Tel: 413 28 28, 246 72 12)
Opened in 1883, this is one of the oldest circuses in Russia.
To see what's going on in the city, see this site (in Russian): http://www.afisha.ru/nnovgorod/
More about Nizhny Novgorod - history and travel logistics
More about the Linguistic University of Nizhny Novgorod (LUNN)