10 Best Things To Do In Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Things to do in Nizhny Novgorod
| 4 min read

Nizhny Novgorod was founded in 1221 by Prince Yuri Vsevolodovich to protect the borders of Russia. It is Russia’s fifth largest city and its population exceeds 1.2 million. It is sometimes referred to as Nizhny for short.

From 1932 till 1990, it was known as Gorky, after the writer Maxim Gorky, who was born here. Nizhny Novgorod is an important city, which plays a prominent role in the country’s economic, educational, cultural and tourist development.

An interesting fact, several matches of the FIFA World Cup in 2018 will be held here! As you will read this city offers so much, so wrap up warm, make your list of things to see and head over to Nizhny Novgorod for an unforgettable trip!

1. The Kremlin

Gorky City. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Алексей Белобородов used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Dominating the ancient hill, the Kremlin is a fantastic monument, which is a proud display of Russia’s defensive architecture. Built in the 15th-century, it has witnessed and experienced many troubled events but it stands proud, keeping the city and country safe. High stone walls connect fourteen towers of different shapes and each tower had a particular function. It took about fifteen years to build.

There are museums inside for you to explore, which tell you about Russia’s history and from inside you have stunning views of the rest of the city. You will need half a day to explore fully.

The Kremlin

Address: Minina and Pozharskogo square, Nizhny Novgorod 603005, Russia

Website: The Kremlin

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2. Chkalov Staircase

2013 Chkalov Staircase. - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Валерий Дед used under CC BY 3.0

There is a debate as to exactly how many steps make up the Chkalov Staircase but it is a few hundred, at least. If you want to climb to the top, you will need to be reasonably fit and if you reach the finish, the beautiful view allows you to look out over the whole of Nizhny Novgorod, if you do this on a sunny day, it looks a little magical.

This monumental staircase was built in the Soviet era, it was originally named the Volga Staircase but the name was changed to its current name after the world famous test pilot and hero of the Soviet Union, Valery Chkalov. In 1937, Valery Chkalov was the first man in history to finish a non stop flight through the North Pole from Moscow into Vancouver.

Chkalov Staircase

Address: Nizhnevolzhskaya embankment, Nizhnij Novgorod, Nizhegorodskaya oblast’, Russia 603001

Website: Chkalov Staircase

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3. The Nizhny Novgorod State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

Nizhny Novgorod opera and ballet theatre
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Алексей Трефилов used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Some say the Nizhny Novgorod Ballet Theatre is one of the best in the world! If you want a few hours, where you can escape and transport yourself into another world, then buy a ticket for a show here. The singing, costumes, and dance are all of very high quality and seeing a performance here really is a once in a lifetime experience. Do see their website for performance times and for tickets.

The Nizhny Novgorod State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

Address: Belinskogo 59/2, Nizhny Novgorod 603024, Russia

Website: The Nizhny Novgorod State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

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4. Pechersky Ascension Monastery

Pechersky Ascension Monastery - Cupolas (Nizhny Novgorod, 2007)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Godot13 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pechersky Ascension Monastery was built sometime from 1328-1330 by St. Dionysius, who came to Nizhny Novgorod from Kiev Pechersk Lavra. The monastery very quickly became an important spiritual and religious center in Nizhny Novgorod.

Sadly this monastery was destroyed by a landslide in 1597 but miraculously no one died. And later in the same year the monastery was rebuilt.

This monastery is a lovely place to visit. Its tranquility is what draws visitors. The chapel has wonderful scenes painted on every wall and the ceiling. Please do remember to dress appropriately as this is a religious space.

Pechersky Ascension Monastery

Address: Privolzhskaya Sloboda, 108, Nizhny Novgorod 603063, Russia

Website: Pechersky Ascension Monastery

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5. Mitrich (restaurant)

I always feel a trip to a different country remains incomplete until you have eaten in a nice restaurant there. Mitrich has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, from the minute you are inside it is clear it’s something special. It is beautifully decorated and the service is very good.

It is known as a steakhouse and the meat is excellent and very well prepared, but there are many other dishes served, such as the delicious duck and pasta. There are a good selection of wines to choose from and the pear crumble with caramel and ice cream is said to be pretty amazing!


Address: Kovalikhinskaya ul., 8, Nizhnij Novgorod, Nizhegorodskaya oblast’, Russia, 603006

Phone Number: +7 8312828210

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6. Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevskiy

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user EverlastingStar used under CC BY-SA 4.0

From afar you will see the beautiful buttercup yellow of this building, glistening against the sky. The building of the cathedral began in 1868 and it lasted for 13 years, it is a Russian Orthodox cathedral church.

Inside there is detailed, intricate work and it is also a show of the fine workmanship that has gone into building the cathedral. You will need a couple of hours here to see everything in detail.

Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevskiy

Address: Strelka Street, 3А, Nizhnij Novgorod, Nizhegorodskaya oblast’, Russia, 603086

Phone Number: +7 8312779926

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7. The house-museum of Maxim Gorky

The house-museum of Maxim Gorky was designed by Fyodor Schechtel in 1900. Maxim Gorky was a Russian and Soviet writer. It is a breathtaking building, full of beautiful stained glass windows, and a marble staircase, in the shape of a wave.

Inside the house-museum, you will find extensive written material, which gives you an insight into Maxim Gorky’s life, his taste in decor and some of his ornaments.

The house-museum of Maxim Gorky

Address: Mal. Nikitskaya St., 6/2 | Metro: Pushkinskaya or Arbatskaya, Moscow 121069, Russia

Website: The house-museum of Maxim Gorky (in Russian)

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8. Salut (restaurant)

If you want to taste great burgers during your stay in Nizhny Novgorod then you must try Salut. “Wow!” is what people say once they have taken their first bite of a Salut burger.

The steak burger is recommended. The food is reasonably priced and the long queue is an indicator of the popularity. There are vegetarian and vegan options. Burger buns come in white and black!


Address: Oktyabrskaya, 9 A, Nizhny Novgorod 603005, Russia

Phone Number: +7 9527888558

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9. Rozhdestvenskaya Street

Nizhny Novgorod. Rozhdestvenskaya Street near Japan Cultural Centre
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Алексей Белобородов used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The locals often refer to Rozhdestvenskaya Street as an open air museum, all the houses in this street were built from the 18th to the 19th-century. It is a lovely spot to sit, enjoy a coffee in one of the many cosy cafes and watch the world go by and absorb the history around you. Whatever time of day you visit here, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or just for a stroll, it is so worthwhile.

Rozhdestvenskaya Street

Address: Rozhdestvenskaya Street, 603001, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

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10. Chkalov Monument

Monument to Valery Chkalov (Nizhny Novgorod) 2018
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Skorp24 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This monument is dedicated to Valery Chkalov, who was born in Nizhny Novgorod and became a test pilot for experimental aviation in the 1930s. It is situated next to the Kremlin on a hill overlooking the embankment of the Volga River.

He became famous in 1937, when over the course of two days, from June 18th to June 20th, Valery flew from Moscow to Vancouver, Washington, United States of America, across the North Pole. This was the first nonstop flight across the Arctic ice cap, and showed that such a flight was feasible.

Chkalov Monument

Address: 40 Let Oktyabrya 6, Nizhny Novgorod 603001, Russia

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Nizhny Novgorod - a delightful city

Rozhdestvenskaya street
Source: Photo by user Aleksandr Zykov used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Spend as much or as little time as you have in Nizhny Novgorod and learn about the history, walk around the city and try some of the delicious food - make your time here one to remember.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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When I am not planning my next travel adventure, I can be found with my nose in a book or working on my latest piece of writing. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to travel and every country...Read more

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