Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

A Beautiful City Just Outside the Golden Ring

          The Sunday morning train ride from Vladimir to Nizhny Novgorod took a little over two hours and cost about $30.  While this was only a small step eastward on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the short ride meant more time to explore this beautiful city.  Nizhny Novgorod turned out to be one of my favorite stops on the entire cross county trek and I highly recommend planning a visit here, even if it is just a side trip from Moscow 250 miles away.  Nizhny Novgorod is located at the confluence of the Volga River and its largest tributary, the Oka River, making it an important hub of cargo and passenger shipping.  The charm and beauty of Russia’s fifth largest city today belies its dark past during Soviet times.

Confluence of Volga and Oka Rivers with Church of the Nativity in Foreground

Confluence of Volga and Oka Rivers
with Church of the Nativity in Foreground

Inside Kremlin at Nizhny Novgorod

Inside Kremlin at Nizhny Novgorod

Where the Oka River Meets the Volga

          Nizhny Novgorod straddles the Oka River which divides the city into the eastern and western sectors.  The main train station is on the western side, while the most popular attractions are on the eastern side of the river.  Before leaving the train station I booked my seat on the train to Perm for the next day for about $96.  Even with my backpack I enjoyed the long walk from the train station through the bustling streets and over the bridge crossing the Oka River, meeting friendly locals all along the way.  I got a nice room with breakfast included at the Hotel Troitskaya for about $84.  Located right in the historic district, the hotel was the perfect jumping off place for walking excursions to the main attractions.

Kremlin at Nizhny Novgorod

Kremlin at Nizhny Novgorod

Kremlin Walls Nizhny Novgorod

Kremlin Walls
Nizhny Novgorod

Main Points of Interest in Nizhny Novgorod         

          From my hotel in the historic district I took a walking tour of the eastern sector that encompassed many of the significant sights in Nizhny Novgorod.  The route I took was essentially a large circle and in only a few hours I was able to really capture the essence of this wonderful city.  The hotel was located just off ul Rozhdestvenskaya, a cobblestone street dating from the 18th century.  On this street you will find the Church of the Nativity, one of the most beautiful churches in the city, built by the Stoganovs under Peter the Great.  A walk up the hill takes you to the Kremlin which dates back to the 16th century.  With its 12 towers and spectacular view of the surrounding area, this is surely the main feature of Nizhny Novgorod.  And admission is free!  You can walk around the Kremlin walls and then once within the walls you can visit the City Hall, the Governor’s mansion, the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael and the State Art Museum, all punctuated by beautiful gardens.  You can also access this bluff by climbing the Chkalov Steps, a serious climb, rising from the banks of the Volga River.  At the top you will come to Bolshaya Pokrovskaya, a beautiful pedestrian street lined with interesting buildings, shops and markets.  At the end of the street is Gorky Plaza with a statue of the famous Russian author, Maxim Gorky.  As you complete the circular walking tour, you come to a beautiful green belt overlooking the Oka River with a spectacular view of the western sector.

Chkalov Steps Rising from Volga River

Chkalov Steps Rising from Volga River

Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Pedestrian Street

Bolshaya Pokrovskaya
Pedestrian Street

Hotel Troitskaya

          Recommended in the Trans-Siberian Handbook by Bryn Thomas, the Hotel Troitskaya could not have been in a better location.  The long walk from the train station on the other side of the Oka River gave me a good orientation to the city layout and once in the eastern sector the hotel was easy to find.  On my return trip the next day, the hotel manager personally walked me to the tram that went directly back to the train station.  For about $84 I had a large, well-appointed room at the Troitskaya Hotel with private bath, television, refrigerator and large, cheery windows.  The hotel was clean and safe and was operated by a friendly, helpful staff who went out of their way to accommodate their guests.  The breakfast the following morning was prepared individually and was outstanding.  Considering all that I got for about $84, the Hotel Troitskaya was a good value and rates the designation as an ‘Awesome Accommodation’ on Blue Orb Travel.

My Room at the Troitskaya Hotel Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

My Room at the Troitskaya Hotel
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Kremlin at Nizhny Novgorod

Kremlin at Nizhny Novgorod

Share

Comments are closed.