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A new destination from Helsinki Airport: Nizhny Novgorod

Article published
2.9.2014 at 07:00
A city next a to a river.
A rich fusion of colourful Russian history, Nizhny Novgorod is some 400 km east of Moscow and now within close reach.

Founded in 1221, Nizhny Novgorod is the fifth largest city in Russia. There is no shortage of interesting things to see.

From 1932 to 1990, the city was known as Gorky, after famous author Maksim Gorky, who was born there. After the Soviet era, the city took back its original name.

A tributary of the mighty Volga, the Oka, divides the city in two, with the old district on the right bank and the newer, more industrial area on the left. The historical centre, on the right bank, in Nizhegorodsky, can easily be explored on foot.

Many Russian cities have a Kremlin (fortress), and Nizhny Novgorod’s 12-tower Kremlin is the city’s most popular tourist attraction, also featuring an art museum and a war memorial.

Where most people enter the historical area is one of the symbols of the city, the Dmitrovskaya Tower. In summer, you can walk along the top of the Kremlin walls and admire impressive views of the Volga River. 

If you’re interested in tsarist architecture, head to Rozhdestvenskaya. Some of this street has been pedestrianised, and its restoration was completed in recent years. At #25 is the Russian restaurant Pyatkin, said to be exceptional. Areas near the street Ilyinskaya feature more examples of old architecture, including even some wooden buildings.

Bolshaya Pokrovskaya is the main shopping street, with an interesting museum of Russian art in addition to its shops and restaurants.

Soviet-era industrial history awaits in a museum at a very fitting address: Lenin street. Here, the GAZ car factory used to produce vehicles such as Chaika luxury cars.

Nobel-prize winner Andrei Sakharov, who became a dissident after playing a key role in Soviet atomic bomb work, was in internal exile in this city in 1980–1986. His home is now a museum.

Flights to Nizhny Novgorod

Finnair flies to Nizhny Novgorod three times a week. The flight, which takes just over two hours, is operated by Flybe. A taxi trip from Strigino Airport to the centre takes roughly half an hour.

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Text: Minna Kalajoki, Mediafocus Oy
Photo: SXC