Novosibirsk: Getting There and Around

Author: Maria Mushtrieva (on 21 Apr 2015)

Traveling to Novosibirsk:

You can travel to Novosibirsk by plane or by train. Novosibirsk is the major Trans-Siberian transport hub, so all the trains stop there.

For schedules of the most popular trains, see the Trans-Siberian train schedule. A ticket from Moscow to Novosibirsk costs about 2500 R ($80) for a class trip (coupe - 1 berth in 4-berth compartment), and lasts slightly less than 2 days.

Novosibirsk railway station is really one of the best in Russia. It was renovated not long ago, and is very comfortable and clean. There is a huge waiting hall that is opened 24 hours a day, a luggage storage area, service center (where you can book a ticket or rent a car), short-term apartment reservation stand (on the ground floor), a lot of little shops and cafes, where you can buy a snack, and a small hotel (which is booked most of the time, but you can try it out anyway).
There are also really good photo exhibitions in the waiting hall, featuring photos of Russia's most attractive spots (Baikal Lake, Altai mountains, cities, etc.)
Train station in Novosibirsk - photo by Clay Gilliland/
You can also travel to Novosibirsk by air. The local airport is called "Tolmachovo", and is located 20 km west from the centrum. There are daily flights to all main Russian cities and CIS cities and some international flights to Frankfurt, Hannover, Beijing, Seoul, Ho Shi Min, Tel Aviv. The schedules are available here.
Transfer to the city from airport costs about $20 US by a car or a taxi. You can also take a bus that stops next to Novosibirsk hotel or a shuttle.
There's another airport, which is closer to the city for short local flights. . The major Russian airlines such as Aeroflot and Sibir have at least one flight a day. It takes about 3 hours to fly to Novosibirsk from Moscow and costs about $100 one way.
The main bus station is located in the south of the city on Krasny Prospekt, and buses depart to all local destinations, including the direction of Altai mountains.
Golden Eagle -Transsiberian train stopping at Novosibirsk - photo by Vera & Jean-Christophe /

Trips to Altay Mountains:

Most of the tourists try to go as far as possible by train, that is, Biysk. However, it's not the best option, because Biysk is a small town and there's a risk of being stuck there or getting a very expensive ride further to Altay.
We recommend to take a train to Barnaul - a wonderful, sunny, well-developed, and green city (750,000 population) - which is 4 hours or 250 km from Novosibirsk to the south on the way to Biysk, Gorno-Altaisk and Altay mountains.

The best option is to take one of the two fast daily trains: either at 12.20 or 20.53 local time. The trip lasts 4 hours. There are at least 5 more trains daily all going in the south direction to Biysk, Alma-Ata, Abakan (stopping in Barnaul on the way).

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Express trains back from Barnaul to Novosibirsk depart daily at 7.00 and 13.35 local time (Moscow +3) and take about 4 hours. There are also slightly less and slower daily trains that depart at 1.20 and 16.00 (to Tomsk through Novosibirsk) daily.

You can also take a bus, which is less comfortable and slightly longer (5 hours), but more flexible: there are daily buses departing Novosibirsk starting at 6.00 until 20.00 (same back to Novosibirsk to Barnaul).
Alternatively, it's possible to take a taxi from Novosibirsk to Barnaul (or back) for 1500 R ($50) for the car.
In Barnaul you can get a tour from a travel company to Altay (most comfortable option); take a local bus to Gorno-Altaysk (worst option); or for most independent travelers -- get a minibus to any place in Altay mountains (recommended - Glacier Aktru 800 km away) for the price of about 10R / km for the whole car (that's what we did and can recommend very good drivers at this region).
Glacier Aktru in Altay Mountains - photo by Obakeneko /

Airline Offices, Air Travel

At the moment a one-way flight Novosibirsk - Moscow costs 3600 R ($120) for young people (up to 25 yo), 5600 for adults ($180). A return flight is 5600 ($180) for young people, 8000 R ($280) for adults.
Siberia airlines makes 3 daily flights from Novosibirsk to Moscow (arr Domodedovo airport): 7.20, 14.20, 19.40 local time. Aeroflot makes 1 daily flight to Sheremetyevo 1 airport, departing Novosibirsk at 6.45 local time. The prices are the same, the flight time is about 3 hours.
Both Siberia Airlines and Aeroflot have 24h ticket offices at Tolmachyovo airport in Novosibirsk, a good place to buy tickets in the center of Novosibirsk is Krasny Prospekt St., #28 (metro Pl. Lenina, about 5 minute walk from Lenina square to the direction of Ob river). Siberia office is opened from 10 until 18, Aeroflot is opened from 8 until 20.
Central information phone numbers in Novosibirsk - Aeroflot: (3832) 23-15-76, 17-96-93, 16-98-97 (Tolmachyovo airport); Siberia Airlines: (3832) 599-150

Getting around Novosibirsk:

As in any Russian city, there are public buses, trolleybuses, minibuses - marshrutkas, and even a metro. Public transport operates from 6.00 until 0.00 usually, and a trip costs 5R ($0.2).

Novosibirsk Metro:  The price of trip 6 R ($0.2). There are new trains with TVs -- something you won't see anywhere else in Russia (and, perhaps, the world).

The best way to try the metro is to take a train from the railway station (metro Ploshchad Garina-Mikhailovskogo) to the central Krasny Prospekt or Pl. Lenina stations.
See the scheme of Novosibirsk metro here.

Metro Ploshad Lenina in Novosibirsk - photo by Jaan-Cornelius K./
Novosibirsk Taxi: However, the most popular transport in Novosibirsk are taxis. They are virtually everywhere. If you already got used to waving your hand on the street and catching any car, that will give you a lift for money (as it is in Moscow), that will not happen in Novosibirsk. Normal people just don't give lifts, because there are so many taxis in the city. Usually, they
work 24 hours a day, but if you have a trouble finding one, go to the city's most popular spots, such as the railway station, or intersection of Lenina and Krasny Prospekt streets.
Usually you should count about 9R ($0.3) for 1 kilometer. So, for example, to get from Lenina street to the railway staiton should cost you about 50R $1.7, while going to Akademgorodok (which is about 30 km away), should cost about 200 R ($7). However, as everywhere in Russia, prices tend to rise, so it might change quite fast, but not much.
Here are telephone numbers of some Novosibirsk taxi company (operators speak Russian only): (3832) 111-555, Sozvezdie Scorpiona, phone: 545-545, 107-107. Express-Taxi; phone: 180-000, 222-222. There are a lot more of them in the city, and the telephone is usually written on the cars.

Novosibirsk Rent-a-Car: Eurasia rent-a-car. The car rental agency located on the ground floor of Novosibirsk railway station in the Service Hall. One can rent a car there from 600 R ($20 US) a day (for a Russian car), to 1000 R ($30 US) a day (for a Japanese car). The conditions are: minimum age is 23, minimum driving experience is 2 years, driving licence should be valid for conducting cars in group B.

Necessary documents are passport and driving license. A deposit of 1000 to 8000 R ($30 to $250 US) shoul be left depending on the type of car rented. Payment in cash and CCs is accepted. Liability insurance 15000 R ($500 US) – a very useful thing in Russian conditions. You can leave a car at the same place where you took it only (at the railway station).
The office is opened from 9.00 to 19.00.
Address: Novosibirsk, Main Railway Station (Novosibirsk Vokzal Glavny), 1st floor, “Service Center”. Tel.: (3832) 293-777, 293-477. Web:


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