Barnaul / Novosibirsk


Isn't internet a great medium, connecting people all over the world? While planning our journey we decided we wanted to visit a city along the Transsib that wasn't visited by most Transsib-tourists. Following a recommodation from Way To Russia we chose to visit Barnaul, actually located a few hundred kilometers south of the Transsib, near the Kazakh border. Through SkyscraperCity I met a nice guy - Anton - who lives there and was so nice to show us his town. So thanks to the internet we had a chance to see a Russian town through the eyes of a Russian.

Barnaul turned out to be a pleasant and surprisingly modern town with a nice atmosphere. The town is doing well and there's a small construction boom going on. We asked Anton not only to show us the center, but also to a "commie block" suburb, to see how the average urban Russian lives.


From Barnaul we traveled to Novosibirsk, back on the Transsib. Novosibirsk is the largest city of Siberia and is sometimes referred to as 'little Moscow'. We found the city somewhat disappointing. Compared to Barnaul, the city was somewhat more run-down and the atmosphere didn't match Barnaul's nice spirit (though this might also be attributed to the bad weather we experienced). We made a nice side trip however, to an interesting railway museum and Akademgorodok, a university town just south of Novosibirsk, located in a nice green area.