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Introducing Novosibirsk

If you want nightlife, restaurants with Las Vegas-style glitz or a choice of countless Irish pubs, Novosibirsk might be your Siberian dream come true. For anything else, consider skipping the place or departing the same evening on an overnight train. Novosibirsk hotels, already overpriced, have a weird rule preventing most from accepting foreigners unless prebooked through a tour agency.

Despite its size, Novosibirsk has relatively little to see. It grew up in the 1890s around the Ob River bridge built for the trans- Siberian. Named Novo-Nikolaevsk until 1925 for the last tsar, it grew rapidly into Siberia's biggest metropolis, a key industrial and transport centre exploiting coalfields to the east and mineral deposits in the Urals.