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'In the West sometimes they think that Siberia is snow and nothing else. But there is such life and energy here!'
dancer Sergei Polunin

Buckle up to Siberia!

15 August 2012

Getting to Siberia for foreigners has never been easier.

S7 plane touches down in Irkutsk. Picture: camoletik.ru 
In the past, for the vast majority it meant passing through Moscow whether by plane or train.Some intrepid travellers in Soviet times came in via China and Mongolia by train, or through the port of Nakhodka near Vladivostok, like the current UK Prime Minister David Cameron as a school leaver in 1985, but they were the exception.

Today so much has changed, especially for overseas visitors approaching from the East and from China, but certainly for those taking the ‘usual’ transit via Moscow. 

To give just few examples, Russian S7 Airlines (http://s7.ru/en) flies Airbus320 direct from Beijing, China to Novosibirsk, Western Siberia, from three to five times a week, depending on season schedule. 

Yakutia Airlines boosted flights from Alaskamaking it easier than ever for Americans to escape to Siberia's colourful and diamond-rich Republic of Sakha, and to the Kamchatka Peninsula, known as the Land of Fire and Ice for its stunning volcanoes and glaciers, along with other enticing destinations. 

Tolmachevo airport Novosibirsk


Coffee shop Tolmachevo airport Novosibirsk
Tolmachevo airport, Novosibirsk, Western Siberia. Pictures: Tolmachevo airport


Other major Siberian hubs with several-times-a-week connections to China are Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Omsk, Yakutsk, Ulan-Ude, Khabarovsk and Petropavovsk-Kamchatskiy. 

The airports are changing rapidly, putting high quality service up their priority lists, and with more and more people speaking good English and willing to help foreigners, traveling around to and around Siberia becomes an easy, civilised, pleasant journey. 

Novosibirsk's Tomlachevo airport (http://en.tolmachevo.ru) positions itself as one of the busiest transit points between Europe and Asia, which it is probably a while away from — but it is certainly the biggest airport in Siberia, with direct flights to the Czech Republic, China, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. 

All other destinations can be easily reached with a stopover at Moscow, St Petersburg, or Ekaterinburg, which is half way between Moscow and Novosibirsk. 

Little things like free wi-fi, growing number of restaurants and cafes, newspapers, books, clothes and souvenir shops help to make you feel welcome, as well as well-organised luggage delivery. 

One thing which we are sure will be improved soon is the taxi service to the cities: speaking about Novosibirsk, sometimes foreigners are charged much higher rates than Russians — an outdated and regrettable approach. 

The Siberian Times will closely follow travel news and developments, and highlight developments on this page — more will be coming soon, as well as good travel deals. 

For city by city 'Getting Here' guides please go to 'City Focus', which is being written, but is aimed at giving a closer look at all major Siberian cities: their history, how they live now, their attractions and places of interest. 

Comments (7)

Gostaria de obter informações sobre a forma melhor e mais fácil de visitar Siberia, mês de Julho.
Abraão Nunes de Oliveira, Olinda, Pe - Brasil
09/05/2017 10:07
2
0
I like husky
Joshua Kusbel, Haiti
07/04/2017 01:01
1
0
Hello. How do you fly from NYC to Kogalym International airport?
jimmy, usa
11/05/2016 06:49
7
0
I would love to visit Novosibirsk. But I like to stay long enough so when I leave I can communicate in fairly fluent Russian. I am fluent in a number of languages and have a good ability to pick languages fairly quickly. But maybe they would not allow a foreigner like me to stay for an extended period of time.
sallerup, Madison, Alabama
08/01/2015 05:26
8
2
Airports should have shops with traditional Siberian products.



And about charges for foreign tourists, that is (or was) common in any country, from Mexico to Italy, from China to Brazil or from Spain to Colombia. And not just by taxis, look in bars and restaurants from Europe, America, Africa or Asia...and tourists many times have to pay more than locals. That is somehting usual in all the World.
Enrique, Spain
01/08/2013 20:03
11
4
Interesting about the higher charges for tourists. We has started planning a holiday in Central Russia but friends advised against for that reason. They're tourists put the price up. So now we are going to China; so Russia!
Barry C., Burpengary Queensland Australia
28/07/2013 09:50
3
5
Ok.
Mike Litschko, Manne/Germany
08/04/2013 07:39
7
0
1

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