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Buckle up to Siberia!

By 0 and 0 and 0
15 August 2012


S7 plane touches down in Irkutsk. Picture: 
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 ( 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 ( 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 (16)

This ‘nespara’ guy is far from the truth.

Putin is logically thinking in this sense.

NATO & allies had promised to not expand near Russia for decades. Yet they still expanded? Russia is very strategically weak. Due to the grand European plain. This has been an issue since the napoleonic wars when France invaded and quickly reached Moscow and with H#tler, he was the one who truly showed of Russia’s hardly defensible steppes to be east to invade.This has been a rushing problem for a century with Russia’s paranoia about an invasion from it’s west. This is the reason putin is expanding, to make a big buffer against invading powers and stop another death toll getting to nearly 30m like in ww2.

But this does not mean putin can just come in and invade anyone they want.

P.S what is that terrible spelling
Aaron,, Britain
10/10/2023 00:37
unfortuly europe and the rest of the world lost russian tourism . puttin is crazy and will slowly kill the economy of russia.
Ditactor is the right word, he is bombering ucrain , schools hospitals, civilian.. shame putin .. shame russia in 21 century
nespera, portugal
02/03/2022 20:37
Canada does not recognize Crimea as Russian territory. How could a Canadian enter Crimea for a vacation? It would be great to cross the Crimean bridge by train.
Korey Dykstra, Winnipeg, Canada
29/11/2020 02:32
Are there plans to start a flight between Novosibirsk in Russia and Stockholm in Sweden within a couple of years?
Patrik , Sweden
09/09/2020 17:49
Psst, your S7 picture is a Boeing 747
john brooks, calgary, alberta
30/04/2019 16:50
About overcharging foreign tourists - well, that sud not happening to U.S. at all. Siberians were very courteous and welcoming. Same in Crimea where western visitors are few and far between. A restaurant and a tea shop in Simferopol even offered us a 15% discount.
Ренцо и Даяана, Италиа
12/03/2019 03:00
I want to come in Siberia for two week.
Giovanni Della-Rossa, Venezia - Italy
20/03/2018 15:39
How many one way flights from Yakutia to towns in the Siberian area?
Stump, Adelaide
12/01/2018 15:12
Too bad they charge more for tourists, it's almost like they don't want any, they will lose a lot of money in the end that way.
John Brown, Bellingham, Washington
11/01/2018 23:47
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
I like husky
Joshua Kusbel, Haiti
07/04/2017 01:01
Hello. How do you fly from NYC to Kogalym International airport?
jimmy, usa
11/05/2016 06:49
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
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
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

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