Explore the city’s magnificent kremlin, a hilltop stone fortress dating back to the early 1500s where you can walk along the high riverside walls from May to November. This breathtaking example of Russian defensive architecture was designed by the same architect who created Moscow’s kremlin and is open to the public, unlike its tightly-controlled counterpart. Within the kremlin’s walls you’ll find the ancient Cathedral of the Archangel Michael; a striking obelisk honouring national heroes Kozma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky; and a stirring eternal flame World War II memorial.
Elsewhere in the city is an eclectic range of galleries and museums, including the former apartment of exiled scientist Andrei Sakharov and the Museum of Wooden Architecture, a magical open-air museum where you can wander around ancient wooden churches, houses and wells. Rozhdestvenskaya Ulitsa is another cultural highlight – a beautiful historic street lined with stone buildings, including the flamboyant Church of the Nativity of Our Lady with its brightly-coloured onion domes.
This vibrant city offers a wide selection of restaurants specialising in everything from traditional Russian cuisine to international flavours. Tuck into delicious borsch at Bezuhov, an antique-furnished literary café where you can order a book alongside your food and meals are often accompanied by poetry recitals or cinema screenings. Tiffani offers fresh seafood and cocktails in a great location overlooking the Volga River, while for a trendy nod to western modernisation, artisanal burger bar Salyut serves great burgers and milkshakes in a casual atmosphere.
Nizhny Novgorod’s most lavish hotel is the Kulibin Parkhotel, which boasts individually-designed rooms and suites in a central location, while Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton by Hilton and Sheraton also offer stylish accommodation in the city centre. Luxury apartments are also available as holiday lets.