Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Welcome to my blog!

Greetings to everyone who is reading my blog.
My name is Olga Tkachenko, I was born and have always lived in Novosibirsk, Western Siberia. It is the third largest city in Russia and a commercial, cultural, scientific center of Siberia, vibrant and young. Due to its favorable location on the Trans-Siberian Railway the city attracts more and more visitors. And I am here to help you design your travel to my beautiful city and the rest of Siberia.
Guten Tag!
Ich begrüsse alle meine Leser!
Ich heisse Olga Tkachenko. Ich bin in Nowosibirsk geboren und gewachsen Nowosibirsk liegt in der Mitte Russlands und das ist die drittgrösste Stadt des Landes.

I am a freelance translator, interpreter, tour guide and fixer in Novosibirsk and other destinations in Western Siberia like Tomsk, Barnaul, and Altai Mountains. I started tour guiding in 2007 by chance (a lucky one), but very soon I realized that my hometown and Siberia in general are not very popular travel destinations. There are many reasons to that, like cold and long winters when travelers mostly stay indoors, long distance from Moscow and other well-visited and popular places in Russia, high (relatively) prices of Siberian tours, and so on. But the basic reason of a very limited number of guests coming to our region is scarce and frequently untrustworthy or simply false information about Siberia, especially in English.

Ich bin Freelancer, arbeite als Dolmetscherin, Übersetzerin und Reiseleiterin in Nowosibirsk, Sibirien, sowie begleite ich die Reisenden überall in Sibirien. Meine Stadt und Sibirien im Ganzen sind nicht sehr populär als Reiserziele. Das Wetter ist hier ziemlich kalt im Winter, es ist weit von der Landeshauptstadt Moskau und von den anderen bekannten Russischen Reiserzielen. Und noch dazu gibt es viel zu wenig Informationen über Sibirien allgemein, besonders in Fremdsprachen wie Englisch, und noch weniger in Deutsch und den anderen.

Sunday, 4 November 2018


Kemerovo is an industrial city, famous for being the capital of one of the largest coal-mining regions in Russia called Kuzbass. Basically the city is purely industrial with no sights older than 100 years, but it can be of interest for those who like all around industry and mining.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


Tomsk is one of the oldest cities in the Western Siberia, located about 250 km to the north of Novosibirsk. Among western travelers Tomsk is very well known and often preferred to Novosibirsk. I read in many forums and discussion boards that Novosibirsk should be skipped in favor of Tomsk, and the only reason to come to Novosibirsk is to catch a bus/train to Tomsk. Though I don’t agree with this statement and definitely think there’s a lot to see in Novosibirsk, I can’t help loving Tomsk. As a Novosibirsk-based tour guide, I offer tours to Tomsk.

Monday, 2 April 2018


The only thing I knew about Blagoveschensk only a year ago was that it's somewhere in the Far East, meaning that it's FAR from me. I never thought about going there till October 2017, when I got a call from a customer there asking me to interpret at their event. I agreed without hesitation not only because the event seemed to be exciting, but I realized I would hardly have another chance to see this far-away city.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Museum of Slavic Mythos, Tomsk

I've been to Tomsk at least 7 times, but every time I come I realize there's still a lot to see there. Tomsk is more than 400 years old; the locals are aware that the city is attractive for visitors and they are doing their best to make it more appealing. I must admit that Novosibirsk, the city I'm based in, is just a transfer point on the way to Tomsk for many foreign guests. But I don't complain. I love Tomsk and I'm happy to be there, to discover it again and again.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Ruyan City

If you try to look for Ruyan City on the map, whether paper or digital, you will fail or you can find one Ruyan, but not the one this post is about.
For Ruyan is not a real city, or rather it is a city existing as an idea, in one guy's imagination. It is not a hotel, not a summer camp, not even an eco-settlement.

Thursday, 31 March 2016


Omsk is a city in the Western Siberia with the population of over a million people. It is a city on the Transsiberian; it is celebrating 300 years anniversary in summer 2016. There are numerous buildings dating back to the 19th and even the 18th century making it similar to Kazan, St.Petersburg and even Moscow. 

Friday, 29 January 2016


Barnaul is a capital city of Altai Kray, 200 km to the south of Novosibirsk.
It was granted the city status in 1771. Located off the river Ob, it is currently home to 635 530 people, which makes it the 21st biggest in Russia.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Altai Mountains, Chemal District

Chemal District is central in Altai Republic. It is spread over the Lower Katun valley and a bunch of smaller rivers flowing into it. The district starts in Ust-Sema village. A drive along the Chemal Tract brings you to Chemal, the administrative center. 

Monday, 5 October 2015


late in August my family and I visited the town of Leninsk-Kuznetsky in the coal mining region called Kuzbass, which is the largest one in Russia. It has been supplying coal all across Russia for about a century now. As to the historical and architectural sights, the town and the region in general are not rich in them. In fact, all attractions are related to coal mining. Most of towns and cities in Kuzbass were founded in the Soviet era, which explains their typical architecture and urban planning.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Lake Chany, Novosibirsk Region

Lake Chany is a closed salted lake in Russia located in the Baraba lowland, Novosibirsk Region; it is the largest lake in the Western Siberia.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Gastronomic tour to Siberia. What traditional dishes to try.

When a traveler comes to an unknown destination, he or she is usually eager to know as much as possible about it, including local food and drinks. 

Friday, 6 March 2015

What travelers say about Novosibirsk and what of it is true in a local’s view

The travel season 2015 approaching, I have been considering and reconsidering my activities as a tour guide. I thought it might be useful to know what travelers think and say about Novosibirsk, especially those who visited it on their own, without a guide’s assistance. I studied several reviews and here’s what I found out.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The 15th Festival of Snow Sculptures

This year our city welcomes the festival of snow sculptures for the 15th time. It is always great fun for citizens and guests of the city.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

To Siberia in winter. But of course!

Novosibirsk and Siberia in general is considered to be a cold destination, so most tourists who dare and come here prefer doing so in summer. But it is winter and snow, which make Siberia Siberia, and recently I'm having more and more tourists who understand it and who come here during the coldest season. Remarkably, they are mostly people from the countries where snow never happens or is an extremely rare occasion.