Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia's third largest city, is an exciting and vibrant city to live in. Unlike Moscow and St. Petersburg, with their large numbers of Westerners, Nizhni Novgorod offers insights into life in Russia's heartland. The city is an important economic, transportation and cultural center of Russia and the vast Volga-Vyatka economic region.
Originally the name was just Novgorod ("Newtown"), but to distinguish it from the other, older and well-known Novgorod to the north, the city was often being called "Novgorod of the Lower lands". This land was named "lower" because it is situated downstream, especially from the point of view of other Russian cities such as Moscow, Vladimir and Murom. Later it was transformed into the contemporary name of the city that literally means "Lower Newtown".