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View of Volga River Bend
View of Volga River Bend | © ansharphoto / Shutterstock
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A Weekend Guide to Samara, Russia

Picture of Zita Whalley
Updated: 26 September 2017
Samara‘s role in Russian space aviation, as well as its architectural relics, political history and buzzing nightlife, make any visit to this port town rammed with fun. Filled with quirks and idiosyncrasies, as well as plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants to try out, it’s a great spot for a weekend away – here’s our ultimate guide.

Saturday morning

Get acquainted with the city by meandering from sight to sight. Start off at the Samara Space Museum and get your head around Samara’s involvement in Soviet space exploration – or at the very least, make sure you see the real life Vostok rocket erected just outside. Meander across to Stalin’s Bunker and marvel at the architectural feat of it, not to mention the paranoia that inspired it.

The Modern Museum is a short stroll away – housed in an old merchant’s mansion, it is a celebration of Russian Art Nouveau, which was popular at the turn of the 20th century.

Samara Space Museum
Samara Space Museum | Courtesy of Samara Space Museum

Saturday afternoon

Take a well deserved break at Café Puri, one of Samara’s most loved cafés, and get stuck into their famously delicious Georgian dishes and baked goods.

Well-fed, make your way to the Volga observation deck, stopping off on the way to see Konstantin Golovkin’s cottage – an impressive Art Deco relic adorned with life-sized statues of elephants, despite being in disrepair.

The observation deck is in the neighbouring village of Upravlenchesky, and a former helicopter pad. It also offers an unparalleled view of the Volga and there is a small café there where you can relax, take a break and soak up the view.

Konstantin Golovkin’s cottage
Konstantin Golovkin’s cottage | ©karnaval2018 / Shutterstock

Saturday night

Head back into town and make your way to Parburg, Samara’s first burger bar, to try one of the many burgers they have on offer. Turkey, salmon, beef tongue and vegetarian options are all on their extensive menu of indulgent burgers. From here, the night is yours for the taking. Stay at Parburg a while and enjoy the casual atmosphere, or head over to Jaw Pike, a craft beer bar and get amongst the beer aficionados. Van Goh’s is a cocktail bar/club that stays open until the early hours, but for those who really want to get their party on, head over to Harat’s, the Shamrock or Maximilian’s and try to keep up with Samara’s party people.

Sunday morning

Get straight down to Coffee Cake and feast on a strong coffee, kasha, syrniki, waffles or pancakes. Then head just across the road for a swim.

Set up camp for the morning at Samara beach and laze, doze, sun bake and swim with the locals. It is the perfect remedy for a hangover, and is a morning well spent even if you are feeling fresh.

#УтренниеНовости Здравствуй, летняя Самара! Лови свежий выпуск. С сегодняшнего дня самарских водителей начнут наказывать рублем за парковку на газоне (теперь будет нелегко, ведь самарские дороги это один сплошной газон и буераки). Прокуратура Магнитогорска вынесла предостережение экстрасенсу за угрозы эзотерически повлиять на ЕГЭ (а раньше за это могли и сжечь). Реконструкция набережной у Ладьи завершена на 30% (у нас в городе похоже вообще всё выполнено на 30%, хотя должно быть на 100%). Через Саратов пройдет мотопробег против гомосексуализма под названием «Стоп-петух-2017» (забавно, что мода на кожу, заклепки и прочие атрибуты у металюг и далее у байкеров пошла от лгбт движухи). Более 4 тыс. человек пострадали от укусов клещей в Самарской области (пострадали-пострадали и пошли на работу). Температура воздуха +23 градуса, вечером до +22, ясно. На дорогах пробки 5 баллов. Сегодня День рождения гамбургера. Вы знаете, что делать. Поздравляем причастных! Желаем вам гастрономического позитива, астрономической зарплаты и героического подвига. Всем крутого четверга, друзья! За фото благодарим @kak_vse.

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Sunday afternoon

Once you start to feel hungry again, head over to the Shannon, for a late English roast and a pint. Once you are sufficiently stuffed, stroll (or roll) along the embankment, up to Zhiguli brewery, home to the legendary Soviet beer, Zhigulevskoye, and try one out for yourself with a bowl of vobla (dried fish) – the ultimate beer snack. Don’t forget to bring a bottle so you can get a takeaway straight from the keg.

#КультурнаяПрограмма Двадцать девятого июня Вениамин Смехов в "Звезде", Ах Астахова в "Ван Гоге" и "Ханума" в драмтеатре. В 18:00 в Театре драмы премьера "Жанна". В 18:30 в Театре "Самарская площадь" комедия "Запах легкого загара". В 18:30 в Театре "Камерная сцена" премьера "Однажны в Ежкиных Кошках, или Переживательная история со счастливым концом". В 19:00 в Театре оперы и балета спектакль "Ханума" в постановке московского театра "Миллениум". В 19:00 в Музее Модерна мастер-класс по рисованию цветов с натуры пастелью, по выставке "Альфонс Муха". В 19:00 в баре "Ван Гог" поэтесса Ах Астахова. В 19:00 в КРЦ "Звезда" музыкально-поэтическое представление "Флейта-позвоночник" с Вениамином Смеховым. В 20:00 в рок-баре "Подвал" музыкально-литературный вечер "Свободный микрофон". Куда собираетесь, друзья? За фото благодарим @soloveva_d.

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Sunday night

Meander back along the embankment until you find Tel Aviv, a food truck that whips up falafel and other yummy Israeli street food – ideal for a light meal. Find a spot with a view and enjoy a Volga-side sunset with your food and drink.