This former closed city is preparing to welcome football fans from across the globe for the World Cup. If you’re one of them, don’t go anywhere without checking out our guide to Samara for the best things to eat, drink, see and do.
Where to eat in Samara
Puri has several locations around Samara and is the best option if you want a filling Georgian dinner or a freshly baked khachapuri. For burgers and craft beer try Parburg, Samara’s premier burger bar. Relaxed and laid-back, it is one of the best budget-friendly options for a casual bite or drink.
Where to drink in Samara
Looking for a sports bar to watch the game? Head to Shamrock or Harat’s. These two Irish pubs are Samara’s stalwarts for live screenings. For a bar that’s open until late, try Gustov, a laid-back hookah bar and live music venue, or Podval, the city’s most popular sweaty rock bar. If it’s the morning after and what you seek is a shot of caffeine, you’re in luck. Choose from one of these cafés in Samara.
What to see and do in Samara during the World Cup
There are plenty of things to see and do in Samara. Outside the Samara Space Museum is a real-life Vostok rocket, the first model to send a human into space. The Museum of Modern Art is worth a look if you are interested in Art Nouveau design and architecture. But for something more unusual, you should visit one of Stalin’s bunkers, which was built but never used.
Go and soak up the sun on the banks of the Volga River or check out a festival. If you have a day to spare, catch a ferry over to the Zhiguli Mountains or, if you want to stay close to the city, stroll up the delightful esplanade and towards the Zhiguli Brewery to taste the Soviet Union’s iconic beer brand, Zhigulevskoye.
How to get to Samara’s FIFA Fan Fest Zone
One of the largest city squares in Russia, the imposing Kuibyshev Square is the site of Samara’s FIFA Fan Fest Zone. It’s located in front of the impressive Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, and is easily reached from the Volga, with bus 24 running past the square. Pilzner and Balkan Grill are a short stroll away, and both places serve large portions of food and cold beers.
How to get to Samara Arena
On the northeastern outskirts of the city, Samara Arena is a little way out. From Kuibyshev Square, it takes around 30 minutes by car to get to the stadium. The best bus to get is the number 50, which goes to and from the city’s main railway station. However, it’s a little isolated out there, so staying on the east side of the city gives you easy access to the stadium as well the Samara’s nightlife and sights.