The World Cup 2018 host city of Samara really gets going when the sun goes down. Volga side cocktail bars provide club kids a dance floor until the early morning and the healthy alternative scene, full of live music and band rooms that cater to the local punks, metal heads and rock-dogs, proffer up a sweaty mosh pits, weekend after weekend. Make your own night time fun with these picks of where to go out in Samara.
Samara’s premier sticky carpet establishment, Podval, or ‘Cellar’, is a dark and sweaty rock bar with a cult following. Many local and national punk, rock, metal and goth bands pass through here, winding punters up into a head banging frenzy and rock DJs keep the music going until the early morning.
Close to the Volga, Van Gogh is a cocktail club that spins top 40, pop and house tunes. A rotating door of some of Russia’s finest EDM DJs, as well as a range of live acts, mixes the music styles up throughout the week. A full cocktail menu offers up tasty libations to get you onto the dance floor and keep you there. Entry is usually free and occasionally they host play and performance readings.
A hookah bar and live music venue. Gustov is an easy-going and laid back place, filled with tattooed people hanging out in clouds of scented smoke. This place also plays some of the most popular Russian rap and RnB artists on high rotation.
A dark, mellow whisky and cocktail bar that loves jazz. Although mainly acid and experimental or electronic jazz is played they do mix it up. Bridge ID hosts bands as well as DJs, and most of the time entrance is free, unless a big-name act is on. The cocktail menu offers up house mixes such as a walnut gin sour or honey spritzes. Pulls a slightly older crowd then say Van Gogh or Podval.
Club Star is a concert hall and club. Most of the gigs that pass through here are rock, metal and alternative bands, both Russian and international. A fairly straight-up kind of place, if you’re looking for craft beer and cocktails, this is not your place. Beer, spirits and loud live music is what this place focuses on.
Makhall is an entertainment complex that pulls a broad crowd. The restaurant, which has an extensive menu covering most bases, turns into a club after service, complete with bands and DJs. Every. Single. Night. Plus, upstairs is the Cherry Dance Bar, a slightly more chilled place to hang out, despite its misleading name. There are also private and function rooms available for hire, should you want something with a less elaborate lighting scheme.
A laid back English themed pub that turns into a club, the later it gets. The pub attracts an easy, mixed crowd who are generally happy to kick on into the wee hours. There is also a kitchen that serves up European and Russian dishes, and if a game is on, Harat’s will have it screened.