The Top Attractions in Samara, Russia

Volga River, Samara
Volga River, Samara | ©RaymondZoller/Flickr
Zita Whalley

As the gateway to the Volga region and a major transport hub, much of the old port city of Samara’s charm lies in its surroundings and historical relics. Russia’s sixth biggest city is an ideal place to soak up the impressive Volga, or get out to the nearby Zhiguli Mountains. Here’s our pick of the top attractions in town.

1. Stalin's bunker

Stalins bunker, Samara
© ET1972 / Shutterstock

The equivalent of a 12-storey building, Stalin’s bunker – one of several – extends 37 metres (121 feet) below the ground. Built over multiple levels, with the ability to hold over 115 people for five days, it was only discovered by locals in 1991

Ulitsa Frunze, 167, Samara, Russia, +7 846 333 35 71

Stalin’s bunker, Samara | © ET1972 / Shutterstock | © ET1972 / Shutterstock

2. Samara Regional Museum of Art


Comprehensively displaying Russian artists across eras and styles, this museum is the place to go for a culture hit, especially if you want to get acquainted with artists who came to work in the Volga region.

3. Samara beach

3. Samara beach
©Mike Rolls /Flickr

On the sandy banks of the Volga, Samara city beach thaws its visitors out after a long cold winter. Swim, sunbathe and relax along the sandy banks of Europe’s longest river.

Ulitsa Maksima Gorkogo 107, Samara, Russia

Samara beach at sunset | © Mike Rolls / Flickr

5. Museum of Modern Art

Building, Museum

This museum dedicated to Art Nouveau architecture and interior design is housed in an old merchant villa. The main collection is a nod towards the style of the Samara elite in the early 20th century. It also showcases contemporary local artists throughout the year.

6. Volga River lookout

A former helipad, the observation deck here offers one of the best views of the Volga imagineable. A short trip out of town, it is the perfect point to see the Samara bend, the point where the river hairpins through the Zhiguli Mountains.

Ulitsa Vetvistaya 1, Samara Region, Russia

View of Volga River Bend | © ansharphoto / Shutterstock | © ansharphoto / Shutterstock

7. Stella Rook

Quietly graceful, this public art sculpture is locally known as ‘the boat’, as its elegant neck juts out towards the Volga.

The October Quay, Samara, Russia

Stella Rook| © tam_odin / Shutterstock

8. Samara Space Museum


A real Vostok rocket outside Samara Space Museum
Courtesy of Samara Space Museum
Educate yourself on astronomical advancements and Russia’s space endeavours – the permanent exhibition here is loaded with space and rocket technology and models.

9. Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre


Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
© Grigory Shklyar / WikiCommons

An imposing building, this structure is one of Russia’s biggest state theatres. While ballet and opera classics are the theatre’s staple, it has also begun to branch out into contemporary productions.

Ploshchad Kuybysheva 1, Samara, Russia, +7 846 332 25 09

Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre | © Grigory Shklyar / WikiCommons | © Grigory Shklyar / WikiCommons

10. Zasyekin Monument

10. Zasyekin Monument
©Vladimir Elistratov / Wikimedia

Located close to the shores of the Volga along the embankment, this monument shows Grigory Zasyekin, ‘the bronze horseman’ and Samara’s founder, immortalised in statue form.

Embankment Avenue, Volzhskiy Prospekt 43, Samara, Russia

Zasekin Monument, Samara | © Vladimir Elistratov / WikiCommons

11. Zhiguli Brewery


Brewing some of Russia’s most popular beers since 1881, Zhiguli Brewery offers visitors the chance to sample ales at the bar, or fill a bottle straight from a keg to go.

12. Iversky Women's Monastery

Brewery, Monastery, School

Near Zhigui Brewery, this nunnery dates back to 1850 and was home to 38 Russian Orthodox sisters. Over the years it has also been a girls’ school and orphanage, run by the nuns who served there.

Volzhskiy Prospekt, Samara, Russia, +7 846 332 81 46

Iversky Women’s Monastery | © FotograFFF / Shutterstock

13. Church of George Victorious


13. Church of George Victorious
©ansharphoto / Shutterstock
Topped with gold domes and intricately detailed iconography inside, this church is an elegant example of Baroque design and architecture. There is also an incredible view of the Volga from the grounds.

14. Peter and Fevronia Monument

Church, Park

14. Peter and Fevronia Monument
©FotograFFF / Shutterstock

A tribute to the Russian Orthodox patron saints of family and marriage, this statue can be found in the park near the Church of George Victorious.

Ulitsa Mayakovskogo 11, Samara, Russia

Peter and Fevronia Monument | © FotograFFF / Shutterstock

15. Zhiguli Mountains

Natural Feature

Make a day trip of trekking through the Zhiguli Mountains, also known as the Zhiguli Heights, to become fully immersed in nature. Surrounded by a UNESCO-listed reserve, the mountain range runs along the Volga and is the perfect place to escape into Russia’s remoteness.

16. Samara Embankment

Stroll down this lakeside promenade, relax in the gardens to watch daily life go by, or gaze out across the Volga. With monuments, kiosks and the occasional busker, it’s the ideal place to while away a sunny afternoon.

Volzhskiy Prospekt 43, Samara, Russia

17. Konstantin Golovkin's cottage


17. Konstantin Golovkins cottage
©karnaval2018 / Shutterstock

Two life-sized elephants flank merchant and artist Konstantin Golovkin’s eccentric summer residence. Built in the early 20th century and now in disuse, the estate features a design embellished with unconventional Art Deco touches.

5th Section 293, Samara, Russia

Konstantin Golovkin’s cottage | © karnaval2018 / Shutterstock

18. Samara Synagogue


18. Samara Synagogue
©Victor Andreev / Wikipedia
Built in 1908, this was the largest synagogue in Europe at the time – although it’s now somewhat run-down, you can still see its former grace and elegance.

19. Samara Cathedral Mosque

Cathedral, Mosque

19. Samara Cathedral Mosque
©FotograFFF / Shutterstock
Designed by local architect Rasim Walshin and built in the late 1990s, this mosque is one of the largest in Russia.

20. Tolstoy's Memorial Estate


Buratino statue, Tolstoy Estate
© Proshkin Aleksandr / Shutterstock
Not to be confused with Leo Tolstoy, this former residence was built in honour of Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, creator and writer of Buratino, Russia’s beloved version of Pinocchio.
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