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