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
Stalin’s bunker, Samara | © ET1972 / Shutterstock | © ET1972 / Shutterstock
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.
Ulitsa Kuybysheva 92, Samara, Russia,+7 846 332 33 09
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
Another impressive memorial dedicated to another war hero. A Red Army Commander during the Russian Civil War, Vasily Chapaev has been immortalised through literature and propaganda film, and is considered a hero of the people.
Ulitsa Chapaevskaya, Samara, Russia
Chapaev Monument | © photowind / Shutterstock
Museum of Modern Art
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.
Ulitsa Frunze 159, Samara, Russia, +7 846 333 24 98
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
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
Samara Space Museum
Aviation Museum, History Museum
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.
Stakhanovskiy Prospect 21, Samara, Russia, +7 846 263 39 35
Samara Space Museum | Courtesy of Samara Space Museum | Courtesy of Samara Space Museum
Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
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
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.
Volzhskiy Prospekt 4, Samara, Russia, +7 846 332 41 75
Iversky Women’s Monastery
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
Church of George Victorious
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.
Ulitsa Mayakovskogo 11, Samara, Russia,+7 846 270 63 23
Church of George Victorious | © ansharphoto / Shutterstock
Peter and Fevronia Monument
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
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.
Samara Region, Russia
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
Konstantin Golovkin’s cottage
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
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.
Ulitsa Sadovaya 52, Samara, Russia
Samara Cathedral Mosque
Samara Cathedral Mosque
Designed by local architect Rasim Walshin and built in the late 1990s, this mosque is one of the largest in Russia.
Ulitsa Stara-Zagora 54, Samara, Russia,+7 846 951 95 53
Samara Cathedral Mosque | © FotograFFF / Shutterstock
Tolstoy’s Memorial Estate
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.
Ulitsa Frunze, 155, Samara, Russia, +7 846 332 11 22
Buratino statue, Tolstoy Estate | © Proshkin Aleksandr / Shutterstock