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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.