Samara became Russia’s ‘second capital’ during World War II and you can uncover its fascinating military past at Stalin’s Bunker, a 37-metre-deep shelter which was discovered under the city in 1991 and later turned into a museum. Another iconic monument is the dramatic rocket fronting the Samara Cosmic Museum, which chronicles the city’s history as a pioneer of technology and exploration. Stroll through the Old Town, a blend of unique architecture from various time periods, stopping to admire key landmarks including Revolution Square, the Roman Catholic cathedral and the magnificent red-brick drama theatre.
Those who love the great outdoors can trek through the Zhiguli Mountains, which are home to a UNESCO-listed nature reserve, or journey a short way out of town to the Volga River Lookout for spectacular panoramas across the sweeping landscape. If you’re visiting during the warm summer months, join the locals for a dip in the Volga before soaking up the sun on its sandy banks – a glorious beach stretches the length of the city. Or shop for souvenirs in the upscale boutiques and jewellery stores that line Kuibysheva and Leningradskaya Streets.
Samara is famous for its beer, which you can try at the Zhiguli Brewery – or fill a bottle to enjoy later with popular Russian snack vobla (salted dried fish) at the bustling Troitsky Market. For a more filling taste of the local cuisine, book a table at Staraya Kvartira, a haven of Soviet-era kitsch which serves an eclectic menu of hearty, home-cooked regional classics. Other culinary hotspots include cellar restaurant U Palycha, known for its excellent pelmeni (Russian-style ravioli), and Cafe Puri, where you can try authentic Georgian fare.
Samara’s most stylish hotel is the lavish Bristol-Zhiguly, a boutique art-deco retreat which occupies an enviable location next to the Samara Regional Art Museum. Luxurious alternatives include Marriott’s Renaissance Samara, an elegant retreat with indoor pool and tranquil spa; Hampton by Hilton Samara, a modern hotel with sleek rooms and a Russian-European restaurant; and the Ost-West Club Hotel, which boasts just 65 chic rooms near Samara Beach within an easy walk of the city centre.
Kurumoch International Airport is the nearest airport to the city, and well connected to the local area. Simply contact our team and we’ll arrange everything you need to charter a private jet to Rostov-on-Don.