Where to walk in Samara: sights and interesting places
Samara is not the most tourist destination, although there is a lot to see in the city: a sandy beach, a four-kilometer promenade, a large historical center, architecture from merchant to modern and museums for all tastes.
I spent a weekend in Samara in May. I went for two reasons: I hadn’t been here yet, and I managed to find cheap airfare. My knowledge at that time was limited to the song “Ah, Samara-town” and I didn’t expect anything from the city. Perhaps that’s why I was so excited. I will tell you what to do, what to see in Samara and what you need to know before your trip.
Samara sights: what to see and where to go
Samara is a major city of the Volga region, which was founded in 1586. In Soviet times it was renamed Kuibyshev, and during the Great Patriotic War the government, many enterprises and even the Bolshoi Theater and Mosfilm were evacuated here from Moscow.
There aren’t many attractions in the direct sense of the word, but you can simply walk around, enjoy the architecture and the changing atmosphere of the different districts. You don’t have to rush anywhere, everyone is relaxed and friendly. I’ll show you on the map the main places you can get to on your own.
Samara has dozens of merchant brick and wooden streets. Walk from Revolution Square to Kuybyshev Square, along the pedestrian Leningradskaya Street, look at Frunze and Kuybyshev – historical buildings stretch almost continuously, a lot of beautiful views for photos.
Look around – you will see buildings of different styles and eras: neo-Gothic (Catholic Church), pseudo-Russian style (Samara Drama Theater), Soviet-era constructivism (House of Industry), wooden architecture and Art Nouveau style mansions.
In Samara you can just walk around, looking at the architecture – now residential, and formerly profitable and merchant houses
On the way you will find many old and just interesting buildings: Art Nouveau Museum, Stalin’s bunker and even a monument to Uncle Styopa.
Museum of Art Nouveau is located in the mansion Curlin, which externally (stucco ornaments, tracery gates) and internally reflects the Art Nouveau style. On the first floor is the permanent exhibition of the museum – three rooms with Art Nouveau furnishings, on the second floor – temporary exhibitions. Admission to the museum is 200 ₽.
Stalin’s Bunker is a bomb shelter under the building of the Samara Academy of Culture and Arts. The bunker was built in 1942, but Samara residents did not even know about it – the place was declassified only in 1990, and since 1991 it began working as a museum. Going down to a depth of 37 meters, you will find yourself in the Soviet interiors of the 1940s and learn the history of the bunker. You can get here with a guided tour, the ticket costs ₽500.
The monument to Uncle Styopa is located on the pedestrian Leningradskaya Street. It was installed in 2015 on Police Day to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the book about Uncle Styopa. The idea was to immortalize the symbol of the policeman, always ready to help – how Uncle Styopa is presented in the book.
The embankment in Samara stretches for more than 4 kilometers along the Volga – you can walk along it, ride bicycles and scooters. If you go down to the water, you will find yourself on a sandy beach.
Zhigulyovsky brewery and bar “At the bottom
One of the oldest breweries in Russia, which has been operating since the end of the 19th century, is located on the waterfront. History buffs can book a tour, while beer lovers can sample local brews at the brewery’s store or at the nearby Na Dne bar, where the beer comes by pipeline from the brewery.
There are a lot of temples of different confessions in the city, but most of all I remember the Catholic Church – the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Unusual for Russia architecture with lancet arches and towers. The church was built from 1902 to 1906. Money for the construction was raised by the Polish Catholic community, which had been in Samara since the end of the Russian-Polish war in XVIII century. The temple worked until the 1920s, and with the advent of Soviet power was looted and closed. Since 1941 the Samara Museum of Local Lore was located there. The church regained its status in 1991.
Now the church is open, you can get in freely, if there is no service.
The church was built in Neo-Gothic style and is open from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00 from Tuesday to Sunday.
Museum of Cosmonautics
Museum and Exhibition Center “Samara space” is here for a reason – the local factory assembled rockets. Admission is 250 ₽ for adults, 100 ₽ for children under 16. Open daily except Mondays. In addition to tickets to the exhibition, you can buy space food in tubes – such an unusual souvenir from Samara.
The museum can be seen from afar by the Soyuz rocket mounted above it. The photo shows a view of the Museum of Cosmonautics from afar and up close.
Art Museum is located in a former merchant’s house. It has the feeling that you are visiting someone: you climb the stairs, walk on the creaky parquet and as if by the way looking at the paintings on the walls.
Tickets to the art museum range from 50 to 300₽ depending on the exhibition.
On my May trip, I unexpectedly ended up at Museum Night, when they work late and put on different performances. There was a band at the entrance, a poetry reading from the stage in the museum courtyard, and there were some kind of activities in each room.
In the middle of 2022 there are plans to open a branch of the Tretyakov Gallery in Samara. And not just anywhere, but in the historical building of the factory-kitchens Maslennikov. The hammer and sickle-shaped building was built in the 1930s and is now being restored. I went to see what the building looked like, but in May everything was fenced off, so I couldn’t get even a peek.
I found pictures on the Tretyakov Gallery site – it looks spectacular. I advise tourists to follow the updates and visit the gallery when it opens.
There are surprisingly many museums in Samara and of any orientation.
For example, the estate museum of writer Alexei Tolstoy – a memorial apartment with historic interiors, reconstructed from diary entries, where the writer lived until 1901. In summer, the courtyard of the museum shows films and theater productions, holds book fairs, concerts and master classes. Admission to the museum is 150 ₽.
Also enjoyed the Lenin House Museum – it is located in a former merchant’s estate, where the Ulyanov family rented an apartment on the second floor in 1890-93. The museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except Sundays. Admission is 100 ₽.
In the main exposition of the Eldar Ryazanov Museum, the room in which the film director was born and lived during the evacuation years has been restored. Here they hold lectures, film screenings and master classes. The museum is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00 and on Thursdays from 12:00 to 20:00. Admission is 150 ₽.
Where to eat in Samara: restaurants and cafes
TO Myself Testo (Nekrasovskaya Street, 60).
This place serves cool breakfasts all day: poached eggs with potato drank, lightly salted trout and hollandaise sauce, shakshuka, porridge and sandwiches. Average bill: 700-800 ₽.
Puri (Kuibyshev St. 79).
Awesome Georgian cuisine: ajapsandal, satsivi, khinkali, several kinds of khachapuri and, of course, Georgian wine. Average bill: 700-1200 ₽.
Wine Cuisine (128 Kuibyshev St.)
Cool format – store and cafe in one place. You can buy a bottle of wine to take home, or you can have a drink inside and order appetizers, pizza or pasta. Average bill: 1000 ₽.
Surf Coffee (Nekrasovskaya 57)
A coffee shop where you can drink great coffee and have a sandwich. Coffee – 150-250 ₽, cheesecakes – 200 ₽, sandwich – 220 ₽.
When is the best time to go to Samara
The weather in Samara is typical of many Russian regions – cold winters, warm summers and rainy autumns. Samara stands on two rivers, and you have to take this into account: it will be frosty near the river in winter and refreshingly cool in summer.
I was here in mid-May, when the forecast promised a moderately warm spring, but the weather decided otherwise. It felt like I had arrived in the tropics – there was a sticky stuffiness outside, and the thermometer showed +30 °C.
Samara is a sunny city, so sunglasses, caps, panama hats, or other headgear are definitely useful in the summer. It doesn’t hurt to wear sunscreen so you don’t get burnt when strolling under the scorching sun.
In the center of the city there is a promenade and a sandy beach, so feel free to take a swimsuit. The bathing season usually opens in mid-June – the water by this time warms up to +18 ° C, and in the hottest summer and up to +24 ° C. I was in May, so I did not swim, but I soaked my feet in the Volga, which was very helpful in this heat.
Average temperature in winter was -10 °C, in summer +25 °C.
How to get to Samara
Planes to Samara fly from Moscow, St. Petersburg and other major cities in Russia. Kurumoch Airport is 35 km from Samara and 45 km from Togliatti.
I flew from Moscow: The flight lasted 1.5 hours, the roundtrip tickets with Ural Airlines cost about ₽5,000.
From the airport to Samara can be reached by shuttle bus, bus and train in 1-1.5 hours. Fares, depending on the transport, range from 30 to 150 ₽. Buses from the airport to the city run until 9 p.m., and electric trains run twice a day. I flew in at night, so I chose a cab. The trip to the city center cost ₽800. The usual services – Yandex.Taxi, Uber, Gett – work here.
If you like long trips with the sound of wheels, choose the train. From Moscow it will take you 14-20 hours and the same 5,000 ₽ for round-trip tickets.
There is a lot to see here: a 101 meter high glass building with a museum and an observation deck on top, from where you can see Komsomolskaya square, the central districts and the old city, the Volga and the Zhigulyovo mountains. You can get to the platform and the museum with a guided tour for 200 ₽. Tours are held from 8:00 to 20:00 every half hour.
The station building is not far from the city center – if you are traveling light, you can walk.
Where to stay in Samara
The center of Samara is located between two squares – Revolution and Kuibyshev. It is pleasant to walk here, there are many sights, cafes, restaurants and bars.
If you want to wake up with a view of the Volga, choose an apartment closer to the embankment. If you go in summer – look for a room with an air conditioner, it will be very useful in the heat.
I stayed in a mini-hotel Welcome near the embankment, on Leo Tolstoy Street. A standard room for two people cost 4,000 ₽ for two nights.
How to get around Samara
The city has one subway branch, streetcars to ride through the city center, buses and trolleybuses. The cost of a trip is 35 ₽ if you pay in cash and 32 ₽ if you pay with a bank card.
To find out how to get to the right point, you can use Yandex.Maps, which shows the traffic in real time.
I lived in the center and mostly walked. I didn’t want to experiment with transportation because of the heat, so I took a cab for between 60 ₽ to 160 ₽ for a trip of 5 to 15 minutes, respectively.
Tips for first time travelers
Take sunscreen and a panama during the summer so you don’t get burnt by the scorching sun.
2. Take a swimsuit – you can swim in the Volga or just relax on the sandy beach.
3. In mid-2022 in Samara it is planned to open a branch of the Tretyakov Gallery – stay tuned, the event promises to be grand.
4. In May the city holds “Night of Museums”, you can time your trip to this festival.
Sightseeing in Samara
Blue Lake Blue Lake House with Elephants Iversky Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Tsarev Kurgan Samara Art Museum
This site contains a collection of attractions in Samara – photos, descriptions and tips for travelers. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Samara, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Samara.
A unique natural monument – the karst lake, the water in which contains hydrogen sulfide gas. The water temperature is always (both in winter and summer) +7 degrees Celsius.
Blue Lake can be seen in Sergievsky district of Samara region, near the village of Staroye Yakushkino. The water body of round shape is located in a karst sinkhole. The area of the lake is about 300 square meters, the maximum depth is about 23 meters. The temperature of the water in the lake remains constant throughout the year – about + 8 degrees Celsius. The lake has an unusual transparency and bright blue water color.
This is due to the presence of hydrogen sulfide springs at the bottom of the lake: they provide the blue color of the water and thanks to them there are almost no living organisms in the water, which contributes to the transparency of the lake. The only kind of algae living in the lake are khara algae, which form underwater meadows at the bottom of the reservoir. The lake shores are covered with grassy vegetation, there is such a kind of perennial aquatic plants as water pine.
There are many ancient legends connected with the lake. Locals believe that bathing in the lake is able to heal both the soul and the body. Many of them believe that the lake is bottomless.
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House with elephants
House with elephants is a dacha of Konstantin Golovkin, located in Samara at 296 Sovetskaya Armiya Street. The building is in the Art Nouveau style. Built in 1909.
In photo mode you can view sights in Samara only by photo.
Samara embankment, descending in terraces to the Volga River, has a length of over five kilometers and is divided into four sections, by the number of building stages.
June 24, 1852 the Samara provincial construction and road commission ordered the architect assistant Firsov to work on the construction of the descent to the Volga River, to prepare estimates and drawings of the descent.
According to the new development plan of Samara (1853) the Volga and Samara rivers’ embankments were only allocated for wharfs, granaries, markets, material stores, timber and firewood markets.
The Iverskiy monastery was founded in 1850 as a community of sisters of charity. Despite the fact that in 1925 the monastery was closed and most of the buildings were demolished, today all the buildings have been restored, and the monastery is open.
On the territory of the monastery is buried P.V. Alabin (a prominent figure of the city).
The temple of Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is an architecturally magnificent active Catholic church in the historic center of Samara. It is also known as the Polish Church, as it was built and financed by the Polish community. The temple was built of red brick in the early 20th century in the Neo-Gothic style, with the participation of masons from Nizhny Novgorod. The building is beautiful in its appearance: forty-seven meters high towers, stained-glass windows, pinnacles.
In the thirties the church, like many others, was looted and closed, and later the local history museum of Samara was opened in it. In 1991, the building was returned to the Catholic community.
The altar has a fresco which is a copy of the painting “Christ of St. John of the Cross” by Salvador Dali.
The unique natural monument of local importance. Magnificent views of the confluence of the Sok and the Volga rivers, the Zhigulevskiye Mountains and Samara. It may be visited at any time of the year!
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Samara Art Museum
Samara Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the province of Russia. It is a very old and prestigious exhibition site in Samara.
The museum building was built in the early XX century and is a monument of architecture of federal importance. This is one of the most beautiful buildings of the city, which is located in the historic heart of Samara.
The museum’s collection has been collected since 1897 and includes more than 35,000 exhibits. The pride of the museum – works of art talents of our country – I.I. Shishkin, I.K. Aivazovsky, V.A. Serov, I.E. Repin and many others.
The museum has a branch in the village Shiryaevo, which opened a museum dedicated to Ilya Repin and poet A.V. Shiryaevets. The branch, is located in a very picturesque tourist corner of the Zhigulevsky mountains. There are constantly held various cultural events and folk festivals.
The most popular attractions in Samara with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Samara on our website.
More Sights in Samara
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