Situated on the Volga River, the Russian city of Samara first gained prominence as an important meeting point for Russian diplomats with the East. During World War ll, the city was chosen as the location for Stalin’s Bunker – a landmark still present to this day. After the war, entry into the city was heavily restricted and Samara became a closed city, specialising in weapons production and engineering for the Soviet space programme. Today, artefacts from this era can be explored at the city’s famous Space Museum.
Samara’s summer months offer a warm climate, suited to sunbathing on Samara Beach or walking along the banks of the Volga. Here, you’ll be able to admire picturesque views of the Zhiguli Mountains from the Samara Bend lookout point. Afterwards, head to the Troitsky Market to sample local beers and food delicacies like Caspian Roach – a dried salted fish dish, or enjoy a sit-down meal at the Old Apartment – a restaurant decorated in traditional Soviet style.
Across Samara, there are many museums detailing the city’s Soviet past and contemporary art scene. Head to the Museum of Natural History or the Museum of Local Studies to learn more about Samara through the ages or visit the Pyotr Vladimirovich Museum – the oldest in the city. Here, you’ll be able to explore acres of exhibition space, home to artworks, historical artefacts and insight into Samara’s days as a closed city.