Volga Region : Middle Volga : Samara Oblast : Samara
Samara (Russian: Сама́ра suh-MAH-ruh), the sixth largest city in Russia and capital of an eponymous region, lies on the Volga River in European Russia. It is a major economic, industrial and cultural centre and has a population of over 1,164,000.
Samara was officially founded in 1586 with the construction of a Russian fortress on the Volga. However, settlement there had been mentioned since at least the 14th century. During World War II, Samara, then named Kuibyshev, was the second capital of USSR. The city's growth was stimulated during the war due to its proximity to Moscow but distance from the war zone; several government offices were evacuated to Kuibyshev when Moscow was under threat. The post-war development of the Volga-Urals oilfield also helped. Kuibyshev reverted to being Samara in 1991.
As a cultural centre, Samara has attracted several famous creative Russians. The likes of writers Tolstoy and Gorky, painters Ilya Repin, Vasily Surikov and Ivan Aivazovsky, and revolutionaries Michael Frunze and Vladimir Lenin have all lived in the city. Even Alexandre Dumas visited in 1858, he describes his whole journey, including his impressions of Samara, in "From Paris to Astrakhan".
The city is served by Kurumoch International Airport (IATA: KUF)  which has international connections from Dubai, Frankfurt and Prague. Domestic, there are up to ten depatures daily from Moscow as well as direct flights to Samara from many other Russian cities including Saint Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Rostov-on-the-Don and Vladivostok.
Samara is a major railway junction and almost all trains connecting with Siberia and Russian Far East calls here. There are atleast five departures every day from Moscow, including the Zhiguli branded deluxe train. Journey times varies between 14-20 hours depending on which train. Another branded train is avalible from Saint Petersburg every second day taking just over 23 hours. Most other major cities in central Russia also have overnight trains to Samara. The once-weekly Sibirjak train originating in Berlin calls here, a neat journey of four nights. It's also possible to get on this train in Warsaw and Minsk.
A cheaper alternative is to travel by over-night buses which are avalible from nearby cities such Nizhny Novgorod, Perm and Moscow.
If traveling by own car, Samara is along the M5 Highway, also known as Ural Highway. Distance from Moscow is just over 1000 km.
The Samara Metro is a convenient way of zipping across the city. However, it remains underdeveloped and comprises one line that runs east to west.
The beach by Volga in the city center. Visit the space museum. Visit the shopping street Leningradskaya.
Night life in Samara is quite joyful. The main dance clubs are: Beerja (Stock Exchange), KINUP, Zvezda (Star), Aura (The Aura), Postel (The Bed), Long Bar. There are many restaurants and bars in Samara. The pricing for clubbing are the same or even higher than in Europe and Americas, though not so high as in Moscow.