Top Places to Visit in Samara During FIFA 2018

Samara is the sixth largest city in Russia that sits on the at the confluence of the Volga and Samara rivers in southwestern Russia. The city’s tryst with WWII history is very well-known. It was here that Stalin was to be relocated had the Germans invaded Moscow. Samara was off-limits for the tourists until the collapse of the USSR in the 1990s but is now one of the major tourist attractions in Russia. Apart from tourism, Samara is also a major hub for mechanical engineering, metalworking, food processing, as well as space and aviation industries. 

This year, Samara is one of the venues for FIFA World Cup 2018. This guide will help you narrow down some of the best places to visit in Samara, along with great food and drinking options. Moreover, we have also listed down the upcoming Russia World Cup 2018 fixtures that are set to take place in Samara.

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Top Places to Visit in Samara During FIFA 2018

1. Kuibushev Square

The Kuibushev Square is an iconic square where the city’s best cultural events happen. This square is set to host the FIFA Fan Fest during the World Cup 2018. The atmosphere here is electric, with many fun events, sports competitions, international and local cultural events and expos. Some of the performences/programs to watch out for this football season are legendary Russian rock band DDT on 14 June, Goran Bregovic on 17 June, Gotthard on 21 June, Therr Maitz on 3 July, and D'Black Blues Orchestra and Disco Crash on 15 July. 

2. Stalin's Bunker

Stalin's Bunker is a speciality museum located near Samara State University of Culture in Samara, Russia. Constructed in 1942 under top secrecy, this bunker was to become the reserve for Soviet revolutionary and politician - Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin in case the capital city of Moscow was invaded. Built over multiple levels, this bunker runs 37 metres below the ground. In the year 1990, this bunker was declassified and was converted into a museum. This unique defence facility is now open to public. As one of the top attractions in Samara, Stalin’s Bunker is a must-visit. 

3. Volga embankment

The Volga embankment is one of the largest of a kind in Russia and a very popular attraction in Samara. This embankment stretches 5 kilometres and spans between Lesnaya Street and Samara River Port. A favourite summertime activity of the tourists coming to Samara is taking a lazy stroll along this river-side promenade. Along the embankment, you will find many beautiful gardens, singing fountains, and some fun light/music performance. 

4. Samara Regional Museum of Art

As the oldest and most prestigious exhibition ground in the Samara, the Samara Regional Museum of Art must not be missed. Set inside one of the classiest buildings along the Kuibyshev street which was previously occupied by merchants Shihobalov's family, this museum houses many artworks displaying Russian artists across various eras and styles. Featuring more than 16,000 pieces of art and craft, the Samara Regional Museum of Art is one of the top attractions in Samara. 

5. Samara Beach

Stretching along the length of the Volga River, the Samara Beach is perfect to soak up some summertime-vibes while in Samara. People come to the Samara Beach to swim, sunbathe, and relax after a long and cold winter. Do not miss a chance to visit this sandy beach along the longest river in Europe. 

6. Samara Space Museum

Samra Space Museum, or Samara Kosmicheskaya is a space history museum. Samara takes pride in being one of the pioneers in building of the Soviet Union's space program as it was here that the Vostok Rocket was built. Vostok is the first ever flight in the history of mankind that took to space. At the museum, the visitors can see many space travel components, aircraft & models, including a huge Soyuz rocket that is set atop the building.

7. Yuri Gagarin Park

Since most of the FIFA World Cups games take place in the afternoon or in the evening, you are gonna have your mornings free. Why not make the most of your time, and visit the beautiful Yuri Gagarin Park? Located in the Leninsky district of Tyumen, this 105-hectare park is named after Yuri Gagarin, the famous Soviet astronaut who was the first human to orbit the earth in 1961. The Yuri Gagarin Park is clean and well-maintained and has plenty to do for kids and adults. 

Where to eat in Samara

Offering some authentic Georgian food and red wine, Cafe Puri is one of the best places to eat in Samara. Their kuchmachi (chicken innards, and walnuts and pomegranate seeds), khachapuri (fresh-baked bread filled with an egg), khinkali (meat dumplings) are a must-try! Staraya Kvartira is another place that is best known for its salads, soups and starters. This restaurant has been run for generations and has been passed down from mothers to daughters. Balkan Grill, U Palycha, Zhili-Byli, Troitsky Market, Olivye, and Perchini are a few more places worth visiting. 

Where to drink in Samara

Unable to go to the stadium? Samara has a plenty of option when it comes to sports bars, pubs, and restaurants where you can catch a game and down a drink with your buddies. Shamrock is an Irish Bar offering the best of European dishes, meats off the grill, bar snacks and sausages along with a selection of Irish whisky. To enjoy some trivia nights, bands and DJs, head to Maximilian’s and for a little more upmarket experience, head to the Shannon Pub – yet another Irish pub. Parburg and Harat’s is perfect if you are in mood for beer or something stronger. The Zhiguli Brewery, 15 mins walk from the embankment, offers many diverse drinking options. 

FIFA 2018 matches at Samara to watch out for 

The Samara Arena is located in the Radiotsentr district of the city and is a brand-new stadium that was especially built for the FIFA 2018 World Cup. With a seating capacity of 41,970, this stadium’s design is inspired by the theme of space. The Samara Arena is set to host four group games, round of 16 match and a quarter-final. Here is a complete list of all the matches that will take place at the Samara stadium.

Group stages

Sunday 17 June: Costa Rica vs Serbia (Group E)

Thursday 21 June: Denmark vs Australia (Group C)

Monday 25 June: Uruguay vs Russia (Group A)

Thursday 28 June: Senegal vs Colombia (Group H)

Round of 16

Monday 2 July: Group E winner vs Group F runner-up


Saturday 7 July: Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56

As the gateway to the Volga region, Samara has plenty of interesting places to visit and things to do this football season. Do let us know about your football experince in the comments section below!


Ever since my first trip at the age of 4, I’ve been fascinated to explore places around the world. Lover of world cultures, food, souls and all things blue; I spend most part of my day writing about travel ...