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Getting there & away

Air and rail tickets are available without queues at the convenient Aviakassa(421 085; ul Molodogvardeyskaya 221). Lufthansa operates a direct flight from Samara to Frankfurt (four hours, daily). Flights throughout the day go to Moscow (R2800 to R3500, 2½ hours) and St Petersburg (R5600, three hours). There are seasonal flights to Irkutsk, Novosibirsk and Baku.

The river station is at the west end of the naberezhnaya, in front of Hotel Rossiya. Long-distance cruises go to destinations along the Volga. There are also boats to regional destinations including Shiryaevo.

The central bus station is 6km southeast of the centre. Buses go to Ulyanovsk (R230, five hours, eight daily), Saratov (R325, twice daily) and Kazan (R290, daily). It is worth leaving Samara by train if only to wait in the ultramodern, clean and efficient station. In addition to several trains to Moscow (R1500, 18 to 20 hours), there are daily trains to Saratov (R570, eight hours), Kazan (R560, 13 hours), Astrakhan (R1100, 23 hours) and Ufa (R580, nine hours). Trains to St Petersburg and Volgograd go a few times a week.