Photo by Aleksandr Zykov  –  Link

Samara

Russia

Lovely beaches, fabulous restaurants and an important aerospace centre are just some of the things that draw visitors to Samara.

This former merchant town is situated on the Volga River in southwest Russia, near the border of Kazakhstan. Though it was once a military outpost, today it is a lively hub of cultural activity. And thanks to its location near the Zhiguli Mountains, it's the perfect starting point for adventurous trekkers who want to explore the mountains.

One of the top attractions in Samara is the Space Museum, which is where the rocket that took Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, was built.

And football fans can take a trip to the Football Museum, which was opened in 2007 and celebrates the city's celebrated football history.

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