A long beachside promenade is full of joggers, cyclists and roller skaters, while sunbathers bask in the heat on the sand below. In the evenings, long sunsets fill the streets with a warm glow that rises up the hill towards the centre of town.
The Fan Zone will be in Kuybysheva Square, the largest square in Russia, which will hold 35,000 people. As well as having plenty of restaurants nearby, the square is also home to the opera and ballet theatre of Samara, perfect for those looking for a cultural break from the football.
The local team, FC Krylia Sovetov, is well-supported and especially popular among travelling away fans, who often combine the trip with a visit to Samara’s Zhiguli brewery. Visitors can bring their own plastic bottles to fill up with the local nectar.
The club were relegated to the second division in 2017, but are confident of using the new stadium to bounce back to the top flight and beyond. Much like the local organisers, the club’s ambition is strong.
The Cosmos Arena is a little out of town, which fans should bear in mind, but the setting is beautiful, with rolling hills and national parks extending to the horizon. The brand new airport is a little further out of town and Moscow is only a short flight away.