Places to Visit Around Tolyatti

City of Tolyatti does not offer that many amazing spots itself but its surrounding has many assets.
Summer in Tolyatti is a time when almost everyone goes to the countryside – cycling, kayaking but mainly going to “dacha”. “Dacha” is usually translated as country house where Russians spend their free time by gardening, relaxing, meeting friends and family. If you do not have an opportunity to go to “dacha” and you want to spend your time outside the city, here are some tips for get-away.

On the opposite shore of Volga, National Park Samarskaya Luka and Zhiguli mountain range is located. It covers rather large territory within the bend of Volga river.

Strelnaya GoraOne of the most famous peaks and view points is Strelnaya Gora. Rocky peak is 375m above sea level which makes it the highest point of Zhiguli mountain range and offers amazing view over hills of Samarskaya Luka, Volga and river shores. The simplest access is from Zolnoye. The road is rather bumpy but manageable by a normal car, entrance fee is 500 rubles per car. At the end of the road there is a parking place and path to the peak is only 15 minutes walk. Few years ago the path was partially replaced by metallic stairs which make the access even easier.

You can reach the sacred springs Kamennaya Chasha from the village Solnechnaya Polyana. The path in the woods is long about 5km and will bring you to the chapel and springs. Be prepared for the mosquitoes. The road going to the springs is recommended only for off road cars.

Repin's MuseumThe main road from Zhigulevsk ends in the lovely village called Shiryaevo. It is definitely one of the most famous villages in Samara region and it is indeed worthy of visit. From the 18th century the limestone was mined here (mines can be visited nowadays), the commerce was blooming and river transport was important. During the summer in 1870, Ilya Repin, one of the most famous Russian painters, rented a house with his friends and they were painting the sceneries near river. Repin’s famous painting The Barge Haulers on the Volga was also inspired by his stay in Shiryevo. That house now serves as Repin’s museum and shows how people lived in that time, explains the history and traditions of the region as well as Repin’s reproductions.

Narrow road along Volga is going further to the east. After 4 km, there is another beautiful view point called Verblud (meaning Camel). Half of the path is through the forest and takes about 10 minutes. Second part is more rocky and can be rather slippery but the rocky top offers great view. If you are not in hurry it is definitely better to leave the car in Shiryaevo and go by foot or bike. Road goes near Volga, provides nice sceneries but if you drive, bad road does not let you to enjoy them. The area is very popular for camping and climbing.

Molodecky KurganOn the western end of National Park, the beautiful views are from Deviya Gora and Molodecky Kurgan. The latter is a windy cliff near the widest point where Volga looks like a sea. If the air is clear you can see Tolyatti on the other shore. The path is rather steep. In the bay, the water is crystal clear and azure blue, amazing spot for bathing. To get there you have to turn right from M5 towards the village Zhiguli.

There is always a fee to enter the National Park, 50 rubles per person (2014).

If you continue straight from Zhiguli to the west you will come to the open-air museum Bogatyrskaya Sloboda. It is a complex of several buildings that provides you with the history of region. You can try traditional Russian clothes, pose for the picture with ancient swords and helmets and also test your throwing skills (axe, javelin and bow). This open-air museum is on the hill above the river Usa, tributary of Volga, and you can also embark one of the small boat and sail. Bogatyrskaya Sloboda is organising summer camps for children, mostly boys, where they have an opportunity to discover the old Russian traditions and values.

There is one more beautiful view point above Volga called Lysaya Gora. It is near ski resort Krasnaya Glinka not far from Samara. You can see Samara and mines in Shiryaevo from Lyasaya Gora. There is a steep path that starts near the river but also less steep one starting near the grocery store.

The most remarkable sights on the north of Tolyatti is the village Tashla with sacred springs and woman monastery. Another sacred spring is in the village Piskaly.

Tolyatti Life’s crew also likes the scenic route between Tashelka and Musorka/Kirilovka. There are no road lining trees therefore nice views of the countryside can be enjoyed.

Another remarkable religious site, church, is in Fedorovka.

The list of sights is not exhaustive and will be updated when new attractions are discovered.

Click here to find out more about the sights in Tolyatti.

Places to Visit in Tolyatti

Despite being founded in 1737, Tolyatti was practically built from scratch in 50s of 20th century because most of the city area was flooded due to the construction of Kuibyshev Dam and Electric Station. In 60s city was enlarged and industrialized when AvtoVAZ (Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod), one of the world’s biggest factories, was built. The city was called Stavropol na Volge until 1964 when it was changed to Tolyatti/Togliatti after Palmiro Togliatti, the leader of the Italian Communist Party.
As historical parts of the city were flooded, Tolyatti is dominantly industrial city. Main sights include monuments, sculptures and some museums. Surrounding nature is its biggest asset.
Hyperlinks are redirecting to Tolyatti Life map or more detailed posts.

There are four principal museums in Tolyatti – Technical Museum, Lada Cars Museum, City Museum and Art Museum. Except Technical Museum they are rather small but worthy of visit. City Museum and Art Museum are having many temporary exhibitions that are sometimes taking place in other exhibition areas.
You can see the program of museums here.

Monuments & Sculptures

The most famous statue is Tatishchev Monument. Vasily Tatishchev was the founder of the city. Monumental statue of this Russian statesman and historian on a horse is located near Volga, between Old and New Town.
Another famous monument is memorial to the fidelity represented by a sitting dog. It was built in memory of “Konstantin” that survived a car accidents while his owners did not. He was running along the road and awaiting them for 7 years until his death.
History of TransportRemarkable is the composition of three sculptures called “The history of transport” on Revolutsionnaya street in the little park. They are representing different types of transport from the beginning of 20th century – steam boat, steam locomotive and hot air balloon. Sculptures were built in late 70s by Andrey Vasnetsov, Russian artist.
Right next to the steam boat from transport trilogy sculptures is a memorial to those who fall in 2nd World War.

Religious Sights
Tolyatti Cathedral (Preobrazhensky Sobor) was finished relatively recently, in 2002. It is a modern cathedral, with huge chandelier as it is typical for orthodox churches and rather unusual mosaic decoration. Unfortunately, the cathedral seems to be open only during the weekends and religious holidays. For everyday use, small chapel near the cathedral is open. Women have to cover their hair but they are allowed to go in in trousers.

Volga Shores
Tolyatti is located on Volga shores, therefore there are many nice places to visit, walk and relax, for some to swim too. In the New Town, there are Naberezhnaya of the 6th and of the 8th block with beaches, short promenades and some restaurants.
On Naberezhnaya of the Old Town Tatishchev Monument is located and Naberezhnaya of Komsomolskiy Disctrict is the longest and popular among cyclists and roller skaters.
Special atmosphere has a river promenade on Nosova street in micro district Shlyuzovoy that was built in the same time as the water dam and the architecture is remarkable.
More beach-like areas are located in the “Green Zone” between New and Old Town. The most popular are Italian Beach and Muravinyye ostrova (Ant Islands).

All city districts are located around the large forest that creates a geographical centre of the city. During the heat waves in 2010 half of the forest burned and reforestation has not fully started. The forest is full of paths, cycling and cross country routes. Near cross country recreational area, there are several spots  with wooden statues representing old Slavic gods. They are all carved by one man who is there almost all the time.

Click here to find out more about the sights around Tolyatti.

Technical Museum

Full name is the “Technical Museum of K.G.Sakharov” (Tехнический музей им. К.Г.Сахарова). This Russian one-of-the-kind museum was opened in 2001 and soon has become one of the most important landmarks of Tolyatti.

The museum is located in the open air area near AvtoVAZ factory. It is composed from two areas that are approximately 300 meters from each other and cover 38 hectares in total.Technical Museum 1

After first hearing about the museum I expected to see all models of Lada cars that have been manufactured in the nearby factory. And maybe some other Russian cars.

Indeed, there are many Russian cars. But they are only models in a scale 1:36 in the entrance hall of the museum. In fact, the museum displays a large collection of military vehicles, tanks, airplanes, antennas and trains as well as lunar rovers.Technical Museum 2

There is even a submarine but it is behind the fence and not accessible as other objects. Most of the exhibits are of Russian origin but there are also some from abroad. Many non-professional military experts find the entire collection exciting.

Here, unlike in many museums, where touching objects is strictly prohibited, visitors can climb on the vehicles, open everything that is possible to open and also shoot from the shotgun.

Opening hours: daily from 9:00 to 17:00
Address: Yuzhnoe shosse 137 (map),
Entrance fee: around 100 rubles for each “area”

Public Transport, a.k.a. “Marshrutka”

“Marshrutka” (маршрутка) is privately operated public transport, popular mostly in the former countries of the Soviet Union. For deeper understanding, check Wikipedia.

The most used vehicles in Tolyatti are vans manufactured by Russian company GAZ and therefore they are also called GAZelle.

The marshrutkas have a very wide network, they are going practically everywhere and also intervals are short.

They always have a number and the last stop on the front window. On a side of the van, names of the served streets are also written.

As the network may not be so obvious, here is a website that can help to plan your trip. Click on the map and put the mark “A” for the departure place and mark “B” for the destination. Then several options will appear and if you click on “show on the map” (показать на карте), whole journey will be displayed.

Each line has very different schedule, but in general they start around 7am and run every few minutes until 10pm.

There are usually 13 seats inside (though may be also more) and standing passengers are not always allowed. If it gets crowded you can also take a seat next to the driver.

There are no tickets, fee for the service is paid directly to the driver at the end, before getting out of the car. The fee within a city district is 18 rubles, between the districts it is 22 rubles.

The marshrutkas do not stop on every bus stop automatically, so it is better to make them sign, hand wave is good enough. Most of the vans have a little ring bells that make signal to a driver that you want to get off but sometimes you have to ask him to stop.

Not all of them have automatic doors, in that case do not be afraid to use some strength.

It is important to add that there are also municipal buses and trolley-buses but they were not target of this post.

Happy and safe travelling!