I have travelled to Russia numerous times both to visit friends and to explore the country. I have taken the “Trans-Siberian railway” no fewer than three times now!
Russia has lately become the big bad wolf in western media but you won’t feel intimidated while travelling around.
In fact, the locals in Russia are just as friendly as the Thais, Mexicans or locals in any western country.
This makes travelling around Russia a lot of fun (I won’t put this down to all the free vodka and watermelons I receive, yes watermelons!)
A destination I always visit is Tolyatti in southern Russia, Tolyatti is not really famous at all and the only foreigners you will meet there work in the car industry. A number of large car manufacturers are located in Tolyatti. One of these is the world-famous Lada, the star of the Russian car industry.
Ladas main office, taken from the car in speed.
Tolyatti is the 18th biggest city in Russia with a population of about 720,000, it doesn’t boast any historical sights but it does have a really cool open-air military museum, locally called Victory Park, where you can get the view and even step inside a WW2 Submarine and other military artefacts.
The war museums are located a short distance outside the city centre it’s too far to walk but a taxi will not set you back more than a couple of US dollars.
Additional info about Tollyati.
There’s only one train to Tolyatti a day, train or 066Й which leaves Moscow 16.10 every day, and arrives in Tolyatti 10 am next day.
Where to stay.
There’s act decent Hostel, in the middle of the town.
Dostoevskiy Hostel Autostroiteley st. 50b.
It’s centrally located and can be reached by bus no 25.
It offers dorm beds from 8.5USD and a Twin room for 18USD
And even has breakfast included.