Samara is the sixth largest city in Russia and a major economic, industrial and cultural center of the country.
And though it’s famous for being gorgeous and having the beautiful Volga river, the life out there can’t be compared to the one in Moscow or St. Petersburg.
The cost of living is lower, but the economy is far less developed than in these cities and the employment is lower, too.
Living here is probably quite similar to many other big provincial cities of Russia.
The amount of money you spend, though, depends only on your preferences.
In Samara, there are hundreds of restaurants in which different national cuisines are represented. These restaurants usually cost a fortune, though there are some cheaper ones. However, if you want to save up, your best bet would be to go to any of the restaurants with traditional Russian cuisine, where the meals are cheap and you can eat for 9$.
The cost of food is very cheap in grocery stores, but again, as always, it depends on your preferences of food. The most expensive cut of Russian meat is tenderloin costing 4–5$ a pound. The most expensive fish is fresh Norwegian salmon for about 8$ a pound. Vegetables are, however, seasonal and when out of season, both fruits and veggies can get extremely overpriced, even in open markets around the city.
The city public transport operates in all possible ways: buses, “marshrutka” minibuses, trolleybuses, trams, and one relatively small metro line. The metro line, though small, is very reliable. As of May 2018, the fare is 0.40$ mostly anywhere in Russia. Taxis are also available and cheap but you might want to use Uber since it’s even cheaper.
However reasonable the price of utilities in Samara is, keep in mind that the bills tend to skyrocket during winter (because of all the heating). Still, compared to other cities and countries even, utilities are rather reasonably priced. For an apartment of 85m2 all basic utilities, including electricity, gas, garbage services, heating and cooling cost around 115$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
There are many facilities for other outdoor activities such as hiking and cayaking. Bidarka is the most popular river sport here. It’s a Russian version of kayak. Apart from this, many people all over Russia visit the city to go to a so-called ‘Zhiguli circumnavigation’ – a two-week round trip down the Volga river. If you want to stay in shape year-round, you can go to the gym for only 25$ a month, which is rather cheap.
CLOTHING & SHOES
If you like shopping, there are many excellent shopping malls in Samara where you can find plenty of clothes, shoes, perfumes, sports equipment etc. They offer cheap prices for food and beverages but the prices of clothing and shoes are high. For example, you can buy a pair of quality jeans for around 77$, while a pair of running shoes of brands like Nike costs around 73$.
RENT PER MONTH
Your biggest cost in Samara might be your accommodation, though it’s much cheaper than in, say, Moscow or St.Petersburg. Rental properties vary quite a bit, depending on whether you want to live near a subway station or not and on the condition of the apartment. Usually, an apartment in the city center will cost around 290$, while an apartment a bit more further will cost you 200$. Larger apartments for families in the center will cost near 600$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Samara
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$ 9.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$ 1.01|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$ 0.45||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$ 0.82|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$ 0.45|
|Eggs (12)||$ 1.04||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$ 0.38|
|Monthly Pass||$ 22.51|
|Gasoline||$ 0.63||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$ 103.44|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$ 0.03|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$ 7.27||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$ 25.26|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$ 12.88|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$ 4.50||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$ 77.85|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$ 44.00|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$ 73.73||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$ 296.51|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$ 200.86|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$ 590.13|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Samara?
As expected, the biggest chunk of the paycheck of Samara’s citizens gets spent on food, that takes up over 30% of one’s entire income.
The next huge expense is rent, with a higher percentage than in most cities, probably due to the fact that the standard is somewhat higher in Samara.
Restaurants take up the next spot on the list, as well as transportation, because even though it’s inexpensive, it’s necessary.
As usual, the smallest amount of money is spent on clothes and accessories.
Samara: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
With a minimum wage of about 135$, many citizens of Samara don’t have enough to cover their basic expenses, which is definitely worrisome.
However, for an average citizen the situation isn’t that bad, since middle class can earn enough for a relatively normal life – meaning they have everything necessary for a living.
The average monthly salary in this Russian city is around 430$ which is enough to lead a normal life and make ends meet.
Samara is, luckily, a university city, so it’s filled with students that are usually accustomed to limited finances, so living here during studies shouldn’t be a problem.
Cost of Living by City in Russia
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|