Getting there from St. Petersburg
By train: From St. Petersburg’s Moskovsky station (metro Pl. Vosstaniya) one train a day departs to Samara at 14:31 (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun) or 17:45 (Tue, Thu, Sat) and arrives in Samara the next day 23:00 or 09:11 (31 or 38 hours).
By plane: There are two direct flights a day from St. Petersburg to Samara. The flights take around 2 hours 20 minutes.
Getting there from Moscow
By train: There are nine trains a day travelling to Samara from Moscow. They leave from Kazansky station (metro Komsomolskaya). The journey takes between 13 and 16 hours depending on which train you take.
By plane: There are 10 direct flights a day from Moscow to Samara. The flights take around 1 hour 45 minutes.
Samara is connected to other major cities in the region by bus, but the usual Russian advice applies. The train is generally a wiser option.
The nearest airport to Samara lies some 35km away, but there are a few connections between Kurumoch International Airport and the big city. Named after the nearest village, Kurumoch has flights to a number of European cities including Prague and Thessaloniki, along with cheap connections to Moscow, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and others. Twice a day an express train travels between the airport and Samara train station (at 13:19 and 19:30 from the airport, 09:56 and 16:41 from the city), otherwise you are relying on local buses.
Samara is one of the largest cities in the region, and assumptions that it therefore acts as a major transport hub would be absolutely correct. Most trains heading to the Urals or Central Asia will pass though in both directions. There are five daily trains to Moscow (a pleasant journey lasting 15 or so hours), along with jaunts to St. Petersburg every other day. There are also multi-night journeys to Berlin, Warsaw and Minsk.