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<map lat="46.35" lng="48.05" zoom="10" view="0" float="right" />
Flag of Russia
State: Astrakhan Oblast
Population: 531.719
Licence plate: 30
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Astrakhan is a city in South-Western Russia. It is the center of one of the most multicultural regions in the country, having more than 5 indigenous peoples and many more immigrant communities. You can find Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant churches, Islamic mosques and Buddhist temples in and around the city. It's also notable for its architecture, the Kremlin and old wooden houses.

Note that it's located in a semidesert area with a very dry climate and probably the hottest summers in Russia. Be aware of huge amounts of mosquitoes, especially in June.

Hitching Out

North towards Volgograd, Moscow

There are two options to start hitchhiking towards Volgograd (which you have to reach first if you are going to Moscow, Saint Petersburg or Voronezh). They correspond to two roads which go on the left and the right banks of Volga respectively. The river is very wide, there is a lot of islands in it, and there are no bridges outside the city, so you have to choose a road when you are still there and you won't be able to change it.

The first option (the left bank) is to take a local train from the main railway station to the north. All of them go along the road which connects Astrakhan to Volgograd trough towns of Kharabali and Akhtubinsk. Feel free to leave the train whereever you want after you pass Astrakhan II station and before you reach 1512 km (inclusively). 1512 km might be the best option as there is a shop and a petrol station just 500 meters away from the place where the train stops. A train ticket will cost between €1 and €2 and it will take no more than 40 minutes to get to the needed station.

This road is a bit longer than the right bank one but it's easier to reach from Astrakhan city center and it will also bring you to the downtown of Volgograd.

The right bank way is just a bit shorter and there is slightly more traffic there, as it's preferred by truck drivers. However, the pavement quality is really bad and there are less sights on this side. It will only bring you to the southernmost Volgograd suburbs which are pretty far away from the city center and the road to Moscow. To use this way, you have to take marshrutka (minibus) № 113 from the main railway station (bus stop near the petrol station on the right hand) to Streletskoye. It's a 35-50 minutes ride for which you pay around 30 Eurocents. You can also take a bus to the town of Narimanov. They depart from the small regional bus terminal located right on the territory of the main railway station. The ride will last around an hour, you'll pay €1 to €2 but there you'll face less local traffic.