Southern Russian city near the Caspian Sea.
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on two banks of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of 28 metres below sea level.
Astrakhan is Russia’s face on that multinational body of water. The city reflects much of the region’s cultural and religious diversity. There are large communities of Kazakhs and Azeris, as well as Islamic Tatars. While many visitors use Astrakhan mainly as a jumping-off point for the Volga Delta, the city merits a day or two of exploration in its own right.
According to Lonely Planet, 'there’s a long, handsome riverfront that’s ideal for evening strolls as the sun sets across the river. The striking white kremlin, a symbol of Russian dominance since the 16th century, holds two beautiful churches and several museums. Across the canal, north of the kremlin, the stone mansions and churches of the European and Christian centre give way to Tatar and Persian sloboda (suburbs) with their wooden cottages, mosques and quaint courtyards, where garlands of drying vobla fish flutter in the breeze."