With a population of about 1.3 million (2011 census), rich history, deep culture and strong economic influence, Kazan holds the title of "The Third Capital of Russia" (after Moscow and Saint Petersburg), taking this title from the competing Nizhny Novgorod. By many measures, Kazan has the one of the highest standards of living in Russia, only after Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Kazan has recently earned the reputation of a sports city, due to its recent investments in this domain. Kazan held the Universiade 2013, and will be a host city in the FIFA World Cup in 2018 in Russia. Possibly one of the World Cup semi-finals will be held in Kazan! Both the World Cup and Universiade events are fueling the city's booming construction. In the last couple of years, sport venues have popped up in Tatar capital, together with residential buildings and offices. Many of Kazan's professional teams, such as Rubin (football) or Ak Bars (hockey), have been recent Russia champions.
Kazan has long been a focal point of higher education in Russia. It remains a university city, with some of Russia's top universities including Kazan Federal University (KFU - formerly Kazan State University, TGGPU and the Kazan Finance Institute), Kazan State Technological University (KGTU), Kazan State Technical University (KAI), and "Energa" University. Many foreign students study in Kazan, adding color to the city's tolerant and diverse population. Schools in Kazan, and wider Tatarstan, tend to be some of Russia's best.
Located between Europe and Asia, having both Russian and Tatar populations, Kazan peacefully blends Muslim and Christian cultures. There are also many other religions represented in Kazan. For example, in the city center there is a synagogue and new Catholic church. This vibrant city with over 1,000 years of history is an excellent travel destination, and the number of tourists visiting is rapidly increasing every year.
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Average of Kazan
Climate is Continental, but not as severe as Siberia. Summers are pleasantly warm (and wet), and winters drop to around -10 C.
The airport in Kazan (KZN IATA) serves many cities in Russia and operates charter flights to destinations like Turkey and Egypt, Thailand, India, Spain, UAE. Aeroflot, S7, Transaero and UTAir fly between Kazan and Moscow, and Rossiya Airlines also flies to Kazan from Saint Petersburg. The summer schedule has seen a number of local flights to Samara, Saransk, Penza, and other cities of the Volga Region. However, these flights are likely to be sporadic and may be interrupted at any time. Turkish Airlines is the only international carrier that currently has scheduled flights to Kazan. That said, flights to Western Europe are very scarce, while any Asian destination should be reached via Istanbul. Flight information: +7(843)267-88-07.
As of 2013, all flights depart from the brand-new terminal 1A equipped with cafes and free wireless connection. A reasonably priced Polyot hotel (+7(843)267-87-05, 254-01-12) is within walking distance from the terminal building.
The airport is southeast of the city and quite far from the city center. It is served by Aeroexpress trains  that depart from the main station (Kazan-1) with a 2 h interval. Travel time is 20 min, the 2nd class ticket costs 200 rubles (2013). A taxi from the train station to the airport takes about 60–90 minutes and starts from 600 rubles (when ordered in advance), although it may run well above 1000 rubles when you hail a random cab at the terminal and refrain from bargaining. You can also take a taxi to the nearest metro station (Prospekt Pobedy), which is only 15 min from the city center, and continue by public transport. Alternatively, reach this metro station in about 40 min with bus 97 that runs on a somewhat irregular schedule between 5:30 and 18:00 with 30-40 min intervals.
See Russia#By train 2 for general advice on travelling in Russia by train. Kazan has two major train stations:
- 1 Kazan-1 (Old Station, Zheleznodorozhnyy Vokzal Stantsii Kazan', Kazan Passazhirsky, Казань-1), Plosch. Pryvokzalnaya / Ulitsa Said Galiyeva (Привокзальная пл., 1/ул. Саид-Галиева, 5) (in the city center), ☎ . This is the downtown station, and the terminus of all trains bound for Kazan (both long-distance and suburban); some but not all through-trains call here. All station facilities can be found in the spacious new building (right hand side as you look from the street) - ticket offices, waiting halls, cafes, left luggage, ATMs, etc. The original red-brick building to the left has waiting areas and a cafe, but no ticketing or other facilities.
Lots of food options close to the station: long-distance trains may halt at Kazan-1 for up to an hour, so if you're slick you should be able to restock en route. As well as the facilities within the station, very close by is Dobraya Stolovaya (self-service cafe), and five minutes walk to the right as you exit brings you to the city market. You can also stock up in the Bakhetle supermarket located on the ground floor of the TsUM mall northeast of the train station. This is also your way to the city center and Kremlin. Kremlevskaya metro station is only 10 minutes walk from the train terminal, straight ahead as you exit.
- 2 Kazan-2 (New station, Vosstaniya Passazhirsky, Казань-2, Восстание Пасс.), Ulitsa Vorovskogo, 1 (in the northern part of the city. : 'Severny vokzal metro station' is next to the train station. Or take any transport running along Dekabristov St. towards Kozya sloboda metro station, which is only one stop from Kremlevskaya station in the city center.). This new station caters to several long-distance through-trains that do not call at Kazan-1 in the city center: it's sometimes difficult to work out from timetables which train calls where. Despite a very drab look, Kazan-2 station has all basic facilities, including ticket offices and left luggage service.
Kazan has good train connections to Moscow (2-3 overnight trains, 11–13 hours) and Saint-Petersburg (daily train, 22 hours). One of the Moscow trains is firmenniy, dubbed Tatarstan, with fancy new double-decker cars and Tatar-style on-board restaurant. Although Kazan is not on the classic Trans-Siberian route (which lies to the north), many trains from Moscow to Siberia and the Far East pass this way, rejoining the classic route at Ekaterinburg (15 hours). Cities like Izhevsk and Ulyanovsk are served at least twice daily (5–6 hours), and there is a suburban train to Yoshkar-Ola (3.5 hours).
Arriving in Kazan by bus is somewhat less common, unless you travel within Tatarstan, where buses and minibuses are by far the main mode of transportation. When coming by bus, you may find yourself at one of the two city's bus stations:
- 3 Central bus station (Kazan Bus Terminal, Казанский автовокзал,Автовокзал Столичный, Центральный автовокзал), 15 Devyataeva St.(ул. Девятаева) (Not very central, but close to the river terminal. You can reach it by trolleybuses 20 and 21 or buses 1, 31, 54 and 83 from : Ploschad Tukaya metro station, as well as by bus 53 from the train station. You can also walk here in about 30 min.), ☎ . The terminal building is very old, and does not have anything but a ticket office and a small waiting hall. Central bus station is the terminus of most "official" buses. Private (unofficial) buses and minibuses are not using this bus station.
- 4 Southern bus station (Автовокзал «Южный»), Orenburgskiy lane (Оренбургский пер.) 207 (is in the southern suburbs of Kazan and basically in the middle of nowhere, 10 min bus ride from : Prospekt Pobedy (Проспект Победы) metro station (take buses 37, 85, 97 and get off at the stop RKB, which means Republican Clinical Hospital; oddly enough, city buses do not stop directly at the intercity bus station).), ☎ . It is a brand-new bus terminal aimed at removing long-haul buses from the city center. While the bus terminal is there, in the middle of nowhere, and long-distance buses do stop at this terminal, they still continue to the central bus station. Bottom line, don't go here unless you really need it.
However, these bus station cater to less than half of bus traffic. Most routes are nowadays served by private-run ("unofficial") buses and minibuses that may terminate in different places, for example, at the train station (Kazan-1), at ploschad Tukaya, at Sovetskaya Sq. in the eastern part of Kazan, etc. The system is haphazard and impossible to track. If you arrive by bus, you will mostly likely find yourself at the train station, which is more or less in the city center. When you leave the city, check where the buses to your destination depart from.
- 5 [dead link]Riverboat terminal (Казанский речной порт), Ulitsa Portovaya (Портовая ул.) (On the Volga River. The river terminal is close to the central bus terminal, so you can use same city transport.). Main building is closed for passengers due to a never-ending renovation process. Tickets for local boat routes are sold in a small building, which is on the right-hand side of the main terminal when you look from the city side. Same building is the ticket office and info point for buses departing from the river terminal, although they have nothing to do with the boats.
Although not very active, the boat traffic in the vicinity of Kazan is the only local boat service in the whole Volga region. Hydrofoils sail to Bolgar twice daily and additionally serve a number of small boroughs on the western bank of the river. Slow boats to Sviyazhsk are also available. But the most frequent boat connection to/from Kazan is the shuttle to Verkhny Uslon village on the opposite side of the river (see Go Next section). Navigation starts beginning of May and ends in late September or early October. A large number of cruise boats pass through Kazan or even terminate here. One-way or return cruises may be reserved to/from practically any city along the Volga. Check Turflot and infoflot for information about these tours.
Much of the city center is walkable, and the main attractions for tourists (the Kremlin and Bauman Street) are only for pedestrian traffic. Public buses are abundant and cheap, but one must have some knowledge of Russian to read the signs or ask where the buses are headed. Bus system maps are apparently hard to come by. Taxis are available and operate mostly an on-call service, rather than plying the streets for fares. They also congregate at a few taxi stands in predictable places such as the train station. A Metro system is being developed, with ten stations on the red line in operation as of early 2013, running between Avivastroitelnaya and Prospekt Pobedy. A free map is distributed at the reception of hotels.
Kazan Metro Stations
From North to South
- Aviastroitelnaya «Авиастроительная»
- Severny Vokzal «Северный Вокзал»
- Yashlek «Яшьлек (Юность)»
- Kozya Sloboda «Козья слобода»
- Kremlyovskaya «Кремлёвская»
- Ploshchad Tukaya «Площадь Тукая»
- Sukonnaya Sloboda «Суконная слобода»
- Ametyevo «Аметьево»
- Gorki «Горки»
- Prospekt Pobedy «Проспект Победы»
Kazan celebrated its 1,000-year anniversary in 2005, for which the city got a major facelift. Visitors today will be able to see many of the reconstructed or newly constructed sites from the anniversary celebration.
- Kazan Kremlin, Ulitsa Kreml (ул. Кремль). Once a Tatar fortress, it was largely destroyed by Ivan the Terrible. During the 16th and 17th Centuries, Russians reconstructed the Kremlin with new fortifications and Russian institutions (such as the Annunciation Cathedral). Many of the features of the Kremlin reflect Russian influence of that era, and the construction of the parapets and watchtowers is particularly reminiscent of other dominant Russian cities of the time, such as Pskov and Novgorod. The Kremlin has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Entry to the Kremlin is through the white clock tower (the Spasskaya Tower) at the end of Bauman Street. Entry costs 300 Rubles with a guided tour, or 20 Rubles to explore the grounds on one's own. There are several interesting things to see inside the Kremlin, including:
- Suyumbike Tower. The legend of the Suyumbike Tower is that the Tatar Princess Suyumbike was betrothed to Ivan the Terrible, but she consented to marry him only if he could build the highest tower in Kazan in seven days. Ivan accomplished the task, but Suyumbike, rather than subjugating herself and the Tatar people to the Russian ruler, climbed to the top of the tower and jumped to her death. Locals do not seem to believe that the legend is true, but they appreciate the romanticism of it. At present, the tower is not open to climb the stairs.
- Kul-Sharif Mosque. Named after the 16th-century Tatar imam who died defending Kazan from Ivan the Terrible's army, the Kul-Sharif Mosque was completed in 2005 after ten years of construction. It is located within the Kremlin walls, making the Kremlin facility now a symbol of multicultural harmony in multiethnic Tatarstan. Entry to the mosque is free, although visitors must pay 3 Rubles for plastic slip-covers for their shoes in order to keep the floors clean. Visitors who climb the stairs to the third floor observation balcony do not need to remove their shoes. The prayer hall on the ground floor is open only to men going to pray and the second floor balcony is for Muslim women to pray. All women, though, should cover their hair in all parts of the mosque.
From the observation balcony, visitors can appreciate the beauty of the mosque, which is built in a modern design not unlike modern Turkish mosques. The dome in the shape of a lotus flower and the many windows give the prayer hall a bright and airy atmosphere. One uniquely local feature in the mosque is the malachite columns on the minbar (the free-standing pulpit). Some of the 99 names of God are inscribed on the inside of the upper dome and on the window glass, and the name Mohammed is written in a blue disk at the front of the prayer hall. Verses from the Koran, including an incantation against envy, are written on tile in the four corners of the hall, and the names on disks suspended lower in the hall are those of the four rightly-guided caliphs and some of the early prophets.
An interesting Museum of Islam is located below the ground floor of the mosque. Entrance is free, and a tour in English may be available if the English-speaking docent is on duty. The museum also has a booklet in English that explains the exhibits that can be helpful. Some of the exhibits include displays regarding the status of Tatar language in the Soviet era, some history of the building of the mosque (note the photo of prayers being held outdoors in the 1990s before the mosque was built), and on the lower sublevel is a history of Islam in Tatarstan, which mentions of Empress Elizabeth's attempt to convert Tatars to Christianity and Catherine the Great's edict allowing mosques to be constructed.
- Annunciation Cathedral.
- State Hermitage Museum in Kazan. Affiliated with the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, this museum sometimes has special exhibits of interest.
- State Museum of the Tatar State and the Republic of Tatarstan. The museum was one of several projects completed for the 1000-year anniversary celebration, and it is located on the former site of the Tatar sultan's mosque, which was destroyed by Ivan's army and a residence (?) was built in its place. The building fell into disrepair over the years and a Turkish company completed the renovations for the 2005 museum opening. One must first enter on the ground floor (located just to the left of the Suyumbike Tower) and pay the 20-Ruble entry fee. A group of energetic and chatty old ladies staff the museum, although none speak much English. The ground floor section of the museum is filled with gifts to Tatarstan from foreign dignitaries on the occasion of the 1000-year anniversary, as well as a reproduction of the sultan's throne (note the gold dome of the Koran case, which is meant to hold the Koran higher than the sultan's chair) and a reproduction of the mausoleum of the sultans, the original of which is said to be underground nearby: a small square monument marks the spot in the square outside the museum. To reach the second story of the museum, one must go outside and around the corner and climb the stairs in the courtyard near the Suyumbike Tower. There is no cashier on the second floor, so visitors much go to the ground floor section first. The second floor includes a narrative history of Tatarstan, from the early settlement of the Volga-Bulgars to the early Tatar state to Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to Tatarstan in the Russian Federation. The guide will insist that visitors also visit a small room on the side where medals and decorations given to the president are displayed.
- [dead link]Soviet Lifestyle Museum, Ul. Ostrovskaya 39/6 ; Ul. Universitetskaya (A minute's walk from Ulitsiya Baumana, above, 'Dublin' Irish bar.). 10-18. By far Kazan's most original and eccentric museum. The museum's curator, Rustem, is an outgoing, friendly, welcoming guy. He is also very knowledgeable about anything related to Soviet culture. Entering the museum is like going through a time-machine back to the USSR. Rustem has managed to acquire anything and everything from the Soviet period. He is also bubbling with stories and anecdotes of how then compares to now. Drop by on Sunday afternoons for impromptu Soviet songs jam sessions, complete with guitars, bass, drums, tambourines, bongos, flutes, fog machines and strobe lights. This place is too fun to be named a museum and is interactive in the fullest sense. Well worth the price. A must see if you're in, or anywhere near, Kazan. Cheap.
- 1 Warrior Spirit (Duh Voina), Kazan, proyezd Sheynkmana, 16/1, ☎ . 10:00-18:00. 4.4$.
Kazan offers a lot of various events you can visit during your stay here - international opera and ballet festival, different types of music festivals, popular singers concerts and many other interesting things to do. A must-see event in Tatarstan is a national holiday Sabantuy - tatar summer festival, which is celebrated in the beginning of June.
In summer 2013 four double-decker buses began circulating along their routes in Kazan by "City Sightseeing" company. Tourists will ride on them through the city's downtown and see the main attractions, historical landmarks, and architectural beauties of Tatarstan's capital with their own eyes, and not merely see them, but also learn many interesting things about them. The two-level tour buses have been equipped with an audio guide. The audio recording designed to acquaint guests will the city functions in eight languages: Russian, Tatar, English, French, Spanish, German, Turkish, and Chinese.
Bauman Street. The pedestrian zone that stretches between the Kremlin and Tokai Square and the Hotel Tatarstan. This is Kazan's Arbat, with boutiques, souvenir shops and kiosks, cafes, bars, and plenty of opportunities for people-watching. The statuary (such as a bronze carriage) is especially interesting.
- International opera festival named after Fedor Shalyapin - annually in February.
- Russian festival of Folklore "Karavon" - annually in May.
- International festival of classic ballet named after Rudolf Nuriev - annually in May.
- Summer tatar festival Sabantuy - annually in June.
- International handicraft festival "Spasskaya Yarmarka" in Elabuga city - annually in August.
- International jazz music festival "Jazz v usadbe Sandetskogo" - annually in August.
- International open-air opera festival "Kazanskaya osen" (Kazan autumn) - annually in September or 30th of August. Entrance is free.
- Kazan International festival of Muslim cinema - annually in September.
- 1 Kyrlay (Парк развлечений - Кырлай), Ulitsa Odnostoronnyaya Grivka (ул. Односторонняя Гривка), 1а (North of River Kazanky, near to Kremlevsky Dam, : Kozya Sloboda «Козья слобода» 600m North), ☎ . There are a lot of attractions - including a Ferris wheel, from which you can see all of Kazan.
- 2 Victory Park (Парк Победы), Pr. Yamasheva / Ul. Bondarenko (пр. Ямашева / ул. Бондаренко) (: Kozya Sloboda «Козья слобода» and walk one km to east). The park includes a memorial to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War. The Victory Column is 42m high.
- 3 Galiaskar Kamal Theatre (Театр им. Галиасгара Камала), Ul. Tatarstan (ул. Татарстан), 1 (: Ploshchad Tukaya «Площадь Тукая» further to SE 200m), ☎ .
- 4 Drama Theatre (Казанский академический русский Большой драматический театр имени В. И. Качалова), Ulitsa Baumana (ул. Баумана), 48 (: Kremlyovskaya «Кремлёвская»), ☎ .
- 5 Opera and Ballet Theatre (Татарский Государственный Академический театр Оперы и Балета им. Мусы Джалиля), Ploshchad Svobody (пл. Свободы), 2 (bus 10а, 30, 35, 48, 54, 63, 83, 91, 99а or trolley 7, 17, 19, 20, 21 to stop 'Площадь Свободы', the nearest metro station : Ploshchad Tukaya «Площадь Тукая» cca. one km), ☎ .
- 6 Puppet Theatre (Татарский государственный театр кукол «Экият»), Ulitsa Peterburgskaya (ул. Петербургская), 57 (: Sukonnaya Sloboda «Суконная слобода»), ☎ .
Souvenirs from Kazan reflects Tatar culture and ethnic colour. You can buy items with national ornaments and scenes from tatar folk tales, mosque figurines and many others.
The most popular souvenir, that each tourist want to buy, is tatar national male headwear "Tubeteika".
Tatar national handicrafts is especially known for its unique leather art and tanning. This kind of very soft, yet long wearing leather called "safyan". Using ancient technologies, craftsmen make amazing items from leather - shoes, bags, slippers, keyfob etc.
Shopping and entertainment centers you can visit are:
- "Mega" is for a family holiday. It's really all organically combined: a relaxing atmosphere conducive to the implementation of the shopping, places for recreation and leisure, entertainment venues.
- "Koltso". The name of the shopping center "The Ring" was due to the location. It is an area that many residents of Kazan call the "Ring." It appeared in the city in 1768, and the project is creating the architect Vasily Kaftyrev. Historical background, and a convenient location shopping and entertainment areas account for its huge popularity.
- "GUM". Updated GUM is a 6 floors, which have clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry and watch showrooms, shops Perfumery and cosmetics. In restaurants and cafes you can find a wide variety of Russian, Tatar, European, Oriental, Chinese, Mexican and Syrian cuisine.
- "TSUM". was founded in 1940. The complex is located in the historical center of Kazan, and has a rich past. TSUM always changes with the city, and today it is a large shopping complex with a convenient location and ample car parking.
- Bazar: between the Kreml and the Railwaystation, you may find everything you nedd (from shoes to hats). Outside there are many fresh fruits and cheap berry sellers. Do not forget to have a try at the bakeryes in the morning and eat some fresh local bread.
Self-caterers can find a large supermarket (one of the Bakhetle chain) in the TsUM building across from the Mirage Hotel. The bakery across from the Milena Hotel on Tazi Gizzata Street has excellent bread and a few groceries.
- Dobraya Stolovaya (translates as something like Good Cafeteria). Is a network of amazingly, unbelievably cheap self-service cafeteria, where you can easily have lunch or dinner for a single 100-rubles bill, and still keep some change for a bus ticket. Food is everyday Russian style. Don't expect Tatar food or any other specialties, but for those on a tight budget, this place is a heaven:
- 21 Baumana St. (M-F 7:30-21, Sa-Su 9-21)
- 13 Yakhina St. (7:30-23) – near the train station
- 1 Dom blinov (Pancake place), 47 Baumana St.. 9AM-1AM. Same as Tea House (see below), although they serve more pancakes and less traditional dishes. Several visitors had complaints about pancakes served cold, but most people report very positive impressions of this budget budget eatery. 50 rubles (2011).
- 2 Dom chaya (Tea House), 64 Baumana St.. 9-20. While they do serve tea, coming here for a cup is probably a bad idea. Nobody knows how this eatery got its odd name, but every local and every traveller agree that Dom Chaya is the best place to try traditional Tatar fare for incredibly low price. The first floor is a self-service cafeteria, and the second one is more like a restaurant, yet their prices are nearly the same and very low even by Russian standard. Don't miss local meat-stuffed pastries (echpochmak, elesh – all baked right here, on the premises) and dishes based on horse meat. Mains: below 100 rubles (2013).
- 3 Meat House, 21 Baumana St.. 10AM-10PM. Despite the capital M, which strongly reminds of McDonalds, this no-frills eatery lacks burgers and serves Arabian-style doner instead. Free WiFi connection. Doner and grilled meat: 100–150 rubles (2013).
- 4 Ankhor, 11 Kremlevskya St.. 10AM-10PM. They boast traditional cuisine, but offer all kinds of food ranging from Uzbek to Chinese fare. Yet it is a decent and budget place steps away from the Kremlin.
- 5 Bona Fide, 22 Universitetskaya St., ☎ . 9-20. It is merely a student cafeteria, but a good one. You will feel more like in a cafe. Moreover, their selection of coffee and desserts is quite good indeed. Self-service. Free Wi-Fi. Mains: 50–100 rubles (2013).
- Syuimbike is a chain of budget restaurants serving authentic Muslim (viz., khalyal) food bordering the Tatar and Uzbek traditions. While locals prefer to go here for lunch, you can also visit for a dinner (of course, without alcohol) or even drop by in the middle of the night and take advantage of the 24/7 schedue. Free Wi-Fi connection.
- 31 Gabdully Tukaya St. (Tatar district)
- 102 Gabdully Tukaya St. – not exactly in the city center, but good for those who went that far in exploring the Tatar district
- 35 Spartakovskaya St. (Ploschad Tukaya or Sukonnaya Sloboda metro stations)
- 64 Bol'shaya Krasnaya St.
- Sofra Kebab, Baumana Street 51, 3rd Floor (In GUM, in the food court on the 3rd floor.). 10AM-10PM. Excellent Turkish cuisine, at a small cafe, located on the 3rd floor of GUM on Baumana Street. This is the very center of Kazan. There are a few Turkish-run places in Kazan's center, but Sofra Kebab provides the best quality/price ratio by a long shot. The prices are very democratic for what you get. Order any main dish and receive a free drink and side dish. Many of the main dishes in Turkish can be found here. This includes delicacies such as "doner"/shwarma wraps (grilled chicken, wrapped in flat bread with vegetables), Adana Kebab, Beyti Kebab (excellent, w/garlic yogurt sauce), and Kulbasta grilled chicken. The beef or lamb shashlik is also excellent. All will be grilled fresh, right in front of you. They also have great deserts, including marinated walnuts and dates, vanilla rice pudding and of course, some of the best bakhlava to be found in Kazan. If you're in the center and tired of standard Russian or Tatar fare, head over to Sofra Kebab. They also have a good "business lunch" special. There are three additional Sofra Kebab locations (Uzhni Shopping Center, near Moskovsky Rynok, etc). Cheaply Priced.
- 6 [dead link]Paramartkha, 19 Mayakovskogo St., ☎ . Oddly enough, this proclaimed vegetarian cafe is not entirely vegetarian. They are a branch of the health center offering yoga courses and similar stuff, hence the Indian name and Indian-style vegetable-based food cooked from allegedly natural ingredients. While they also serve meat, its price is somewhat high, which should probably force people into trying vegetarian fare. Alcohol also available, but if you aim at a place for a romantic dinner with your fiancee, try to find something different and less outwardly vegetarian. Free Wi-Fi Vegetarian dishes: 200–350 rubles (2013).
- 7 Traktir on Gogolya, 14 Gogolya St., ☎ . 11AM-12PM. Kazan is so proud of its Tatar food that only few Russian restaurants are available. This one is a remarkable exception and features all essential ingredients, like wooden panels, and big stove. Blyni, pelmeni, and pierogi abound.
- 8 Zhiguli, 42/9 Baumana St.. 1PM–1AM. Named after the best-known and, basically, the solitary beer brand in USSR, this pub exploits USSR-time artifacts and nostalgia in a whimsy interior. Read through old newspapers, drink from an old-style beaker known as graneny stakan (typically used to drink vodka), and indulge in simple food of Soviet proletarians. While places of this type are nowadays abundant in Russia, Zhiguli is special in their style of serving beer in 3l tin barrels that were used in older times for storing water and milk, or perhaps mediocre Zhiguli beer sold on the streets. Mains: 150–250 rubles (2013).
- 9 A Rome, 8 Kavi Nadzhmi St.. 10–23. This pizzeria is arguably the best one in Kazan. It is also the largest, but on a weekend night inevitably crowded. Most people here will go for pizza, which is of the right Italian style and comes in more than 20 varieties. Pizzas cost 200–300 rubles (2013).
- 10 Italiano, 21 Pushkina St., ☎ . Another pizzeria in the city center. This one is more like Il Patio (i.e., it serves pizza and allegedly Italian pasta), but easily distinguishable by large-scale images of Italian mafioso studding the walls. Following unanimously positive customer reviews, this is the place to go. They also have free wireless connection. Pizza and pasta range from 200 to 350 rubles (2013).
- Bilyar. An inexpensive restaurant serving Tatar food. The rustic interior is designed to look like the interior of a Tatar log cabin, and a few even have salad bars that look like wells. Main courses are 50-200 Rubles. Try their 'echpekmoks' with bullion, salad 'makhebet', and their Tatar version of 'ukha' or creamy fish soup. At all locations, quality has been a constant. For desert, try their chak-chak. 4 locations in the city: Ulitsa Butlerova 31 (up the hill behind the Tatarstan Hotel), Ulitsa Vishnevskovo 15 and Prospekt Pobedi 50a (the latter two are a little farther from the center).
- Mc Donalds. For those who might need some western food, there is a Mc Donald in front of the train station (Kazan 2). It is also a good meeting point and has a free parking.
- 11 Chateau, 59 Volkova St., ☎ . 11–24. An upscale restaurant boasting affluent baroque decorations that look impressive if somewhat ridiculous. Food is French and Italian style and will satisfy even most refined gourmee. Mains start at 500 rubles (2013).
- 12 [formerly dead link]Kupecheskoe Sobranie (Merchant's lounge), 80 Peterburgsaya St. (Sukonnaya Sloboda metro station), ☎ . 12–24. The idea of this top-notch restaurant is focused on the traditional food served to Russian nobles, or to rich merchants who did their best to mimic nobles in the beginning of 20th century. The list is replete with game and exotic meat, such as bear and deer, as well as sturgeon and other fish delicacies. They also have dorado and seafood that were likely unheard of in the Russian empire. One part of the menu elaborates on the Tatar food that was allegedly served to Russian Empress Ekaterina II during her visit to Kazan in the end of 18th century. Mains start from 500 rubles (2013).
- 13 House of Tatar food (Dom tatarskoy kulinarii), 31/12 Baumana St., ☎ . Although deemed the best Tatar restaurant in the city, the House of Tatar food is often considered a tourist trap. Dishes based on horse meat may be less delicious than you would expect from their price (having said that, horse meat is not exactly a gourmee food, no matter how you cook it). If you do not dare trying it, check the stall to the left from the entrance, where freshly baked Tatar pastries are sold.
- 14 Baker Street, 25/22 Kremlevskaya St., ☎ . 10–2. British visitors will be staggered (and, hopefully, not offenced) by this allegedly British restaurant that tries to serve typical British food, which is heavily mixed with salads and pasta of clearly Mediterranean origin (perhaps they allude to British colonies?) Parts of the menu may be completely cryptic for a foreigner. For example, the Sir porridge is a tribute to the USSR Sherock Holmes movie, where Barrimor says "Porridge, sir". Mains: 300–400 rubles (2013).
- 15 Malabar, 13 Malaya Krasnaya St., ☎ . 11–23. Indian fare is oddly mixed with European and Russian dishes, but a careful inspection of the menu will grant you with the reasonably cooked Indian food. Mains: 250–400 rubles (2013).
- 16 Rubai, 23/12 Profsoyuznaya St., ☎ . 11–23. Tatar dishes bear close connections to Uzbek food, hence the large number of Uzbek restaurants scattered around the city. Rubai is an example of this amalgam, which is something like Tatar food in Uzbek environment. It is not very fancy, but quite bearable if you have been invited for dinner here, or simply failed to find any better place to eat. Mains start from 300 rubles (2013).
- 17 [dead link]Sakhara, 47A Pravobulachnaya St.. Open 24/7. An odd mix of all possible types of food with an emphasis on African dishes served by dark-skin waiters.
- Priyut Kholostyaka. A trendy restaurant with an eclectic menu of European and Russian dishes. Main courses 300-500 Rubles. Clean, quiet, and a bit off the tourist path, this is a good place for relaxing and having tea. Although its name means Bachelor's Refuge which makes it sound like a strip club or something, it is nothing of the sort. Ulitsa Chernishevskovo 27a.
- 1 Red Grain, 52 Tatarstan St.. You are not going to miss this small coffee place when exploring the Tatar district of Kazan. Moreover, it is perhaps the only place to have coffee in this part of the city. The interioir may look odd, because it is essentially medieval, but coffee is prepared in the most genuine eastern tradition, including Turkish-style coffee cooked by the owner herself. No food.
- Agafredo. A chain of coffee places. The quality is solid and prices democratic. From am, they offer a great breakfast menu in which you can choose from 7 different 'komplex' options. All include coffee or tea, fresh squeezed juice, pancakes or toast, a few vegetables, and then different variations eggs and meat. All for only 140 rubles! If looking for an excellent tasting, well priced breakfast, this (or Segafredo) is your best bet in Kazan. Lunch and dinner feature Italian fare and are generally tasty. These cafes offer free wifi, great non-smoking sections, outlets for your laptops, and comfortable seats.
- 6 Galyaktyonova St. (just off Pushkinskya St., opposite Kazan Federal University; directly opposite Yahoo sushi restaurant), 8:30-24
- 17 Chernyshevskogo St. 9-24
- 2 Coffee Cava, 5 Universitetskaya St., ☎ . M-Th 8-23, F 8-24, Sa 10-24, Su 10-23. Ideal for quick eats and office work alike. Warm food is served as well and can be handy for those who take advantage of the free wireless connection and power sockets available at each table.
- 3 Intellect-bar IQ, 60 Baumana St., ☎ . Su-Th 9-1, F 9-3, Sa 10-3. Not exactly a coffee place, IQ offers all types of entertainment, including own library, table games, and hookah, as well as a full-fetched menu with a decent selection of main dishes. On the downside, loud music and obtrusive smoke render IQ a bar good for evening meal rather than a cosy cafe for office work or randeuz-voux. Free Wi-Fi. Mains: 150–300 руб (2013).
- 4 Latte Art, 40 Baumana St., ☎ . 10-24. This little cafe has a tangible French flavor and serves only coffee and desserts, both very enjoyable. Even if it looks a bit like a cafeteria from outside, the atmosphere will charm you the moment you enter the door. Live flowers every day and live piano music on weekend nights.
- 5 Rombouts, 22 Dzerzhinskogo St., ☎ . M-Sa 10-22, Su 11-22. This coffee place is close to ideal: small, cosy, and pleasant. They also have free wireless connection.
- 6 [dead link]Capital, 5 Pushkina St.. M-Th 8-24, Fr-Sa 8-2, Su 11-24. In Russia, the word "capital" (in the sense of money) is inextricably intertwined with Marx's seminal work on economics. Surprisingly, this quaint cafe does not refer to Marx, but they do exploit retro style, old newspapers, dated kitchen tools, and the like. Altogether, it is very nice, and you can have coffee or any normal meal, or perhaps both. Free wireless connection. Pasta is around 200 rubles, mains hover around 300 rubles (2013).
- 7 [dead link]Shokoladnitsa, 3/36 Pushkina St., ☎ . 24/7. This Moscow-based chain cafe is a safe choice for those who want coffee, sandwich, or even a normal meal at any time of the day and night. The place is bland and annoying, because in Moscow it is everywhere, but sometimes you have no other choice. Prices are on the average Kazan scale and a dash lower than in Moscow. Free Wi-Fi.
- 8 Cuba Libre, 58 Baumana St., ☎ . Su-Th 11-2, Fr-Sa 11-5. Cuba Libre is very popular among locals as a fancy and reasonably priced bar in the very middle of the city. They claim that they serve "revolutionary food", which is Mexican style and, therefore, may turn your face red (perhaps this is the first step towards communist revolution). Images of Fidel Castro and Che Gevara are apparently connected to the revolution as well, but the idea of adding an old TV and a tape recorder remains at best vague. Disco starts around 10PM.
- 9 i-Bar cocktail, 46/11 Profsoyuznaya St., ☎ . Su-W 11-24, Th-Sa 11-5. No, no, you won't need an iPhone to enter this bar... not even to check in at Foursquare if this is your cup of tea. The reasons why they are called i-Bar remain elusive. On the list, find cocktails and hookah, as well as normal meals.
- 10 Ugly coyot, 13 Baumana St., ☎ . 20-6. Frequent clubbers should be well aware of this international enterprise, which offers girls dancing on the bar, body-shots, and the like. While the idea of such place is to take weird things easily, Kazan branch is notorious for inadequate bouncers and stolen wallets. Whether to try it or not remains at your discretion.
- Drive, 58 Baumana St., ☎ . Same building as Cuba Libre, this small club is in the basement and boasts a huge, wall-size image of John Lennon and a vivid rock scene, where mostly local bands are playing.
- 11 China-Town-Cafe, 29 Pravobulachnaya St., ☎ . Huge club with a full-fetched restaurant on the first floor and the concert place on the second. Decent live music is played every weekend by Russian and even international bands. Dragons abound, but those are normal Chinese red dragons and not Kazan's own Zilants.
- [dead link]Aillin Hostel, Bauman street 22 (centre), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. This is a new hostel, next to the Kremlin, which advertises a friendly atmosphere and cleanliness. From 500 rub/night.
- Bulgaru Hostel, Universitetskaya street 4/34 ap.8 (centre), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 11:00. Founded in 2007 as a family enterprise by Ekaterina Bulgaru and Timur Kamalov. Their concept and major ambition is to combine the care and comfort of a family hotel with the fun and free atmosphere of a student's hostel. While offering a 24-hour reception and placing no formal constraints on guests like some old Soviet-era hotels, they don't limit themselves to providing only basic utilities. Wifi is free. 1 bed in day 500 rub.
- [dead link]Oranjin Hostel, Pushkina 3 (20 minutes walking from train station), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Closest hostel to train station. Guest kitchen, free WiFi, cosy common room. Prices start at 450 rub per bed.
- 1 Rakhat, 18/19 Dzerzhinskogo St. (Kremlevskaya metro station), ☎ , , , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A new hotel with hostel prices but non-hostel environment. The description on their website touts en-suite rooms and two-star quality. Customer reviews not yet available. Double start at 1200 rubles (2013).
- 2 Fatima, 2 Karla Marksa St. (next door from the Kremlin), ☎ . Hard to believe, but this is a decent two-star hotel in the very center of Kazan. Customer reviews are mostly positive. Double with shared WC/en-suite: 1100/2200 rubles (2013).
- 3 Happy House hostel, 39/6 Ostrovskogo St., ☎ . Walls are freshly whitewashed and inexorably resemble a hospital. Cheap, but very cramped. 500 rubles/bed or 1400 rubles for a double (2013).
- 4 Pushkin hostel, 1/55 Pushkina St., ☎ . Rooms are so tiny that they hardly fit the beds (double room is roughly the size of the double bed), but the environment is quite good, with ubiquitous quotes from Pushkin and images thereof. Spend some time on learning a poem, or even organize a business meeting here, as the hostel also offers conference facilities. Free wireless connection. 500 rubles/bed, 1600 rubles for a double (2013).
- [dead link]Milena Hotel, Tazi Gizzata Street 19 (From the train station, make an immediate right, walk one block, and turn left at the gas station), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A new, clean, quiet hotel. Note that there is no elevator in the building, so request a first-floor room if that is important to you. Rooms start at 600 rubles.
- Hotel Shushma, Narimanova Street 19, ☎ . Next door to the Milena hotel, and quite comparable to it.
- Hotel Volga, 1 Said-Galeeva (A short walk north of the train station), ☎ . Check if they say that there are no cheap rooms available. Clean and basic single rooms from 750 rubles.
- 5 Ibis Kazan Center, 43/1 Pravobulachnaya St. (Ploschad Tukaya metro station), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. While you may not like the bland Ibis accommodation, it is easily your best option right in the city center. They also have special, early booking rates that start at 2200 rubles for a double.Free Wi-Fi. Double: 2800 rubles (2013).
- 6 Kolvi, ☎ , toll-free: 8 800 775-28-47 (in country only). While the surrounding of the old Tatar district may not be exactly pleasant, the hotel itself is a very good value. Free Wi-Fi. Double rooms start from 2200 rubles (2013).
- Courtyard Marriott Kazan, 26 Karl Marx St (close to the Kremlin), ☎ . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. The rooms have large windows with Kremlin views. The hotel's Lobby Bar has an innovative setting and relaxed atmosphere and a free WiFi. Full American-style breakfast buffet in main restaurant. Roof Bar with city views and tasty cocktails.
- 7 Dzhuzeppe, 15/25 Kremlevskaya St., ☎ , , , . This old building is currently owned by an Italian, who developed an original renovation project and now runs a nice centrally located hotel. Each room is named after an Italian city and boasts remarkable design. Free wireless connection. Doubles start from 3900 rubles (2013).
- 8 Grand Hotel Kazan, 1 Peterburgskaya St., toll-free: 8 800 100-07-80 (in country only), e-mail: email@example.com. Brand-new 4-star hotel dominating Tukaya sq. in the center of Kazan. Lower floors are connected to a large shopping mall. Upper floors offer panoramic views of the city. Customer reviews are generally positive. Free Wi-Fi in the lobby. Doubles start from 4400 rubles (2013).
- 9 IT-park hotel, 52 Peterburgskaya St., ☎ . Guest house catering to business travelers. Location is not ideal, but if you need a built-in kitchen, this hotel is one of the few options in Kazan. Rooms decorated in a bright whimsy style. Free wireless connection. Single/double: 2500/3300 rubles (2013).
- 10 Korston, 1 Nikolaya Ershova St., ☎ , toll-free: 8 800 100-99-89 (in country only). A part of a big shopping mall, this hotel can easily keep you from going out, because all possible stores, restaurants and cinemas are located inside. According to customers, high price does not guarantee high level of comfort, and even a 1000 rubles weekend discount does not make the price adequate. Wi-Fi. Doubles start from 5800 rubles (2013).
- 11 Mirage hotel, 5 Moskovskaya St (beneath the Kremlin hill), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Easily the most expensive hotel in Kazan, but in a prime location with the greatest number of amenities. Claimed to be 5-star, although in reality they seem to be on a solid 4-star level. Doubles start from 4700 rubles (2013).
- 12 Premium, 3 Maksima Gor'kogo St., ☎ , toll-free: 8 800 777-59-69 (in country only). The word "premium" applies to the quality, but not to the price. Surprisingly, this little hotel offering only six rooms (each having its own stylish design) has earned entirely positive customer reviews. Singles/doubles start from 2200/3200 rubles (2013).
- Shalyapin Palace, 7 Universitetskaya St, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Within international standards of service and comfort. Wireless connection available only in the lobby. Doubles start from 5500 rubles (2013).
- 13 [dead link]Suleiman Palace, 55 Peterburgskaya St, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comparable in class of service to the Shalyapin Palace, but a bit further away from the city center. The Kremlin is not easily walkable from here, but it can be reached by a short taxi ride or bus. Single/double: 3000/3800 rubles (2013).
Since the '70s, Kazan has long the reputation of being one of the least safe city of Russia. The "Kazan phenomenon" of street gangs even became a journalistic and sociological concept. However, since the late '90s, situation change fundamentally. Kazan has become host city for a lot of large international events. As a result there was a modernization of police, so crime rate decreased significantly. For example, during WORLD SUMMER UNIVERSIADE in 2013, a lot of citizens and guests shared their impressions, that they felt safe like never before, even walking in the city centre in the night.
Internet cafes and restaurants with WiFi are found throughout the city. Probably the most useful internet cafe for travelers is a small one across from the train station. From the main station building, cross through the park and cross the main street. It is at the corner to one's left, but hidden behind a newspaper stand and some kiosks.
The post office in Kremlyovskaya St. has seven computers with internet access, for around 36 rub./hour. Pay in advance at the register. Your unspent minutes will be refunded.
Tattelecom on the corner of Baumana and Pushkina, opposite the Koljco mall, has computers with ok Internet for 48 r per hour. Up Pushkina there are a few cafes and restaurants with free unprotected wifi. Also, outside of the Subway restaurant further up on Pushkina there is free unprotected wifi. Mcdonalds also has free wifi (on Baumana and by the train station).
- Iran (General Consulate), Spartakovskaya street, 6, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Malta, Netherlands, and Spain (EU Visa Center), Tazi Gizzata street, 4. Mon-Fri 9AM - 4PM.
- Italy, Ostrovskogo street, 87, ☎ , fax: . Mo-Fr 9AM-4PM.
The Raifa Monastery 30 miles from Kazan, on the shore of a beautiful lake, in the middle of the forest, behind a white granite wall, in the center of a great National Park you will find one of the pearls of 17th-century Russian architecture: the Raifa Bogoroditsky Monastery. The greatest object of this monastery is the Georgian Mother of God icon, which in its day was venerated as a miraculous object with the power to heal the sick. Today the Raifa Monastery is among the most-visited in the world. The grounds of the monastery are located within the Volga-Kama National Park, where the terrain is a combination of southern taiga and deciduous forests. The park's botanical garden features more than 400 species of exotic plants from North America, Asia and Europe
Ancient city of Bolgar The National Park of Bolgar is one of few historical-architectural complexes left by the Volga Tatars. It is located on the bank of the Volga 120 km away from Kazan. Bolgar is related with the such names as Pushkin, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Kul Gali and many other famous people. It is a sacred place for all Tatars, a place of pilgrimage for Muslims, and a place generally steeped in legend and history. The National Park of Bolgar is an object of historical and cultural significance. In 1998 the Bolgar Historical-Architectural Complex was included in the provisional list of UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Russian Federation. In National Park of Bolgar you can visit Museum of Bakery, museum of archaeology, monuments of Islamic architecture from the 13th-14th centuries.
Island-town Sviyazhsk The place where the Sviyaga River flows into the Volga forms the idea for Push¬kin's lively tale of the Island of Buyan. Sviyazhsk was built by Ivan theTerrible as a fortress for the siege of Kazan, and it went on to become the first Orthodox Christian city in our area, the center of the spread of Christianity. The island also became home to the Uspensky monastery and the Ioanno-Predtechensky nunnery. The architectural composition of today's Sviyazhsk includes perfectly preserved churches, such as the antique wooden Troitskaya Church (built in 1551), Nikols¬kaya Church, and Uspensky Cathedral. When Alexander Pushkin first saw Sviyazhsk, he was overjoyed. It seems the city was exactly what he imagined for an ideal fairytale setting: beautiful island on a tall mountain, located exactly in the middle of a great river. This island with its surprising history cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Elabuga This charming 1000 year old trade center that located on the shore of the river Kama and surrounded by natural beauty is one of the oldest cities in Tatarstan. Throughout its history the city was the cradle of Russian trade, where diverse waves of remarkable people flowed together. Most of its buildings have been preserved in their original condition to this day. Examples include the memorial house museum of Ivan Shishkin and the homestead museum of N. Durova, a famous heroine of the Fatherland War of 1812. Tragic circumstances led the city to become the last refuge of the poet Maria Tsvetaeva. Not far from the Elabuga is the famous Elabuga mound “Chertovo gorodishe” - the remains of a fortified settlement from the Volga tribes of the first millennium В.C. The surviving stone tower is a symbol of Elabuga. On the banks of the river Toima, five kilometers from Elabuga, archaeologists discovered the Ananinsky burial ground, which lends its name to an entire Iron Age culture.
Kysh-Babay Residence (Tatar Santa Claus) The residences of Kysh Babay and Kar Kyzy are located in the village of Yana Kyrlay, in a pine forest on the bank of the river Iya, 60 kilometers from Kazan. The fairytale journey begins with the forest ”customs” where Shaitan leads you into the estate of Kysh Babay. The map of Shurale leads guests to path filled with adventures. Among the tales, mysteries, miracles, and fairytale characters you will meet Shurale (the Wood goblin), Shaitan (the Devil), Uburly Karchyk (the Witch), Azhdaha (the Dragon), Batyr (the Kinught), Altynchech (Goldilocks), Tahir and Zuhra (Romeo and Juliet).
Chistopol The historic town of Chistopol was founded in the 18th century. This town is truly a living museum, with streets and buildings that preserve the spirit of past days. A walk around Chistopol introduces you to the quiet, very special beauty of the Russian countryside. The Melnikov House, the grounds of Uspensky Monastery, St. Nicholas Cathedral - these places all enhance the feeling that the city was built with care and love. You can find very interesting Boris Pasternak museum here. A few kilometers from Chistopol you'll find the remains of Juketau, a city of the ancient Bolgar Kingdom which served as a trade center during pre-Mongol period.
Tetushi The pearl of Tetushi is historico-architectural natural park “Dolgaya polyana”. Tourists visited this place say that you feel peace and calm. Local people claim there is anomalous zone with positive energy. Even Khans of Ancient Bolgar used to come to this place for several days to recover peace of mind. There are a lot of old buildings, dated from 1700th. You can even be lucky to see real archaeological excavation! And of course you can enjoy beautiful and splendid nature of Tetushi. Fond of historical reconstructions? Then summer reconstruction of battlefield on Vshiha mountain is definitely worth visiting! You can not only watch, but also participate!
Laishevo When you will plan your visit to Tatarstan, please note, that in the end of May there is a big ethnic festival Karavon. For nine years annually more than 10 thousand people come to take part. And according to legend, this festival exists more than 300 years! Here you can dance in a round, have a look at the town of craftsman, take part in national amusements and feel cheerful and holiday atmosphere among wearing national costumes people. This festival is definitely worth seeing!