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.
- 1 Kazan International Airport (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. 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 centre is walkable, and the main attractions for tourists - the Kremlin and Bauman Street - are only for pedestrians. Public buses are abundant and cheap, but you need basic Russian to read the signs or ask where the buses are headed. Bus system maps are hard to find. Taxis are available and operate mostly an on-call service, rather than plying the streets for fares. They also congregate at taxi stands in obvious places such as the railway stations.
Kazan's Metro system has just one line, the red line running from Aviastroitelnaya in the north to Prospekt Pebody in the south. Visitors are only likely to use it between Kazan-2 railway station (Severny Vokzal «Северный Вокзал») in the north, Kremlyovskaya («Кремлёвская») ie the Kremlin in the centre, and Ploshchad Tukaya («Площадь Тукая») which has eating places and hotels. It doesn't run near to Kazan Arena, the stadium for the 2018 World Cup and other events.
- 1 Kazan Kremlin, Ulitsa Kreml (ул. Кремль). Daily 08:00-22:00. The Tatar fortress here was destroyed by Ivan the Terrible when he captured the area in 1551. Over the next century, it was rebuilt in Russian style as a magnificent Kremlin, with new fortifications and a cathedral. It nowadays also contains a mosque, museums, galleries, shops and cafes, and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Enter through the white clock tower (Spasskaya Tower) at the top of Kremlyovskaya Street. Unlike Moscow's Kremlin, you're free to enter and stroll, but you pay for individual sites within the complex. These are lined along the central boulevard, mostly on the left as the buildings on the right are under reconstruction. They're listed below roughly south to north, in the order you'd come to them. Allow a full day to appreciate them all. Guided tours are available for 300 Rubles, but you won't get lost here. Free.
- Just inside the gate to the left is the small Church of St Nicholas-Ratny.
- The Natural History Museum (Tu-Su 1000-18:00) has fossils, minerals, stuffed animals and interactive displays.
- 2 Kul-Sharif Mosque, within Kremlin. Hours as for Kremlin, but mind prayer-times. Gorgeous mosque, completed in 2005, and named after the 16th-century Tatar imam who died at the hands of Ivan the Terrible's army. Usual dress code; women please cover hair, in prayer areas remove shoes or wear plastic shoe-covers (3 ruble tip to attendant). Ground floor prayer hall is only open to men, second floor balcony is for women's prayers. Best view is from the third floor observation balcony. The dome is in the shape of a lotus flower and the many windows flood the prayer hall with light. Note 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. Below ground floor is an interesting museum of Islam in the region, including Tsarist repression, tolerance and more repression, the Tatar language in the Soviet era, and the building of the mosque. Free.
- Kazan Hermitage, within Kremlin. Sa-Th 10:00-18:00, F 11:00-20:00. A branch of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, with changing exhibits of material that can't be displayed there.
- 3 Warrior Spirit (Dukh Voina), Artillery Yard within Kremlin, ☎ . Daily 10:00-19:00. Museum of archaeological finds relating to the weapons, armour and warrior culture of ancient & medieval Russia. Adult 250 rubles.
- "Hanzine" National Gallery of Art is open Tu-Th & Sa 10:00-17:30, F 11:00-20:00.
- 4 Annunciation Cathedral (Blagoveshchensky Cathedral, Благовещенский собор), within Kremlin. Hours as for Kremlin. 16th C cathedral in Tsarist style, with blue onion domes and gold tower. With small museum about the cathedral (Tu-Su 10:00-18:00). Free.
- Next to the cathedral is the small Church of All Saints.
- The Palace of the President of Tatarstan may not be visited, except by VIPs in plush limousines. However the Palace Church, entrance next to the Tower, is open.
- 5 Suyumbike Tower, within Kremlin. Hours as for Kremlin. Söyembikä (various spellings, usually Suyumbike in English; in Cyrillic Сөембикә) was a Tatar princess, and regent of Kazan 1549-1551 during the minority of her son. In 1551 Ivan the Terrible captured the area, and the legend goes that he pressured the widowed princess to marry him. She consented to marry only if he could build the highest tower in Kazan in seven days, which he promptly did; so she jumped to her death from the top of the tower. In truth she was carted off to Moscow, re-married (her third) and died some time around 1554, while the tower was probably built at a much later date. It's 58 m tall, in tiers; it famously used to lean, but was stabilised and straightened in the 20th C. You can admire it from the outside but you can't enter or climb it. Free.
- National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan (just outside Kremlin). Daily 11am to 20:00 till 15 July 2018; then Tu W F-Su 10:00-17:00, Th 13:00-20:00. Extensive museum of Tatar and local Russian history. The ground floor displays gifts to Tatarstan on the 1000-year anniversary of the city in 2005, a reproduction of the sultan's throne, and a reproduction of the mausoleum of the sultans. The upper floor depicts Tatarstan from the early settlement of the Volga-Bulgars to the early Tatar state to the Soviet Tatar ASSR to the present. With exhibition on the Revolution. 20 rubles.
- Soviet Lifestyle Museum, Ul. Ostrovskaya 39/6 (Corner of Ul. Universitetskaya, one block off Ul Baumana). Daily 11:00-20:00. An original and eccentric museum: the exhibits are a jumble of Soviet artefacts and ephemera. But it's more of an interactive nostalgia trip than a museum, with Sunday afternoon jam sessions, stories and personal reminiscences of those dear days. Adult 250 rubles.
World Cup Football at Kazan Arena
Several 2018 World Cup games play at Kazan Arena 6 in the north-east of the city, junction of Yamasheva Avenue and Chistopol'skaya Street. By public transport, the bus & tram stop right outside is "Kazan Arena" ("Футбольный стадион «Казань Арена»"). "Gavrilova" ("ул. Гаврилова") stop is just west, 10 mins walk away. These are served by:
- Buses 1, 7, 10а, 18, 33, 35, 35а, 36, 44, 45, 46, 49, 55, 60, 62 and 76
- Trolleybus 7
- Trams 5 and 6
There isn't a convenient metro or rail service.
At the Arena, find your entrance & seats via http://www.kazanarena.com/en/stadium/navigation/. The Arena was opened in 2013 and seats 45,379. It's the home ground of FC Rubin Kazan, who play in the Russian Premier League.
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 (shown on Google map as "soup restaurant"). 07:30-21:00. Chain of very cheap self-service cafeterias. Food is everyday Russian style. 14 locations around the city, those central are at 21 Baumana St, and 13 Yakhina St near Kazan-1 railway station. 100 rubles.
- 1 Dom Chaya (Tea House), 64 Bauman St.. M-Sa 09:00-20:00, Su 09:00-18:00. They sell tea in the shop, but what this place is better known for is inexpensive Tatar fare:, eg meat-stuffed pastries (echpochmak, elesh, all baked here on the premises) and horse meat. The first floor is a self-service cafeteria, and the second floor is more like a restaurant. Mains: below 100 rubles.
- There are four student cafes at 22 Universitetskaya St. 7 These are Salad, Marinad, Rita v Ritme and Blyuz-Rok.
- Govindas, 79 Chistopolskaya St. (right bank of the river near Kazan Arena). M-Sa 12:00-20:00. Here you can try borscht and the vegetarian version of Tatar ochpochmak pie.
- Syuyumbike is a chain of budget restaurants serving Halal Muslim food in Tatar and Uzbek style. Locals come for lunch, but they're mostly open 24/7. No alcohol. Branches include:
- 31 Gabdully Tukaya St, 1 km S of Kazan-1 railway station in Tatar district.
- 102 Gabdully Tukaya St, another km south in Tatar district
- 64 Bol'shaya Krasnaya St: 1 km east of Kremlin, open 08:00-20:00.
- Sofra Kebab, Baumana Street 51, 3rd Floor (In GUM, in the food court on the 3rd floor.). Daily 10:00-22:00. Small Turkish cafe within GUM. Wide variety of Turkish cuisine, which is otherwise hard to find in Kazan: doner / shwarma wraps, Adana Kebab, Beyti Kebab, Kulbasta grilled chicken, beef & lamb shashlik. Deserts include marinated walnuts and dates, vanilla rice pudding and bakhlava. They have a good "business lunch" special. They have other two outlets, at 97 Prospekt Yamasheva near Kazan Arena, and at 61 Chistpolskaya St north of the river. Cheap.
- 2 Paramartha, 19 Mayakovskogo St. (near medical school), ☎ . M-F 12:00-00:00, Sa Su 11:00-23:00. Indian vegetarian cafe, sort of: strict vegetarians / vegans should enquire closely before ordering. They do serve meat and alcohol. They are a branch of the health center offering yoga courses and similar stuff, hence the name. Mains 200-400 rubles.
- 3 Zhiguli, 42/9 Baumana St.. Su-Th 12:00-00:00, F Sa 12:00-01:00. Retro bar recalling the good old USSR, when you quaffed Zhiguli beer and slugged vodka out of a graneny stakan - a tatty beaker. Simple food suitable for Soviet proles. Mains 200-300 rubles.
- 4 A'Rome, 8 Kavi Nadzhmi St.. Daily 10:00-06:00. Reliable Italian restaurant, crowded at weekends. Pizza 300 rubles.
- Bilyar. Daily 10:00-22:00. An inexpensive reliable chain restaurant serving Tatar food. Interiors resemble a Tatar log cabin, and some even have salad bars that look like wells. Try their 'echpekmoks' with bullion, salad 'makhebet', and their Tatar version of 'ukha' or creamy fish soup. For desert, try their chak-chak. 3 locations in the city: Ulitsa Butlerova 31 (up the hill behind the Tatarstan Hotel), Ulitsa Vishnevskovo 15 and (some way out) Prospekt Pobedi 50a. Mains 50-200 rubles.
- 5 House of Tatar food (Dom Tatarskoy Kulinarii), 31/12 Baumana St., ☎ . Daily 11:00-23:00. Generally good reviews, but sniffy reactions from locals: to them Tatar food means home cooking, so they find this place tourist-trappy, over-fancy and over-priced. But as a foreigner, if you want to eat horse, it's not your daily bread 'n butter so you may as well gobble it up in style.
- Western fast food: If you're homesick for this, it's available in Kazan most hours of the day:
- McDonalds are at 4 Said-Galeyeva St (daily 06:00-00:00), 70A Bauman St and 1 Peterburgskaya, with another north of the river off Prospekt Yamasheva.
- KFC are at 86 Baumann St (Su-Th 07:00-23:00, F Sa 07:00-02:00) and 1 Peterburgskaya St, plus north of the river at 69 Chistpol'skaya St and south-east at 51 Vishnevskogo St.
- Burger King are at 4 Pushkin St (daily 07:00-03:00) and 48 Moskovskaya St, plus 56 Prospekt Ibrahimov north of the river, in Gorki Park shopping centre to the south, and at 141 Prospekt Pebody in the eastern burbs.
- 6 Chateau, 59 Volkova St., ☎ . An upscale banquet hall boasting cod-baroque decorations. Hired for corporate and big-bash events eg weddings, it's not clear if smaller parties are accommodated. Mains from 500 rubles.
- 7 Baker Street, 25/22 Kremlevskaya St., ☎ . Daily 11:00-23:00. Eccentric attempt at British cuisine, with Sherlock Holmes references known only to Russians. The game's afoot, maybe stick to chicken? Mains from 400 rubles.
- 8 Malabar, 13 Malaya Krasnaya St, ☎ . Daily 11:00-23:00. Well, it makes for a change. Indian cuisine, sort of, pricey by Kazan standards. Mains from 500 rubles.
- 9 Rubai, Universitetskaya 23/12, ☎ . Su-Th 11:00-23:00, F Sa 11:00-00:00. Uzbek cuisine is similar to Tatar and there are several Uzbek restaurants around the city. Rubai is a good example with hearty central Asian fare. Mains from 300 rubles.
- 10 Sakhara, Peterburgskaya 1 (by Ploshad Tukaya Metro). Daily 10:00-02:00. An odd mixed menu, but they're aiming for Moroccan ambience.
- Priyut Kholostyaka (Bachelor's Shelter), Ulitsa Chernishevskovo 27a (500 m S of Kremlin). Su-Th 11:00-00:00, Fr Sa 11:00-01:00. Restaurant with an eclectic menu of European and Russian dishes. Clean, quiet, this is a good place for relaxing and having tea. Its name suggests something sleazy, but no, it's decent. Mains from 300-500 Rubles.
- 1 Red Grain, 52 Tatarstan St.. Daily 12:00-02:00. Not many other coffee places in the Tatar district of Kazan. In an odd kiosk tacked onto a bland modern block. Turkish-style coffee, no food.
- Agafredo. A chain of reliable, inexpensive coffee places. Breakfast for 140 rubles gets you coffee or tea, fresh squeezed juice, pancakes or toast, a few vegetables, and then eggs and meat. Lunch is Italian-style. Free wifi, non-smoking sections. Branches are:
- 6 Galyaktyonova St, just off Pushkinskya St, opposite Kazan Federal University, 09:00-00:00
- 17 Chernyshevskogo St, central off Baumann St, 08:30-00:00.
- 28 Chistpol'skaya St, north of river, 08:00-23:00
- IQ Intellect Cafe: see IQ Bar below.
- 2 Kapital, 5 Pushkina St. Su-Th 08:00-00:00, F Sa 08:00-02:00. That's as in "Das Kapital", Marx's seminal work on economics. The cafe doesn't refer to Marx, but they do exploit retro style, old newspapers, dated kitchen tools, and the like. Altogether, it 's a nice spot for coffee or a meal. Free wifi. Pasta 200 rubles, mains 300 rubles.
- 3 Shokoladnitsa, 3/36 Pushkina St., ☎ . 24/7. Bland chain cafe, safe choice for coffee, a sandwich, or even a full meal at any time of the day and night.
Other branches are at 1 Peterburgskaya, 22 Chistopol'skaya, and 141 Prospekt Pobedy.
- 4 IQ Bar (IQ бар), 60 Baumana St.. M-F 10:00-00:00, Sa Su 10:00-02:00. IQ offers all types of entertainment, including books, table games, and hookah, as well as a full menu with a decent selection of main dishes. On the downside, there's loud music and obtrusive smoke. For a quiet rendezvous or light bite with coffee, you'll do better next door at 62, the IQ Intellect Cafe. Free Wi-Fi. Mains 200-300 rubles.
- 5 Cuba Libre, 58 Baumana St, ☎ . Su-Th 12:00-02:00, Fr Sa 12:00-05:00. Popular central bar claims to serve Cuban revolutionary food: it's basically Mexican. Disco starts around 10 pm. Mains 600 rubles.
- 6 i-Bar, 46/11 Profsoyuznaya St., ☎ . Su-W 11:00-00:00, Th 11:00-02:00, F Sa 11:00-05:00. Meals, cocktails and hookahs. No i-technology is involved and the source of the name is elusive.
- 7 Ugly Coyote (Gadkiy Koyot), 13 Baumana St, ☎ . Daily 20:00-06:00. Franchise club with girls dancing on the bar, body-shots, and the like. Guard your wallet very carefully.
- 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.
- Bulgaru Hostel, Pushkina 3 (2 km south of Kremlin), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 11:00. Simple 3-star. Wifi is free. From 800 rub.
- Oranjin Hostel, Pushkina 1 (1 km south of Kremlin), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Closest hostel to train station. Guest kitchen, free WiFi, cosy common room. Dorm from 400 rub.
- 1 Rakhat, 18/19 Dzerzhinskogo St (Kremlevskaya metro station), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Small 2-star hotel with hostel prices but non-hostel environment, gets fair reviews.
- 2 Fatima, 2 Karla Marksa St (next door to Kremlin), ☎ . Hard to believe, but this is a decent two-star hotel in the very centre of Kazan. Customer reviews are mostly positive. Double from 4000 rubles.
- 3 Happy House Hostel, 39/6 Ostrovskogo St, ☎ . Cheap but very cramped. Singles from 2000, Doubles 4000.
- 4 Hostel Pushkin, 1/55A Pushkina St., ☎ . Cramped rooms that barely fit the beds, but scores well for comfort, cleanliness and efficiency. They also offer conference facilities. Free Wifi. Single from 1000, Doubles 2000 rubles.
- Milena Hotel, Tazi Gizzata 19 (200 m south of Kazan-1 railway station), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean, quiet 3-star hotel. No elevator to upper floors. Doubles from 3500 rubles.
- Hotel Shushma, Narimanova Street 15 (next door to Milena Hotel), ☎ . Decent 3-star near railway station. Doubles from 3500 rubles.
- Hotel Volga, 1 Said-Galeeva (500 m north of Kazan-1 railway station), ☎ . Decent 2-star option, very central. Not plush but you get what you pay for. Doubles from 4000 rubles.
- 5 Ibis Kazan, 43/1 Pravobulachnaya St. (Ploschad Tukaya metro station), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Reliable chain choice in city centre. Free Wi-Fi. Double from 3200 rubles.
- 6 Kolvi, Khudyakova 7, ☎ , toll-free: 8 800 775 2847 (in country only). In run-down surroundings, but this 2-star hotel is good value. Free Wi-Fi. Doubles from 6000 rubles.
- Courtyard by Marriott Kazan, 6 Karl Marx St (just west of 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. Breakfast buffet in main restaurant. Roof Bar with city views and tasty cocktails.
- 7 Grand Otel, 1 Peterburgskaya St. (1 km south of Kremlin), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. New 4-star hotel dominating Tukaya sq. in the centre 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 from 5000 rubles.
- 8 IT-hotel, 52 Peterburgskaya St. (2 km south of Kremlin), ☎ . 3-star guest house geared to business travellers. Location is not ideal, but this is one of the few hotels offering built-in kitchen. Rooms decorated in a bright whimsical style. Free Wifi connection. Single from 3000, double from 4000 rubles.
- 9 Korston, 1 Nikolaya Ershova St. (3 km east of Kremlin), ☎ , toll-free: 8 800 100-99-89 (in country only). 4-star hotel, shopping mall and entertainment complex, the hotel gets mixed reviews. Doubles from 7000 rubles.
- 10 Mirage, 5 Moskovskaya St (beneath Kremlin), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 5-star going on 4, in excellent location near Kremlin. Doubles from 6000 rubles.
- 11 Volga House (Дом Волги formerly Premium Hotel), 3 Maksima Gor'kogo St. (1 km east of Kremlin), ☎ . Boutique hotel with only six rooms. Restaurant & free secure parking. Single from 3000, doubles from 3800 ru.
- Shalyapin Palace, 7 Universitetskaya St (1 km S of Kremlin), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Decent 4-star, clean & comfortable. Doubles from 6000 rubles.
- 12 Suleiman Palace, 55 Peterburgskaya St (2 km south of Kremlin), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Central 4-star. Single from 3200 ru, double from 3400 ru.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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!