Presentation of the destination
Kazan is the capital city of Tatarstan, Russia. Scenically located beside the confluence of the Volga and the Kazanka Rivers in Russia. Kazan is the 8th populous city in Russia. It is one of the few cities in Russia that has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This city is the main city of sports within the country and there are many Russian sportsmen who live here. Kazan flourished as a Tatar Fortress in ancient times and it has many historic monuments that visitors will enjoy exploring. Dating back to the middle ages, it was founded by the Muslim Bulgarians from the Volga. A city that has seen many battles and dynasties, it became one of the major economic center of shipbuilding in the Caspian Sea. During the 18th Century, Alexander I founded the State University that is a great school of learning, even today. The currency used is the Russian Roubles.
Points of interests / things to see
The city of Kazan is synonymous with Kremlin. This monumental symbol of Kazan is considered to be the most beautiful complex, after the Moscow’s red Kremlin complex. Kazan Kremlin with it’s snow white wall is breathtaking, this complex has many other buildings inside. You will find the Annunciation Cathedral, Soyembike Tower, Secret Tower, Spasskaya Tower, the Qol Sharif mosque and the Presidential Palace. Take an audio tour of this grand complex and learn the legends and myths of this historic site. The Kazan Kremlin was given the status of World Heritage Site in 2000. This majestic building was used as a fortress from the 11th century, but the buildings that stand today are from the 16th century. This striking white building has an impressive tower that is the entrance to the Kremlin. The Spasskaya Tower is 55 meter high and it was built in 1555. On this location are the National ArtistÕs Gallery and the WWII Memorial Museum. The most important monument that stands on this complex is the Kul Sharif Mosque, this was constructed to commemorate KazanÕs 1000 year anniversary. It was built over the exact spot of an ancient mosque that was destroyed when Moscow conquered Kazan in 1552. Address: Kremlevskaya Ulitsa.
he Tower of Soyembike is a historical monument that is the emblem of this city. An interesting local myth claims that when Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan and he fell in love with the beautiful Tsarina of Kazan, Suyumbike. He sent a proposal to Suyumbike and she knew that if she did not marry him, Ivan the Terrible would destroy this picturesque city. She laid down the condition that she would marry him, if he built a tower within a week. The legend claims that Ivan completed her wishes and as she climbed the tower to bid farewell to her people, she fell off the top to her death. This tower is remarkable as it is one among the ‘falling towers’ of the world. The top of this tower leans at an angle of almost 2 meters. Each year on 15th October, this tower is used as a minaret and prayers are called for the memory of the dead Kazan soldiers. Historians claim that it was built in the 18th century and during the Imperial period, the tower had a double headed eagle that was replaced by a red star by the Bolshe-viks. Today, it is crowned with a Muslim crescent.
The Raifsky Bogoroditsy Monastery is about 30 km away from Kazan on the Kazan-Zelenodolsk route. Founded between the 16th and 17th century, this is one of the most popular tourist attraction in Russia. A picturesque setting beside a still lake, surrounded by ancient pines, it creates a serene ambiance for this monastery. This monastery bears the same name as the one in Sinai Peninsula; it was the location of the camp when Moses and the Jews left Egypt to go to Israel. A beautiful building that is deep in the woods close to the Volga-Kama State Nature Preserve. This monastery has been declared as a classic example of Russian architecture from the 17th century. This majestic building is the only monastery in Tatarstan that was constructed in the Baroque Style, set in the midst of the Nature Reserve with native trees and many exotic plants from Asia, North America and Europe. The main shrine of this monastery is the icon of Our Lady of Georgia. This ancient icon has been attributed to miraculous healings of the sick and has restored the eyesight, limps and aches of the believers and faithful. Even today there are believers who visit this shrine for a cure from around the world.
The Soviet Lifestyle Museum gives the visitor an insight into the life, culture and habits of this city during the Soviet Union regime. Visitors will enjoy in seeing that period of time in this city and the locals may enjoy recalling the past years. You will be taken back in time to the early 20th century and the displays and artefact will make you understand about the power country that was named USSR. Explore the Soviet secondary school department and you will see how children in the Soviet those days learnt the lessons of life, notice their classrooms were like mini concentration camps! Look through the collection of intriguing Soviet propaganda books that were issued to brainwash people into believing in another ideology. The art gallery showcases the creative work of that era. The State Museum of Fine Arts has on display outstanding art pieces that are similar to the St Petersburg’s Hermitage. There are beautiful jewelry pieces, portraits of famous Russian artists like Serov, Feshin and Shishkin. You will see some works of famous European artists too. Located at a historical building that was once the house of a Russian aristocrat, this museum is worth a visit.
Saint Peter and Paul is a beautiful cathedral in Kazan and it is considered to be one among the impressive churches of Russia. Built to commemorate Peter the Great’s visit to Kazan, construction was completed in 1726. This cathedral was built in the Baroque style in Naryshkin. This ancient cathedral has unique orthodox decorations inside. Notice the massive icons that are on the walls, a serene atmosphere is inside this cathedral. The stairway leads up to the top of the church and you will be treated to some of the best panoramic views of the city of Kazan from here. Do attend a Sunday mass if in this city, and admire the ringing of the church bells before the service. The large tower that is beside this cathedral is the chapel. Originally made of wood, this cathedral did not survive the ruins of war and a fire in 1850 destroyed it. The building that stands today is made of stone! The Saint John the Baptist Church in Kazan is from 1897. This impressive church was designed in the Baroque style and decorated with rich stain glass windows that depict the Apostles. A beautiful walnut door adds a charm to this church that has a 12 meter high tower with three bells. Famous Russian artists have done the paintings that decorate the walls of this church.
Street markets are an ancient concept in Kazan and the Central Market continues to exist even though there are many European supermarkets in this city. A rich and vibrant atmosphere that reflects the cultural habits of the locals of this city. You will find the freshest fruits, dairy products, fresh produce and meat. Indulge in the local snacks that are sold at every corner. A walk through these alleyways will give the visitor an idea of the life in ancient times, when the farmers sold produce directly to the consumers. Address: Mezhlauk Ul., #13.Open 8:00-17:00 (closed on Mondays).
The original name is Tatar State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Located in a breathtakingly beautiful classical building, the Kazan Opera House is a place to visit, when in Kazan. The ambiance inside the opera house has been maintained to reflect the early 19th century and this sets the mood to enjoy a ballet or an opera in this antique setting. The tickets to these shows are cheap compared to performances at Moscow or St. Petersburg. An enjoyable evening spent watching a classical and cultural performance that will be exhilarating.
The central street in Kazan is the Baumana Street, a popular area to just hang around for the local citizens. Take a stroll around this vibrant street that is the essence of Kazan. Notice the street artists, who talented and artistic, sit at any of the cafes or the restaurants and savor the local drinks and specialties as the people walk past you. Explore the end of this street, the statue of Fyodor Shalyapin, a famous Russian opera singer stands here. Further down this vivacious street is the 63 meter Bell tower of Bogoyavlensky Cathedral, a symbol of this historic street. Meet the street singers, buy a Tatar National hat or just wander around this charming street.
The Qolsarif mosque is located in Kazan Kremlin and when it was constructed, this mosque was the largest mosque in Russia and in Europe, apart from Istanbul. Built in the 16th century, it was named after Qolsarif, a man who served his entire life there. Qolsharif died, along with his many students when they were defending their city Kazan, from the invasion of the Russian forces in 1552. A beautiful mosque that had uniquely decorated minarets, shaped like tents and cupolas. It had a classic Ottoman architecture with influences of Renaissance and Volga Bulgaria. Ivan the Terrible destroyed this mosque, when he invaded Kazan.
Vacation rentals in Kazan (Tatarstan)
How to get there ?
Kazan International Airport is about 25 km southeast of Kazan. It is the largest airport in Tatarstan. Visitors can take a taxi from outside the airport and it will take about 25 minutes into the city center. It is advisable to order a taxi from a phone number at the airport than call one as the rates will vary. The drivers speak English and are cordial and friendly. The Aeroexpress train will take you to Kazan train station from the airport in 20 minutes, there is one train every 2 hours. Kazan is well connected by train from around the country. This is a major stop for all west and east trains. The journey from Moscow will be about 11 hours. The riverboat terminal is on Volga River and it can be reached by river cruise. These tour operators have trips only during the summer months, but this is a scenic way to enter this city. Getting around the city Most of the main tourist attractions are in the city center and it is only for pedestrians. Walking is the best way to see the sights along this area. Public buses are cheap and frequent, but language will be a problem. Taxis are easily available and they run on the meter.
Hotels in Kazan (Tatarstan)
Ulitsa F. Amirkhana 1
420126 - Kazan
Indicative price : 4850 RUB - 29000 RUB
Ulitsa Moskovskaya 5
420202 - Kazan
Indicative price : 4480 RUB - 13600 RUB
Ulitsa Kurashova 5
420012 - Kazan
Indicative price : 1200 RUB - 2800 RUB
Grand Hotel Kazan
420111 - Kazan
Indicative price : 3200 RUB - 15000 RUB
Ilmar City Hotel
Ulitsa Karbysheva 12A
420101 - Kazan
Indicative price : 2040 RUB - 9200 RUB
420111 - Kazan
Indicative price : 3300 RUB - 8300 RUB
Ibis Kazan Hotel
Pravo-Bulachnaya Str. 43/1
420111 - Kazan
Indicative price : 2690 RUB - 6440 RUB
Park Inn by Radisson Kazan
Lesgafta Street 7
420043 - Kazan
Indicative price : 2625 RUB - 11800 RUB
420097 - Kazan
Indicative price : 1300 RUB - 6200 RUB
Apartment Gavrilova 20B
Гаврилова 20 Б, кв. 24
420133 - Kazan
Indicative price : 2500 RUB - 3599 RUB
The Volga House Boutique-Hotel
Maksima Gorkogo Ulitsa 3
420015 - Kazan
Indicative price : 2430 RUB - 4250 RUB
Osobnyak na Teatralnoy
Teatralnaya Ulitsa 3
420111 - Kazan
Indicative price : 2000 RUB - 5350 RUB
Regina na Baumana
Baumana Street 47/9
420111 - Kazan
Indicative price : 1800 RUB - 2880 RUB
Pushkina Ulitsa 4
420107 - Kazan
Indicative price : 1300 RUB - 5600 RUB
Dunai Mini Hotel
Bolotnikova Street 9
420033 - Kazan
Indicative price : 1900 RUB - 3500 RUB
Business Hotel IT Park
Peterburgskaya Street 52
420107 - Kazan
Indicative price : 2350 RUB - 5700 RUB