Kazan is one of the largest industrial, economic, cultural, scientific, sports and tourist centers of Russia. It is called the "third" country's capital. That’s why we would like you to read our guide to Kazan and to get to know this amazing city of our country.
There are many legends about the origin of the name of the city. The most common says the following: once the Bulgars (ancestors of the Tatars) began to choose a place to build their city. And one which told them, that it should establish where the kettle (or cauldron, on Bulgar) will boil without fire. Such a place was found near the island Kaban. The name “Kazan” is made from the word “kettle”.
According to the latest discoveries, the city is more than 1,000 years. First, Kazan was built as a fortress in the north of Volga Bulgaria in IX-X centuries. In 1438 Kazan was defeated by the Golden Horde, and Khan Ulu Muhamed transformed it from a military fortress into the capital of the Kazan Khanate. In XIII-XIV centuries, Kazan blossomed. The city turned to the biggest trade and economic center of the Middle Volga. The reason for it is the good location, exactly here there was a great rout which connected East and West. Khanate gradually expanded: there were new areas, population increased and the number of municipal buildings too. At the beginning of the XV century, Khan Kazan was a highly-developed craft, trade, cultural and educational city where people of different cultures and religions coexisted together.
In 1552, Kazan was occupied by Tsar Ivan the Terrible and the Khanate was join to the Russian state. The main place of the Tatars residence in the late XVI century was a Tatar settlement “Tatarskaya Sloboda”. Despite this fact, Kazan remained economically important venue through which was the movement of goods to Moscow and to the East. At this time, Kazan was one of the most significant cities in Russia. Also, it was the most secure fortress of the Russian state, it performed a defensive function for Russian eastern borders. In 1708, due to Peter I’s reforms, there was a division of the Russian Empire in the 8 provinces, and Kazan became the capital of the Kazan province, having its territory from Nizhny Novgorod to Astrakhan. In XVIII - XIX centuries, in the city were build the first industrial buildings, commercial and industrial enterprises, printing house. The infrastructure of the city changed radically. Schools were opened: Sunday schools, public schools, Muslim schools - madrassas, Imperial University, Theological Academy and others. Numerous temples and mosques were build. There was actively developing of science and culture. Lots of beautiful buildings were build, as well as parks, etc. At the end of the XIX century, Kazan was the fifth city in the Russian Empire according its size, the center of science, culture, education and industry.
Kazan’s Location: Kazan is on the left side of the river Volga, where the river Kazanka flows into it, 820 km east from Moscow. The length of the city from north to south is 29 km, from west to east is 31 km. Life here is according Moscow time.
The City’s Districts: Vahitovskij district, Sovietskiy district, Novo-Savinovskij district, Moscovskiy district, Aviastroitel’niy district, Privolzhskiy district and Kirovskiy district.
The Climate: moderate-continental, so the winters are mild and summers are not too hot. The average summer temperature is +17 ° C to +21 C, in winter - from -9 ° C to -12 ° C, in spring - from 5 ° C to 10 ° C, in fall - from + 10 ° C to -5 ° C. The hottest month is July, the coldest month is January.
The Population: currently, about 1.2 million people live in Kazan. Most of the population are Russian people and Tatar people. Also, there live some ethnic minorities such as Chuvash, Mari, Bashkir, Udmurt and others.
Kazan Coat: it is a Black Dragon Zilant. For Kazan citizens – dragon is a special significant symbol of force and cosmic energy. Dragon is the greatness of life, wisdom and eternal rebirth.
Kazan is a city of a unique mixture of eastern and western cultures, with its own traditions, language, cuisine, fashion, architecture and so on. Kazan is the pearl of the Volga region and, may be, of the whole Russia. It is a modern, dynamic city with a rich history.
How to get to Kazan
Kazan - the biggest transportation and logistics center in Russia. The convenient geographical location has created conditions for well-developed transport system, which connects the city with other Russian regions. There are major highways (federal highway M7), airports, railway stations and bus stations, etc.
International airport "Kazan" is the largest airport in Russia. It’s a world-standard airport, located in 26 km from Kazan. Today, the airport services about 1 million passengers per year. There are up to more than 50 regional and international flights. Every year the number of new routes through the regions of Russia increases.
Address: Laishevskiy district, Tatarstan. Telephone number: +7 (843) 267-88-07
Railway Station "Kazan 1": The station "Kazan – Passajirskaya” ("Казань – Пассажирская").
This railway station is the most important railway junction and a beautiful architectural monument, which celebrated its 115th birthday in 2012. The railway station is a complex of buildings: the main building, suburban ticket offices and ticket offices which sell tickets for long distances. The railway station was renovated for the World Summer Universiade XXVII – it is spacious, beautiful, comfortable. It has 15 tracks. There is a fast train "Lastichka" ("Ласточка"), which quickly will get you to the airport.
Address: pl. Privokzal’naya, 1a. Telephone number: 8-800-775-00-00 (free twenty-four hours line).
Railway Station "Kazan-2": The station "Vosstanie - Passajirskaya" ("Восстание-Пассажирская").
This railway station also was renovated for the Universiade XXVII. It is cozy, beautiful, and comfortable for passengers. It’s located in the northern part of the city (the informal name of "Severniy Vokzal" which means the north one). Through it, there are mostly transit trains. It has 4 ways.
Address: ul. Vorovskogo, 33. Telephone number: 8-800-775-00-00.
Kazan has the bus routes not only to the cities of the Republic of Tatarstan, but to the all Russian regions. The capacity of each bus station is from 4 to 5 thousand people per day.
The bus station "Central’niy" ("Центральный") is a beautiful, modern complex, which includes the territory for passenger and spacious lounge zone.
The net of routs is very wide, because every day here comes buses from all over the country.
Address: ul. Devyataeva, 15. Telephone number: +7 (843) 293-04-00.
The bus station "Ujniy" ("Южный") is a relatively new one. It was opened in 2009, and here you will find all state-of-the-art facilities. There are about 40 inter-regional, inter-city routes. Mostly, bus station serves the south-eas-direction routes.
Address: ul. Orenburgskiy proezd, 207. Telephone number: +7 (843) 2-373-323.
On a steamship
The River Station ("Речной вокзал") is a complex of buildings with ticket office, waiting room, desk references, etc. Every day the station hosts cruise ships and semi-urban areas ships. Also, the tourists always have the opportunity to take excursions and make a pleasure trips through the river Volga.
Address: ul. Devyataeva, 1. Telephone number: +7 (843) 233-08-08
Kazan is a city that has a well-developed transport network. Citizens and guests of the city can take advantage of public transportation services: metro, bus, trolley, tram. Also, you can take a taxi or hire a car.
Kazan’s metro was opened in 2005. It is a one line with 10 stations. The interval is from 5 to 8 minutes. You can pay only by smart tokens, contactless smart cards, or by special transport cards. Metro’s Working Hours: from 6:00 to 24:00.
Buses - the city has a wide network of shuttle buses, so using them help you easily get to any area of the city. This form of public transport is the most popular among the citizens.
Trolley buses and trams - trolley and tram transport network in Kazan has a radial-ring system. You can take a tram or a trolley bus everywhere in city, but most of them are in the historic downtown.
Feodor Chaliapin is a world-famous opera singer, a soloist of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theaters. Gabriel Derzhavin is a poet of the Enlightenment, a senator, a Privy Councillor. Rustem Jachin is a composer, an author of the national anthem of the Republic of Tatarstan. Gabdulla Tukai is a famous poet of the Republic of Tatarstan, a literary critic. Salih Saidashev is a composer, an author of the legendary march of the Soviet army. Leonid Filatov is an actor, a director, a poet, a writer, a famous artist of Russia. Nikolai Feshin is an artist, a painter and a sculptor, he lived in America. Chulpan Khamatova is the leading actress of the Moscow theater "Sovremennik" ("Современник"), a film actress. Vasily Aksenov is a writer, a honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts. Eugene Schwartz is a writer, a playwriter. Ruslan Nigmatullin is a well-known football goalkeeper. Eugenia Volodina is a famous top model. And many other famous people belong to Kazan.
Kazan Kremlin is the main attraction of the city. It is the beautiful and rich cultural building, which is also an architectural monument. Moreover, it is a cultural site, protected by UNESCO. After the moment, when Kazan Khanate fell to pieces, people started the rebuilding of Kazan. In 1556, by decree of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Pskov’s masters began the building of towers and fortress walls around the city. By 1568, here were built the main buildings. However, Kremlin was built as we see it now only in the beginning of the reign of Peter I. Nowadays, it is the white-stone Kremlin – is an example of Pskov’s architecture.
On the Kremlin’s territory there are several unique historical buildings:
Tower Syuyumbike is the marvelous and beautiful building. It was built around XII- XVI centuries, in times of Kazan Khanate in honor of Queen Syuyumbike. It has seven tiers, which are different in heights and sizes. It is also a "falling" tower, because it has an incline in 1.98 m. It is one of the tallest towers (its height is 58 meters) in Europe.
Spasskaya Tower was built in the XVI century. It is located right at the entrance to the Kazan Kremlin. There is the church of the Savior on its top.
The Cathedral of the Annunciation is one of the oldest churches in the Middle Volga region. The cathedral was built in honor of the Annunciation. The Cathedral was built by Pskov’s masters in honor of the Annunciation. Firstly, the temple was wooden, and then, by the order of Ivan Vasilyevich, Pskov’s masters rebuilt it in stone in 1561. They were using the limestone, which is mined on the banks of the Volga river.
The Kul-Sharif Mosque is the central mosque of Republic of Tatarstan and it is the largest in Russia. Its construction lasted from 1996 to 2005. It was built in the shape and design of the legendary mosque of the Kazan Khanate, which was in the same place in the past. The old one was the religious center of the Middle Volga region, but it was destroyed by the troops of Ivan the Terrible. The mosque was named in honor of the spiritual head of the Muslims - Kul Sharif.
In other words, Kazan Kremlin is not only a treasure trove of architectural monuments, but also the center of statehood. It is the residence of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Also, in the Kremlin, there is a number of wonderful cultural and historical sites:
Museums: "Hermitage - Kazan", the Gun Court (Pushechnyy Dvor), the Museum of the History of Tatarstan, the Museum of Islam, Natural History Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Exhibition Hall "Manege".
Complexes: the Military school, Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, complex of government offices, the Khan's courtyard (the Governor's Palace).
- The Kekin’s House, ul. Gorkogo, 8/9;
- Manor of the poet Yevgeny Boratynsky, ul. Gorkogo, 25/28;
- Shamil’s House, ul. G.Tukaya, 74;
- Mikhlyaev’s House, ul. M.Dzhalilya, 19;
- Yunusovs-Apanaevs’ House, ul. G.Tukaya, 67/14;
- Margasovsky’s house, K. Nadzhmi, 19;
- Shakir the soldier’s House, ul. G.Tukaya, 16;
- Chekmarev-Kamenev’s House, ul. Karla Marksa, 15;
- The main house of the city-estate of Urvantsovy, ul. K.Marksa, 11;
- House of V.E.Solomin – V. B. Smolin, crossing of ul.Baumana, 62 and ul.Astronomicheskaya, 9;
- House of Z.P.Ushkova, ul.Kremlevskaya, 33.
The architectural monuments:
- Kazan Federal University (ul. Kremlyovskaya, 18);
- Alexandrovsky Passage (ul. Kremlyovskaya, 17);
- Gostinyy Dvor (ul. Kremlyovskaya, 2);
- Hotel "Kazan" (ul.Baumana, 11);
- Chernoyarovskiy Passazh (ul.Kremlevskaya, 21);
- City Hall (ul.K.Marksa, 33);
- Kazan Art School N. I. Feshina (ul. Mushtari, 17);
- Mariinsky female grammar school (ul.Rahmatullina, 2/18);
- The bell tower of the Cathedral of the Epiphany (ul. Baumana, 78);
- Kazan post office (ul.Kremlevskaya, 8);
- Printing House “Dom Pechati” (ul.Baumana, 19).
Monuments and Temples:
- Peter and Paul Cathedral, ul.Dzhalilya, 21;
- Virgin Monastery (Male), ul. Bolshaya Krasnaya, 5;
-The Church of Holy Great Martyr Barbara, ul. K. Marksa, 67;
- Zilantov-Uspenskiy Monastery, ul. Arhangelsky pereulok 1;
- St. Nicholas Cathedral, ul. Baumana, 5;
- Staroobryadcheskaya church, u. Ostrovskogo, 81;
- Kizichesky’s Monastery, ul. Dekabristov, 98;
- Lutheran Church of St. Catherine, ul. K. Marksa, 26;
- Ivanovsky Convent, ul. Baumana, 1/2;
- Epiphany Cathedral, ul. Baumana, 78;
- Roman Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, ul. Ostrovskogo, 73;
- Church of Our Savior, Kirovskaya damba, 2;
- St. Martyr Evdokia’s Church, ul. Fedoseevskaya, 46;
- Tikhvin’s Temple, Voznesenskoe village, ul. Profsojuznaya,47.
- Al-Marjani Mosque, ul. K.Nasyyri, 17;
- Galeevskaya Mosque, ul.Tukaya, 40;
- Nurullah Mosque, ul. Moskovskaya, 74;
- Sultanovskaya Mosque, ul. Tukaya, 14/15;
- Apanaevskaya Mosque, ul. K.Nasyyri, 27;
- Burnaevskaya Mosque, ul. Ahtyamova, 7;
- Zakabannaya Mosque, ul. H.Taktasha, 26;
- Azimovskaya Mosque, ul. Fatkullina, 15;
- Kazan Higher Muslim Medrese Muhammadiyah, ul. Gabdully Tukai, 34;
- The Blue Mosque, ul. Narimanova, 98;
- Iske Tash Mosque, ul. Gafuri, 34, building 1.
Island Sviyazhsk (Ostrov-grad Sviyazhsk), Zelenodolskiy district, Sviyazhsk village, ul. Moskovskaya, 6. This island is a unique architectural and natural heritage of the Republic of Tatarstan, it’s located in 30 km from Kazan, in the intersection of the Volga River and the Sviyaga River. This place is awesome! It is powerful and significant tourist destination. On its territory, there are marvelous old buildings of the Old Russian culture and history: castles, The Holy Dormition Cathedral, John the Baptist Church, Trinity-Sergius Church, Makarevskiy Monastery. All of them you can visit! Also, there is the white marble Stela-monument, which was built to honor the victims of political repression and the Museum of the History of Sviyazhsk. Currently, the island is going to be in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
How to get there from Kazan:
-from the South-Central Bus Station (Bus Station “Южный”) by bus;
-from the River Station by motor vessel.
Bolgary, Spassky district, Bolgar city, ul. Nazarovykh, 67 – there is the only example of Bulgarian-Tatar architecture work of XIII-XIV centuries. It is a world heritage site by UNESCO. The museum-reserve complex includes: 2 mausoleums, a minaret, a tomb, mosques, chambers, one palace, several museums. The distance from Kazan to Bolgar is about 180 km.
How to get there from Kazan:
- by bus from South Central Bus Station (Bus Station “Южный”);
- by ship “Meteor” from the River Station.
Volgsko-Kamskiy Nature Reserve, Zelenodolskiy district, p. Raifa. Telephone number: +7 (843) 713-47-59. This reservation is an example of the unique natural wealth that brought together a variety of rare species of flora and fauna. It consists of two sections – Saralovskiy and Raifskiy section. The second one is much more interesting, because here there is a famous Raif Monastery. On its territory, there are: The Cathedral in honor of the icon of the Georgian Mother of God, The Holy Trinity Cathedral, and St. Sofia’s church.
- Millennium Square (in front of the Kazan Kremlin);
- Lovers’ Arch (at the entrance of "Black Lake"("Чёрное озеро") by the side of ul. Lobachevskogo);
- The Temple of All Religions (p. Staroe Arakchino, 4);
- Walk of Fame, and Tree of Love (ul. Petersburgskaya and Esperanto);
- The cascade of fountains in front of the Tatar State Academic Theater of Galiasgar Kamal (ul.Tatarstan, 1);
- The Embankment of the Lake Kaban (near the Tatar State Academic Theater of Galiasgar Kamal);
- The Embankment of Kazanka River (near Kremlin);
- The observation deck on the Preobrajenskaya tower of Kremlin.
- Victory Park (intersection of ul. Bondarenko and pr. Yamasheva);
- Hermitage Garden (Kazan) (ul. Schapova, 10);
- "Kazan Millennium" Park (ul. Spartakovskaya, 1);
- Leninskiy Sad (Lenin Garden) (ul. Pushkina, 31);
- Park "Black Lake" (ul. Dzerzhinskogo, 1);
- Lyadsky garden (the intersection of ul. Gorkogo and Gogolya);
- Park Uritskogo (ul. Gagarina, 49);
- Central Gorky Park (ul. Ershov, 5);
- Fuksovskiy Garden (ul. Zhukovskogo, 30);
- Park of Tinchurin (in the corner of ul. Tinchurin and ul. Tatarstan).
The National Museum of Tatarstan Republic, Salih Saidashev’s House, Apartments of Musa Jalil, the House of Leo Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky’s House, Gabdulla Tukai’s House, House of Lenin, sthe house of scientists and writer Kayum Nasyri, the Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Museum of the history of the Tatar literature (includes the memorial apartment of Sh. Kamal), the Museum of Sovet Union, the Museum of radio, The Antique Museum, the Museum of Chuck-Chuck.
The Kazan Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Musy Jalil (pl. Svobody, 2); Tatar State Academic Theater of Galiasgar Kamal (ul. Tatarstan, 1); Kazan State Theatre of Young Spectator (ul. Ostrovskogo, 10); Doll Theatre "Ekiyat" (ul.Peterburgskaya, 57); Drama Theatre of Kachalov (ul. Baumana, 48).
- Amusement Park "Kyrlay" ("Кырлай");
- Karting Center "Forsaj" ("Форсаж");
- Kazan Circus, pl. Tysyacheletiya, 2;
- Rope Park "SKYPARK";
- Lebyazhye (Лебяжье), Kirovskiy district;
- Oceanarium, ul. Gafuri, 46;
- "LaserTag" range in a sports club "Vzvod", ul.Lesnaya, 1b, Sovietskiy district;
- Water Park "Baryonyx" (“Барионикс”), ul.Gafuri, 46;
- The Zoo, ul.Hadi Taktash 112.
- Club complex "Legend" ("Легенд"), ul.Parizhskoy Komunny, 26;
- Bar "Gadkiy Koyot" ("Гадкий Койот"), ul. Bauman, 13;
- Karaoke restaurant "Violet" ("Фиолет”), ul. Spartakovskaya, 2B;
- Club "T.E.A.T.R.O", ul. Chistopolskaya, 9a;
- Club "Mayakovsky. Jeltaya Kofta” ("Маяковский. Желтая кофта"), ul. Mayakovskaya, 24a.
The Guide to Kazan wouldn’t be incomplete without a description of the most popular national dishes:
- Echpochmak (triangles) is a pie with meat and potatoes;
- Chuck-Chuck is a sweet delicacy made from dough with honey;
- Qistibi are cakes with potatoes;
- Gubad is a sweet cake with rice, egg, courts (dry cheese), raisins, dried apricots and prunes;
- Balesh is a pie with potatoes and duck / chicken;
- Chicken noodle soup - soup with potatoes, chicken and noodles;
- Koumiss is a product, made from mare's milk;
- Tatar Horse meat is a raw-smoked horse meat.
You can enjoy tasty and inexpensive food in the following locations:
- Restaurant "Registan” ("Регистан"), ul. Adoratskogo, 22b;
- Cafes "Syuyumbike" ("Сююмбике"), +7 (843) 293-09-09;
- Cafe "Kishmish" ("Кишмиш"), ul. Dekabristov, 83; ul.Musina, 29/2;
- Cafes "Dobraya Stolovaya" ("Добрая столовая"), +7 (843) 297-91-99;
- Restaurant "Ikea", pr. Pobedy, 141;
- Cafe-bar "Vinyl", ul. Profsojuznaya, 10;
- Cafes "Alan Ash", ul.Peterburgskaya, 14; ul.Kulagina, 1;
- A network of sushi bars "Philadelphia", ul. Universitetskaya, 12/23; ul.Chistopolskaya, 75; ul.Kaybitskaya 12;
- Cafe "Dom Chaya" ("Дом Чая"), ul. Baumana, 64;
- Restaurants "Bilyar", national Tatar cuisine, +7 (843) 264-65-65;
- Restaurant and entertainment complex "Tugan avylym" ("Туган авылым"), ul.T.Minnullina, 14/56.