The Guide to Tatarstan

Tourist routes of Tatarstan

Everything depends on what type of transportation you prefer: car, bus, plane, boat or train?!
A great attention is paid on the road transportation network in Tatarstan, so there are well developed bus routes which connect the cities of the republic. In other words, we recommend you to use your own car or rent a taxi, if you want to make your own personal rout. 
During the season, when people travel by water (from late April to mid-November), the tourists have a great opportunity to make a sightseeing trip through the Volga River and the Kama River and also visit such famous places of Tatarstan as Bulgariy and Sviyazhsk.
Train lovers can take a train trip from Kazan to Zelenodolsk, Agryz, Chistopol, or Almetyevsk.
And if you prefer travelling by plain you have an opportunity to fly to Nizhnekamsk, Naberezhnye Chelny and Bugulma.

Tatar Cultural Monuments

The historical past of the republic (a mixture of Eastern and Western cultures) determined the diversity of its national wealth nowadays.
The Kazan Kremlin is the main cultural and historical sight of Tatarstan. Moreover, it is a UNESCO heritage site. The Kremlin is a treasure trove of stories, unique monuments and a great example of architecture of the XVI century.
Tower Syuyumbike is amazingly beautiful building, which was named in honor of Tatar Queen Syuyumbike. It has a vertical incline of almost 2 meters, so it is also called a "falling" tower.
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.
Spasskaya Tower is the building which is located right at the entrance to the Kazan Kremlin. There is the church of the Savior on its top.
The Kul-Sharif Mosque is the central mosque of Republic of Tatarstan and it is the largest in Russia. The mosque was named in honor of the spiritual head of the Muslims - Kul Sharif. The building is a copy of the legendary mosque of the Kazan Khanate, which once was on the same spot.
Sviyazhsk is the island, which was founded in the XVI century by Ivan the Terrible as a fortress city. The island nowadays represents a unique complex of buildings of Old Russian history and culture. The distance to Kazan is 30 km.
You can travel there from Kazan:
- by bus (from the bus station "Ujniy" ("Южный");
- by motor ship (from the River Station).
Bolgary is the settlement which was built by Volga Bulgars in the X century. Today, it is located near the city of Bolgar. Also, it is a monument of the Bulgarian-Tatar architecture of XIII-XIV centuries. Moreover, Bolgary is one of UNESCO’s sites.
The distance from Kazan to Bolgary is about 180 km.
How to get there?
- by bus (from the central bus station);
- by the ship "Meteor" (“Метеор”) (from the River Station).
The Elabuzhsky Museum-Reserve is a natural reservation which includes a lot of cultural and historical monuments. Such monuments represent the rich heritage of Republic of Tatarstan.
The distance to Kazan is 215 km.
The Route Schedule one can find in the site of central bus station.

Natural reserves of Tatarstan

There are a lot of natural reserves in Tatarstan. All of them are the national property of the Republic, which are also known through the whole country:
Chatyr-Dah (Hora Chatyrdah) ("Tent-Mountain" in Tatar language) is the natural reservation of national significance, situated close to Aznakayevo. It is one of the highest mountain (elevation 321 m) in Tatarstan. Its slopes are very popular among paragliders.
Volgo-Kamskiy Nature Reserve consists of two parts: Raifskiy, which is located in Zelenodolskiy district and Saralinskiy – which is in Laishevsky District. This reservation is a unique monument of nature, rich in flora and fauna. The reservation was included in the world biosphere systems of UNESCO.
National park "Nizhnyaya Kama" is located in Yelabuzhsky District and Tukayevsky District. This is an amazing world with its rivers and lakes, vegetation and animals, climate and diverse terrain. For those who wish to see the beauty of the park there are interesting sightseeing tours.

National Tatar holidays

Sabantuy is perhaps the most bright and cheerful Tatar festival! It is held annually in June. First it is usually celebrated in the Tatar villages, then - in the cities of the Republic of Tatarstan, and then in Kazan.
Karavon is Russian folk festival. Traditionally it takes place in late May in the village - Nikolskoe (which is located in Laishevskiy district). The festival program is very interesting There are organized competitions, dancing, people sing song and enjoy themselves. There is also a special market with handmade products.
In addition, there are such national holiday as: Uyav (Уяв)- Chuvash holiday (it is celebrated in June in the village Nurlat), Semyk (Семык) - Mari holiday (it is celebrated in July in Mendeleevskiy District), Gyron bydton (Гырон быдтон) - Udmurt holiday (it is celebrated in late June in Bavlinskiy district).
The international Festival of F. Chaliapin is the traditional Russian festival of opera. Its history began in 1982. Each year, the stars of the Russian and world opera performs their shows. Time and place: February, Kazan, Tatarskiy Akademicheskiy Gosudarstvennyy Teatr Opery i Baleta im. M.Dzhalilya.
Cultural events in the Republic of Tatarstan
"Zolotoy Minbar" ("Золотой Минбар") is the International Muslim Film Festival, which takes place in Kazan since 2005. The program of the Festival includes its opening, the show of many films and the closing ceremony. This event is an amazing and interesting one, for Kazan and for all Tatarstan.
The international festival "Kremlin LIVE" is one of the central cultural events in the republic. It is about modern music! Moreover, it always takes place in the Kazan Kremlin. Worth seeing! 
"Nauruz" ("Науруз") is the international Festival of Turkic peoples, which dedicates to the beginning of a "new day", in other words, to the day of the vernal equinox. As a rule, it is celebrated in the week of March 20-21. If you want to participate it -go to the Mamadyshsky district, to the village Verhnie Suni. This is a very beautiful holiday, which has a long and rich history.
"Europe-Asia" ("Европа-Азия") is an international festival of modern music. Many musicians from around the world participate it every year. Lovers of such events have a unique opportunity to listen to classical music, as well as the modern genre. Usually, the festival is held in Kazan in the Big Concert Hall, in springs and autumns.
The international festival of R. Nureyev is a Russian festival of ballet. It is about the history of ballet, outstanding artists, choreographers and conductors. Every year it takes place in May, in Tatarskiy Akademicheskiy Gosudarstvennyy Teatr Opery i Baleta im. M.Dzhalilya

Travelling around the cities and districts of the Republic of Tatarstan

Every part, every city and village of the Republic of Tatarstan, whether it’s the northern part or southern part, west or east, is interesting and joyful. Every city has its own history and its own unique world.

Naberezhnye Chelny

This city is often called as the city of automakers, due to the Kamskiy Automobile Factiry, which was built here in the 60s of XX century. The factory has facilitated all the conditions for the development and growth of the city. The main popular thing of this place -is the factory "Kamaz", which is a leading Russian industrial enterprise of producing heavy-duty cars. “Kamaz” takes the 9th place among the well-known factories of such production in the world.
Naberezhnye Chelny is famous for its industry. There are lots of engineering organizations, factories, plants and so on.
Where to go?
There are many places where you can go and spend your time with pleasure in Naberezhnye Chelny:
- The History Museum of the City;
- The Art Gallery;
- The Monument to Vladimir Vysotsky (the intersection of the streets ul. Komsomolskaya Nabereznaya and ul. Gidrostroiteley);
- The Hall of Organ and Chamber Music;
- "KAMAZ" Museum (ul. Gidrostroiteley, 25);
- The Tatar Drama Theatre;
- The memorial architectural complex Motherland (“Rodina Mat’”) (near the bus stop “Studencheskaya”);
- The Dolphinarium;
- The Puppet Theatre;
- The city’s famous building “Tubeteyka” ("Тюбетейка») (officially, it is the business center "2.18"). Address: pr. Khasana Tufana, 12.;
- The Festival of Flowers "Akvarel’" “"Акварель"” (it is held every year on August 30, Azatlyk Square).

The city has many mosques and Orthodox churches. The most famous of them:
- Mosque - Tauba Mechet', (address: Tsentralnaya ul.,6);
- The Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian (address: the village Orlovka).

In the summer, tourists have a great opportunity escape from the city, and visit a local resort called Tarlovka. The village is situated in the outskirts of the city, and it is known for its beautiful beaches on the shore of the Kama river, pines and a mild climate.

Yelabuga

In the past, Yelabuga was a fortress which was built 1,000 years ago, during the time of the Volga Bulgaria. Now, it is a suburb of Naberezhnye Chelny and one of the most attractive Russian cities. 
Yelabuga is famous for its chemical and food industry, as well as its main specialization - mechanical engineering (ElAZ is the first factory in Russia, which produces foreign cars). There is a special economic area called "Alabuga" near the town.
The Yelabuga region is one of the most popular tourist destinations not only in Tatarstan, but also in the whole Russia. There are 10 reasons for it:
- The Historical Center of Yelabuga is a unique and perhaps the best example of the county town in the whole of Russia. It admires by its beauty and the amazing buildings;
- Some Russian famous people were born in Yelabuga - Marina Tsvetaeva, Ivan Shishkin, Nadejda Durova, etc.;
- There is a Museum and memorial complex dedicated to Marina Tsvetaeva.;
- There is a House Museum of Shishkin (who was the greater Russian landscape painter);
- The Museum-Estate of Nadejda Durova (she was the first female officer in the Russian army);
- The Museum of the county of Medicine of Bechterev (he was a world-famous Russian psychiatrist, psychologist, neurologist, psychologist, founder of reflexology);
- Moreover, there is famous "Devil's fort" ("Чертово городище"), which is a unique monument of Bulgarian culture of X-XIV centuries. It’s the parts of the tower on the bank of the river Kama. This monument nowadays is under the protection of UNESCO;
- Local History complex consisting of: a museum of history of the city, the theater-museum "Traktir", interactive workshops and an exhibition hall;
- The beautiful nature of the national park "Nizhnyaya Kama" shows us forests and ravines, lakes, rivers. It’s abound in underground sources. Also, there is a such diversity of flora and fauna, and most importantly - the famous painting "Shishkin’s forest" is about this place.

Zelenodolsk

The city, known for its industry:
Factories:
- Pozis Zavod im. Sergo;
- Zelenodolsk Plant named after Gorky;
- Furniture Factory;
- Sewing Factory.
At 21 km from the city there is a well-known monastery “Raifa Monastery” which was built in the XVII century. On its territory, there are.:
- The Cathedral of Georgian Godmother (Sobor Gruzinskoy Ikony Bozhiyey Materi);
 - Sofiyskaya Church; 
- The Trinity Cathedral.

There is also a Raifa Volga-Kama Nature Reserve, which has unique and diverse flora and fauna.

Nizhnekamsk

Its origin of the city is related to the opening of the oil refinery here. That’s why Nizhnekamsk became the largest center for the petrochemical industry in Russia. It includes such enterprises as:
- “Nizhnekamskneftekhim” ("Нижнекамскнефтехим").
- “Nizhnekamskshina“ ("Нижнекамскшина").
Factories: 
- The factory of refinery; 
- The factory of synthetic oils.
Apart from the industry, Nizhnekamsk known for its temples and cultural and historical monuments.
Tamples:
- The Cathedral of the Ascension Day (Khram Voskreseniya Khristova). Address: Nizhnekamsk, ul. Muradyana, 5.;
- The Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God (Khram Pokrova Bozhyey Materi). Address: Bolshoye Afanasovo village, Tsentralnaya ulitsa, 61.;
- The Cathedral of Saint R. Sladkopevec. Address: Borok village.;
- The Cathedral of Saint I. Kronstadt. Address: Krasniy Kluch villge, ul. Sadovaya, 5.;
- The Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky. Address:  Narimanovka village.;
- The Cathedral of Saint Archangel Michael. Address: Karamaly village, ul. Naberezhnaya, 17.
Mosques:
- The Cathedral Mosque. Address: prospect Himikov, 59.;
- Umet-Gulsum Mosque. Address: Bolshoe Afanasovo village.;
- Krasnoklyuchinskaya Mosque. Address: Krasniy Kluch village, ul. Sovetskaya.
Monuments:
- The Monument to the defenders of Russia and the world in the Second World War;
- The Monument to the first builders of the city;
- The Monument to astronauts (it is located in U. Gagarina ul.);
- The Monument to the Tatar poet Gabdulla Tukai (located in the street of the same name);
- And the Monument to the liquidators of the Chernobyl accident (located in the city park at ul.Sportivnaya).

City’s Parks:
- Neftekhimik Park;
- Skver Lemaeva;
- Amuzment Park; 
- Spruce and birch grove (located between pr. Shinnikov and pr. Khimikov).

We recommend you to visit the City’s Museum (Stroiteley prospect, 14) and the village Krasniy Kluch – which is the clean area of Nizhnekamsk, famous for its healing spring and interesting history.

Almetyevsk

The city was founded as a settlement which was called Almetevo, which was built because of  resulting the discovery of oil deposits here.
Almetyevsk is the oil capital of the Republic of Tatarstan.
The city’s industry includes:
- Oil and Gas postproduction;
- Production of the equipment and materials;
- Hosiery Factory;
- Food companies.
Almetyevsk is the beginning of the oil pipeline "Druzhba", coming to Europe, also it’s the part of the oil pipe which comes to Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Samara and other Russian cities.
There are lots of cultural monuments and attractions in Almetyevsk.
Mosques:
- Muslim religious center of R.Fahretdina. Address: ul. Beloglazova;
- The Mosque of R. Galiev. Address: ul. Lenina;
- The Mosque of Elhovo village. Address: Elhovo village.
Churches and Temples:
- The Church of Kazan Icon of Our Lady. Address: ul. Sobornaya Ploshchad’, 1.;
- The Church of Kazan Mother of God. Address: Russkiy Atachash village;
- The Church of Trinity. Address: Novotroitskoye village;
- The Church of the Signs of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Address: Novaya Michaylovka village;
- The Kosmodemyanskaya Church. Address: Staraya Elan’ village;
- The Christmas Church. Address: Yamashii village;
- The Intercession Church. Address: Kichuy village. 

Famous Sights:
- The Monument dedicated to the oil production (located nearby the shopping mall “Panorama” ("Панорама");
- The Monument to the oil industry pioneer (nearby DK “Neftech’e” ("Нефтьче");
- Several pounds and Lover’s Bridge («Мост Влюбленных») (located through ul. Lenina);
 - The Monument to the Memory of Soldiers of The Second World War (located at the entrance of the park at ul. Timeryazeva);
- The square near DK “Neftech’e”;
- Pasmurovo Manor (Novonikolskoye village).

Museums and theatres:
- The Art Gallery of G. Stefanskoy; 
- The Museum of Local History;
- The Tatar Drama Theatre.

Bugulma

Bugulma is the big center of the oil industry of Tatarstan. The company "Tatneft" was created here in 1950. 
Main factories:
- “Tatneft’geofizika”, “Nefteavtomatika”; 
- The food industry (bakery, meat and milk factories);
- Production of building materials.
The area is well developed in farming and beekeeping.
Museums:
- The Museum of Local History;
- The Museum of the writer Jaroslav Gashek.

Monuments:
- The Memorial of The Eternal Glory and Memory (ul. M. Dzhalilya);
- The Monument dedicated to the 200 years of Bugulma;
- The Locomotive Monument (located at the railway station square).

Theatres:
- The Russian Drama Theatre of A. V. Batalov.
Historical buildings:
- The Apartment House of a merchant Sh. L. Khakimov (ul. Gasheka, 3).
Churches:
- The Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. Address: ul. Naberezhnaya, 4.;
- Michael the Archangel Church. Address: Andreevka village;
- Peter and Paul Church. Address: Klyuchi village;
- The Church of Saint Elias. Address: ul.Soldatskaya Pismyanka. 

Mosques:
- The Central Mosque of Bugulma. Address: ul.Krasnoslobodskaya, 68.

Chistopol

Chistopol is a small, cozy, and clean city.
In Chistopol there are several well-known plants, as well as factories and other industries:
- The Factory "Vostok".
- Ship repair and auto repair plant.
- The technological bureau "Vector".
- Wood and furniture factories.
Museums:
- The county town museum;
- The Museum of the History of Watch Factory. Factory’s Address: ul. Engelsa, 127.;
- The Museum of Boris Pasternak.

Merchant House:
- Melnikova Manor (ul. Karla Marksa, 31).
Parks:
- Skaryatinsky Garden (The Central Park of Culture).
Mosques and churches:
- Munir Mosque. Address: ul.Narimanova, 74.;
- Iman-Nura Mosque. Address: ul.Dorozhnaya, 32a.;
- Anas Mosque. Address: ul.Michurina, 10b.;
- The First Cathedral Mosque. Address: ul.Vahitova, 39.;
- The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas. Address: ul. Karla Marksa, 2.;
- The Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. Address: ul. Karla Marksa, 67.

For those who are keen on the monuments of history, it is possible to visit the remains of the Golden fort Juke-Tau, located on the left bank of the Kama river, in the western part of Chistopol.

Leninogorsk

This city won the prize in the nomination "The most comfortable city of the Republic of Tatarstan" for several times.
Moreover, Leninogorsk is one of the oil and gas production centers (NGDU "Leninogorskneft", "Gazspetsneftebitum").
Attractions of the city:
- The Monument to the Discoveries of Tatarstan oil (at the intersection of ul. Lenina and pr.50 Let Pobedy);
- Museum of the History "Tatneft";
- Excursions to the wells Shugurovskogo (located in Shugurovo village). And Romashkinskoye oil field (located in Timashevo village);
- The Avenue of Heroes of Second World War (pr.50 Let Pobedy)
- The Monument "Time" (“Время”) (ul. Druzhby Narodov.);
- The Museum of Local History;
- The Temple-Chapel of All Saints (Qamishla village.);
- The Church of Holy Trinity (ul. Gubkina, 2a.);
- "Ikhlas" Mosque (ul. Naberejnaya);
- Parks "Ubileyniy" and "Mehebbet".

For those who wants to improve their health, Leninogorsk offers relaxation in the famous spas:
- Bakirovo.

Bavly

Bavlinsky District is a place which rich in oil and gas fields.
There is an active development of agriculture and farming in this area. Cereals and legumes are grown here. Here you can find cattle, sheep and geese.
Bavly is famous for its amazingly beautiful nature, represented by picturesque forests and hills, lakes and springs. Each mountain has its name here: Mednaya, Sovinaya, Melnichya, Serdechnaya, Izvestkovaya. The highest mountain here is Lenin mountain which offers picturesque views of the local countryside. There are the cleanest lakes and ponds at the foot of the mountains: The Dark Lake (Temnoye Ozero), Ak-Chishma spring, pond Ak-Bois.

What to bring from Tatarstan

Emotions and photos! If you want to soak the culture of Tatar people, you have to sample things such as a delicious national Tatar dishes: sweet chak-chak, hearty echpochmak and baleshey, traditional drink mare's milk! In each city of Tatarstan explore the local lifestyle: features of life, clothing, buildings; culture - music, songs, dances; and art - works of writers (K. Ghali, A. Eniki, A.Kutuy), poets (M. Jalil, G.Tukay), artists (I. Shishkin and N. Feshin), composers (S.Saydashev and R.Yakhin ). And ofcourse, communicate with local people - from them you will learn a lot of things which cannot be found in textbooks and museums. All this will help you to know the history of these places, and give you incredible feeling and experience that you will forever remember!

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