Kazan is one of the top Russian Cities. It is the capital of the Republic of Tartastan, one of the wealthiest cities that house people of various cultures and religions. Kazan stands out for its tolerance for the two major religions as the Kremlin houses both a Mosque and an ancient Cathedral. It is one of the most developed and attractive Russian cities that many tourists do not know about.
Kazan has a little above a million populations and stands out as the sixth Russia most populous city. It is located at the confluence of Kazanka and Volga Rivers. The city stretches 500 miles to east Moscow by road. There are many breathtaking things that can fascinate one about this city which dates back to the 15th century.
Kazan is a peaceful city with a mixed population of Tatar and Russian nationals. Besides Muslims and Christians, Kazan also has other religions, although the center of the city has a new Catholic church and a synagogue. This is one of the top cities to visit in Russia with amazing things to do and many sights to behold. For people that would like to unwind in Russia with a solid mix of sights and sounds, fascinating cultures, Kazan is a fantastic place to be.
Kazan is located in western Russia, a position that has made her perfect for Russia’s trading and industrial hub. The locals here speak Tartar while others speak Standard Russia. The city is also noted for its diverse culture, with ethnic Tartars and Russians making up almost 95% of the entire population while other tribes like Jews, Vietnamese, Ukrainians, etc., make up the rest.
Physical Geography of Kazan
The city stretches across 16 miles of terrain classified by hills shaped largely by ravines alongside the Volga and Kazanka Rivers. There are beautiful and fascinating woodlands at Mariy National parks, which are not far from Northern Kazan.
Kazan’s Time Zone
Kazan and Moscow uses the same time zone – the Moscow standard time – GMT +3
Kazan and other Places of Interest: Approximate Distance
- Kazan and Moscow: 510 miles
- Kazan and Almaty, Kazakhstan: 1989 miles
- Kazan and St. Petersburg: 945 miles
- Kazan and Perm: 373 miles
History of Kazan, Russia
There is evidence that a fortress was located in Kazan in the 11th century, which served as a defense for the Northeast border.
While the etymology of the name Kazan bothered researchers, there is evidence that it is linked to the Kazanka river. The word “Kazan” also means cauldron, which explains the popular theory that the city is located on a hill that looks like a cauldron.
Regardless of the constant war, there was the incorporation of the Volga Bulgaria with the Golden Horde Mongol khanate. The destruction of the capital then – Bulgar – during the Mongol raid in 1361 led to the rise of Kazan city as the new seat of power. The city was at a strategic location to different trade routes, which fueled the expansion. The collapse of the Golden Horde led to the establishment of the Kazan khanate in 1438
The Kazan Khanate was always in conflict with Muscovy – its Western neighbor. This led to many wars in which Ivan the Terrible saw to the end of Kazan Khanate.
After Ivan took the city, some of the greatest and most famous landmarks were built, like the Annunciation Cathedral, Kremlin walls, etc. The oil deposits of Tatarstan made Kazan one of the most developed regions in Russia.
With the discovery of oil, Kanzan’s development surpassed its closest neighbors. Tatarstan also built Innopolis, the Silicon Valley of Russia. Today, Kazan is a modern city with a sports center, medical centers, supermarkets, skyscrapers, etc.
Top Five Things to do in Kazan
Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan that is located at the official borders of Russia. The government in Kazan operates autonomously in many ways due to the huge population of the Tartars there.
One of the best places to visit in Russia is Kazan, because the city is rich in history, diverse population, modern and classic structures, etc. Here are five things you can do in Kazan.
- Take Part in the Local Tartar Culture
Without a doubt, a trip to Kazan will expose you to series of opportunities to be part of the local Tartar culture. It could simply be shopping for local clothing items or enjoying the Tartar cuisine. There is also the Karavam Festival scheduled for May. This event will expose you to series of history and culture of the Tartar people.
- Explore the Temple of all Religion
Many people worldwide have applauded Kazan for the peace in which Christians and Muslims cohabit together for almost a millennium.
When you visit this place (Temple of all Religion), the harmony with which the locals live together in peace will be glaring. The temple of all religions is a sacred site that combines a series of architectural buildings located outside the center of Kazan.
- Kazan Kremlin
The Kazan Kremlin is one of the most spectacular sites to behold in Kazan as it illustrates the rich and superb culture of the city. You will find many spectacular architectural structures like the Annunciation Cathedral, constructed around 1554 to 1562, which stands out for its captivating gold spires and domes. There is also the Soyembika tower, a perfect symbol of Kazan constructed in six tiers.
Kazan Kremlin also houses one of the biggest mosques in Europe and Russia – the blue-domed Mosque of Kul Sharif.
- Kaban Lakes
While in Kazan, you can escape from city life by spending time at the Kaban lakes. It is located at Kazan’s heart with a system of lakes that allows visitors to take a breathtaking boat ride during the summer months.
There are many myths and legends about the Kaban lakes. Some Tatar folklore has it that the lake is the gateway to the Qaban underwater kingdom. Other stories have it that the lake is filled with great wealth belonging to the Khan tribe, who threw their things to the lake after the fall of the Kazan.
- Relaxation at the Green Spaces available
One of the things that make Kazan stand out is the variety of life and a wide expanse of green space available in the city. There are many such places in Kazan, with the most popular one being Millennium Park. This was constructed to mark the 1000th birthday of the city in 2005.
Where to Stay in Kazan, Based on Interests
There are many things to attract tourists in Kanzan based on interest. The city is home to historical sites, architectural masterpieces, five-star restaurants, and bars. As a result, you cannot have a dull moment on your trip to Kazan if you know your way.
Here are recommendations on where to stay and things to do in Kazan based on interests:
Culture and History Vultures
If you are fascinated by breathtaking sights and a historical masterpiece in Kazan, you will love it at the Kremlin. Kremlin houses the major Tartar fortress that dates back to the 16th century, which consists of breathtaking sights like the Mosque of Kul Sharif, Hermitage Museum, art distribution, St. Petersburg.
Tourists will also love the Suyumbike tower alongside the kazank and Volga Rivers’ breathtaking view possible from the tower.
People that Love Partying
You will love Bauman Street if you are a party lover on a visit to Kazan. There are many shops, cafes, bars, and clubs where you can have an early morning coffee with assorted dishes for breakfast.
There are strong drinks and good tunes to get you moving and gear up your spirit. The streets are also full of treasures if you love the idea of a craft beer.
There is something for the hipster in Kazan as the city features series of abundant museums, Universities, and late-night haunts. There are fantastic establishments all along Pushkin street that will serve the hipsters.
The National Culture Center is located by the Kazanka River bank at the top of the street – a monumental impressive architecture figure. There are also bars and restaurants down the street to make your time memorable.
Tartar Local Cuisine: 5 Places to try it in Kazan
One of the strongest ethnic groups in Kazan is the Volga Tatars. They are well noted for their distinct culinary actions. Being the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan has a lot of healthy restaurants with fantastic dishes to delight your taste bud.
Tourists have many places where they can try out the local cuisines in Kazan, no matter the budget. Here are top places to attempt the local cuisines in Kazan:
This is a huge dining complex that is part of a boutique hotel. This dining complex welcomes people into its dining hall, even if they are not guests at the hotel. They have an exquisite menu and dish all available in English.
If you always love the smoke goose fillet or smoked horse meat sausage, you need to visit the Tatarskaya Usadba. There are assorted baked foods for guests here. Tourists also can sit at the summer verandah for a wide view of the Kaban lakes while eating.
If you are in Kazan on a budget, make sure to check out Baketle supermarket. There is a deli section with lots of fresh pies and amazing desserts that will appeal to your taste bud. Users will also find a fascinating collection of salad meals that they can enjoy at the restaurant or in their hotel room.
You will get a place to enjoy this delicacy as you journey through Kazan.
Dom Chaya is another location where you can go for a treat on a budget. The place features a Soviet-style canteen located in the heart of Kazan. You will love the soup and pastries here, and Gubadiya is available as a treat at Don Chaya.
Locals and tourists are all welcomed in Dom Chaya as they can enjoy a cheap and satisfying meal. Also, there is table service for guests upstairs for people who want it.
How to get to Kazan
The closest airport to the heart of Kazan city is Kazan Airport, located 26km away from Kazan’s heart. It is one of the best airports in Russia besides St. Petersburg and Moscow. A lot of flights coming to Kazan airports are from Moscow.
Tourists from around the world will have to land in Moscow before joining a domestic flight to Kazan. Also, a Trans Siberian train can take people to nearby destinations like Perm or Yekaterinburg.
By Plane: Most people coming to Kazan will arrive via the Kazan International Airport. There is an Aeroexpress train that takes visitors through to the Kazan train station.
By Train: people coming to Kazan from Siberia, Moscow, and St. Petersburg can join a train that will stop at the Kazan Train Station.
By Car: You can also get to Kazan from Moscow or Perm by Taxi. The M7 highway east is the connecting route for people coming from Moscow, while people coming from Perm can take the E22 West.
By Bus: There are many private companies running long-distance routes to Kazan by bus. This, however, vary based on drop off points, time of operation. As a result, you can check earlier to see if there is a bus that serves your route.
Best Time to Visit Kazan, Russia
Kazan weather is one of the top factors that determine when a tourist can visit Kazan. Based on the weather report, the best time to visit Kazan is between June and August, as this period is characterized by limited rainfall and a conducive temperature.
The city’s prevailing climate is continental, and the table below explores Kazan weather in detail.
||Days of Rainfall
||Days with No Rain
||Days with Snows
||1 day (18mm)
||1 day (14mm)
||5 days (21mm)
||10 days (18mm)
||12 days (22mm)
||12 days (30mm)
||15 days (33mm)
||11 days (25mm)
||14 days (21mm)
||11 days (25mm)
||5 days (17mm)
||3 days (20mm)
Spring in Kazan (March to May)
Judging by the temperature and humidity, these months are moderately cold. Rain is scarce, and significant precipitation will only occur one or two days. This is one of the best times to visit Kazan as the city is busy as well.
Summer in Kazan (June through August)
These mid months in Kazan have the most comfortable Kazan weather with conducive temperatures and the least precipitation. In Kazan, the second busiest season for tourism in summer, there could be a slight increase in accommodation and flight.
Fall in Kazan (September to November)
These are chilly months judging by the wind and humidity. The rain and snow amount is normal, an average of 10 times each month. Tourism is pretty slow because of the Kazan weather, which makes hotel fees pretty affordable.
Winter in Kazan (December through February)
This is the coldest period in Kazan, which makes the place unbearable for tourists from warm climates. The snow is highest during this period with a minimal amount of rainfall. This makes Kazan see fewer tourists during this time.
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