Kazan Travel Guide
The capital of Tatarstan, Kazan, is a spectacular Russian destination. Neat streets, impressive buildings and historical sites make Kazan an interesting tourist town. Located in the heart of two cultures, Kazan is perfect for the traveler looking for a new and interesting destination. A city break in Kazan is guaranteed to be remembered for a long time, as there is plenty to do in the city from morning to night.
Prosperous Kazan is a great destination
Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan in central Russia, is a city of 1.2 million inhabitants whose architecture charms the tourist at first sight. Rarely clean streets, buildings with shiny novelty and lavish architecture differ significantly from the perennial Russian landscape. Tatarstan is one of the most prosperous regions in Russia and is clearly visible to tourists.
Tatarstan has prospered with oil and gas. Some of the funds have been used to renovate the building stock in the area, which is particularly evident in Kazan, where there are plenty of spectacular buildings recently built or restored. Construction began in 2005, when the city turned a thousand years old and began preparing for the 2013 Universiade sporting event. Since then, significant events have been held in the city at regular intervals.
Kazan is a great city destination, offering not only great shopping, great restaurants, a comprehensive range of hotels but also a wealth of cultural attractions. There are many sandy beaches along the Kazanka River that flow through the city, suitable for sunbathing but not for swimming, meaning Kazan is not suitable as a traditional beach resort.
The city’s main attractions include the historic Kremlin Fortress in the center, which is also the second of Tatarstan’s two UNESCO sites, the colorful Tatar Quarter, the city’s main pedestrian street, Baumaninkatu, the specially shaped Kazan Family Center and the Temple of All Religions outside the city center.
Baumaninkatu is teeming with locals and tourists alike.
Summer is the best time to travel
The best time to travel to Kazan is from May to September, when the weather in Tatarstan is at its best. The average temperature is about 25 degrees and there is little rainfall.
From Finland’s point of view, Kazan, located in the south, offers tourists a long summer, and in the city you can take a break from the warm summer weather already in May or, alternatively, continue the heat until the middle of September.
City break in Kazan
Traveling to Kazan is primarily for a city break, where the destination is just perfect: clean architecture and comfortable promenades make an urban adventure easy. Well-functioning public transport and low prices also make holidays easier.
The locals are very proud of the Tatar culture in the area, and during your stay in Kazan you should take part in cultural dinners for tourists, during which you will have the opportunity to learn not only about the history of the Tatars but also the delicacies of the area. The street scene shows plenty of traditional tubeteika hats, which shows the appreciation of your own traditions.
Kazan’s main pedestrian street, Baumaninkatu, is a place that locals head to on weekends and evenings. The street is full of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops, but the shopper should go shopping in the malls, as the locals do. For example, the Koltso shopping center at the end of Baumaninkatu has plenty of shops.
In addition to shopping, a holiday in Kazan is also worth exploring, as the only UNESCO site in the city, the Kazan Kremlin, is full of interesting things to see. The multi-building area includes two very impressive buildings, among others: the Kul Sharif Mosque and St. Mary’s Church. The area is a popular attraction, and especially popular with daytime tourists.
Located on the banks of the Kazanka River, which flows through the city, the special shape of the Kazan Family Center symbolizes the name of Kazan. Kazan is a Tatar, and it means a melting pot, and that is what the city really is: a meeting place for Tatar and Russian culture, as well as Orthodox and Muslims. There is a magistrate in the building, and the upstairs observation deck offers a spectacular view over Kazan all the way to the Kremlin on the other side of the river.
Kazan is a very cheap travel destination, as the local price level is cheap in Finnish. It is especially visible to the traveler in accommodation and restaurant prices.
Kazan is an international and multicultural Russian city that warmly welcomes tourists. In the city, mosques and churches stand side by side, and bilingual locals have a very positive attitude towards tourists. Indeed, two languages are spoken in Kazan: Tatar, reminiscent of Russian and Turkish. Young people in particular also speak English, but tourists do best in Russia. So before the trip, it is wise to learn the Cyrillic alphabet and a few basic phrases in Russian.
Although Kazan is a city of millions, it is a fairly safe destination at any time of the day. However, tourists should use common sense and be vigilant, especially in crowds, for pickpockets.