Kazan, Russia - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Kazan

Kazan

Kazan
Continent:  Europe
Country: Russia
Population: 1,143,5 (2015 estimate)
Dialing Code: +7 843
Time zone: MSK (UTC+03:00)
Language: Russian

 

 

Kazan is the largest capital and largest city of the Republic of Tartastan, Russia. It is widely known as the sports capital of Russia  and center of the world Tartar culture.

Kazan is Russia’s third largest city. It’s apt slogan ‘Where Europe meets Asia’ is the perfect description of this mixed but equally beautiful city. As the capital of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan,

Kazan mixes a rich Muslim Tatar culture Western Slavic influences and is famous for being a particularly religiously tolerant and friendly city.
The pride of Kazan is its impressive Kremlin which boasts both a mosque and an Orthodox cathedral and in recent years the whole city has been beautified and restored in preparation for the Olympiad – the international student Olympics - which was held here in 2013.

For those looking to see where European and Asian Russia meet and enjoy a glimpse into one of the country’s most vibrant non-Slavic republics, there’s probably no better starting point than Kazan.
 

Information & Facts

Activities

This vibrant city with over 1000 years of history is an excellent travel destination, and the number of tourists visiting is rapidly increasing every year. It's known for the centuries-old Kazan Kremlin, a fortified citadel containing museums and sacred sites. Kremlin landmarks include the tiered Tower of Soyembika, the blue-and-gold domed Annunciation Cathedral and the vast, colorful Kul Sharif Mosque.

Kazan has a lot of museums, including 34 state museums, several public and private galleries. The largest museum of the city is the National Museum of Tatarstan Republic, founded in 1894. You can find the most valuable natural science, archaeological, ethnographic and other exhibitions in the main building of the museum built in 1800-1815

International opera and ballet festival, different types of music festivals, popular singers concerts and many other interesting things to do. Cirque du Soleil regularly brings its shows to Kazan. Besides events, from the river station you can take boat trips on the Volga. Two-hour boat trips, without any stops, depart a few times a day. You can also take regular services to different places.

Sightseeing tour buses are also available to experience the city’s attractions, historical landmarks, and architectural beauties of Tatarstan's capital

Climate

Kazan has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters (colder than Moscow), and warm, often dry summers. As a result of its far inland position, summers are extremely warm for its latitude and winters are quite cold compared to areas further west in Europe.

Eating Out

Baumana Street has the largest collection of restaurants, cafes, and bars in the city. They range from acceptable to tourist traps

Getting Around

Much of the city center is walkable, and the main attractions for tourists (the Kremlin and Bauman Street) are only for pedestrian traffic. Public buses are abundant and cheap, but one must have some knowledge of Russian to read the signs or ask where the buses are headed. Bus system maps are apparently hard to come by. Taxis are available and operate mostly an on-call service, rather than plying the streets for fares. They also congregate at a few taxi stands in predictable places such as the train station.

A  developed metro station as well as a network of buses and trolley buses has helped eased traffic for citizens travelling in to the centre, especially on Kazan's many bridges. Most tourists will not need to use the metro although it can be a quick way to get between the Kremlin and your hotel for example.

Language

The official language is Russian but you will find some English speaking spots around the city.

Money

The official currency is the Ruble

All cash operations in Russia are maintained in rubles. One can always find the current exchange rate at the main page of our website. Practically every bank provides the service of exchanging foreign currency to rubles and vice versa. However, one should be prepared to show the passport and the customs declaration when exchanging one currency for another. The exchange rate can be usually found on the display near the entrance of the bank. Many shops as well as the overwhelming majority of restaurants accept Visa and Mastercard cards, whereas American Express cards and those of a local bank card association Zolotaya Korona (The Golden Crown) are accepted less frequently.

Negatives

Since the '70s, Kazan has long the reputation of being one of the least safe cities of Russia. The "Kazan phenomenon" of street gangs even became a journalistic and sociological concept. However, since the late '90s, the situation has changed fundamentally. Kazan has become a host city for a lot of large international events. As a result there was a modernization of police, so crime rate decreased significantly

Night Life

For some night fun the  Club Arena is the place to be. Good for a night out.

Restaurants

Tatar cuisine is filled with local twists on Central Asian and Russian dishes such as:

plov (Uzbek spiced rice and meat),

pilman (Tatar pelmeni or boiled dumplings),

burek (deep fried pastry parcels stuffed with cheese or meat),

ochpochmak (a triangular shaped mini-pie stuffed with fatty meat and onions, whose name literally means triangle)

beshmarak (boiled meat chunks served on a bed of large flat noodles).

The national sweet of Tatarstan is the ubiquitous chewy and sweet chak-chak - made by deep frying unleavened dough balls and then drenching them in honey.

Shopping

Souvenirs from Kazan reflects Tatar culture and ethnic colour. You can buy items with national ornaments and scenes from tatar folk tales, mosque figurines and many others. The most popular souvenir, that each tourist want to buy, is tatar national male headwear "Tubeteika".

Tatar national handicrafts is especially known for its unique leather art and tanning. This kind of very soft, yet long wearing leather called "safyan". Using ancient technologies, craftsmen make amazing items from leather - shoes, bags, slippers, keyfob and etc.

Sightseeing

The undoubted must see place in Kazan is the UNESCO listed Kremlin and in particular its famous mosque and the Hermitage Kazan centre. After you've done the Kremlin make sure to take a walk down Kremlevskaya Ulitsa to admire the city's 19th Century mansions, pop into the stunning Peter and Paul Cathedral along the way and then enjoy a lazy stroll along the pedestrianised Ulitsa Baumana which is full of cafes, bars and restaurants to rest up in.

  • Fri, 20 Oct

    Mostly cloudy. Cool.

    36 | 30 °F

    Mostly cloudy. Cool.

    70 %  Chance of Precipitation

  • Sat, 21 Oct

    Partly sunny. Cool.

    36 | 28 °F

    Partly sunny. Cool.

    18 %  Chance of Precipitation

  • Sun, 22 Oct

    More clouds than sun. Cool.

    34 | 25 °F

    More clouds than sun. Cool.

    42 %  Chance of Precipitation

  • Mon, 23 Oct

    Broken clouds. Cool.

    35 | 26 °F

    Broken clouds. Cool.

    5 %  Chance of Precipitation

  • Tue, 24 Oct

    Mostly cloudy. Cool.

    32 | 25 °F

    Mostly cloudy. Cool.

    7 %  Chance of Precipitation

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