Kazan

A long history of Kazan is rich in mysteries, extraordinary nature, climate and cultural memory. Each landmark swollen with the spirit of a nation. Being the capital of Tatarstan, the city stands on the banks of Volga river, so the heart of every traveler will be conquered by a picturesque view. This city has a population in the millions with more than 50 per cent of Tatars. Here are Orthodoxy and Islam with more than 100 nationalities. Kazan won’t leave you indifferent, let’s see why!

What to see/do in Kazan

Inspiration, rest, intellectual and spiritual growth. Is this what you are looking for? Well, Kazan’s guaranteed to give it to you! 

Sail on a boat along the Kazanka and the Volga rivers
Go to the city-island – Sviyazhsk - explore the fortress and learn about local monasteries
Take part in authentic national holiday of Tatarstan – Sabantuy
Visit soviet life-style museum and get acquainted with some interesting things that were popular in USSR
Cook your own ochpochmak at the special master-class with professional chief

Some Facts

You might be wondering what is Kazan famous for? Discover the most basic facts we’ve found
Kazan is jokingly called the Muslim capital of Russia
You’ll eventually fall in love with Tatar national cuisine, especially öçpoçmaq and çäkçäk.
Kazan is located in the central time zone.
Even historians don’t know the exact foundation date of this city
Since 2000, the Kazan Kremlin is among the objects of National Heritage UNESCO.
Here you can become the eyewitness of aurora borealis.

The Kazan subway

Opened in 2005, it is known as the most expensive in the world! 69.8 million dollars was spent per each kilometer of the newest city attraction - metro. In fact, it is the shortest in the world with only six metro stations so far. A useful tip! If you want to buy a ticket for example on Kazan to Moscow train, take into account that smartcard doesn’t include payment for baggage. The Kazan subway ride is also good for no flow of people, that’s why the cars of the trains are clean and tidy and the metro stations still originally decorated.

A bit of History

The settlement of Kazan was mentioned for the first time in the 10th century. But with arrival of the Tatar-Mongolian conquerors on Rus, the city became the capital of Golden Horde. In 1552, young and ambitious Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible connects Kazan to the Moscow Rus and since that time, Kazan is Russia.

If we look at where is Kazan in Russia, we’ll see the geographical location on the border of two largest Europe and Asia continents that tells us about an incredible set of cultures. But what is known about it on facts?

By the way, if you have heard a popular Russian phrase The Kazan Orphan («сирота казанская» sounds in Russian [sirota kazanskaya]), surely you’ll be interested to know where it’s from! So, Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan, thus he wanted to get all the respected people. To achieve that goal, he pleased them with expensive gifts; therefore, some of them were specially pretending to be orphans, the victims of siege in order to receive presents from the new Tsar.  

So, returning to its history, noone knows exactly the etymology of mysterious Kazan. But legends of the city tunnels that may have a distance from Kazan to Moscow or even further, about city’s treasure even more attracting the attention of tourists:

  • The main mystery of Kaban Lake is about mysteriously disappeared Khan’s treasury. This riddle is equally torment historians and treasure hunters both, moreover it has a lot of arguments for and against the version that at the bottom of lake is buried the untold treasures.
  • The snow leopard in one of the main Kazan symbols. Its image can be seen on Tatarstan crest and also in its honor are called palaces of sports, squares and monuments, etc. After this, you may have a question how safe is Russian Kazan,  are there any snow leopards now? But these predators have never been in the Volga region, so it’s just a fiction. However, as the legend goes, one orphan boy got lost walking in the woods and probably would have died if hadn’t been found by the white leopard who protected and nursed him.
  • Next one is Söyembikä Tower, a mysterious place from whatever side to look. It is still not known when was built. The saddest and most romantic legend is about Ivan the Terrible who wanted to marry the czarina Suyumbike. The beauty agreed, but asked for a present. It was a tower, which was built in 7 days. But at the wedding day she threw herself down from the tower.

Of course, to tell in short about the rich history of this region is impossible, because it is should be seen and felt by you, and that’s what we encourage you to do! If you want to refresh yourself, then choose a walk in Kazan tunnels instead of espresso.

A bit of geography

Despite the fact that Kazan is a large port, it also has an international airport where you can use flights from Kazan to Moscow or to another location. The length of the city from north to south is 29 km, from east to west - 31 km. The central, southwestern and western part of city is situated along the Volga river for 15 km. In other hand, the city has two railway stations, central and transit.  Through the middle of the city from the northeast to the west flows the Kazanka river and divides the city into two roughly equal parts. 

A bit about the climate...

Kazan is a city where the average temperature in winter is from -9 up to -12 (sometimes up to -20), and in summer +17-20. So, if you want to experience the harsh Russian winter, you’re welcome! In case you would like to visit in summer- it is the best weather for Russian Kazan, in winter – take warm clothes, in spring and autumn – take all the clothes that you have. What’s more, though Kazan is a megacity, it completely recycles the waste and has no negative ecological situation. 

A bit about locals

As we have mentioned, there are more than 100 nationalities in Kazan: Tatars, Russians, Ukrainians, etc. Just imagine how much friendly this city is with such a mix of nationalities! Here are two official languages: Russian and Tatar. What is more interesting, all the newspaper and signs in the city are also written in these two languages. Although, in all municipal and commercial establishments, it is customary to communicate and write the documents in Russian.  

Communication with a local may help you discover comfortable hostels, food places with a live music, great other cities in Russia or even where is profitable to buy tickets on flights from Kazan to St Petersburg and other places. Don’t forget that it may help you to find rare and wonderful parts of city, such as the “Russian Switzerland” natural monument, or the house on the corner of Karl Marks and Mushtari Streets where was born a famous Gala, known also as Salvador Dali’s wife. Use this free bonus and discover Kazan from a new side!