13 May Kazan in one day. Explore Russian cities
Kazan is a unique Russian city with 1000 years history and 1,2 million population. It is the capital of Republic of Tatarstan and place where many cultures come together and even on the one square you can see church and mosque standing one by another.
The most of the signs in the city are coming in two languages: Russian and Tatar. Thanks to the 27th Summer Universiade, which was held in summer 2013, the whole city was beautifully restored.
So if you have only one day in Kazan, these are five things we suggest you to do:
Walk along Baumana street, it is a nice pedestrian street, located right in the center of the city, many beautiful buildings are situated there, many people take pictures with funny statues standing along the street (giant cat and carriage in which you can actually sit are among them).
It was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2000. You won’t regret if going there twice: at night time, when the its territory is still open, charming lightening is everywhere and as there are practically no people, in a small garden you will hear beautiful serenade of nightingales.
The symbol of of the city, dragon Zilant:
Fantastic Qol Sharif Mosque by night:
Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation with Qol Sharif Mosque in the background:
Then return to Kremlin and take a walking tour inside of Kremlin (you can buy this tour just at the entrance to Kremlin, group tour for up to 10 people of foreigners costs 800 rubles). This tour will give you a great perspective on a history of Kazan, why they have two official languages, religions and nationalities living in one city.
Spasskaya tower of Kremlin and main entrance (right in the arcade there is a touristic office):
View on the Qol Sharif Mosque:
The Soyembika tower:
Dive into Kazan Metro
It is very small, has only 5 stations and trains go once in 15 minutes, but inside it’s really charming and worth of a small metro tour. Go from station Kremlyovskaya to station Tukaya square. Once you go out from station Tukaya square, cross the Millenium park and get to the lake Kaban.
As a must do take catamaran for an hour and enjoy the lake from it. One hour of catamaran rent costs 200 rub, one catamaran is for up to 4 people.
Try national Tatar cuisine
Among specialities are elesh (sort of a pie with filling from meat and potatoes, in some places served with broth); chack-chack – a sweet honey desert. And of course various soups and dishes from meat, especially with lamb. There are many canteens in a city-center, if you want very authentic meal-experience, visit one of them, for example place which is called Dom Chaya (translated as Tea House). You can also buy delicious pastry in a Tatar supermarket called Behetle.