Skip Navigation

Travel Guide Europe Russia Volga Region Kazan

edit

Introduction

Gates of the kremlin

Gates of the kremlin

© All Rights Reserved dlinares

Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Volga Region. The city is the 6th biggest in Russia with a little over 1 million inhabitants. Kazan holds the title of "The Third Capital of Russia" (after Moscow and Saint Petersburg), taking this title from the competing Nizhny Novgorod. By many measures, Kazan has the one of the highest standards of living in Russia, only after Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Kazan has recently earned the reputation of a sports city, due to its recent investments in this domain. Kazan held the Universiade 2013, and will be a host city in the FIFA World Cup in 2018 in Russia. Possibly one of the World Cup semi-finals will be held in Kazan! Both the World Cup and Universiade events are fueling the city's booming construction. In the last couple of years, sport venues have popped up in Tatar capital, together with residential buildings and offices. Many of Kazan's professional teams, such as Rubin (football) or Ak Bars (hockey), have been recent Russia champions.

Located between Europe and Asia, having both Russian and Tatar populations, Kazan peacefully blends Muslim and Christian cultures. There are also many other religions represented in Kazan. For example, in the city center there is a synagogue and new Catholic church. This vibrant city with over 1,000 years of history is an excellent travel destination, and the number of tourists visiting is rapidly increasing every year.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Kazan Kremlin, Ulitsa Kreml (ул. Кремль) - Once a Tatar fortress, it was largely destroyed by Ivan the Terrible. During the 16th and 17th Centuries, Russians reconstructed the Kremlin with new fortifications and Russian institutions (such as the Annunciation Cathedral). Many of the features of the Kremlin reflect Russian influence of that era, and the construction of the parapets and watchtowers is particularly reminiscent of other dominant Russian cities of the time, such as Pskov and Novgorod. The Kremlin has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Entry to the Kremlin is through the white clock tower (the Spasskaya Tower) at the end of Bauman Street. Entry costs 300 Rubles with a guided tour, or 20 Rubles to explore the grounds on one's own.

Top

edit

Weather

Kazan has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. From June to August, the average daytime temperatures are 22-25 °C with an alltime high of around 38 °C. Nights are around 13-15 °C. Winters from December to February see average highs of -6 °C to -8 °C, while nights plummit to average temperatures of -12 °C to -15 °C, while the alltime low stands at a freezing -47 °C. Average annual precipitation is around 550mm with most of it falling during the warmer summer months. Snow is common in winter.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-9.3 °C-7.9 °C-1.4 °C9 °C18.9 °C22.7 °C24.8 °C22.7 °C15.9 °C6.7 °C-1 °C-6.3 °C
Avg Min-16.4 °C-15 °C-8.6 °C0.8 °C8 °C12.3 °C14.8 °C12.7 °C7.5 °C0.9 °C-5.7 °C-12.4 °C
Rainfall33 mm28 mm27 mm36 mm37 mm73 mm70 mm69 mm52 mm47 mm44 mm38 mm
Rain Days1087769989101010

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Kazan International Airport (KZN) has flights to Moscow, Frankfurt, Ufa, Krasnodar, Surgut, Dushanbe, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Tashkent, Tel Aviv, Yerevan and Samarkand, among several other regional cities.

The airport is southeast of the city and quite far from the city center. It is served by Aeroexpress trains that depart from the main station (Kazan-1) with a 2 hour interval. Travel time is 20 minutes, the 2nd class ticket costs 250 rubles. A taxi from the train station to the airport takes about 60–90 minutes and starts from 600 rubles (when ordered in advance), although it may run well above 1,000 rubles when you hail a random cab at the terminal and refrain from bargaining. You can also take a taxi to the nearest metro station (Prospekt Pobedy), which is only 15 min from the city center, and continue by public transport. Alternatively, reach this metro station in about 40 minutes with bus 97 that runs on a somewhat irregular schedule between 5:30 and 18:00 with 30-40 minute intervals.

By Train

Kazan has good train connections to Moscow (2-3 overnight trains, 11-13 hours) and Saint-Petersburg (daily train, 22 hours). One of the Moscow trains is firmenniy, dubbed Tatarstan, with fancy new double-decker cars and Tatar-style on-board restaurant. Although Kazan is not on the classic Trans-Siberian route (which lies to the north), many trains from Moscow to Siberia and the Far East pass this way, rejoining the classic route at Ekaterinburg (15 hours). Cities like Izhevsk and Ulyanovsk are served at least twice daily (5-6 hours), and there is a suburban train to Yoshkar-Ola (3.5 hours).

By Bus

Arriving in Kazan by bus is somewhat less common, unless you travel within Tatarstan, where buses and minibuses are by far the main mode of transportation. Most routes are nowadays served by private-run ("unofficial") buses and minibuses that may terminate in different places, for example, at the train station (Kazan-1), at ploschad Tukaya, at Sovetskaya Sq. in the eastern part of Kazan, etc. The system is haphazard and impossible to track. If you arrive by bus, you will mostly likely find yourself at the train station, which is more or less in the city center. When you leave the city, check where the buses to your destination depart from.

By Boat

Although not very active, the boat traffic in the vicinity of Kazan is the only local boat service in the whole Volga region. Hydrofoils sail to Bolgar twice daily and additionally serve a number of small boroughs on the western bank of the river. Slow boats to Sviyazhsk are also available. But the most frequent boat connection to/from Kazan is the shuttle to Verkhny Uslon village on the opposite side of the river (see Go Next section). Navigation starts beginning of May and ends in late September or early October. A large number of cruise boats pass through Kazan or even terminate here. One-way or return cruises may be reserved to/from practically any city along the Volga.

Top

edit

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 Metro system is being developed, with ten stations on the red line in operation as of early 2013, running between Avivastroitelnaya and Prospekt Pobedy. A free map is distributed at the reception of hotels.

Top

edit

Eat

Self-caterers can find a large supermarket (one of the Bakhetle chain) in the TsUM building across from the Mirage Hotel. The bakery across from the Milena Hotel on Tazi Gizzata Street has excellent bread and a few groceries.

Top

edit

Sleep

View our map of accommodation in Kazan or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

Top

edit

Learn

Kazan has long been a focal point of higher education in Russia. It remains a university city, with some of Russia's top universities including Kazan Federal University (KFU - formerly Kazan State University, TGGPU and the Kazan Finance Institute), Kazan State Technological University (KGTU), Kazan State Technical University (KAI), and "Energa" University. Many foreign students study in Kazan, adding color to the city's tolerant and diverse population. Schools in Kazan, and wider Tatarstan, tend to be some of Russia's best.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Russia is a huge country, and excess to the internet varies a lot. The main cities and tourist places have (free) wifi excess at lots of places, like restaurants and cafes (McDonald's is always a safe bet). Internet cafes are present in larger places as well. Rural areas and especially if you venture into remote and/or mountainous areas have little excess at all. Most travellers will find connections though when using their phone or tablet.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The emergency number is 112. The country code for Russia is 7. Russian phone numbers have an area code with three, four or five digits (according to their province), followed by an individual number with, respectively, 7, 6 or 5 digits, always yielding 10 digits in total. The three digit code 800 is used for toll-free calls. Mobile phones always have three-digit "area" codes and seven-digit numbers. Calls within any one area code may omit the area code (except in Moscow). Inter-area code calls within Russia: 8 (wait for tone) full Russian number including area code. The international access code for dialling outwith Russia is the sequence of 8 (wait for secondary tone and then) 10. International calls to Russia, as always, replace the plus sign (+) in the international phone format with the local international access code for the country you're calling from, followed by Russia's country code of 7 followed by the individual Russian phone number including area code.

You will require a SIM-unlocked GSM 900 / 1800 compatible international cell phone when buying a Russian SIM card. If you do not have your own international cell phone, it's best to buy a cheap cell phone with some value on the card. Foreigners can purchase a local SIM card by showing your passport. BeeLine is considered to be the best in terms of reliability and connections quality. However Megafon's services can be a bit cheaper.

Post

Russian Post is the national postal service of Russia. It's English version is currently under construction, but mainly involves the track&trace system. The domestic post is reasonably reliable, and sending international mail is fairly reliable but slow, taking at least a few weeks to European countries, longer to the USA or Australia for example. The delivery of mail sent from abroad to Russia is highly unreliable, and people or companies tend to use foreign adresses, from where a private carrier sends it to Russia. Alternatives like poste restante are non-existent with Russian Post. Most cities and large towns in Russia have a Central Post Office (Glavpochtamt), which also sells stamps and envelopes, and usually has fax services and Internet availability, though the latter mostly not in smaller places. Also, many hotels have postal services, including mail boxes. Post offices tend to keep long hours, usually from 8:00am or 9:00am until 8:00pm or 9:00pm Monday to Friday, and closing earlier during weekends. The main central post offices in the biggest cities keep even longer hours. For sending parcels, you can also try services by DHL Russia and FedEx Russia. For all mail you can use the regular alphabet, though maybe include the country's name in Cyrillic. For sending post to Russia (or trying to receive it) note that addresses should be in reverse order: Russia, postal code, city, street address, name.

Top

Accommodation in Kazan

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Kazan searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Kazan and areas nearby.

Kazan Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Kazan

This is version 8. Last edited at 12:34 on Nov 8, 17 by Utrecht. 9 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License