I had the fortune of travelling to Kazan. It’s been branded at Russia’s 3rd capital and also as the sporting capital of the nation. The city is famous for the peaceful co-existence of Muslim and Christian population. I for one really wanted to see what that was about and explore the serene streets of city.
Kazan is the city of Tatars, but it’s filled with people from all over Russia. Every woman is drop dead gorgeous and the men look sharp.
Kazan is about 800 km from Moscow and can be reached by an overnight train, a series of buses or flights. I had taken the overnight train and it was probably the best decision I made. You really get to see the expanse of Russia with literally endless fields.
Alternatively you can also get in via flight from Moscow. These usually cost between $100- $120 and reduce travel time to an hour.
Places to see
This is Kazan’s very own walking street in the heart of the city. It plays host to some of the most best food spots, tourist merchandise and boutiques. Don’t forget to visit ‘Chai Doma’ on Bauman Street. It’s the best place to have authentic Tatar food.
The Kremlin is a vast piece of land on top of a hill, looking below at the Kazanka river. The walls are whitewashed with tombs of blue and gold. Most of the constructions inside the Kremlin were built out of wood. You’ve got to take a walk around the Kremlin! If you’re in the mood to splurge, you could also hire a horse drawn carriage for a tour around the Kremlin.
Within the Kazan Kremlin you will find the Söyembikä Tower. Also known as the Khan’s Tomb, this monument was built in the 16th century. It is said that this tower was built by Ivan the Terrible’s artisans in just over a week! The site of the offers a stunning view of the Kazanka river and city’s skyline.
The Kul Sharif is by far the most amazing mosque I have seen in my entire life! Its white walls and blue tops create a stunning image from any angle. This monument can be called as the definitive icon of Kazan. A trip to Kazan would be incomplete without a trip to Kazan.
Kazan is an important centre of education in Russia. It is home to the Kazan Federal University a premier institute of education in the Volga region of Russia. The university has a lot of diversity in the field of studies it offers to students. There is a significant population of foreign students at the Kazan Federal University.
Kazan is really off the tourist map and so it makes it even more special. The city has a unique culture and cuisine that cannot be missed. You are sure to have a unique experience of Russia if you visit Kazan. I’d go further to say that it may even change the perception you have about all Russian! 😉