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Kazan Kremlin
Kazan Kremlin | © Denis Larkin / Shutterstock
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Your World Cup 2018 Guide to Kazan

Picture of Zita Whalley
Updated: 22 May 2018
Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, is a melting pot of cultures. If you’re wondering where to eat, drink and see the city in all its glory, look no further. Here’s our essential guide to Kazan.

Where to eat in Kazan

While in Kazan, travellers absolutely must eat Tatar cuisine. Discover the best places to try it in our list of Kazan’s best Tatar restaurants. Make sure to sample the horsemeat solyanka (a type of soup), the duck belish (a pie of potatoes and grains encased in crusty pastry), and, of course, the region’s national dessert, chak-chak. If mouthwatering pies and baked goods are what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with Tatar stalwart Dom Tatarskoi Kulinarii or, for a cheaper, quicker Tatar option, try Dom Chaya (you can grab takeaway here too). Both eateries are on the city’s main drag, Bauman Street.

While Tatar cuisine can be meat-heavy, there are plenty of restaurants that cook up a great selection of flavoursome, vegetarian dishes and lighter European fare. Check out our list of the best restaurants in Kazan. If you’re simply after a lazy brunch, check out Kazan’s best late-breakfast spots here.

Manti dumplings
Manti dumplings | © Lachlan Hardy / Flickr

Where to drink in Kazan

As a university town, Kazan is not short of places to drink. There are a few places near Kazan Family Centre, like ReLab, but the glut of the city’s libation choices are kremlin-side, found on or around Bauman Street. If you’re looking for sports bars screening the 2018 World Cup, cross the river to the side of the citadel, where you’ll find plenty of places that serve cocktails, wine and craft beer. If you’re just after a caffeine buzz, head to NEFT or check out our other coffee shop recommendations.

Cuba Libre
Cuba Libre | Courtesy of Cuba Libre

What to see and do in Kazan

Visitors can’t go to Kazan without checking out the city’s majestic kremlin. The World Heritage-listed building is thought to have been built in the 16th century and is the world’s last surviving Tatar fortress. Within the fortress walls is one of the city’s most iconic sights, the azure-topped Kul Sharif Mosque. From the mosque head towards the river to the Suyumbike Tower, which was fabled to have been built by request of its namesake princess so she could jump off it and save herself from marrying Ivan the Terrible. For more on Kazan’s attractions, check out our list of the 10 best things to see and do. If you have more than just a weekend, there are some great places near Kazan that you can explore in a day. If not, here’s our whistle-stop tour to help you spend an unforgettable weekend in Kazan.

Sviyazhsk at sunset
Sviyazhsk at sunset | ©Yasni / Shutterstock

How to get to Kazan’s FIFA Fan Fest Zone

As the official FIFA 2018 World Cup Fan Fest Zone, the Kazan Family Centre will be the place to be this summer. A worthwhile sight on its own merit, it sits across the Kazanka River from the kremlin and boasts an observation deck offering panoramic views of the Volga and the city. The scenic 40-minute walk from the central train station around the Kremlin and along the Volga and Kazanka rivers offers unbeatable views. But if you’re pushed for time, the Koz’ya Sloboda metro station is just up the road. You can also jump on any one of the buses that are heading towards the Youth Centre, which is right next door.

Kazan Family Centre, 4 Sibgata Khakima Street, Kazan 420066

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Kazan Family Centre | © Kirill Sirazheev / Flickr

How to get to Kazan Arena

Also across the river from the kremlin and along the banks, the stadium is a little more tricky to get to if you don’t have a car. By public transport, you’re best to jump on tram 5, which starts at the central train station. Tram 6 also goes by the arena, but connects the stadium to areas outside the city centre. You can also access Kazan Arena by trolleybus 7. Built in a residential area, sleeping and eating options are far better in the city than nearby. However, the Riverina complex – about 20 minutes’ walk from the stadium – has cafés, bars, a cinema, hotel and access to the water park.

Kazan Arena, 115 A Khusaina Yamasheva Avenue, Kazan 421001

Kazan Arena
Kazan Arena | © Ai Kagou / Flickr