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Kazan, a city deriving its name from the Tatar word for cooking pot, is true to its name. Over a hundred years older than Moscow, a genuine stew of both Tatar and Slavic cultures makes the capital of the Tatarstan Republic a treasure to explore. Here are 10 recommendations for what to do in Kazan that will ensure you get the most out of the city.
Bauman Street, the main pedestrian thoroughfare, pumps life through the city centre both day and night. Alongside souvenir shops sit cafés, shops and museums with street performers and buskers out to entertain. At night people who are out looking for a good time fill up the restaurants, clubs, and bars that the strip has to offer. One of the oldest streets in Kazan, even a casual stroll down it will take you past beautiful sights such as the iconic bell tower for the Epiphany Church and the unique Monument Cat Kazan.
World Heritage-listed, the Kazan Kremlin is the only surviving Tatar fortress in Russia, parts of it dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Built at the request of the Ivan the Terrible, the bright white sandstone walls encircle the city’s historical centre filled with age-old buildings. Highlights include the Kul Sharif Mosque, the Hermitage and the Tatarstan Museum of Natural History.
Echoing Tatar bazars of yore, Kazan’s central market is a vibrant reminder of life in bygone times. Vendors push their wares and rub shoulders with babushkas selling produce straight from their garden, or berries and mushrooms foraged from nearby forests. An onslaught of smells, tastes and sights, the central market is the place to be to soak up local atmosphere, buy souvenirs, or get stuck into a tasty lunch.
Looking for things to do in Moscow? Check out our city guide here.