Situated where the Volga meets the Kazanka River, the eclectic city of Kazan is a modern day melting-pot of both Eastern and European cultures. From azure topped mosques to baroque cathedrals, the city’s rich Tatar and Russian history is evident in the architecture and its people. Lose yourself the the diversity of this glorious city with our tips on how to best discover Kazan. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
The Kazan Kremlin
Take in the splendour of this World Heritage listed gem. It is the only remaining Tatar fortress in Russia and includes sections which date back to the 10th Century.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
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The Hermitage – Kazan
Be inspired by the incredible collections at the Hermitage-Kazan. The world-class exhibitions often travel from St. Petersburg’s Hermitage with a focus on classicism.
Museum of Soviet Life
Kul Sharif Mosque
Destroyed by Ivan the Terrible in 1552, this resplendent mosque was only rebuilt 2005. The museum inside focuses on the history of Islam in the Volga region.
Temple of All Religions
Brainchild of local artist and philanthropist Ilda Khanov, the design for this multi-faith place of worship was inspired by sixteen major religions. Built and maintained by Khanov and his assistants, it also serves as their residence.
Playing no small part in Kazan earning the title as Russia’s sporting capital, the stadium will host 2018 FIFA World Cup games including a quarterfinal. A word-class arena, it was designed by the same team behind the Sochi Olympic Stadium.
According to local folklore, Princess Suyumbike threw herself off the top of the tower to avoid having to marry Ivan the Terrible, however it is estimated that the tower was built over a hundred years after Ivan stormed Kazan.
Kazan’s main pedestrian artery, Bauman Street keeps locals going day and night. Filled with bars, shops, souvenirs and historic buildings, it is well worth a stroll down the strip any time of day.
Reminiscent of Tartar bazars of yesteryear, the central market is the place to go for an on-the-ground hit of culture. Filled with vendors and babushkas selling everything from clothes to home grown vegetables, it is a feast for the senses.
Kazan Family Centre
A massive cauldron-like structure, up to 100 couples can simultaneously get married in this purpose built building. A two-storey observation deck boasting a splendid view of the Kremlin across the Kazanka River is a treat to those who leave with their marital status intact.
Ministry for Agriculture and Food
Built in just two years, the new home of the Ministry of Agriculture typifies baroque grandiosity. Intricately designed, an enormous bronze tree is the building’s centrepiece while metal sculptures of Zilant, Kazan’s city emblem, also features in the design concept.
SS Peter and Paul Cathedral
Built to commemorate Peter the Great’s visit to the city, this Russian Orthodox church is an ornate gem of Naryshkin baroque architecture.
Zilant the Dragon
Kazan’s insignia, Zilant, is part dragon, bird, canine and snake. Multiple and conflicting stories make up its legend, but Zilant has been coming and going as the city’s official symbol since Ivan the Terrible.
Plan a trip to relax and unwind in the tranquil abbey grounds, an easy getaway from Kazan’s bustle. Closed during Soviet times, it re-opened in 1991, with many of the monks returning to restore it to it’s former beauty.
A must for foodies, this museum offers its guests a taste of traditional Tatar food and drink, quite literally. Sample sweets, cakes and teas, and then learn how to make chak-chak, honey-baked dough balls brought out at festivities. Bookings essential.
Old Tatar Settlement
Stroll through the brightly coloured collection of traditionally decorated wooden houses that mark the spot where ethnic Tatars were forced to live during the Siege of Kazan in 1552.
Punctuating the skyline along Bauman Street, is the impressive Epiphany Bell Tower. Climb up for an equally impressive view of the surroundings.
Musa Jalil Monument
A Soviet Tatar poet and resistance fighter, Musa Jalil was captured and then executed by the Nazis in 1944. This contemplative statue was erected in his honour.
Designed by Postnik Yakovlev, the architect behind Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral, the church has been destroyed and rebuilt many times since it was built in the 16th century. Restored to its current state in 2005, the interior iconostasis, while new, holds figures and statues that date back centuries.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
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