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Sitting on the Volga and Kazanka rivers banks in Russia, Kazan is a modern city that is bursting with cultural wonders and interesting attractions, making it a wonderful place for a vacation. The best time to visit Kazan is from June right through August as temperatures are nice with not too much rain.
Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan, which is inside Russia but has a government that operates autonomously. Sitting on the Volga and Kazanka rivers banks, Kazan is a modern city that is bursting with cultural wonders and interesting attractions, making it a wonderful place for a vacation.
You might catch a concert, festival or cultural event, with the highlight being the Karavan Festival in May.
The best time to visit Kazan is from June right through August as temperatures are nice with not too much rain.
Winter can get chilly with -9 °C in January, although the city looks lovely under a snow blanket.
Keep this in mind when you book your flight to Kazan from Toronto. Flights land at Kazan International Airport, which isn’t too far from the city.
It is easy to find accommodation to fit any budget in Kazan, with city centre hotels being a popular option for tourists. Luxury hotels, affordable hostels and traditional family-owned little places are all over the city.
Giuseppe Hotel has been a much-loved temporary home to travellers to Kazan since the mid-1800s. It is based in the heart of the city. Giuseppe Restaurant serves Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and has a cozy log fire for those chilly evenings.
Courtyard by Marriott Kazan Kremlin is a modern base close to the city centre near the Kremlin, as the name suggests, so you can easily go sightseeing then go back to your hotel to relax in style. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day if you get a craving for your favourite Tatar dish.
Shalyapin Palace Hotel is as regal as it sounds and we love the indoor pool, piano bar and restaurant serving traditional fare. This lovely 19th-century property is a short walk from Ploshchad Tukaya metro station and 1 km from the Kazan Kremlin museum complex.
The Temple Of All Religions is beautiful in appearance and concept. This colorful, sacred site has architectural features taken from churches, mosques and synagogues and encourages all religions to worship in harmony. It has influences covering 16 religions and was built by philanthropist Ildar Khanov in 1992.
Did you know the word Kremlin translates to the citadel in Russian? Many big cities in Russia have a Kremlin and the Kazan Kremlin has a strong Islamic influence due to the large Muslim population and the blue-domed Kul Sharif Mosque inside the citadel. There is also the Annunciation Cathedral, representing Russian Orthodox Christianity. The Kremlin was built on Ivan the Terrible’s orders and became a World Heritage Site in 2000.
Another stunning religious place of worship to visit is the Märcani Mosque, built from 1766 to 1770 on Catherine the Great orders. It was paid for by public donations. It was the first mosque built in Kazan under Russian rule.
St. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox church that was built in 1722. Every Russian emperor since the era of Catherine II visited the cathedral as well as famous writers such as Alexander Pushkin and other famous public figures. It is noted for its stunning interiors, including gorgeous frescoes, stucco molding, bright colors, and interesting architectural details.
Don’t forget your camera when you go to Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda, aka the Old Tatar Quarter. With medieval streets, 75 monuments and historic architecture, it is a charming area of the city. It covers nearly 88 hectares so spare some time to walk around, take photos, enjoy hot tea with oriental sweets and soak up the atmosphere.
The Kaban Lakes include Nizhny Kaban, Verkhny Kaban and Sredny Kaban and connect to the Kazanka River. Rent a pedal boat and take to the water with the ducks.
There is something so fascinating about dragons, and they are a part of Kazan mythology. The Monument Dragon Zilant outside the Kremlin is hard to miss. The giant dragon sculpture that was installed in 2005 is a striking sight. There are many unique statues all over the city, including a cat statue in Bauman Street and a giant pie statue near Millenium Park that is quite life-like.
You will probably be finding some new flavours in Kazan. Kazylyk, or horse meat sausage, is a delicacy in Kazan. Tatar sherbet is a sweet beverage made from fruits and honey. Be sure to try Manti, which is a kind of dumpling filled with spiced lamb, beef or horse mince and covered in butter, sour cream, or an onion sauce. There are lots of traditional desserts to try too.
More Highlights Of Kazan
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