Traveling to Kazan, Russia
You won’t find the city of Kazan in most people’s list of top cities to visit in Russia. This is quite a shame considering the fact that Kazan has a lot to offer. You owe it to yourself to check it out so you can see for yourself why more and more tourists are discovering this hidden gem and are actually making return trips with their family and friends.
The perfect time to visit Kazan is right now. The city underwent a major facelift back in 2005 in celebration of its 1,000 year anniversary. Read this guide in order to convince yourself that your trip this year should be to Kazan, Russia.
About the City
According to the 2011 census, the city has a population of more or less 1.3 million people. It’s an influential city with strong influences in economics, culture and history. This makes it worthy of its title, “The Third Capital of Russia” right after Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Moscow and St. Petersburg are both very popular tourist destinations. We can recommend you to check out this list of the must see places to visit in Russia – there on the travel blog you can find some more ideas for your future trip to Russia.
10 Must Things to See in Kazan, Russia
As mentioned, the city has a lot to offer. There are dozens, maybe even hundreds of things to see in the city. Of course, most tourists don’t have the time and resources to check out all of them. If you’re one of these tourists, refer to the list below for the 10 must things to see in Kazan, Russia.
- Kazan Kremlin
No thanks to Ivan the Terrible who led the destruction of this fortress, it’s not really a fortress anymore. Fortunately, the Kremlin was reconstructed and was constructed with new fortifications and even new institutions. See the Kremlin to see the Russian influence of the 16th and 17th century when the reconstruction took place.
Entrance is not free, but affordable. You only need to pay 20 Rubles to gain entry or 300 Rubles for a guided tour. Very cheap with today’s rate (Russian currency Ruble is very low right compare to the US Dollars and Euro).
- Suyumbike Tower
This is a popular destination because of the legend of the Tatar Princess Suyumbike. While locals generally don’t believe the legend, the romantic aspect is still quite a draw.
- Kul-Sharif Mosque
This is a relatively new mosque, having been completed last 2005 after 10 years of construction. Located inside the Kazan Kremlin, you can enter for free. Make sure to check out the Museum of Islam below the mosque’s ground floor. You can learn more about Kul-Sharif Mosque here on Wikipedia.
- State Museum of the Tatar State and the Republic of Tatarstan
This should be included in your itinerary if you’re a fan of museums. This was constructed as part of the city’s 1,000 year anniversary so you just know that it’s an amazing museum. Entrance to the museum is cheap at just 20 Rubles.
- Soviet Lifestyle Museum
If the usual museums bore you, then you have to visit the unconventional Soviet Lifestyle Museum. It’s very original and should provide you with an experience like no other. If you want to experience what it was like back in the USSR, this is a museum that you should visit. Make sure to look for Rustem who’s the curator of the museum. You’ll get a good lesson on the life before as compared to the life now.
- The Temple of all Religions
This is located along the borders of Kazan. This is a must-see if you consider yourself an architecture buff. In here, you’ll see 16 different towers that represent various religions. You still can’t visit the place inside because it’s not yet finished, but it’s still a must-see from the outside because you can already see the structures.
- Bauman Street
Can a street be a tourist destination? It can be if it’s Bauman Street. This pedestrian zone has everything from souvenir stores to bars. This is also a good spot to watch and observe locals and tourists alike. You should also check out the statuary.
- Ekijat Tatar Puppet Theater
Satisfy your inner child by visiting the Ekijat Tatar Puppet Theater. You’ll have a lot of fun checking out this theater. It’s a good way for you to just have some simple fun. As a bonus, the building itself is very beautiful.
- Cathedral of the Apostles Peter and Paul
Cathedrals are always a must-see and the Cathedral of the Apostles Peter and Paul is not an exception. It’s a very beautiful church both from the inside and the outside. It’s built differently from other cathedrals so that’s an incentive for you to check it out. Make sure to check the schedule of service so that you’ll know when you can check it out from the inside.
- Agricultural Palace
You may find it surprising that locals generally don’t like this building, although it’s a hit among tourists especially those who are a fan of architecture. It presents the new beauty that the new Russian architecture has to offer – one that is supposed to be lavish. Make sure to check it out and compare it with the Kazan Kremlin to see the glaring differences.
What to Do Now
These are the 10 must things to see in Kazan and you can bet that these are not the only ones. There are other places to see but this list is a good place to start. Start with these 10 and you’ll see why this guide is recommending them. You’ll also see why they’re very popular among tourists, and why most of them are very popular among locals as well.
Kazan offers architectural sights as you can see on this list. This means that the city is meant to be enjoyed while you’re out there walking along its streets. It’s a historical city that has a lot to offer so it’s time for you to start planning a trip to Kazan right now.
Have fun traveling to Kazan, Russia!