With a population of about 1.3 million, rich history, deep culture and strong economic influence Kazan holds the title of “The Third Capital of Russia” (after Moscow and Saint Petersburg).
A prevailing feature of life in Kazan is peaceful, creative coexistence of different religions and nationalities. It is a melting pot of multiple religions, a blend of Slavic and Tatar cultures and home to outstanding architecture.
Due to its gorgeous architecture, breathtaking scenery, and welcoming locals, Kazan is the perfect destination for travelers of all ages. Kazan is without a doubt a highlight of the Trans-Siberian tours. Kazan Kremlin, Kul Sharif Mosque, Söyembikä Tower, Russia’s ‘leaning tower’, and the blue and gold onion domes of Annunciation Cathedral, Kazan’s oldest are city’s major landmarks and historical buildings.
Kazan is among the well-equipped cities of Russia in terms of sports infrastructure. In 2009, an online survey deemed Kazan Russia’s sports capital. Kazan has hosted multiple sports events at national and international level, including two field hockey world championships (2005 and 2011), the summer World Student Games (2013), fencing world championships (2014), and others. In 2018, Kazan hosted the FIFA World Cup.
Kazan is also identified as a University City harbouring Kazan Federal University (KFU – formerly Kazan State University, TGGPU and the Kazan Finance Institute), Kazan State Technological University (KGTU), Kazan State Technical University (KAI) and “Energa” University.
Located between Europe and Asia Kazan has both Russian and Tatar populations, Kazan peacefully blends Muslim and Christian cultures. This vibrant city enfolds in it 1,000 years of vibrant history. With magnificent palaces, towering churches, and a thriving cultural scene, Kazan is a pure Russian city with incredible beauty and heart.
Kazan offers a lot of diverse events you can visit during your stay here – international opera, ballet festival, different types of music festivals, popular singers’ concerts and many other interesting things to do.
There are a great number of sports grounds and active leisure facilities in Kazan. There are sports facilities to play hockey or go skating, skating rinks, and aqua parks with swimming pools and rides. Those who are into active leisure would enjoy a rope park and a go-karting centre.
Cirque du Soleil regularly brings its shows to Kazan. And a must-see event in Tatarstan is a national holiday Sabantuy – tatar summer festival, which is celebrated at the beginning of June.
FOOD IN KAZAN
Kazan has earned its reputation as a haven for foodies. Influenced by both Russian and Eastern cuisine the menu features traditional dishes like kystyby(potato-stuffed bread), echpochmak (a cousin of the samosa), and pilaw (like Indian pulao).
If you notice a similarity between Tatar and Indian foods, it’s because of Mongol and Turkic influences in northern India. After all, Mughal emperor Babur was of Mongol-Turkic descent and hailed from present-day Uzbekistan.
Those feeling bold can try kazylyk, horse meat sausages and don’t miss gubadiya, a traditional Tatar meat pie, and chak-chak, a hot dough and honey dessert so loved that it even has a museum dedicated to it in Kazan.
RELIGION IN KAZAN
The major religious belief of Kazan city is Sunni Islam and Orthodox Christianity, with Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism and the Bahá’í Faith also represented.
LANGUAGES IN KAZAN
There are two major languages in Kazan – Tatar and Russian. The Tatar language is widely spoken in the city mainly by Tatars and the Russian language is widely spoken, mainly by Russians. Most of the younger generation can also speak English.
CLIMATE IN KAZAN
Kazan has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters and warm, often dry summers. As a result of its far inland position, summers are extremely warm for its latitude and winters are quite cold compared to areas further west in Europe.
The warmest month is July with a daily mean temperature near 20.2 °C (68.4 °F), and the coldest month is January, with a daily mean of −10.4 °C (13.3 °F).
CURRENCY IN KAZAN
The Russian currency is the Russian rouble (RUB). There are 100 kopeks (coins) in a rouble. When issued in coins, roubles come in values of one, two, five and 10 and with banknotes in values of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 roubles.
Credit/debit cards are widely used in major cities, including most hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, supermarkets and other shops. ATMs are easy to find; predominantly in bank outlets.
EXCHANGING MONEY IN KAZAN
You’ll usually get the best exchange rates for US dollars and Euros. British pounds are sometimes accepted in big cities, but the exchange rates are not very good; other currencies incur very low rates and are often virtually unchangeable.
Every town of any size will have at least one bank (most often Sberbank) or exchange office. You might be asked to show your passport. Rates can vary in different towns and depends on the amount of cash you want to change.
HOW TO REACH KAZAN
It is possible to reach Kazan by flight directly escaping the stop in Moscow which is approximately 9 hrs flight from Mumbai and 11 hrs from New Delhi, India.
Finnair, Flydubai, Turkish Airlines and Air Baltic, Azal, Air Astana are some of the international carriers flying to Kazan directly.
Kazan International Airport is 30 km to the southeast of the city centre.
Travellers can take a taxi to/from the airport ordered by a phone call or any taxi app (Uber, Yandex.Taxi, Gett etc)which takes about 25 minutes to reach the city centre.
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