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Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary for Kazan, Russia

Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. This city has a storied past because of its importance as a trade route and political center when it was the capital of the Khanate of Kazan. Because of its history, Kazan has a mix of Russian and Oriental culture.

Guide to Kazan

The Golden Horde ruled Kazan for some time until Ivan the Terrible captured it and made it part of Russia. Fast forward to today, the city is one of the biggest in the country and is now a religious, cultural and industrial hub. I was in the city for a couple of day's and I would definitely recommend it.

Things to Do in Kazan

Kazan Kremlin

The Kazan Kremlin is one of the main attractions in the city. Ivan the Terrible had it built after defeating the Khanate. Fast forward to today, the complex is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Kul Sharif Mosque is one of the most beautiful and prominent structures within the Kremlin.

The Annunciation Cathedral is another beautiful structure in the complex.

The Kremlin also has a viewing deck that provides overlooking views of the beautiful buildings and churches nearby.

Paraskeva Church (building on the right)

Paraskeva Church

Soyembika Tower

This tower is another famous landmark in Kazan.

Bauman Street

Bogoyavlensky Epiphany Cathedral belfry

Bauman Street is a famous pedestrian street named after a revolutionary, Nikolay Bauman. This area has cafes, restaurants, shops and beautiful buildings. It is a great place to hang out after exploring the city.

Palace of Farmers

The Palace of Farmers is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Its most distinct feature is the bronze tree on its facade. It is the residence of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Tatarstan.

Beautiful Buildings

I spent a lot of time just walking around Kazan in the Bauman Street and Kremlin areas. There was a lot to see, especially beautiful buildings.

Day Trip to Sviyazhsk

This island used to be a fortress and was established in 1551. The Russian army used it as a base when they attacked Kazan. The Assumption Cathedral and Monastery became UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2017. There are other interesting buildings on the island, you could easily spend half a day here. It is a possible day trip from Kazan by train and then by taxi.

I ended up sharing a taxi with a mother and daughter traveling together.

Some other places that may interest you include:

  • The Church of All Religions
  • Soviet Lifestyle Museum
  • Hermitage-Kazan Center
  • Central Market
  • Raifa Monastery
  • Bolgar

How to Go to Kazan

Kazan is easy to reach because there are regular flights from major cities in Russia and you can also take the overnight train from Moscow or Saint Petersburg. I took the train because Kazan was part of a longer trip around the country. You can check schedules and book tickets (you'd have to create an account first) here: https://pass.rzd.ru/main-pass/public/en.

Getting Around Kazan

There are many and frequent buses that take you to different parts of the city. The bus is a cheap option, but write down the name of the stop if you don't speak or understand Russian. You can also take the metro (it's not as extensive as the ones in Moscow and Saint Petersburg). I walked most of the time and took taxis for further distances (or when I was too tired, fare wasn't so bad).

Best Time to Go to Kazan

The ideal time to visit is from May to September when the temperature is just right. I went somewhere in autumn, it got cold at night, but still manageable. It rained for short bursts during my trip, but the sun came out most of the time.

Where to Stay in Kazan

I stayed in Forest Hostel because it was the cheapest dorm bed I could find. The location wasn't so bad either but it's far from the attractions. I walked to the Kremlin but it was quite far. The good thing about the hostel was that it was on a main road, so you can take the bus going to wherever you want to go. The staff lady was nice but couldn't speak English, I used a translator (Google Translate is your friend) whenever I talked to her. I found a few other accommodations and hostels near or in Bauman Street, you can stay there. You have many options for places to stay in Kazan, regardless of your budget.

Budget for Kazan

*Everything's in Russian Rubles unless otherwise stated.

450 -Transportation
72 - Train to Sviyazhsk
102 - Train to Kazan from Sviyazhsk
200 - Shared taxi from station to Sviyazhsk round trip
810 - 3 nights Hostel Forest
2370 - Food
50 - Utilities
1594 - Overnight train to Moscow                                
5648 - Total

Read other posts about my Russia trip:

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