Find your way around Russia’s third capital and see the fascinating mix of Slavic and Tatar cultures that make Kazan a vibrant and dynamic city.
The Kazan metro
It takes 22 minutes to travel the entire length of Kazan’s single metro line. The metro is open from 6 a.m. until midnight and trains run every 5-6 minutes. Purchase a single-ride smart token for 25 rubles or buy a smart card at the ticket ofﬁce or self-service terminal. The smart card can be topped up with up to 49 rides and each ride will cost 23 rubles. A city travel card is also available.
Buses, trolleybuses and trams
Bus is the preferred method of transportation in Kazan. Most of the buses run from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, and some routes stay open until 11.30 p.m. Kazan’s high-speed streetcars are supposed to be faster than buses, yet some routes intersect with roads and pedestrian crossings, so they can be a mixed bag. Take trolleybus No. 2 to get a general overview of the city. The stops are announced in Tatar, Russian and English on all vehicles. A ride on a bus, trolleybus or streetcar will cost 25 rubles and can be paid by cash or travel card.
Uber operates in Kazan. Or, if you feel like giving your Russian a try, experience the local taxi service and dial +7 (843) 567 1567 — order in Russian and show the written address on your mobile phone to the driver.
Kazan is a safe city, so there is no need to exercise higher than-usual levels of caution. The city’s most dangerous area is the triangle between the streets Profsoyuznaya, Kremlyovskaya, Bauman and Pravobulachnaya, where the abundance of nightclubs creates a potential problem area. Avoid the outskirts of the city and remain vigilant of pickpockets around tourist attractions.
The two biggest pharmacy chains are Farmland and Apteka Zdorovya. Most pharmacies are kiosks where English is rarely spoken and you have to order from the assistant.
There are no Western-owned clinics in Kazan, but the Kazanskaya and Medel clinics have great facilities and are centrally located. Both clinics are private; public medical facilities are best avoided.
Sample Tatar national dishes at Bahetle — a chain of supermarkets famous all over Russia for its wide selection of delicacies and a homemade-food takeaway section that rivals even restaurant food. The prices are high, but the experience is worth it. The two centrally located Bahetle shops are at Moskovskaya Ulitsa, 2 and Ulitsa Gabdully Tukaya, 64. Perekrestok shops are also popular in Kazan and offer a basic selection of snacks, vegetables, meat and ﬁsh.
Kazan makes shopping easy. The selection of international brands is limited, but basic clothes can be found in the Mega Kazan and Park House shopping malls. For an upscale shopping experience, head to Suvar Plaza and TSUM — the two shopping centers where the prices remain high even during sales. Young fashionistas will also be drawn to Alafuzovskaya Factory, where local designer clothes and accessories are sold.
Look for the signs masterskaya po remontu odezhdi for clothes-repair services, and masterskaya po remontu obuvi for shoe-repair services. Repair shops are everywhere in Kazan but the chances of ﬁnding an English-speaking person are slim.
Explore Kazan with the help of the staff at the three tourism information centers. Two of the centers are located at Kazan International Airport, and another is at Kremlyovskaya Ulitsa, 15/25. Apart from providing information on events, routes, transportation, museums and attractions, the employees at the information centers are trained to handle emergency situations.
If you require urgent medical assistance, the police or the ﬁre department, dial the free 112 emergency number. The number is accessible from both landlines and mobile phones, even if there is no SIM card or if your number has been blocked. Operators speak Russian and English.