What to do in the first Russian IT city. A brief guide to Innopolis
Author — Visit Tatarstan
How it all began
of Innopolis residents feel happy (according to 2017 data)
The history of the first Russian city for IT professionals began in 2012. Back then, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, together with the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov and the Minister of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation Nikolay Nikiforov laid a time capsule with a message to future residents. The satellite-city of Kazan was to become innovative in every sense. The creation of the master plan of Innopolis was headed by Liu Thai Ker - an architect from Singapore; a landmark for many modern megacities. The design of the buildings were projected by local specialists from Innopolis Architect. In the summer of 2013, a University was opened in Innopolis, where the first students began to receive higher education in IT.
Officially, Innopolis was opened in June 2015. Today, over 3,000 people live, study and work in the city. As a business site, Innopolis selected 150 companies, among which are Yandex, Sberbank Technologies, Tinkoff and many others. Despite its young age, the city contains all the necessary infrastructure - a residential complex, kindergarten, school, University, a student campus, sports complex, medical centre, supermarkets, cafes, bars, post office, beauty salon, hostel, and a coworking place.
How to get there and where to stay
Innopolis is located an hour's drive from Kazan. A trip by taxi here will cost around 600 roubles one way. However, the best way to get to the city is by shuttle from the “Kombinat Zdorovye” bus stop, or the bus stations “Vostochniy” and “Yuzhnyy”. Buses operate every hour, and you can check the schedule on the city’s website. A bus ticket costs 80 roubles.
The only place to stay in the IT city for visitors is at the hostel on Sportivnaya Street. You have a choice of a bed in a 12-bed room (650 roubles per day) or a double room (1,900 roubles per day). The price includes Wi-Fi, tea, coffee, towels and bed linen.
What to do
Innopolis is the quintessence of modern Tatarstan architecture, which takes into account the peculiarities of the local landscape, does not contradict nature and even emphasizes its beauty. So admiring the buildings is one of the ways to spend time in the city. Having arrived to Innopolis by bus, get out at the stop near the University - the smooth lines of which resemble the surrounding terrain. The building in front of the University is the Technopark named after A.S. Popov. The glass ring inside consists of three zones featuring greenery, wood and stone, which symbolize the natural ecosystem. The snow-white prism is the sports complex with an area of 9,000 square metres. During its design stages, the architects took into account the principle of mathematical logic: the size of windows decreases from the centre of the facade to the edges of the building based on the principles of a linear equation. Inside you’ll find many opportunities to spend your time: a 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, hammam, hot tub, and a gym. In general, Innopolis residents love sports – the city promotes a healthy lifestyle and creates all the necessary conditions for this. There are jogging routes, bike hire, soccer, volleyball, and basketball courts and a tennis court in the open air, as well as the annual Inno-Half Marathon held in the city. This is just another way to spend time in the city on the hills around the Volga and Sviyaga rivers.
By the way, there are two companies that conduct sightseeing tours and arrange weekend tours around the city. For independent travelers - the ‘Innoguide’ app can also guide you around some of the most interesting places Innopolis has to offer.
Where to eat
Look for food in Innopolis in three locations. There are three cafeterias at the University, the Cava coffee house (breakfasts are served until midday, and lunchtime is between midday and 3pm) and Wrap & Go fast food which serve ice cream, milkshakes and various wraps. Another place to eat at is located at the Technopark (an average meal costs around 250 roubles).
In the residential complex on Sportivnaya Street you’ll find two restaurants for different tastes. The ‘Cacio e Vino’ menu, which is updated every two weeks, is centred around the pillars of Italian cuisine - pizza, pasta and salads. You can choose between centuries-proven dishes such as Margarita pizza, Carbonara and Caprese, as well as more interesting dishes such as the Romana pizza with anchovies and capers and Saporito pasta with mushrooms and truffle sauce. A great thing about this place is the large floor to ceiling windows, which open up an excellent view of the city. In the ‘108’ bar, whose name refers to the duration of the first flight of Yuri Gagarin, serves German, Belgian, Czech and Russian craft beer, and also serves snacks like burgers, fish and nuts.
Popular among tourists
- A Day in Kazan. Version 1 Get acquainted with the capital of Tatarstan, check out the main sights and try the national cuisine 12 hours 14 km
- A Day in Kazan. Version 2 Dwell into the history and culture of Kazan through museums and city streets and get to know the traditional and modern gastronomy of the region 10 hours 6,2 km
- A Day in Yelabuga Get acquainted with merchant life and the life of the city’s brightest personalities, make a wish at the stone tower, and take an evening walk through Gorky Park in Kazan 8 hours 7,6 km