LIKE my photo! A guide to the most photogenic places in Kazan

Even the shortest trip cannot be considered complete without the most integral part of it: photos, so you can share your experiences with relatives and friends, browse through your camera roll during a slow weekday, or see how many people ‘Like’ them on social media. As you head to Kazan, arm yourself with a camera, and be sure to visit the places that thousands of tourists have missed. Check out this new guide with the most photogenic places in Kazan, where everyone can make memorable photos.

Leninskiy Garden

Just down past Chernoye Ozero Park, near the main KFU building, you’ll find the neatly tended Leninskiy Garden. The linden and oak trees with their spreading branches, narrow tree alleys and benches around the fountain, all create an extraordinary atmosphere. The fountain adorned with stucco cupids is the oldest in Kazan, preserved since before the revolution. In summer, the greenery together with the water reflecting the sun create an amazing background for portraits, in spring the garden becomes enveloped in blooming apple trees and lilacs, and in winter and autumn, the half-empty alleys look especially mesmerizing. In the garden, pay special attention to two things: the squirrels and the restored KFU staircase, created in Soviet constructivism style. 

Location: Lobachevskogo St

 

Old Tatar Quarter

To visit Kazan and not take a look into one of the most picturesque places of the city is almost a crime. Therefore, head over to the Old Tatar Quarter, which was founded in 1552 by Tatar settlers who did not want to submit to the infidel invaders. The main objects of urban wooden architecture are concentrated here: so don't miss an opportunity to take a photo in front of the carved platbands and Tatar log cabins, as well as next to the old picturesque mosques, which there are 12 of within the Quarter.

Location: Kayuma Nasyri St

Former communal living quarters of the No. 169 factory of convoy parts 

In the Admiralty settlement not far from Gorbatiy Bridge, you will find one of the most striking monuments of Soviet architecture of the 1920-1930s. The communal living quarters, built in constructivism style is a unique place for a captivating photo opportunity with its long communal apartment corridors, decrepit stairs and balconies. If you are tired of the glossy city life and want to experience something different, explore the courtyards of typical 1930s Kazan buildings. As you walk around the Admiralty settlement, pay attention to the old gunpowder factory and the Holy Assumption Monastery on Mount Zilant.

Location: 30 Malo-Moskovskaya St

Alafuzov’s Factory

If you find yourself wandering the old streets of Kazan in search of a unique photo angle, be sure to check out Alafuzov’s Factory. This is the name of a modern loft space, located in the former flax-spinning factory of merchant Alafuzov in the Kirov district of Kazan. The space hosts a variety of events and acts as a hub where creative people from all over the city like to gather.

The space was created to attract young people and their skills in various fields of art. Here you can find exclusive art projects, creative sites and partially reconstructed walls of the actual factory. By coming here, you can combine business with pleasure – take photos in a unique area, and dip into the city’s creative centre.

Location: 55 Gladilova St

Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 9:00am - 10:00pm

Bazzar Bar

The trendy night bar recently opened on one of Kazan’s historical streets, setting a new benchmark for the city's clubs. At Bazzar, you can shake off the working week by diving into the night life and take some stylish photos surrounded by neon lights. The unique design developed by the creators is something worth seeing too: neon signs, LEDs, a mixture of shapes and textures, as well as unique elements such as a bright white bathtub with carpet and several retro TVs arranged in a row. Be sure to dress up though as this place has a strict dress code.

Location: 26 Profsoyuznaya St

Access to the Kazanka in Gorky Park

Gorky Park is a must-see for all lovers of the outdoors. The park has something for everyone - long alleys, hilly terrain among old tall trees, friendly squirrels and even “singing” fountains. If you head down to Podluzhnaya Street from the park, you will come across a lovely view of the right bank of the Kazanka River. The harmony between the urban and forest landscapes here is especially beautiful during the autumn months, but no matter the season, it’s a great place to enjoy the serene nature and have an impromptu photoshoot in front of a unique view.

Location: Podluzhnaya St

KFU Botanical Garden

Combine a visit to the Botanical Garden at the Kazan Federal University with a photo opportunity among the kingdom of plants any time of year. The garden which includes a greenhouse and arboretum is located in the Sovetsky district of Kazan. Even during the coldest months, thousands of species of blooming plants can be found here. Photos among the lush greenery or elegant blossoms, as well as lectures on various types of the plants will be sure to add something different to your trip to the capital of Tatarstan.

Location: 18 Kremlevskaya St

Nikolay Kiselev’s revenue house

Another architectural monument is located directly opposite Lyadsky Garden. The revenue house of the veterinarian and owner of chemical industrial plants Nikolay Kiselev was built in 1910 in art nouveau style. Today it serves as a cultural heritage monument and, unfortunately, is closed to the public. However, the facade of the building contains many interesting details and is elaborately decorated with moulding, which makes it not only a monument, but also a fantastic place to take some unique photos. A visit here is definitely a must for art nouveau lovers.

Location: 20 Mushtari St

Street Art in residential neighbourhoods

Although the central part of the city is beautiful, we strongly recommend a visit to capture the sights of the non-tourist part of Kazan. Street art by Etam Cru and Morik&Aber on Absalyamova Street will immerse you in the wonderful world of skilled street art and become a great location for creating vivid photos. The combination of high-rise panel buildings and bold designs that go all the way up the building is sure to leave you inspired, with some amazing photos to take away. We suggest taking a walk to the neighbouring Bondarenko Street and take a look at more street art by Pixel Pancho – an Italian street artist from Turin.

Location: 23 & 27 Absalyamova St and 20 Bondarenko St

“Gorbatiy” Bridge

The 65-metre long reinforced concrete structure, stretched over the old channel of the Kazanka River is rarely used by locals these days, which makes it even more of an interesting photo destination especially if you want to take some unusual post-apocalyptic feel photos. The bridge was built at the beginning of the 20th century, but due to construction flaws was ruled unsuitable for traffic. It is very rarely visited by anyone, however, the majestic look, solitude and silence prevail all around. If you walk towards the railway from here, you will also be able to capture a panorama of the city from a unique angle.

Location: intersection of Streets Iovleva & Rechnaya

Kazan Kremlin

It is impossible to come to Kazan and miss the Kremlin. It majestically stands on a hill which, according to legend, was once home to the fire-breathing Zilant dragon, guarding the underground kingdom. Today, the Kremlin complex spanning across 150 thousand square metres, houses the residence of the President of the Republic, various administrative buildings and the "Kazan Kremlin" Reserve Museum among others. In 2000, this architectural and historical site was added to the list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites of UNESCO. The complex of the Kazan Kremlin also contains a fortified settlement (from 10th-16th centuries), a stone-brick Kremlin (from 16th-18th centuries), architectural constructions (from 16th-19th centuries), and a complex of defense structures across eight towers (from 16th-18th centuries). In the pre-Mongol period until the 13th century, the Kazan Kremlin was a military-trade settlement on the northern border of the Volga Bolgar. From the second half of the 13th century to the first half of the 15th century, the Kremlin became the centre of the Kazan principality as part of the "Zolotaya Orda" ("Golden Horde"). After the capture of Kazan in 1552 by the Russian troops of Ivan the Terrible, it became the administrative and military centre of the Volga region.

Embankment of Lake Kaban

Legend has it that the Khan’s treasures are buried in Lake Kaban, however there are other reasons to visit it – at the very least because it has an extremely photogenic Embankment which is one of the best places for a leisurely walk in the city. The promenade path encircling the lake from the side of the Tatar Kamal Theatre and Salimzhanova Street takes a wave-like form throughout as it leads strollers above water level, and back down to it. This area is serene any time of day or year – here you can meet the dawn of a new day or say goodbye to it during sunset on the small bridges and the pier, admire the panorama of the Old Tatar Quarter or simply relax in the shade from your seat on the red pedestals (which are brightly illuminated at night) under the old willow, or even get acquainted with hydromechanics on the playground. And the 12,500 plants and trees along Lake Kaban have been planted not only for decorative purposes, but to up-keep the ecological balance.

‘Kazan’ Family Centre

A new attraction and a symbol of the city is not only the most popular registry office in Kazan, but also an observation deck which offers a great view for photos. In order to reach the 32 metre height about ground level, you’ll have to climb seven flights of stairs. The ‘Kazan’ Observation Deck has two levels: on the lower one you can take a photo against the background of forged window grilles, while from the top one, you will be able to see a panorama of the Kazan Kremlin, the Kremlin Embankment, the Millennium Bridge, the Kazan Riviera and modern Kazan architecture – namely the ‘Magellan’ and ‘Bereg’ residential complexes.

The Epiphany Cathedral Bell Tower

Built over a century ago, the bell tower of the Epiphany Cathedral, in which the great Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin was baptized in 1873, is composed of two million bricks. A temple operated here in the early 20th century, which was later shut down in the 1930s together with the observation deck, and it was only possible to restore it a couple of years ago. At 74 metres tall, the bell tower of the Epiphany Cathedral is one of the tallest buildings in the centre of Kazan. Therefore, an excellent panorama of the city opens up when you reach the top: a view of the Kremlin, the pedestrian Bauman and Peterburgskaya streets, the circus, Kazan Federal University, Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral and other sites.

Kremlin Embankment

The Kremlin Embankment is a fairly recent landmark in Kazan, which has become a favourite place of rest and entertainment for locals as it is one of the most beautiful places to spend time at in the city. The comfortable coastal zone stretches from the walls of the Kazan Kremlin to the Kazan National Cultural Centre. The Embankment is divided into two zones - a pedestrian area and a second, entertainment lane. In summer, this second lane is used for those on bicycles, rollerblades and longboards which can all be rented here. In winter, the lane turns into the longest ice rink in Europe and the Embankment turns into a fairy tale wonderland, where you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Ded Moroz (the Russian Santa Clause) and his helper elves. From the Kremlin Embankment, you can get a great view of the Kremlin, the 'Kazan' Family Centre and the Farmers Palace both day and night any time of year. There is always something happening here - the Embankment hosts fairs, sports competitions, dance workshops and much more. A workout zone has been installed here for fitness enthusiasts, and if you get hungry, a large choice of restaurants awaits - Love Story, La Famiglia, Mio, Pirs and Bakhcha are all located here.

The Farmers Palace

The monumental Farmers Palace building, which houses the Ministry of Agriculture of Tatarstan, is one of the most famous in the city. The ‘palace’ intertwines several architectural styles with elements of classicism and empire, but most magnificent of all is the main centerpiece - the 20-metre bronze tree, symbolizing fertility, sprouting through the building. The best photos taken here are in the evenings, when the building is illuminated by green and white lights.

“Ekiyat” Puppet Theatre

The fairy tale castle, based at the end of the pedestrian Peterburgskaya Street is the Ekiyat Children's Puppet Theatre. Apart from puppet shows which are run in Russian and Tatar, various festivals and events regularly take place here on its territory. In winter for example, the outdoor area becomes an ice town where children play every day, and in summer, festivals of fine art, flower exhibitions, and other public events take place. It's up to you whether you choose to take photos in front of the fairy tale castle or inside, in the bright interiors, but one thing is for certain: the pictures will turn out brilliantly amazing.

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