Time to take a walk. 9 popular public parks of Tatarstan

5 june 2018
Tatarstan people like to spend their time in parks, squares and embankments. This is not surprising, because public spaces in the Republic contain a wealth of recreational opportunities. We share nine of the most popular and beautiful places that are worthwhile to include in your itinerary

Author — Lola Malova

Gorkinsko-Ometevsky forest

Kazan

Feel yourself at one with nature, strolling along the wooden paths. You’ll find a ropes course made of wood, emphasizing the natural forest landscape, a futuristic looking area highlighted by colorful lights, and an impressive light and music fountain. Your walk will probably take you through the eco-centre for children, where the love of nature is instilled with the help of touchscreens with a 3D-visualization of the forest park. The facade of the building became an example of environmentally friendly construction: a wooden rack surrounds the whole centre, and the entrance is inlaid with pebbles. You can also climb the stairs to the roof of the eco-house to check out the forest from the top of the building. After your walk, get a cup of coffee to takeaway from the ‘Les’ cafe and take a few photos with the ‘local residents’ – the silver bears and wolves won’t mind.

Kremlin embankment

Kazan

The two-kilometre embankment stretching from the foot of the Kazan Kremlin to the ‘Kazan’ national cultural centre is decorated with thousands of lights. Be sure to come here for beautiful photos of the evening city. The leisurely promenade features music of popular Russia films, an opportunity to ride on the pedicabs along the water surface of Kazanka, workout at the workout zone, ride a French merry-go-round or have dinner with a great view of evening Kazan – the opportunities of how to spend your time on the embankment are endless. Rent a cruiser or a scooter and go racing with the wind to meet the sunset, going down to the city, and then, try the dishes of Tatar, Georgian or Mediterranean cuisines in one of the many restaurants on the Kremlin embankment.

Chernoye Ozero (‘Black Lake’)

Kazan

The history of this park in the heart of Kazan began in the 19th century. Back then, it had a bad reputation - the lake was swamped, and then completely filled, and the park’s most regular visitors were wandering pickpockets and other unpleasant characters. Now Chernoye Ozero is one of the main sites for major city events and a place for walks that the locals love. On the white-wash wooden flooring, lectures and concerts are regularly held, and on the nearby lawns, locals like to come here for a picnic. Under a round pergola encircling the central square of the park, you’ll find cafes serving lemonade and various street food like gyros and quesadillas. A pond near the back of the park in winter turns into an ice skating rink. However, the most recognizable object of Chernoye Ozero is the ‘lovers arch’, built in the 1930s. It has a fascinating acoustic effect: try standing with your loved one at opposite sides of the inner niches of the arch, and whisper something - they will hear you perfectly at the other end.

Gorky Park

Kazan

Residents of Kazan have long chosen Gorky Park as a playground for sports, family walks and watching movies in the open air. Rent some rollerblades, a bicycle or scooter at the ‘Trudovye rezervy’ stadium nearby and head out to explore the park. The younger guests will definitely like the pedestrian fountain: between the jets of water, both children and adults frolic during the warmer seasons. Play tennis at the sports grounds, go jogging or go through the obstacles at the Sky Park ropes course. Afterwards, be sure to arrange a picnic on the big green lawn with hot coffee and sandwiches from the ‘Uragan-Sarai’ coffee shop. Alternatively, satisfy your hunger after a day of activities by ordering a pizza, steak or burger and a light soup and smoothies for your kids at the family cafe ‘Gustav kafo’. By the way, the city’s most friendly squirrels live in Gorky Park, who will eat right out of your hand, so be sure to bring some nutty treats with you for the fluffy local inhabitants.

Park Uritsky

Kazan

This is a favorite destination of local residents for walks with children, sports and recreation away from the city bustle. Ducks living in the local pond do not migrate even in winter and gladly accept treats from visitors sitting on the wooden stairs near the water. The bridges, that cross the canals are brightly lit in the evenings and are ideal for beautiful photos. The children's area in the park is a real object of art with rope ladders, slides and obstacle courses – a great place for active kids to play. To get away from the noise and fuss, walk further into the depths of the park. Behind a wall of green pines and lindens lie wooden paths with lanterns and benches. Do not forget to take a picture at the main bridge and check out the ‘Wall of Love’, where dozens of souvenirs from lovers appear every day. After enjoying a walk in the park, head over to ‘Moskovsky’ for coffee and a home-style lunch.

Waterfront

Krasnyy Klyuch

A stone pier with figures of seagulls and waves carries you to the sea shore, although you are on the embankment not far from Nizhnekamsk. From the stands of the central area you can see how far the Kama River stretches, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset. The jets of water, thrown out by a five-metre fountain make up a 3D image, which can be seen even from passing by ships. Take a seat in the green garden, which is filled with kiosks and small huts serving food. Be sure to take your bike with you and ride along the shore, and afterwards, take a dip in the picturesque lake, which is sourced from natural springs.

Embankment named after Tukay

Naberezhnye Chelny

Images resembling characters such as water woman Su Anasi and forest spirit Shurale from fairy tales of Tatar poet Gabdulla Tukay can be found on signs and souvenirs around here. After passing through the arch of Centralnaya street, you will see a square with fancy lanterns in the form of metal trees and a futuristic triangular area. This is a dry fountain, that is illuminated in the evenings, attracting visitors to run between jets of cool water. From the benches area on the embankment, a breathtaking view of the Melekesku river opens – one that landscape photographers and thoughtful contemplators will appreciate. Follow the signs that will guide you to the climbing wall and the exhibition space with illumination in the form of Saturn's rings right under the bridge.

Kamskoye sea

Laishevo

Enjoy relaxing on the banks of the Kama river. On the wooden path, you can ride a bicycle, take a stroll under the turquoise pergola, or watch the performances of local creative groups on the green stage platform. Watch the sunsets and sunrises as you workout on the monkey bars and other outdoor gym installations. From the beach, children's laughter and joyful cries of fans at sailing competitions can always be heard in the warmer months.

Beach

Almetyevsk

A surprisingly beautiful beach in the eastern part of Tatarstan with a dozen ways to entertain yourself. For those who like to ride the waves, you’ll find a wake-park with boards and wetsuits for hire for going over the water skiing trails. Test yourself to see how high you can climb on the 10-metre climbing wall, bring out your inner Tarzan at the ropes course park, or play volleyball in the sun-drenched white sand, while catamarans and sightseeing boats sail past. A place on the beach where everyone will want to go without exception is the ‘spray park’ - a water complex with a swimming pool and sauna in the open air. And to finish off your day of entertainment, have a snack in the cafe right on the pier.

Photo: Flickr / Парки Татарстана, Geometria Volga for Visit Tatarstan

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