➤Arrive Kazan in the afternoon
➤Optional: guided tour in Kazan; the Kazan Kremlin, Kul Sharif Mosque, Syumbike tower
➤Optional: Old Tatar village
Upon arrival to Kaxan, self transfer to a hotel and check in. Today spend time at leisure or opt for a guided tour to explore the main sights of Kazan. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kremlin of Kazan with the professional English-speaking guide.
The Kazan Kremlin is located in the centre of Kazan on a high peninsula sticking out into the Kazanka and Volga Rivers. A fortress has been in this location since ancient times but the present Kremlin was built on the orders of Tsar Ivan the Terrible after his conquest of Kazan in 1552. Pskov master architects were brought in to construct the 1,800 metres of walls and 13 towers. Today the Kremlin is the heart of Kazan and its most famous sight. In 2000 it was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Our next point is the magnificent Kul Sharif Mosque. The impressive Qol-Şärif Mosque (also transliterated as Kul-Sharif) is the most important mosque in Tatarstan and one of the largest mosques in Europe. Previously a mosque stood in this location until it was destroyed during Russia's conquest of Kazan. There is even a theory that the design of this original mosque might have inspired the design of St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow which was built to commemorate the Russian victory. The mosque is named after Qol-Şärif, a religious leader who was killed in 1552 whilst defending the city from the Russians. The present mosque was built between 1997 and 2005 and its opening marked the beginning of Kazan's millennium celebrations.
As Kazan is the centre of Tatar culture, you may wish to visit the old Tatar villages to try a local Tatar tea. Later, have a master cooking class of Tatar dishes at a traditional restaurant. And don't forget to buy some present for family and friends at charming Christmas markets! Joyful illumination, ice sculptures... every Russian city aims to prove it's the best in celebrating New Year! In the evening, we go out to explore best bars of the famous Baumana street, as Kazan is officially Russia's craft beer capital..