Kul Sharif Mosque - Kazan Kremlin

Kazan was the third city I visited during my Europe-Asia trip from Moscow to Beijing. I left Nizhny Novgorod at around 9 pm and arrived in Kazan the next day at around 5 am. Just in time to enjoy the sunrise.

The railway runs along the Volga River as if they were two parallel lines, and reaches Kazan at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers. The city thus rises on a large flat bay. We are already more than 800 km away from Moscow.

Kazan is a significant Muslim and Tatar cultural center.

Kazan in a nutshell

The following is an interactive map. Some of the main points of interest in Kazan are marked with blue pins. The yellow pins mark the central market, another supermarket, and the Café-Restaurant Кофеин (Caffeine). These are very useful for shopping before leaving by train again, and in the last one, we stopped for a long, refreshing break. The central station, the starting point of my tour, is marked with a black pin.


Getting to Kazan around 5 in the morning was one of the most beautiful experiences of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Kazan Railway Station and its surroundings

At 5 in the morning, all the bars were still closed, and nobody was on the street. For this reason, we decided to go around the center and stop only at the end of your tour. We had breakfast and lunch in one fell swoop, before getting on the next train in the afternoon.

Kazan Railway Station

Kazan Railway Station

Leaving the train station behind us, we headed straight for the Kazan Kremlin passing through two of the most famous cathedrals in the city:

  • St. Nicholas Cathedral

  • Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral

Unfortunately, the first was obviously still closed, and the second was under renovation. However, I recommend visiting at least the latter because it has the tallest bell tower in the city (over 50 meters) and is an excellent example of Russian Baroque architecture.

Near the Kazan Station, there are two very unusual buildings, the first is in the shape of a UFO, the second in the form of an Egyptian pyramid:

  • Kazan Circus

  • Pyramid Concert Hall

Kazan Kremlin

The Kazan Kremlin looks like the other Kremlin already visited in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. It is, in fact, located on a hill and is surrounded by walls (this time painted in white and not in red).

Kul Sharif Mosque

After passing the Spasskaya Tower and entering the Kremlin, I saw the turquoise minarets of the Kul Sharif Mosque and wanted to go immediately there.

Kul Sharif Mosque - Kazan Kremlin

Kul Sharif Mosque – Kazan Kremlin

The mosque is a nearly recent construction, it was opened in 2005.

Other points of interest in the Kazan Kremlin, apart from some government buildings and some museums, are the Sjujumbike Tower (built on seven levels, almost 60 meters high, and slightly sloped), and the Annunciation Cathedral.

Annunciation Cathedral

Annunciation Cathedral - Kazan Kremlin

Annunciation Cathedral – Kazan Kremlin

Farmers’ Palace

From the Kremlin, you have a panoramic view of the port and the riverside. Among the buildings that can be seen from here, there are the Church of the Holy Martyr Paraskeva and the Farmer’s Palace.

Farmer's Palace

Farmer’s Palace

It is an eclectic building that has among its distinctive notes a big bronze tree, about twenty meters high, which fills the entire central arch.

Other buildings and places of interest

Kazan State University

Kazan State University

Kazan State University

Epiphany Church and bell tower

Epiphany Church and Belltower

Epiphany Church and Belltower

I recommend going to the top of the bell tower to see the city from above:

Kazan from the bell tower

Kazan from the bell tower

Kaban Lakes and channels

Fountain on Kaban Lake

Fountain on Kaban Lake

Galiaskar Kamal Tatar Academic Theatre

Galiaskar Kamal Tatar Academic Theatre

Galiaskar Kamal Tatar Academic Theatre

Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication

Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication

Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication

If you have extra time

Two picturesque and colorful buildings are located further away from the historic center (I couldn’t visit them the only day I spent in Kazan):

  • Children’s Palace (Puppet Theater)

  • Temple of All Religions

It was then time to go to the nearest supermarket and finally enter the central station again. The next train will take me to Yekaterinburg after about 16 hours of travel. The arrival is scheduled at 8 am of the next day.

Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian Railway – All you need to know

Travel arrangementsGeneral Information
Departure stationMoscow
First stopNizhny Novgorod
Second stopKazan
Third stopYekaterinburg
Fourth StopNovosibirsk
Fifth stopKrasnoyarsk and Stolby Nature Sanctuary
Sixth stopLake Baikal
Seventh stopIrkutsk
Eighth stopUlan-Ude
Ninth stopUlaanbaatar
Tenth stopDatong
Arrival stationBeijing

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