2. Kazan: 24 or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
See the historic sights of Kazan at your own pace with a 24 or 48-hour hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour. Often described as the city where Europe meets Asia, Kazan is where 2 cultures (Tatar and Russian) and 2 of the world’s main religions meet.
Hop on the bus to marvel at the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See Russia’s third oldest university, where former students include Vladimir Lenin. See the Kazan Virgin Icon, returned to the city by Pope Jean Paul II in 2004. You can visit historic Tatar quarters, such as picturesque Tatar Sloboda. It's here that the Tatars were banished after Ivan the Terrible conquered the city. Admire architecture from the ancient Bolgar settlements and “Golden Hordes.”
Kazan is home to a number of performing arts festivals, such as the Shalyapin International Opera Festival, Nuriev Classic Ballet Festival, “Europe-Asia” Music Festival and International Festival of Muslim Cinema Golden Minbar. It also prides itself on its sports events. It was the host city for the 2013 Summer Universiade (the Olympic games for students). In 2018, it hosted the World Cup, bringing football's premier event to the city.
In addition, many Tatar traditions are kept alive at local festivals, such as the end of the planting season at “Sabantuy.” Along with folk games, such as pole climbing, sack races and tug-of-war, the festival provides the chance to watch national wrestling events.
Board the bus at any of the following stops. A full loop (without hop offs) takes 70 minutes:
1. Gabdulla Tukay Square
2. OldTatar Settlement
3. Cloth Settlement
4. Bulak (Baturin Bridge)
5. Tatar Culinary House
6. Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral
7. First of May Square
8. Kazan Family Centre
9. Riviera Hotel
10. Kazan Arena Football Stadium
11. Riviera Aquapark
12. Gorky Park
13. State Council of Tatarstan
14. Kremlin Embankment
15. Lyadskoy Garden