Flights to Kazan
Known as the Third Capital of Russia, the city of Kazan is Russia’s eighth largest and is the capital of the Republic of Tartarstan. Kazan is on the confluence of two rivers, the Volga and the Kazanka, and its Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kazan International Airport (airport code: KZN) is about 25 kilometres outside of the city and offers service to airlines travelling from South Africa that have both 1 and 2 stop flights to Kazan. A flight with Lufthansa goes via Frankfurt, and one with Turkish Airlines will make a connection in Istanbul instead. For a route via Cairo and Istanbul you can catch a flight to Kazan with either Egyptair or South African Airways. You can get another 2-stop flight with Virgin Atlantic, and their stop-overs are in London and Moscow.
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The Tourist Attractions of Kazan:
Kazan is a beautiful city with many fine examples of architecture, interesting landmarks, and plenty of culture.
The major attraction and landmark for Kazan is its Kremlin. This one may not be as well known to international tourists as Moscow’s Kremlin, but in many ways it is equally impressive. The fact this it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site displays the cultural importance of Kazan Kremlin.
Kazan Kremlin consists of a complex of different buildings which was started under the command of Ivan the Terrible, on the ruins of a former castle. Today the extensive complex has many historic buildings still standing, the oldest of which is the Annunciation Cathedral, built between 1554 and 1562. This is a beautiful building with six piers and striking roofs.
Other landmarks inside Kazan Kremlin include Soyembika Tower which has six tiers that gradually get smaller the higher you go. The tower was once leaning significantly but has been straightened in the past. Its construction date is not known and there are two theories as to when it might have been added to Kazan’s architecture – one is before 1552, while the other is not until the turn of the 17th century.
Not all of the buildings inside Kazan Kremlin are old – Qolsarif Mosque is an enchanting new addition to the line up here and it was completed in 2005. It is actually a replacement for the original mosque that stood here up until 1552 when it was destroyed by Ivan the Terrible. It is not known exactly what that original mosque looked like, but the new one is thought to resemble it. Qolsarif Mosque is the largest mosque in Russia, and the second largest in Europe after the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
There is a Museum of Islam on the ground floor of the mosque, and parts of the mosque, including the museum, are open to non-Muslims for you to look around. The museum does not just focus on the mosque and religion but has some historical exhibits relating to the history of Kazan.
When Should You Visit?:
Though there is on average a little more rainfall during the summer months, this is definitely the best time to visit Kazan. Days are sunny and warm from June to August, when the average high ranges between 22.5 and 25C. Spring and autumn are very short seasons, while winters are long lasting and cold. The average high in January is well below freezing at -8C.