LIVING IN KAZAN, RUSSIA

Intensive Course in Russian Language

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ACCOMMODATION

Convenient and comfortable accommodation is vitally important for the success of your training at the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kazan.

Groups of minimum of 4 people are met by our representatives at any Moscow airport and provided with transfer from the airport to Kazan (by train/plane).

Students who arrive in Kazan individually will be met by our representatives at Kazan Airport.

Most our students will stay in home stay (bed&breakfast or full-board) accommodation, never too far from the city centre. The hosts are all lovely people who want to ensure that your stay here is wonderful. Within the first couple of days of arrival, you will be expected to pay your rent directly to the property owner. You will usually be expected to pay for washing machine powder too, if you want to use the machine.

It is important to remember that living in a home stay is not like living in your own house. You have to be respectful and clean. For example, it is rude in Russian culture to walk around the house with your shoes on or leave your clothes lying around on the floor in your bedroom. Please be attentive, and remember that you are a guest in someone else’s home. It is not acceptable in Russia to wear your street shoes at home. Instead, people here wear slippers (тапочки / tapochki) or socks.

You must inform us of your plan to move out as well as your representatives.

MEDICAL TREATMENT

You can get adequate medical treatment in Kazan. In most Medical Centers students will be sent first to a general clinic and then to a more specific doctor, depending on the nature of the ailment and/or the diagnosis given by the doctor. A member of staff can accompany you to the doctor and help you arrange an appointment.

100 metres from our Center there is a medical clinic AVA-Kazan (Клиника АВА-Казань) on Astronomicheskaya str., 15 (ул. Астрономическая, 15).

LIFE IN KAZAN

Every city has its unique appearance, its “flavour”. The flavour of Kazan is to organically combine two sources of life in an incredible way. In this amazing city, you can see both extreme antiquity and extreme modernity, Asia and Europe, Islam and Orthodoxy. The Russian and Tatar cultures merge, giving birth to new, unexpected, interesting unity.

Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan (Russia) and one of Russia's largest cities. Its history spans over 1000 years, and including the aggression of the Golden Horde which Kazan withstood, the conquest of Ivan the Terrible in 1552, followed by a massacre, as well as the forced Christianization of the Tatar people and the destruction of Mosques. It is a major industrial, commercial and cultural centre, and it remains the most important hub of Tatar culture, and one of the most important for Russian culture. In April 2009, Kazan got the legal right to “brand” itself as the “Third Capital” of Russia, as approved by the Russian Patent Office. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in the centre of European Russia. Kazan became the host city of the 2013 Summer Universiade (Olympic Student Games) and World Cup 2018.

The city has a beautiful citadel, which was declared a World Heritage site in 2000. Major monuments in the Kremlin are the 5-domed 6-columned Annunciation Cathedral (1561-1562) and the Soyembika Tower, named after the last queen of Kazan and regarded as the city's most conspicuous landmark. Also the places of interest are the towers and walls, erected in the 16th and 17th centuries, and later reconstructed.

Kazan surpasses most other Russian cities in terms of the number of educational institutions. Kazan Federal University is ranked among the three major Universities of Russia. It was founded in 1804 and has had several prominent students, including Nikolai Lobachevsky, Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Lenin. 

Kazan is a student city. There are more than 20 higher educational institutions in Kazan with more than 150 000 students. Kazan is a student-friendly city. Here you can find a lot of sporting venues, cafes (where one can do his home assignment or use Wi-Fi), entertainment establishments, concerts of all kinds to fit any taste, many theatres, museums, including a branch of the famous Hermitage.

Kazan is a modern city. There are many new buildings with a unique architecture here. And the building process never stops as Kazan is the third capital of Russia.

Kazan is a very hospitable place where everyone can find some enjoyable occupation (after classes) and friends.

Kazan airport is located approximately 30 kilometers from the city centre. Every two hours there is an Aeroexpress train running between the airport and the Kazan Station. The trip takes 20 minutes.

MOBILE PHONES AND INTERNET

You can get Free Wi-Fi connection almost everywhere in Kazan (cafes, restaurants, airport, parks, our Centre, host families, etc.). You will be taken to a phone shop on your first day where you will be able to purchase a sim-card, and a phone at a good price, if you need one. There are 4 main networks in Russia: Билайн, МТС, Мегафон and Tele2. If you want to use you property owner’s landline phone to call home, you should ask first, and use an International calling card that you can buy from a phone shop (e.g. Евросеть, Связной). 

MONEY

We recommend you to change money in banks. Cash dispensers (банкоматы) are everywhere. It is a good idea to let your bank know that you will go abroad (to Russia) for a certain period so that they do not think your card has been stolen and block access to your money.

ENTERTAINMENT AND LEISURE

You can find listings for many interesting events such as concerts, plays, exhibitions, nightclubs, restaurants, etc. on the Internet (www.afisha.yandex.ru/kazan , www.inde.io, www.kudago.com/kzn, www.kzngo.ru, www.kuda-kazan.ru) or in local newspapers.There is a cable TV (60-100 channels) in every host family. 

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Kremlin (Кремль)

Every city has its main sight, and in this case Kremlin is Kazan’s symbol. After Moscow’s red Kremlin complex, Kazan Kremlin with its snow-white walls tends to be the most beautiful in Russia. It includes many buildings: Annunciation Cathedral, Soyembike Tower, Spasskaya Tower, Secret Tower, Presidential Palace and mosque Qol-Sharif. In 2000, it was granted with a status of World Heritage.

Baumana Street (улица Баумана)

This is the central street in Kazan; it is worth visiting at least because of its popularity among Kazan citizens. It has some of the same features as Moscow’s Arbat: fountains, streets artists, and a variety of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. At the end of Baumana Str., there is a Belltower of Bogoyavlensky cathedral, the symbol of Baumana Str. It is the highest old building in Kazan (63 m) and always one of the favourite tourist sights. 

Baumana Street is situated in the “heart” of Kazan and became a classic place for meetings. Here you will find everything you need, such as accommodation, cashpoints, food, souvenirs, entertainment. 

Tatar State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named Musa Jalil (Татарский государственный академический театр оперы и балета имени Мусы Джалиля)

It is a “must go” place. It is a very beautiful classical building, which is reminiscent of the 19th century. We recommend attending a performance (opera or ballet) during your stay in Kazan, as tickets are very affordable.

Soviet Lifestyle Museum (Музей социалистического быта)

This is a unique and interactive museum, which gives an insight into everyday life for Soviet citizens in the 1970s and 1980s.

Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral (Петропавловский собор)

This is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Kazan and one of the most famous Russian churches in Naryshkin Baroque style. It is highly recommended to go there on Sunday morning before the bells ring and to see the service afterwards. From the top of the steps leading to the main entrance you will have one of the most perfect views of the Kazan skyline possible.

Kazanka Riverside (Набережная реки Казанка)

Kazan at night with a lot of lights is really beautiful. We would highly recommend spending at least one evening on the bank of Kazanka river. It is one of the most favorite places of Kazan citizens. It is also a nice place to have a picnic when it is warm and sunny. You just simply find the riverside if you go straight ahead from The Kremlin, or if you go to “N.K.TSE”, a fancy place, but very popular among young people in summer. The bus stop needed is “Ploschad svobody”. 

The State Museum of Fine Arts (Государственный музей изобразительных искусств)

Here you can find a lot of art piece. The exposition is quite big: icons, jewelry, pictures of Shishkin, Serov (famous Russian artists), also some works of European artists. The museum is located in a very beautiful old building, the former house of a Russian aristocrat. There are also other museums in Kazan near the Kremlin, which focus on history. Address: Ulitsa Karla Marksa 64

Temple of All Religions, or the Temple of the Universe (Храм всех религий, или Вселенский храм) 

This is an architectural complex, consisting of several types of religious architecture including an Orthodox church, a minaret, and a synagogue, among others. It is currently under construction, having been started in 1992 by local artist and philanthropist Ildar Khanov. He said that eventually the structure would have 16 cupolas, corresponding to the 16 major world religions. Although the temple is located quite far (in the Staroye Arakchino Microdistrict of Kazan), it is worth going there if you are interested in architecture. You can reach this place by «electrichka» or bus (“Staroye Arakchino” stop).

SPORT

Kazan has just recently earned the reputation of a sports city, due to its recent investments in this domain. Kazan organized the World Summer Universiade 2013, and was a host city for FINA World Aquatics Sports Championship in 2015 and for FIFA World Cup in 2018 in Russia. It is said that one of the World Cup semi-finals may be held in Kazan! Many of Kazan's professional teams, such as Rubin (football) or Ak Bars (hockey), have been recent Russia champions.

Many of Kazan's professional teams, such as Rubin (football) or Ak Bars (hockey), have been recent Russian champions. 

There are many Fitness Clubs in Kazan. Some of them are near our Centre (Alex Fitness, Grand Fitness, Малина). However, we offer to our students a free access to the Fitness Centre “Москва”, which is situated 15-minute walk from our Center (Московская, 49).

SHOPPING

There are many shops to fit any taste near the centre, but the biggest ones are ГУМ (ул. Баумана, 51), Кольцо (ул. Петербургская, 1), ЦУМ (Московская ул., 2). 

Other main shopping centres of Kazan are Тандем (Проспект Амирхана, 56), Парк Хаус (проспект Хусаина Ямашева, 46/33), Южный (проспект Победы, 91), Корстон (Николая Ершова, 1а), Бахетле (Павлюхина, 57), XL Дисконт-центр (проспект Ямашева, 97), Мега (Проспект Победы, 141).

TRANSPORT

Kazan has a variety of public transport, including buses, trolleybuses, trams, and tube. A trip fee is 25 roubles (using a transport cardwww.transkart.ru) or 27 roubles (using cash) for any kind of transport.

The railway system connects Kazan with the major cities as well as the most remote parts of Russia. The passenger carriages in Russia are of four main classes – купе (four to a compartment, two up and two down) and плацкарт (four to an open compartment, two up and two down). Плацкарт is less luxurious, but cheaper. Another class is CB (same as купе, but for two people and, therefore, more expensive). The most expensive is мягкий class. 

Train tickets can be bought in advance from any station (железнодорожные кассы), ticket agencies in a town/city (with a commission fee), ticket machines in and around the stations, or on the Internet (from the official site of the Russian Railways – http://pass.rzd.ru/main-pass/public/en). To buy a ticket you will need your passport number and date of birth. To get on the train you will need your passport.

Kazan has 2 railway stations. If you are coming to Moscow from Kazan the train will terminate at Казанский вокзал (Kazansky Station). 

If you want to buy a plane ticket, you can go online, e.g. on www.ticket.yandex.ru or www.avia.tutu.ru.

TAXI

  • Яндекс.Такси (merged with Uber Russia)
  • Gett (Gett App)
  • Такси Татарстан (567-1-567) (TapTaxi App)
  • Такси Везёт (230-00-00) (Везёт App)

All of them have official Android and iOS apps on Google Play and App Store, which you can also use for calling a taxi.