Guide to Kazan: art spaces, gastronomy and architecture

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Gallery of Contemporary Art in Kazan (Photo by

For art

Gallery of Contemporary Art

From February 23 to May 31, the Gallery of Contemporary Art opened an exhibition dedicated to one of the most famous avant-garde associations of pre-revolutionary Russia, “Jack of Diamonds”. At the exhibition you can see the works of Ilya Mashkov, Peter Konchalovsky, Alexander Kuprin, Aristarkh Lentulov, Natalia Goncharova and other avant-garde artists.

The exposition itself is small – it can be completed in ten minutes, the ticket costs from 100 to 300 rubles, depending on the benefits and the intensity of the program. We recommend taking an audio guide, without it it may not be clear what the avant-garde, Cezanneism, Primitivism, Cubism, Suprematism and why artists painted trays.

A notable bonus is the opportunity to buy a general ticket and visit not only the exhibition “Jack of Diamonds”, but also the State Museum of Fine Arts, which is located across the street from the gallery.

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Smena Center for Contemporary Culture

Here you will find the exhibition “Women on the Move” by artists from Sweden, Russia, Spain and England. In the works of the participants of the exhibition consider and reveal various aspects of life and experience of women – family relationships, self-organization, emancipation, work, the struggle for equality. The exposition will last until May 15 and will include meetings and a series of excursions from the curators of the exhibition.

The word “movement” in the title of the project refers to the art forms in which artists create (video and film), and to the participants of the exhibition – active and creative girls who are in constant motion, development.

National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan (Photo

National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan

Throughout the trip to Kazan, we asked the locals where to go and what to see in the city. As a mantra, everyone talked about the National Library, and for good reason – the scope amazes the imagination. The history of the library dates back to 1865, but this is not a correct date, this room was built only in 2020 – the library moved here.

The new space features two reading rooms, six bookstores, an exhibition space, a conference room, its own theater, museum, bookstore, music room, audio recording studio, coworking space, cafeteria, restaurant – and a wonderful view of Kazan.

Here everyone can find a job, even without being a fan of reading books. For example, in the music hall you can play the piano or listen to vinyl, but in headphones so as not to disturb others. Most importantly, all this is freely available and free.

Behind the architecture

Kazan Kremlin

The first thing I want to recommend for a must-visit is the Kazan Kremlin. It is a complex of architectural, historical and archeological monuments that reveal the centuries-old history of the city: the Kul Sharif Mosque, the Annunciation Cathedral, the Savior’s Tower, the Syuyumbike Tower, the Governor’s Palace and much more.

There are also seven museums in the Kazan Kremlin, where you can wander for hours from exhibit to exhibit, and additional tours will make you stay in the Kremlin for a whole day.

Palace of Farmers (Photo by

Palace of Farmers

Most likely, walking through the Kazan Kremlin and passing by the Annunciation Cathedral, you will pay attention to the ornate building with a large bronze tree on the facade – this is the Palace of Farmers. It can be attributed to the style of the bozar or eclectic style. The building consists of two symmetrical blocks, and in the center – a dome 48 meters high with a bronze 20-meter tree.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to get inside, because the Palace of Farmers is the current Ministry of Agriculture. So all you have to do is admire the external entourage and facade, and you can also walk along the adjacent Kremlin embankment and park.

Old Tatar settlement

One of the historical parts and complex attractions in the center of Kazan. Here you can take a leisurely stroll through the open-air museum and soak up the atmosphere of the past years, visiting the buildings with oriental flavor. Probably not as much fun here as in many other attractions of Kazan, but it is a great place to get acquainted with the centuries-old Tatar culture and customs of the people. As a last resort, you can go to local restaurants, which are located almost across the house.

Chirem Restaurant (Photo DR)

For food

Chirem Restaurant

Many prestigious awards, including “The best restaurant of Tatar cuisine WTE – 2020”, “Top 50 restaurants of the Russian Federation – 2021”, “Gastrootkrytie-2021”, already speak for themselves. This is a truly magnificent gastronomic discovery of Kazan. Chef Artem Laptev made sure that guests could experience the gastronomic delicacies of Tatar cuisine. In the menu you can find almost all national dishes: from kostybay and echpochmak to chuck-chuck, koymak and much more. Translated from the Tatar language “boil” – a young spring grass. This word and the accompanying design of the restaurant itself characterize the ancient traditions of Tatarstan and the changes that have taken place over the years.

Artel Bistro (Photo DR)

Artel Bistro

A modern city bistro with shades of Tatar cuisine, where you will find a new vision of local recipes and products. Artel’s chef is Bulat Ibragimov, who recently returned to Kazan, gaining experience in Moscow and Krasnodar. It is best to come here for a leisurely breakfast or brunch, be sure to ask for a special menu, which changes almost daily. Our recommendations: horse tartare with smoked apple and cilantro; rooster in wine; horse heart with root porridge.

Bar Grid

Get comfortable behind the bar and listen carefully to what chef Denis Fadeev and head bartender Karl Livanov have to say – they will be completely immersed in the atmosphere of their establishment. This is the perfect intertwining of bar and kitchen, where fleeting combinations create the whole ideology of a full-fledged concept of the institution. We recommend booking in advance, as a chamber space. There is little space here, which fills up very quickly for the weeks ahead, and getting off the street becomes very difficult.

A small but focused menu will not let you get lost in the complex names of Tatar dishes, but will focus on the ingredients so that you understand what will be a combination. If you sit at the bar, you also cook and talk about dishes and ingredients – you get extra experience.

For drinks

More Bar

One of the most attractive and thoughtful drinking establishments in Kazan. Here you will find a customized menu – each made by hand, and your own farm with microgreens, and vermifery, and processing checks into bonfires, and most importantly – perfectly balanced drinks.

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The bar itself is located in an inconspicuous basement, which is not immediately obvious, but when you enter, you will definitely feel at the party of old friends, because you will be told a story, a tour, fed and watered. At the moment, there is an In.Side menu with the ideology of local ingredients, where the favorite competitive drinks of bartenders are collected to show the process of creating a cocktail in a glass in front of you: from idea to result. For those who do not drink alcohol or temporarily abstain, there are non-alcoholic cocktails: “Himlet”, “Negroni”, “Tomato Americano”, “Dark & ​​Storm”.

Mr. Willard (Photo DR)

Mr. Willard

It is believed that Mr. Orsamus Willard was one of the first recognized bartenders, despite the fact that Jerry Thomas became more famous. Mr. Bar Willard is a mix of spicy bar, New Orleans and the 19th century: classic drinks, dim lights, jazz, chamber bar hidden from prying eyes. Just do not get to the bar – the addresses in different guides may be incorrect, and the phone number is not. But you can definitely come at the invitation of friends or have your own branded keychain, which will give the cherished pass inside.

Undoubtedly, we recommend giving the right to choose a bartender who will help you navigate the cocktail menu or even prepare something long-forgotten, but immortally classic. We also advise you to study the collection of rare alcohol, which the guys have been collecting around the world since 2014.

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