Kazan – Entertainment
Seeking to bear a banner of the “third capital”, Kazan tries to keep up with its two “colleagues” – Moscow and St. Petersburg. It seems that every year they invent some musical or theater festival attracting visitors from all over the country. At the same time tickets to all the events are very affordable.
Musa Jalil Opera and Ballet Tatar State Academic Theater
One of the largest and most popular theaters not only in Kazan, but also in the whole Russia. The occupancy of the hall exceeds 93% (only the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg beats this figure), so it is rather difficult to buy tickets and it is better to get them 2-3 months before the intended visit. The repertoire includes acknowledged ballet and opera classics, but sometimes experimental plays are offered too. Annually, the theater organizes two popular festivals: International Festival of Classic Ballet named after Rudolf Nuriyev and International Opera Festival named after Fyodor Chaliapin. The audience hall is very beautiful, but it is better to avoid seatings in the 2nd and 3rd circles as you will not see the stage well.
Tickets: 200-2000 roubles.
Kazan Academic Russian Bolshoi Drama Theater of V. I. Kachalov
One of the oldest Russian theaters. Not everyone likes the rather expressive style of Theater Director A. Slavutskiy. However, the theater repertoire is quite interesting and different – mostly they offer Soviet and foreign classics of the 20th century, but there are also flamboyant plays about modern Russia. The Small Stage offers a lot of touching performances based on letters and poems.
Tickets: 150-600 roubles.
The Youth Theater on the Bolaq River
A theater rapidly gaining popularity with young and very energetic group and performs several experimental premières a year. Anciently founded by enthusiastic students, this theater is now one of the most favorite among the city youth. Here you can familiarize yourself with modern Russian dramaturgy and stage direction. There are many funny plays with singing and dancing. However, the informal student atmosphere and free improvisation may seem unattractive to those who like the classics and academism.
Tickets: 300-600 roubles.
Saydashev State Great Concert Hall
The most popular concert hall in Kazan. Beside classical concerts, the place offers various festivals and training concerts-lectures. Sometimes rock-stars give performances (as a rule, accompanied by a symphony orchestra). There are many concerts of organ music, which is not a coincidence: the local organ manufactured in Holland is said to be one of the best in Europe,
The ticket price is 150-500 roubles.
Tatar State Philharmonic
The Philarmonic was founded in 1937 with the purpose of popularizing musical pieces of the Tatars. Now the repertoire is various – beside concerts of folk and classical music Tatar pop singers give concerts here, festivals (especially jazz ones) and poetry evenings take place. However, the national focus stays unchanged.
The ticket price is 250-2000 roubles.
Pop & Rock Music
The largest concert venue of the city is the Palace of Sports that can accommodate up to 5000 people. Here concerts of the most famous performers, as well as various ice shows and sports competitions take place here. Ticket prices are quite high for Kazan – 1500-1700 roubles.
Pop & rock stars as well as famous comedians often give performances at cultural and entertainment complex “Pyramid” located in the heart of the city that has a smaller capacity of up to 1500 people. Tickets: 600-4000 roubles. Recently opened after renovation concert-hall “Hermitage” where Russian and foreign pop & rock stars regularly give performances is also popular (the ticket price is 1000-4000 roubles). The Concert Hall also serves as a night club, so it is possible to come there for dancing and admire the spectacular interiors in dark colors.
Bikers should visit club Rockstar Bar specializes in rock-n-roll and funk music. Jazz is often played there too. The guests appreciate the sound. The atmosphere of the 1950s-1980s is complemented with American and Mexican menu and colorful interior with lots of placards on the walls. Admission to most events is free. Films dedicated to rock-n-roll are often on.
Those who prefer heavy music may like Rock Club “Amnesia” (there are concerts of metal and hard rock and techno dancing parties after). Frequent visitors (who are quite many) appreciate drinks in the bar. For some concerts, admission is free. Festival tickets cost from 200 roubles.
Those who like vanguard and atmospheric places should visit club restaurant “Mayakovsky. Zheltaya Kofta“. The menu and the interior are decorated with trenchant lines by Mayakovsky, the interior delights the eye with bright colors and vanguard style of the 1920s, and the stage is given to young performers of rock, punk and alternative music. But this nice youth place has one drawback – in cold season the cloakroom is too small for all the guests.
Rock groups, pop stars and DJ’s are regularly invited by the famous in the city Bavarian restaurant Maximilian’s. The hall capacity is unusually big for a restaurant (800 places!), the atmosphere is cheerful, portions are small and prices are high.
Kazan people like jazz, so jazz concerts periodically take place practically at all concert venues of the city. But there are special places too.
Club Stariy Royal is famous with its old Austrian piano made in 1913, evenings of French music and concerts of young and talented jazz piano players. You can also have a meal of European cuisine dishes, but the menu prices are higher than the average in Kazan and the food is not a strong feature of this place. The entertainment program tickets cost from 200 roubles.
Jazz concerts also take place at the café “Perekrestok Dzhaza” (however the repertoire includes pop songs) and Jazz Café in Chistopolskaya Street (usually on Fridays and Saturdays). Entrance is free, and the cuisine in both places is good but rather expensive. The service is rather slow but while listening to good music it can be disregarded.
Luxor. Yes, it is a rather noisy place, but the Friday and Saturday dancing parties are among the best in the city. Fruit parties with tasty cocktails are especially remarkable. Music styles are hip-hop, house and R’N’B. The face control is slow and overzealous, there are queues.
Ferz. One of the most flashy clubs in the city – there are luxury interiors with huge chess figures and parties with difficult to pronounce names, as well as record-high concentration of girls in short and sparkling garments per square meter. The place positions itself as a play-bar: guests are continuously invited to take part in various contests and games, and waiters use that to forget about ordered cocktails. The club is said to be difficult to get in but if the guard likes you it is possible to enter without a club card.
Lenin. Another popular among young people club where appear young DJ’s. It has nothing in common with the leader of the world proletariat. The interior is unusual (old furniture and pictures on the ceiling in combination with lurid lights), the music is mainly electronic. The place is cheerful and crowded, the prices in the bar are quite democratic.
Arena. This veteran among the city clubs been awarded has many times the title of the best in Kazan. Guests especially like nostalgic parties in the style of the 1990s. The hall capacity is up to 1500 people. Security is oppressive and turn out bags of guests practically inside out, but frequent performances of famous DJs compensate for this drawback.
The Legend. It opened in the premises of a formerly popular bowling club and partially inherited the flashy audience of its predecessor. This is one of the largest and most expensive city clubs. DJ’s, pop stars and rap singers give performances. However, guests should be on the lookout – thefts are not uncommon.
The new Aquapark “Riviera”, one of the largest in the world, is also one of the most beloved entertainment places of Kazan people. In addition to various water slides, it has a year-round open pool, a kid’s pirate fort with water cannons, and a spa-zone with a Turkish bath and a sauna. Surfing and diving is also offered. However, huge queues to the slides may spoil the pleasure, so it is better to visit the Riviera on week days.
The water park is open from 10:00 to 22:00 on weekdays, from 9:00 to 22:00 on Sundays and from 9:00 to 23:00 on Saturdays. Tickets differ by time spent in the park: for 2, 4 hours and for the whole day. The 4-hour ticket costs 850 roubles on weekdays and 1000 roubles on weekends and public holidays, a ticket for the whole day is 1000 roubles on weekdays and 1200 roubles on weekends. On the average, guests spend 4 to 6 hours at the Riviera. Every minute in excess of the prepaid time costs 8 roubles.
Kazan - Staying
The hotel prices in the "third capital" of Russia are a bit lower than in the first two (Moscow and St Petersburg). It is advisable to choose hotels in the central Vakhitovsky District to be able to reach all the attractions on foot.