Kazan – Shopping
Kazan is definitely not the capital of shopping – as a rule, it offers the same brands like Moscow and St. Petersburg but with less choices. At the same time, in the sphere of national Tatar souvenirs and gastronomy, this city is a very pleasant and authentic place for shopping.
Chic and luxury
Suvar Plaza. A luxury shopping center aimed at customers with high income as prices is high even in the season of sales. 33 thousand square meters accommodate over 70 shops of the best international brands, but customers go there mainly for expensive shoes of reputable brands. Like any self-respecting hypermarket, the shopping center has a cinema, many cafés, and even a fitness-center.
Spartakovskaya St., 6
The Korston Hotel and Mall Another elite shopping center having many shops of luxury brands like Dior. Here you can also buy pompous gifts like luxury editions of Alcoran, crockery and home accessories, but prices will be even higher than at souvenir shops in the city center. A pleasant bonus: the shops are open round the clock,
Nikolaya Ershova St., 1A.
Kazan TsUM One of the oldest city shops founded in 1940. Beside clothes shops, there are many sports and souvenir shops and the kid’s departments lures the small visitors. However, in spite of the central location, there are not many people here as the prices are a bit exaggerated. Meanwhile, if you have bad luck with the shopping, you can pamper yourself with something delicious from the food supermarket Bahetle.
Moskovskaya St., 1.
Dignified and within the pocket
Koltso Mall is probably the main shopping attraction point in Kazan, located in the heart of the city close to Baumana Street and Peterburgskaya Street. On the five floors and 23 thousand square meters, there are shops of over 120 international brands of the medium price category. Here you can buy everything – from clothes and cosmetics to food and household appliances. Due to central location, the place is always busy with customers varying from leisure students to enthusiastic shopping addicts. You can have a meal at the food court with over 10 fast service cafés.
Peterburgskaya St., 1.
Svita Hall The only Kazan shopping center with precise specialization – goods and clothes for special events (mostly weddings). However, even if you are not planning any event right now, it is quite interesting to have a look here. Here you can find boutiques of Moslem clothes, designer jewelry and unusual accessories by mostly Russian or Tatar brands. Prices vary from medium to high.
Baumana St., 82.
Cheap and good
Alafuzovskaya Factory. According to the new Russian tradition, buildings of former factories are often transformed into “creative clusters”. The old Alafuzovskaya Factory is not an exception. Now it is the home of a new and very fashionable youth place where photo sessions and parties take place in the dark industrial interiors and on Saturdays flea markets are organized where for peanuts, you can buy some interesting Soviet time souvenir or a modern ethnic craft – depends on your luck. Currently, young designers of unusual clothes and accessories are still getting established at the premises of the plant, but it is nice to walk there now.
Gladilova St., 55.
If you come to Kazan, you should try traditional Tatar dishes, and first of all, Chak-Chak (roasted dough strips in honey syrup). The shelf life of Chak-Chak is up to 2 weeks and it can be easily transported, so this sweet can be a good gift for a gourmand friend.
It is also worth trying traditional horse-meat sausage kazylyk and traditional alcoholic balm “Tatarstan” whose recipe includes almost thirty different berries and herbs (can be bought in wine houses).
Tatar delicacies can be found practically at all chain supermarkets, but usually they are fresher and tastier at specialized shops.
Katyk. This is a chain of culinary stores first of all aimed at Kazan people who buy food for cooking at home. Here you can find both common home food and traditional Tatar dishes. Most shops are located in residential districts, but one can be found close to the city center and the Old Tatar Quarter, the address is Tatarstan St. 52.
Bahetle. A chain of shops, famous all over Russia. Beside various RTE products you can buy healthy food here. The prices are quite high. The two shops closest to the city center are located in Moskovskaya St., 2 and Gabdully Tukaya St., 64.
Shops of Bakery Plant No 3 (Khlebozavod No 3). Even people of Kazan themselves appreciate Chak-Chak made by this bakery plant. Fresh pastries and baked goods can be found at the shop at Kachalova St.,82. However, if you find other shops of this chain during a walk around the city, visit them without any doubts.
Chak-Chak STORE. A tiny shop in the most tourist streets of Kazan aimed more at tourists than real gourmands. They sell Chak-Chak made by the same Bakery Plant No 3 but prices are higher. However, at this shop it is worth trying another Tatar sweet, talkysh kaleve, small airy pyramids made of natural honey with texture resembling candy floss.
Baumana, St., 82.
Zhar-Svezhar. At this chain of bakeries, in addition to ordinary pizza and pies, you can try traditional Tatar pastries – echpochmak (triangular baked items with potato and meat filling) and elesh (round pies from unleavened dough with juicy filling of meat or chicken with broth). The prices are low.
The shops that are closest to the center can be found at Baumana, 29/11 and Tatarstan St., 16.
Where to buy souvenirs
Souvenirs in Kazan are very original, marked with Tatar color. The most popular items are skull caps (from 600 roubles), national footwear that curls up at the toe (from 2000 roubles), and tea bowls with pictures of various attractions (from 250 roubles). An amusing gift can be an item depicting the famous Cat of Kazan – it can be a magnet (from 50 roubles) or a wooden or ceramic toy (from 150 roubles).
The main “souvenir place” is of course Baumana Street. Here the main city souvenir shops are aiming at the endless flow of tourists. Prices are a bit overestimated, but shopping can be conveniently combined with a walk around the center. It is also worth taking a walk along Kremlevskaya Street – prices are lower there, but the shops are less abundant.
Cozier and more authentic shops are located on Ostrovskogo St. And prices are much more affordable there – the principle “The farther from the Kremlin – the cheaper the souvenirs” works here by 100 percent.
Those who like antiques should visit the spontaneous market that appears every Sunday from early morning to approximately 4 p.m. near building 53 on the Tatarstan Street in the small Tinchurin Park. Local people call the market “Knizhka” because its assortment mainly consists of ancient books. But on the home-made stalls, you will also find crockery, accessories, toys, and other amusing ancient things.
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.
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.