Kazan: cascade of beauties, generous lessors and anecdotal stadium
The first game in Kazan will be on 16 June between the national teams of France and Australia. Spain and Iran will play here on 20 June, Poland and Colombia will meet on 24 June, while Germany and South Korea will see on 27 June. A 1/8 finals match will be on 30 June where the winner of Group C and the runner-up of Group D will fight. It's likely to be France and somebody from the threesome of Iceland, Croatia or Nigeria. And the tournament's quarter-finals will be on 6 July – perhaps, it will be a super match Brazil vs England.
The games in the capital of Tatarstan will be at Kazan Arena stadium. It accommodates 45,000 spectators, the parking is designed for almost 5,000 cars. We should remind the first stone was laid into the foundation of the stadium in spring 2010, and the facility was commissioned in record time – 36 months later. Kazan Arena has already hosted events during the 27 th Summer Universiade, FINA World Championships as well as the Confederations Cup.
During the preparation of guides to the WC host cities, we noticed that almost each of them had problems with construction or organisation of the erection and operation of WC stadiums. Unfortunately, Kazan Arena wasn't an exception. The Kazan stadium, which was built only 5 years ago, has already so many doubtful stories and frankly ridiculous situations that anecdotes about it have been wandering across all Russia for a long time.
For instance, this spring agriculturists have boobed by making Rubin host Spartak from Moscow in the brownish-yellow ''garden''. Realnoe Vremya's sports staff already remembered five changes of the grass, gloom service for fans and artificial difficulties for journalists and tried to find out the cause of problems of the troubled sports facility.
The arena is located in the city's Novo-Savinovsky District, between Yamasheva and Chistopolskaya Streets, not far from the third transport dam, Riviera and Olymp sports complex. One can get to it by Tramway 5 and 6, Trolleybus 2 and 13, Bus 10а, 18, 33, 35, 36, 44, 45, 46, 49, 55, 60, 62, 75, 76. Multiple taxi services also operate in the city besides public transport: Uber, Yandex, local Tatarstan, Maxim, Leader and others.
Where to stay
Kazan is a popular tourist destination that annually augments tourist traffic. Consequently, there are enough places to stay. The city has a variety of different hotels, hostels and apartments. And even if there are no rooms on the match days in the most popular hotels (same Riviera or Korston), you will find a play to stay.
If you visit Booking.com, you will see available rooms in Olymp, Gvardeyskaya, TatarInn Hotel, Milena Hotel, Amaks Safar Hotel. It's also possible to find different apartments, for instance, a 4-bedroomed flat that can accommodate 13 guests 1,8 km far from Kazan Arena (7,000 rubles for two nights) or apartment on Chistopolskaya Street for five guests (6,000 rubles for two nights). There is a good range of flats on Airbnb. For instance, you can rent a flat next to the stadium for 9,000 rubles from 16 to 17 June. Higher prices can be found on Avito. For example, a one-bedroomed flat with strange home improvement is offered to rent for 25,000 rubles per night.
Kazan is one of the richest Russian cities in interesting places and sightseeing points. It will obviously take more than one weekend. As fans don't stay in host cities for long, we will mention the most obvious points on the city map that one must visit. First of all, we should mention the Kremlin, Syuyumbike Tower, Kul Sharif Mosque, Assumption Cathedral, khans' graves and a complex of museums are located on its territory.
You can also go for a walk along ''Kazan Arbat'' – Baumana, Levo-Bulachnaya or Pravo-Bulachnaya Streets, the Kremlin Embankment or the Old Tatar Settlement. In the centre, you can go to the Black Lake park, Fuchs Square, Lyadskoy Garden and the Gorky Park, which is a bit further on Yershova Street. One can look at the city from a height by riding on Around the World (next to Riviera) big wheel as well as in Kyrlay amusement park.
Walking in the city, you should pay attention to very beautiful mosques: Marjani, Zakabannaya, Azimovskaya, Apanayevskaya. You can also admire the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral built in Russian Baroque in the centre as well as the famous bell tower of the Epiphany Cathedral located on Baumana Street. The Agriculturists' Palace, which already became very popular, can be interesting for tourists among modern facilities: its appearance either makes people admire or terrify – there isn't another option. If you plan to stay in Kazan longer, we compulsorily advise to visit the Island City of Sviyazhsk and the Bolgarian Historical and Architectural Museum Reserve.
Where to eat
Kazan has a big number of different cafes and restaurants. To taste Tatar national cuisine, you can go to Tugan Avylym complex, House of Tatar Culinary or Tatar Mansion restaurant. The Tatarstan capital also has Tatar fast food – Tubetey where you will be served ochmochmaks with hot tea instead of burgers and Cola.
You will meet Uzbek cuisine in such restaurants as Khumo, Uryuk, P.Love, Krashi, Pashmir, Mamajan, Ancient Bokhara. American and Mexican cuisines are available in Rockstar Bar and Cuba Libre, Indian – in Malabar, Serbian – in Hemingway, Georgian – in Khinkalnaya. One can have a bite in the famous local chain Dobraya Stolovaya, which is famous for low prices and tasty home food.
A match with a cup of beer can be, for instance, watched in Top-Hop, Twin Peaks, Irish Trinity Pub, Kazan Cat inn or SPB. You can also go to Salt bar that's designed for concerts, DJ parties, dances till the morning and noisy alcohol intake, Belgian Beers Bar, Fomin Bar & Shop craft beer bar or interesting Volna pub.