The railway station was also renovated by the summer 2013 and now looks really good and modern, also with English signs everywhere. It’s easy enough to reach Kazan from any major city in European Russia and it is possible to go through Kazan on the Trans-Siberian route.
From Moscow the best train to take is the direct link between the two cities, train 002, which takes 11 hours and costs about 2300 rubles (€55) 2nd class and 5160 rubles (€130) 1st class. Numbers 050, 112, 098 take 13 hours but cost cheaper: near 1350 rubles (€30) 3rd class, 2100 rubles (€50) for the 2nd class and 3700 rubles (€90) for 1st class.
The trains from Moscow that continue on to places like Ekaterinburg, Omsk or Tumen are usually a little bit cheaper but are slower and not as nice. Train 104 runs from St. Petersburg to Kazan on even dates (the 103 does the return route) and takes about 1 day and 3 hours.
Other destinations that are easy to reach from Kazan include Samara, Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Kirov, Perm, Ufa and Ulan Ude.
Kazan airport is something to be proud of, because most of Russian airports except Moscow and St.Petersburg, suck. It was fully renovated by the Summer Universiade-2013 and now looks like typical European airport. It’s pretty easy to orient yourself and find everything you need – all signs are both in Russian and English.
Kazan Airport is located about 26 km from the city. It has very good transport connection – you can get there by bus, aero express or by taxi. Aeroexpress train goes directly to Kazan railway station (directly connected with Terminal 1 and Terminal 1A) which is located in the centre of the city. It costs 200 rubles (€5) for standard class and 400 rubles (€10) for business class. It departs from the airport every 2 hours starting from 7 a.m until 11 p.m.
Bus is maybe not the fastest (near 1 hour), but the cheapest option. The ticket costs just 39 rubles (€1). The bus starts every day at 5.00 and finishes at 23.00 (the last bus from the Airport is at 21.45). You should also be prepared for traffic jams and the bus full of people, so the trip could be a bit exhausting.
There are lots of taxis in Kazan and comparing to other cities they are really cheap. Kazan airport has an official carrier “Kazan city” taxi, which is probably more expensive but safer. Upon arrival to International Airport “Kazan” you can order a taxi only at a special desk located in the arrival area of Terminal 1A. The number of taxi is +7 (843) 5-00000-5. It should cost around 1000 rubles or less (€20) to get from the airport to the city centre.
River Port & Cruises
The great thing about Kazan is that you can take a cruise ship and travel to any city on Volga river. If you’re not into long trips, you can always go to nearby places like Sviyazhsk Island (€8, 6 hours) and Velikiye Bolgary (€12, 10 hours).
There is also 2-hours trip across the Volga on the boat which costs just €5. Comfortable, long distance, return cruises go to places like Samara (2 days 6h), Nizhny Novgorod (2 days 6h), Yaroslavl (5 days 6h) and Moscow (10 days 5h). The trip to Astrakhan (10 days 9h) would be an unforgettable one. Tatflot Cruises River Port, 1, Devyataeva street +7 843 233-09-82.
Getting around Kazan
Kazan's city center is small enough to walk between most places of interest. But you will need to take public transport to get across the river to the north side of town or when you're tired after spending all day on your feet. Buses, trams, trolleybuses and taxi vans are the cheapest and most efficient modes of transport but there is also a small metro and taxis are fairly cheap.
The metro currently has only five stops and only services the center and south-east of the city. But there are plans to extend it to 11 stops, going under the river to the north-west of the city and one stop further south-east. At the moment its best use is to take you from the far end of Baumana Ulitsa (where it meets Pushkina Ulitsa ø Metro Ploshchad Tukaya) to the Kremlin end of this street (Metro Kremlevskaya).
One trip costs 7 rubles (€0.25). It is worth taking a ride on the metro just to see the modern stations with beautiful murals. The trains look new even though
they're not and are almost empty which is a strange sight in Russia. They come every 5-7 minutes during peak time. There are also ATMs in the metro stations. You can see the
Kazan Metro Scheme here.
Buses, Trolleybuses, Trams, Marshrutkas (Mini-Buses)
It's always easiest to take trams when you don't know your way around too well since they have the least chance of veering off in strange directions. Tickets on all Kazan transport cost 7 R and can be bought onboard.
Tram No. 2 runs between the train station and Ploshchad Tukaya (where Baumana street Joins the start of Pushkina street). Tram No. 5 runs between the bus station and Ploshchad Tukaya while Tram No. 18 runs between the river port and Ploshchad Tukaya. Tram No. 7 connects the train station, bus station and river port.
The circle line trams (Nos. 20 and 21) go to a lot of useful areas including Ploshchad Tukaya, Gogolya street and Tolstogo, Ploschad Svobody, the circus, Dekabristov street. (to the north of the Kazanka River, where the beaches and the Hotel Safar are) and to Victory Park. A trip on one of these trams is a good way to see the city. A somewhat useful map of the tram and bus routes can be found here
Some other useful routes are Marshrutka 115, which takes a circular route and is basically an abbreviated version of trams 18 and 21 that still covers all the useful destinations.
You can get on Marshrutka 96 at Ploshchad Svobody or on the east side of the Kremlin to take you across the Kazanka River to the north.
Marshrutkas 157 and 58 go to the train station from Ploshchad Tukaya.
Bus No. 46 goes from Ploshchad Tukaya up to Ploshchad Svobody. Bus No. 321 leaves from the bus station to the airport five times daily (5:00, 7:30, 11:05, 14:10, 17:45) and takes between 60-90 minutes depending on traffic. Tickets cost 20 R.
In Kazan you can hail any car as a taxi but it's not as easy as in Moscow. Often you will find that the cars that stop will have more than one passenger. Use your discretion to decide whether it's safe to ride with them or not. By this form of taxi you can get anywhere worth going in the greater central area for a maximum of 100 R (€2).
Some legitimate taxi companies (operators speak Russian only) include Taxi Maksimum (Tel: 571-1111), Super Taxi (Tel: 515-3030), Continental Taxi (Tel: 269-4040) and Tvoye Lyubimoye Taxi (Tel: 272-1721).