The Republic of Tatarstan and its capital Kazan are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Russia. Anyone who has ever been to Kazan irrevocably falls in love with this city and, like a true tourist, would not mind taking something memorable or pleasant as a gift to loved ones. Hospitable Kazan is generous with such gifts.
Traditional souvenirs from Kazan: what to bring home
Classic Tatar souvenirs are associated with history, legends about the city, its culinary and culture:
- Cats. According to the legend, the rat-catchers were brought to St. Petersburg from Kazan. On one of the Kazan streets there is a cat monument. You can bring with you ceramic and porcelain figurines, funny piggy banks, key rings, magnets, paintings. Prices start at 100 rubles.
Kazan. Monument to the cat on Bauman street
- Decorative plates. In any souvenir shop you can find dishes with images of the Kazan Kremlin, the Kul-Sharif mosque and other memorable places.
- Sports souvenirs. Scarves, baseball caps, T-shirts, sweatshirts with the symbols of the sports clubs “Rubin”, “Ak Bars” will be a good gift for football fans. It is most profitable to buy them in one of the official stores of the club: Rubin (at the Central Stadium) or in the Ak Barsa online store.
- Chak-chak is a national Tatar treat. These are small balls of fried dough, generously doused with hot honey syrup. The dish is familiar to many people, even those who have never been to Tatarstan. But real chak chak can only be found in supermarkets and specialty shops. For example, in the “Chak-Chak STORE” candy store. Address: st. Pushkin, 9/51, TD “Azi”.
National clothes and footwear
The character of an ethnic minority is easy to imagine in national clothes, shoes and headdresses. Every detail has a unique history and has actually stood the test of centuries. If you are looking for an answer to the question of what gift to bring from Kazan to a history lover, the answer is simple – buy a skullcap, kalfak or ichigi.
The skullcap is an old men’s headdress. If you want to buy a real authentic skullcap, and not a Chinese fake, it will cost you more, but it will be worth it. Prices range from 300 to 2000 rubles.
Tatar women wore kalfaks – headdresses reminiscent of a modern sports cap with a tassel. Kalfaki were decorated with silver or gold threads, beads, freshwater pearls, semi-precious stones and twisted braid. Today this beauty costs about 1300-2500 rubles.
If you live in an area with cold winters and want to buy something warm, be sure to visit “Kukmorskie Valenki”. This is a chain of stores located at addresses: st. Adelya Kutuya, 42/31; Volgogradskaya st., 114; Ave. Victory, 78. Here you will find a pair of simple sheep wool boots, or a pair of smart and bright felt boots that will be a good gift.
Gastronomic gifts from Kazan
Tatar national cuisine is varied and includes not only the aforementioned chak-chak, but also many other sweets and meat dishes.
It is a pity that it is impossible to take kystyby with potatoes and onions, peremyachi with juicy meat filling or a multilayer gubadia pie with you. But you can please your friends with sausages and desserts that are stored for a long time:
- talkysh kaleve – a dessert based on honey and ghee. Looks like soft white pyramids that taste like cotton candy;
- kazylyk – horse meat sausages, which can be bought at the central market, in the Halal department, or in the Bakhetle supermarkets. Market address: st. Martyna Mezhlauka, 13;
- balms and tinctures based on local fruits and herbs. Popular balms are “Tatarstan” and “Bugulma”. They are made from natural organic raw materials: at least 24 types of berries, roots, flowers and herbs from ecologically clean places are used for cooking.
Markets and shops
We found out what tourists bring from Kazan: it remains to answer the question of where to buy the above-mentioned souvenirs and food.
The main place for shopping is the central street of Bauman. There are many shops selling decorative cats, dishes, Tatar clothes, sweets. Prices are a little overpriced, but shopping can be conveniently combined with a walk around the central part of the Tatar capital. It is also worth taking a walk along Kremlin Street – there are fewer shops there, but prices are also slightly lower.
Cozy and authentic shops are located on st. Ostrovsky. The rule: “The farther from the Kremlin, the cheaper souvenirs”, works here 100%.
Connoisseurs of antiques should visit the market, which is open every Sunday on Tatarstan Street near building No. 53. Locals call the market a book because its assortment mainly consists of ancient books. But on the shelves you will also find dishes, clothes and shoes, toys and other funny antiques.
We hope you enjoy your trip to Kazan, and treats and souvenirs will delight your loved ones!