rare sight to behold.
The old Tatar district, the Baumana Street often dubbed as the 'Kazan broadway' and the city malls make Kazan a tourist's paradise.
Kazan is also the sports capital of Russia and just hosted the 2013 Summer Universiade in which 162 countries participated. It is slated to host the World Swimming Championships in 2015 and in 2018 it will play host to the FIFA World Cup.
It is also home to the world-famous Rubin Kazan Football Club.
The second city of interest in the state is Bolgar, where lie the ruins of the capital of one of the largest medieval states of Eastern Europe, located 180 kilometres from Kazan.
Bolgarians officially accepted Islam and cast their lot with culture of Islamic world.
The contrast to this Islamic heritage is the Sviyazhsk, which has has a considerable Christian presence. It was an island but now a road has been constructed connecting it to land.
The water route though still remains in use and makes for a picturesque ride to the area which has had a dark past of "decimations" and executions during the first part of the 20th century.
Elabuga is another destination that is a visual and intellectual treat. Dubbed as the 'city of museums', including the well-preserved house of first Russian female soldier Nadezhda Durova and a number of well-crafted sculptures, it leaves a lasting impression on the mind of the visitor.
Russian hospitality might not be fabled but certainly it is a cut above the rest as unlike their media image of being stiff they are a set of warm and friendly people, an official said.
Tatarstan's cuisine involves a three-course meal in which first salad is served, then soup and finally the main course which involves meat with bread. And of course if you happen to be a 'vegetarian' you will be given fish.
So for all those who not just want to holiday, but have a culturally enriching experience, Tatarstan might just be the destination to visit.