Weekend Road Trip from Kazan – Day 2: Yoshkar-Ola: capital of churches, unusual monuments and smiling cats.

The second day we will fully spend in Yoshkar-Ola, the capital of the Republic of Mari El. Once little-known backwater town in the last five years experiencing a real tourist boom. This is because Yoshkar-Ola has become an open-air museum of architectural replicas.
Weekend Road Trip from Kazan

Trip duration: 3 days

Marina Voronchikhina

Nikitin Hotel

We'll start day two with a hearty breakfast right at the hotel. Alternatively, there is the "Simple Food" culinary market with the freshest croissants or any other nearby cafe.

Памятник «Счастливая семья»

Monuments / Landmarks

Leave the car near the hotel. Yoshkar-Ola needs to be walked! Let's go out on Victory Boulevard, which stretches from the Druzhba Stadium - the most athletic people will go for a morning run here. Opposite the maternity hospital, which will be on the right arm, there is a symbolic sculptural composition "Happy Family" - rub the boy's nose for good luck and hurry on!

Бульвар Победы

Roads, Pedestrian Plazas

Victory Boulevard you will walk in 10 minutes. It rests on a complex of important city monuments: 26-meter Monument of Military Glory with eternal fire lit on the day of the 30th anniversary of Victory - May 9, 1975. Here you can also see the monument to the soldiers who died in Afghanistan.

Центральный парк культуры и отдыха


The Park of Culture and Recreation is a favorite place for locals to relax. It is especially beautiful and fun in summer: there are rides (mostly children's) and Ferris wheel, horseback rides are offered. In the center of the small park you can see an unusual monument "Tree of Life", embodying the spiritual component of life of the Mari people.

Бульвар Чавайна

Pedestrian Plazas

Right behind the PKiO arch begins the 2.5-kilometer Chavayna Boulevard. It is named after the Mari poet Sergei Grigorievich Chavayn. On both sides of the boulevard there are cozy restaurants and coffee shops - but a little patience: there is a lot of interesting things ahead!

Площадь Республики Пресвятой Девы Марии


Stop at the square for a few minutes. Yoshkar-Ola wasn't always like that. Once upon a time, this place had a wild beach and thick willow thickets. Today we see here a majestic church with golden domes, neat colorful houses, a fountain - change of the city to the face! On top of the Annunciation Tower there is an observation deck, and in the arch of the building in summer there is a street piano, behind which often sit real virtuosos. If you're lucky, you'll find the instrument of Felix Ginzburg, an old music teacher, a jazz legend of Yoshkar-Ola.

Патриаршая площадь


We will walk to another beautiful square along the colorful embankment, having glanced on the way to the Tsarevokokshaysky Kremlin. It is new, but it was erected on the place of an old stockaded town, destroyed by fire in 1696. We cross the bridge, and here we are on the spacious and elegant Patriarchal Square. A curious entertainment for tourists is the "12 Apostles" clock. Every day, every three hours (from 9:00 to 21:00), a sculptural procession of figures of the Apostles marching to the bell ringing and church chanting begins on the tower. The figures symbolize the entry of the Lord into Jerusalem.

Башня дружбы народов

Monuments / Landmarks

From Patricia Square, walk along the other side of the river to the Tower of Friendship of Nations. On the way - near boat and catamaran hire - you'll meet the monument to Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Local residents are already tired of joking about the unusual taste of Leonid Markelov, former head of RME. What can we do: the head considers Grace and Rainier a model of a married couple, and at the same time wishes Yoshkar-Ole the glory of the Principality of Monaco. By the way, for the past three years Markelov has been under arrest - on suspicion of taking bribes.

Апартаменты NIKITIN


There are many cozy restaurants on the embankment of the river Kokshagi. One of them is next to Gogol Bridge - an ideal place to catch your breath after endless monuments and churches.

Набережная Амстердам

Roads, Other Great Outdoors

Let's keep walking. You'll go to the right, as they say, to Amsterdam. New, needleworked buildings are partly reminiscent of the architecture of the Dutch capital, but have their own recognizable features. From the monument to Pushkin and Onegin we'll turn left to plunge into the less festive, but equally charming Yoshkar-Ola for a while.

Национальная художественная галерея

Art Museums

Check out the National Art Gallery for an hour. One of the museum halls is dedicated entirely to the work of local artists. And the ground floor souvenir shop is supplied with goods and paintings by Mari craftsmen. The facade of the gallery has a massive chime clock with moving figures. Every hour a toy donkey with an icon of the Mother of God on his back leaves the gate. In the best traditions of the "church" Yoshkar-Ola.

Йошкин Кот

Monuments / Landmarks

It's a crime not to go to Yoshkar-Ola and pet a Yoshkin cat! The name of the monument hints at the popular expression "Yoshkin cat", which has a special meaning for locals: in everyday life they call their town "Yoshka". By all the rules, the sculpture should be handled as follows: *" Say hello to the cat in Mari and rub his leg " *" for good luck rubbing the cat's nose *" Whisper a cherished wish to the left ear *" and, of course, take a picture! * *

Площадь Ленина


Both many years ago and today, Lenin Square is a place for city festivities. It is here that a huge Christmas tree is set up in winter, and in summer parades and festivals are held. The Volga Region Technological University and the National Drama Theatre named after Lenin adjoin the square. The square is adjoined by the Volga Technological University and the M. Shketan National Drama Theatre, which in the last couple of years has been experiencing a second birth.


Burger Joints

It's time for dinner! A few minutes walk from the square, in an old brick building hid a small burger "RAD", which was loved by connoisseurs of rare Craft beer and juicy meat. The bar was opened by a local guy who had mastered the basics of restaurant business in a prestigious school in Switzerland. The restaurant is tiny, but it has no coziness and style.

Марийский государственный театр оперы и балета им. Эрика Сапаева

Opera Houses

Right in front of the burger room is the Mari opera and ballet theatre named after Erika Sapaev. You can attend performances only in the "season", from September to May (some events are held in summer). The theatre preserves the best traditions of Russian classical ballet, and the local company regularly tours around the world - and always with great success. If ballet and opera make you bored, spend the rest of the day at the cinema (their Yoshkar-Ola Three), bowling club or bar with live music.



Massive wooden tables, dim light, richness of textures and shades in the interior - the restaurant "Guests" is perfect for a cozy end of the day and a glass of delicious wine. Ah yes, they cook here very tasty!