On the Volga River 450 mi/725 km east of Moscow, intriguing Kazan, Russia, is an ancient and historical city. Primary sights include its university (where Tolstoy and Lenin studied), the Kazan Kremlin (http://www.kazan-kremlin.ru), the 16th-century Spasskaya Tower, and charming gardens and parks.

Most visitors add a day to cruise down the Volga, Europe's longest river. Reputable tour companies include Volga-Tour (http://www.volga-tour.ru) and Kaz Tur (http://www.kaztur.ru).

You may not want to make a special trip to the city, but if you're in the area, a day spent in Kazan can be quite pleasant.

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