Krasnodar is one of the main cities of the south of Russia, where cultural and business life of the whole region is developing. Moreover, the city is green, full of interesting places and the Black sea coast is very easy to reach from there. So, in case you head that way, there is sense in making detour and go to Krasnodar for at least a couple of days.
There is a winery “Fanagoria” not far from Krasnodar, the alcohol production of which is really worth mentioning; the wine culture started in this region in ancient times. The best way to train receptors and clear your head is to visit the settlement Sennoy and give local goods a try. The excursion prices are quite fair: tasting of still and sparkling wines, as well as fanagorian cognacs and distillates cost from 300 to 550 Russian rubles per person, food and wine tasting dinner with dishes of Taman and European cuisine is around 2000 Russian rubles. Right here you can also purchase the wine that you liked, so that on return home tell the stories of your trip while drinking that wine. On the way back, you can have a look at famous Fanagoria caves and try to distinguish stalactites from stalagmites and have a walk as well.
Fashion lovers can come by the concept pop-up shop, where the light industry achievements of local designers are collected. The shop is situated in the trading mall “Galereya Krasnodara” and exposes the works of designer Nastia Nekrasova, students and graduates of Krasnodar School of Art + Design (brand NOT Chanel), Oksana Migunova (project The First) and Luisa Gasanova (RoGa), Luisa Menaylova, releasing the works under brand Louitex, and Anita Tamozhnikova, who works under the brand name “Kladovka”, and Fatima Zakarian (label One Z), family workshop Woodlike and some other designers. This diversity is a good reason to renew your wardrobe and buy some clothes that nobody in the city has.
Usually botanical gardens and arboretums are oases of tranquility and calmness in the middle of noisy modern cities. Here you can stay in silence, wander among strange plants brought from all over the world and become friends with some fauna representative. In Botanical Garden named after professor I.S.Kosenko or Agricultural Institute Arboretum there are no kiosks, wending machines or noisy cars: only sudden sonorous bicycle rider may appear on a shady path, or cardio “amateur” may run around, or a neat old man may make some noise by his newspaper while sitting on a bench next to you. Sometimes while walking around you see the contours of light rotundas and arbors, peacocks lazily wandering between the trees and squirrels moving quite fast. One of the most beautiful objects of Arboretum is the pond with amazing lotuses – huge bright pink flowers that better suit some banks of the Nile river.
Coffee enthusiasts located themselves on the main street of Krasnodar – Krasnaya street: in a small light premise without any designer delights there is a coffee house and a shop, where you can buy farmer’s fresh roasted coffee and coffee cutlery. On a regular basis new sorts of coffee are brought to Sweet Bean from different countries, and the owners invite everybody for cupping (some sorts are specially brought by coffeehouse’ friends from various countries, and sometimes even vintage pieces are delivered), battles between hario and aeropress amateurs are held, lectures on coffee culture in other countries and cities are given. In case you can’t tell you are an expert and prefer common variants of the energy drink, barista will make you the right cappuccino for quite reasonable price of 130 Russian rubles.
Rapid development of coffee culture makes the experienced traveler’s acquaintance with the new city quite easy. In case you want to find the trendiest and most cultured place, follow the scent of coffee beans. And here you are – in the premise with thought-over design and enlightened beautiful faces. At least, coffee house “Cherniy” is successful in that. Small coffee house with white brick walls holds not many people, but no need to contain more – all the drinks can be taken away and you can sit here on the windowsill or keep walking along Krasnodar. It is worth taking something with ice in summer – ice latte or drink with espresso and orange juice; local sandwiches or a glass of granola with yogurt and fruits are recommended for a light snack.
The story of Chistyakova roscha started in long 1900: that time the park became the central place for urban gentry walks – ladies in hats and bonnes with kids were walking by local paths under not yet age-old oaks. The garden didn’t lose its popularity during Soviet times, the decline started only in the Perestroyka period. But in 2008 the renovation of the grove (English word for roscha) was launched, and now citizens of Krasnodar again have the possibility to walk along the neat alleys, wait for their friends at the fountain and feed local fatty squirrels. A distinct local place of interest is Svadebnaya alleya (Wedding alley), where all the just married couples come for photo sessions. So, in case you have yearning for cultural research, you should definitely plan a visit and walk along it here.
The starting point of the city is river Kuban – all the parks are attached to the river, various entertainment places are situated on its banks. The quay has been renovated recently and now it has European charm: the waterfronts of the river Kuban shine with new handrails, flat slopes to water and benches that are an amazing place to sit at and watch the rolls of the waves. The weather in Krasnodar is sultry, that is why the quay is still considered to be one of the best places to arrange the date (river being close, some coolness is provided, but it is not recommended to swim there), to have a bicycle ride, incidentally watching the tourist spots, or just to run before going to sleep.
When it is tawdry to bring magnets and souvenirs from the trip, but friends/relatives/colleagues can’t be left without small gifts – the best solution is gastronomic surprises. For example, from Krasnodar you can bring a piece of lard, local honey or water from the mineral spring. If a person is on a strong diet – bring him curative mud, it can always be useful.
To buy all that stuff – go to Sennoy market, the oldest one in Krasnodar, it was built by Cossacks at Tsar reign times (originally only hay was sold here, that’s where the name comes from – in Russian “Sennoy” means the one with hay). The market is situated in the center of the city, so it is very easy to reach; but it will be difficult to leave – you won’t probably stand from buying plenty of local ripe fruits and vegetables that are hard to find in the North regions. And it is right – when other time will you have an opportunity to try tomato that smells like tomato not like plastic.
The menu in “Scotina” restaurant reminds manifest: first of all, creators claim that all the dishes are cooked only from the local Kuban meat, that is more than competitive to any western analogues. Secondly, offer the guest to leave all the prejudice and try various parts of the carcass – “from horns to legs” if quoting the ideologists. Thirdly, each dish has an explanation on the way it was cooked – whether meat was marinated, stewed or grilled. Every dish is promised to be accompanied by an ideal wine to highlight the taste of both. “Scotina” is the only restaurant in Russia that is involved in beef cattle itself – fattening, slaughter, cutting (the workshop is located in the restaurant) and cooking.
The interior is very modest: the walls are roughly trimmed with boards and old textured door panels, garland of lights hangs down from high ceiling, and only from the large panoramic window you can see the everyday life of the city. In for a nightcap you can drink something from local liquors: experts recommend to ask for a shot of smoked pear.
The catchiest detail in a bar of local brewery “Ant” interior is the beer bottles themselves and perfectly polished taps – now you can try here around 60 various kinds of beer (50 types of bottled and 16 types of tap beer). What is very correct: this is the place for beer drinkers who would rather taste new sorts of beer than get drunk (though one does not exclude the other). For snacks you can have here burgers, hot dogs, falafel that go well with various beer types.
According to the mythology this bar was founded by a superhero Mister Drunke who came to the Earth from planet Alko. Now he lives here, owns a bar and welcomes reasonable high-quality alcohol consumption in a good company: with loud discussions, dances till dawn, but no hangovers and shameful memories in the morning.
Bar interior is kept in style of good old English pub with craft beer, Russian cider and wide range of strong alcohol drinks, that includes international whiskey and local liquors (limoncello, for example, is made on grape distillate). As for the menu, pay attention to seasonal offers: for example, now it is apricot smoothie, two types of cold soups, pie with oxtails and sometimes fresh oysters.
Café bar “Zerno” with its slogan “friendship-smile” is considered one of the best bars of Krasnodar. When the weather is warm, you can sit outside and drink craft cider Trigger, greeting the passing-by friends and mates, or take a set of fresh Black sea mussels and a glass of white wine. For evening time, the cafe owners prepare music program with local or invited DJs and artists and mix shot-sets (just for curiosity sake it’s worth trying “Boyarskiy” and feeling how different it is from the original). And of course, food is offered – the menu is vast and diverse, and contains salads, snacks for beer, pasta, and the Black sea fauna representatives.