Russia is an immense, endless stretch of land that straddles two continents – Europe and Asia. This massive nation encompasses one-eighth of the earth’s surface and is bound by 12 seas of the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans. Russia a country of extremes, ranging from the harsh cold climate of Siberia to the remote Kamchatka valley, the vast Altai Mountains, the beautiful Lake Baikal, to endless acres of wilderness. However, there is more to Russia – this is also a country boasting of glorious civilisations, rich history, culture and literature, and beautiful cities like Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Sochi.
The year 2018 marks a special occasion in Russia’s history with the nation all set to host the biggest sporting spectacle of the planet – The 2018 FIFA World Cup! This is undoubtedly going to be the best time to explore Russia while enjoying the festive spirit of the football world cup. Check out top destinations that you must visit during the 2018 FIFA World Cup (14 June 2018 to 17 July 2018).
Places to Visit in Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup
Eleven Russian cities are playing host to 2018 FIFA World Cup in 2018. These cities will facilitate movement of fans, organise football matches, plenty of sightseeing tours, fun activities, music concerts, festivals and events. Western Russia will be on display during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and its the best time to experience the vast country of Russia like never before. Football fever, joyous fans and promising matches is your cup of thing, then check out these 11 cities that are playing host in 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Russian capital is indeed the incarnation of beauty. Founded in the 12th century, Moscow is a buzzing metropolitan city with a renowned nightlife scene, restaurants, cafes, art and culture galleries, opera theatres, and wonderful architecture. Moscow is also famous for two illustrious football clubs - CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow and two iconic stadiums - Luzhniki Stadium and Spartak Stadium. Luzhniki Stadium is also the host of a semi-final and the final match of 2018 FIFA World Cup.Places of interest – Kremlin, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Tretyakov Gallery, Bolshoi Theatre, Pushkin Museum.
??MOSCOW?? Population: 12.3 million Spartak Stadium capacity: 45,000 Four group matches and a Round of 16 clash to be played at Spartak Stadium ?https://t.co/iQv6ehSThz pic.twitter.com/TKUvB01qww — FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 27 December 2017
Saint Petersburg is an embodiment of the best of Russia’s artistic and creative talents. Established as an Imperial capital by Peter I the Great, way back in 1703, Saint Petersburg today stands as the very best of Russian creative magnificence. From stately palaces to rich museums to opulent theatres; this stunning city is the main tourist destination of Russia. Saint Petersburg is home to another famous Russian football club - Zenit St. Petersburg and it's newly constructed and ultra-modern Saint Petersburg Stadium, located in Krestovsky Island, is going to host a vital Semi-final and match for third-place.Places of interest – Hermitage Museum, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Church of the Saviour on Blood, Palace Square, Peterhof Palace, Mariinsky Theatre, Pavlovsk Palace.
??SAINT PETERSBURG?? Population: 5.2 million Stadium capacity: 67,000 Saint Petersburg Stadium to stage Round of 16 game, semi-final and match for third place ?https://t.co/dHRDYZovZE pic.twitter.com/xLxDfaC5Hn— FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 28 December 2017
KaliningradKaliningrad, the westernmost city of Russia, has a typical Baltic look and feel and is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. Check out attractions like the Kaliningrad Amber Museum, Brandenburg Gate, Kreuzkirche, Königsberg Cathedral, Fort Friedrichsburg, and Kaliningrad Central Park. Kaliningrad Stadium, located in Oktyabrsky Island, will host four group games including a highly promising encounter between England and Belgium.
??KALININGRAD?? Population: 459,000 Stadium capacity: 35,000 Kaliningrad Stadium to host matches in Groups B, D, E, and G ?https://t.co/1dVQzltEnH pic.twitter.com/48UUqm83KJ — FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 27 December 2017
EkaterinburgEkaterinburg is the fourth largest city of Russia located at the foot of the Ural Mountains. The city is one of the leading sport, industries and diplomatic centres in Russia. Visit the Church of All Saints, Rastorguyev-Kharitonov Palace, Historic Square, Ekaterinburg Zoo and Ipatiev House. Ekaterinburg Arena is home to one of the oldest clubs of Russia - FC Ural and four group games.
KazanKazan is one of the oldest cities of Russia known for its rich and diverse culture, and renowned for its higher education and sporting centres. Kazan is also a centre of Russian Tartar culture. Visit the Kazan Kremlin, Kaban Lakes, Temple of All Religions, the Qolsarif Mosque, Soyembika Tower, and the National Museum of the Republic Tatarstan. Kazan Arena is the home of FC Rubin Kazan, one of the highly popular football clubs of Russia. The stadium is going to host four group games of tournament hot favourites France, Germany and Spain.
??KAZAN?? Population: 1.2 million Stadium capacity: 45,000 Kazan Arena to host four group games, a Round of 16 match and a quarter-final ?https://t.co/Tdti2Rbmxe pic.twitter.com/6Lgx89c503 — FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 27 December 2017
The Black Sea resort town of Sochi rose to global prominence following the successful conclusion of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sochi lies on the coast of Black Sea amidst the backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains, earning its nickname “Russian Riviera”. Enjoy a plethora of activities like mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, diving, sailing, and paragliding, along with the pulsating World Cup matches. Fisht Stadium, named after Mount Fisht, a peak in the Caucasus range of mountains, is a newly constructed arena will become the official training ground of Russian football team. Sochi is also going to host a key game featuring two European giants - Portugal vs Spain!
VolgogradVolgograd, situated on the banks of River Volga, has emerged as a key centre of shipbuilding, oil refining, steel and aluminium industry. Volgograd is also the hub of ecotourism and boasts of beautiful lakes and over 200 species of birds. See the statue of Mamayev Kurgan (a memorial complex dedicated to the fierce Battle of Stalingrad during WWII, among other attractions. Volgograd Arena is located close to the Mamayev Kurgan war memorial and following the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup 2018, it will become the home stadium of FC Rotor.
??VOLGOGRAD?? Population: 1 million Stadium capacity: 45,000 Volgograd Arena to host matches in Groups A, D, G, and H ?https://t.co/BGM1SdGsp5 pic.twitter.com/QwMvOoq7CM — FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 26 December 2017
Rostov-On-DonRostov-On-Don was founded way back in 1749 and eventually became the home of the freedom-loving and fierce warrior community of Cossacks. Rostov-On-Don has wonderful, scenic beaches, charming parks, delightful cuisines, and is a major cultural and transportation hub of Southern Russia. Rostov Arena will host four group games including a super clash between Brazil and Switzerland. After the end of the 2018 Russia World Cup, it will serve as the home ground of FC Rostov.
SaranskFounded as early as 1641, Saransk is the capital of the Republic of Mordovia. This small Russian city boasts of a rich ethnographic diversity and has preserved its culture, language, and customs. The city is also known for its famous ethnographic and folk festivals. Mordovia Arena is one of the most colourful stadiums of Russia with its distinctive shade of orange, red and white and sky blue interiors. The stadium's capacity will be reduced and spaces will be created to accommodate indoor volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, as well as fitness centres after the 2018 Russia World Cup.
??SARANSK?? Population: 307,000 Stadium capacity: 44,000 Mordovia Arena to host games in Groups B, C, G and H ?https://t.co/gB7jowr3VG pic.twitter.com/ojONn2BmcO — FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 29 December 2017
SamaraSamara served as the de-facto capital of the USSR during WWII. Today, Samara is one of the most prominent cities of the Volga region and is home to the Russian aerospace industry. In Samara, do visit the 37-meter deep bunker belonging to Joseph Stalin, and other key attractions like the Zhigulevskie Hills, and the Volga River, among others. Samara Arena is designed as a tribute to the region's space and aerospace industry. Once the 2018 Football World Cup is over, FC Krylya Sovetov will call it home.
Nizhny NovgorodNizhny Novgorod is a charming Russian city that flourished as a key merchant and business city due to its favourable location along the Volga River. The city is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Russia and has a 16th century Kremlin that has a two-kilometre-long fortified wall with 13 watchtowers. Nizhny Novgorod is also associated with famous Russian writer Maxim Gorky. Nizhny Novgorod Stadium is located at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers.
??NIZHNY NOVGOROD?? Population: 1.2 million Stadium capacity: 45,000 Nizhny Novgorod Stadium to host four group matches, Round of 16 game and a quarter-final ?https://t.co/5D6xVrIv5Zpic.twitter.com/6xNKjGQvpY — FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 28 December 2017