The Football World Cup 2018 will be held in eleven Russian cities in twelve stadiums. With such a range it is not difficult to get lost in the local beauties. We offer a mini-guide on the cities and stadiums of the Russian World Cup.
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IN THE NORTH…
Perhaps, those fans who fall on the lot of ST. PETERSBURG – the happiest in the world championship. “Stadium St. Petersburg” accommodates 68 thousand football fans, in its fields will be matches of the group stage, 1/8 finals, semi-final and match for third place. The city on the Neva, the former capital of the Russian Empire, is striking in the greatness and beauty of architecture, it houses a lot of museums, theaters and entertainment. Be sure to visit the Hermitage, stroll along Nevsky Avenue and look into the Petersburg wells. In summer, bridges are regularly planted in St. Petersburg at night, and millions of tourists gather this spectacle. Fans will also admire the famous white nights, because the World Cup 2018 will be held from June 14 to July 15, that is, in their midst.
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…AND IN THE SOUTH
In SOCHI championship football matches will take the stage “Fischt”, familiar to sports fans for the 2014 Winter Olympics. For tourists, the city offers a lot of entertainment. Nature lovers should definitely visit the Arboretum and Tiso-boxwood grove, climb to the top of Rose Peak (2320 m), in Krasnaya Polyana, and from there to admire the view of the Caucasus Mountains. For children and adults in Sochi nearly ten years operates the largest on the Black Sea Oceanarium Sochi Discovery World Aquarium. Inside, you’ll find aquariums with sharks, moray eels, turtles and tropical fish, walk along the 40-meter transparent submarine tunnel, and even be able to feed the carp. But thrill seekers should look into the Sochi Park. It is a first class amusement park for all ages, located within walking distance of Fisht Stadium. Take a ride on the attraction “Quantum Leap”, if you are not afraid!
Four matches in the group stage and one match in the 1/8 final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in another southern Russian city, ROSTOV-ON-DON, at the 45,000th stadium “Rostov Arena”. In the city itself, be sure to admire the architecture of Bolshaya Sadovaya Street (also called Nevsky Prospect in Rostov) and stroll along the embankment of the Don River. Along the quay is a series of cafes and souvenir shops, there are fun monuments and a dancing fountain. In Rostov-on-Don there are two very interesting museums: a railway equipment museum with old steam locomotives and a museum of astronautics, in which you can see and touch real space suits and even make a virtual flight to the stars.
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IN THE URAL
In EKATERINBURG the matches of the World Cup will be accepted by “Ekaterinburg Arena”, its capacity is 35 000 spectators. In the city, you have to take a walk on the “Plotinka” – a dam on the Iseti River, located in the heart of Ekaterinburg, which has become a place of festivities and popular festivals. A little to the north, you can see the most beautiful house of Sevastyanov – the palace, executed in green-white-red tones – and the temple on the blood. The latter has a direct relationship with one of the most tragic events in Russian history: the execution of the royal family in 1918. Another business card from Ekaterinburg is called the subway. The walls of its stations are lined with a thick stone, so inside it is really cold.
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ON THE VOLGA
SAMARA in the stadium “Samara Arena” will take place four matches of the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as well as 1/8 and 1/4 of final. This stadium is built specifically for the championship and features an unusual futuristic architecture, its appearance resembling a space object. The project is symbolic for Samara, a city that plays an important role in the history of global space exploration, where the legendary R-7 rockets launched by Soviet and Russian cosmonauts were launched. One of the interesting sites of the Samara region can be called Shiryaevskie galleries. These are artificial caves, which include seven disjoint labyrinths. Do not go without a guide and a flashlight!
The capital of the Republic of Tatarstan KAZAN has already hosted the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017. In 2018 at the stadium “Kazan Arena” will take place four matches of the group stage and a match 1/8 and 1/4 of final. If you come to Kazan, do not hesitate to visit the Kazan Kremlin. Only here are the Orthodox churches adjoining the majestic Kul-Sharif Mosque and the residence of the President of Tatarstan. Another monument of Kazan, a memorial temple for fallen soldiers, is on an island in the Kazanka River. In fact, it is the mass grave of all those who conquered Kazan. If you come on Sunday at noon, when the superintendent is in the temple, you can be brought to his underground part – there is an altar and a sarcophagus with skulls of soldiers. Kazan is famous for its national cuisine: be sure to try echpochmaki and chak-chak.
In VOLGOGRAD, matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be accepted by the 45,000th edition of the Volgograd Arena. The city (formerly known as Stalingrad) is famous mainly for fierce battles with fascists during the Great Patriotic War. Now, about the battle of Stalingrad, it looks like a large memorial complex on the Mamaev Kurgan, where there is an architectural monument-ensemble “to the heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad” at the head of the monument “The motherland calls and the graves of the defenders of the city. The height of the sculpture “Motherland”, with the pedestal – 87 meters, is one of the tallest statues in the world.
At the “Nizhny Novgorod Stadium” will be four matches of the group stage, as well as a 1/8 and 1/4 final match. NIZHNY NOVGOROD itself is famous not only for its magnificent cathedrals and architecture, but also for folk crafts. Go to the museum gorodetskogo gingerbread and samovars, ride on a cable car on the other side of the Volga. And, of course, admire the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, the Christmas church with colorful domes and the State Bank building on Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street (it was built on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the dynasty Romanov).
In SARANSK, the capital of the Republic of Mordovia, football matches will be hosted by the Mordovia Arena. In the city, you must absolutely visit the Cathedral Square, where the majestic Cathedral of St. Theodore Ushakov is located, as well as the temple of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God after the sunset – it is very nicely illuminated. Lovers of history and national traditions will be interested in the Museum of Popular Culture in Mordovia: inside, you can discover traditional outfits and learn locals traditions and legends.
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IN THE MOST WESTERN CITY OF RUSSIA
Four matches of the group stage of the 2018 World Cup will be hosted by the KALININGRAD stadium, located in the Russian exclave. The most interesting view of Kaliningrad and the region can be called a nature reserve on the Curonian Spit, where coniferous forests are adjacent to the sand dunes. An incredible dance forest is also called an attraction for braids. Do not forget to go to the Amber Museum: in the Kaliningrad region there is the largest deposit of this stone in the world.
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FOR THE FINAL – AT THE CAPITAL
In MOSCOW, the matches of the World Cup will be taken at the same time by two arenas: Luzhniki and Spartak. He is in the “Luzhniki” will host the opening match, the semi-finals and the final of the tournament. Moscow offers a lot of entertainment for all tastes and budgets: from magnificent monumental architecture to upscale restaurants and nightclubs. Inspect the Red Square and the Kremlin, check out the GUM chic store and (a monument of architecture, built in a pseudo-Russian style, and for fans of “Soviet exotic species”, it uses a large grocery store and the room to eat Soviet) and walk along the dam of the Moscow River to Gorky Park. In the evening, the city is striking beauty and diversity of backlighting, and most restaurants and shops work long hours.
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