All eyes are on Russia this Summer as they host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Learn more about these 11 Russian cities hosting the world cup games. Watch them on TV as they host the games and then why not plan a trip to see them for yourselves!
The Russian capital has two stadiums hosting World Cup matches and a lot more to offer than football. Moscow is a City where catching the metro is a grand and worthwhile experience. Much like the country of Russia, the largest country in the world, everything in Moscow seems oversized. The forest within its borders is the largest of any urban area, taking up 40% of the City. Russian culture, though adapting, holds on to much of what makes it great. Learn about the history of Russia, both the good and the bad, by visiting Red Square or the Lenin Mausoleum. If you’re hoping to be entertained, catch a show at the Bolshoi Theater or visit the Moscow Circus. And make sure you treat yourself to some Russian pancakes or caviar while in the city!
World Cup Games played in Moscow: Russia vs Saudi Arabia, Argentina vs Iceland, Germany vs Mexico, Poland vs Senegal, Portugal vs Marocco, Belgium vs Tunisia, Denmark vs France, Serbia vs Brazil.
The second largest city in Russia and its cultural heart, St. Petersburg is well worth a visit. If you’re there for the World Cup you’ll be enjoying the long days and short nights of a St. Petersburg summer. With all these daylight hours you’ll have plenty of time to take a canal or river tour and walk along Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s most famous street. St. Petersburg is also home to the Hermitage, one of the worlds largest and most important collections of art. St. Petersburg is also the best place to try one of Russias most famous dishes- Beef Stroganoff!
World Cup Games played in St. Petersburg: Marocco vs Iran, Russia vs Egypt, Brazil vs Costa Rica, Nigeria vs Argentina.
Known as the “Sports Capital of Russia”, Kazan was once an important stop on silk road and today is one of the countries top tourist destinations. The city is comprised of two main cultures; ethnic Tatars and ethnic Russians. This rich cultural mix makes for a rich cultural experience. Take a boat trip on the Volga or visit the Soviet Lifestyle Museum and if your feeling brave why not try some local cuisine like kazylyk an air-dried horse sausage.
World Cup Games played in Kazan: France vs Australia, Iran vs Spain, Poland vs Colombia, Korea Republic vs Germany.
The fourth largest city in Russia and the furthest east of those hosting World Cup games, so far east in fact that the games played there are in Asia. If you’re a boastful traveller why not visit the Europe-Asia Border Monument and put one foot on each continent for a fun photo and bragging rights. The City also boasts a number of other fun monuments and shows like the QWERTY Keyboard Monument or a ballet show at the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. The local cuisine includes traditional Russian dumplings and something called shangi, which is buns with mash potato and cream or cheese.
World Cup Games played in Ekaterinburg: Egypt vs Uraguay, France vs Peru, Japan vs Senegal, Mexico vs Sweden.
Although Saransk is not a regular stopover on the tourist route, it is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. Like most of the cities on this list, Saransk has some impressive landmarks. The fountain in Millenium Square is one of the most impressive in the country and there are plenty of grand Cathedrals and museums to see. If you’re after a show in Saransk you can’t go past a puppet show at the State Puppet Theater of the Republic of Mordovia! Once you’re ready to eat why not try a “Bear’s Paw”, it’s a patty made from beef or cow liver sprinkled with breadcrumbs.
World Cup Games played in Saransk: Peru vs Denmark, Colombia vs Japan, Iran vs Portugal, Panama vs Tunisia.
If you’re a war history buff then Volgograd is a must. It was the site of the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War, regarded as the bloodiest battle in history. Visit the museums and monuments that commemorate the Second World War and history if the City. Another record holder, in Volgograd, is “The Motherland Calls”. It’s the tallest statue of a woman in the world, twice the size of the Statue of Liberty! Taking a break from heavy meat and bread, while in Volgograd, order an Olivier Salad or as you may know it a Russian salad.
World Cup Games played in Volgograd: Tunisia vs England, Nigeria vs Iceland, Saudi Arabia vs Egypt, Japan vs Poland.
Located on the River Don, Rostov-on-Don is a port city definitely worth a visit. One of the biggest benefits of being on a river is the seafood that comes out of it. Try the local fish and crayfish at a restaurant along the waterfront or go bargain hunting at the Central Rinok, a kind of bazaar.
World Cup Games played in Rostov on Don: Brazil vs Switzerland, Uraguay vs Saudi Arabia, Korea Republic vs Mexico, Iceland vs Croatia.
Blessed to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country, Nizhny Novgorod, is the outdoorsman’s dream. Ride the cable car across the Volga to Bor or take a stroll down the pedestrianized Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street and if you’re feeling particularly athletic why not climb the steps of the Chkalov Staircase. After a day of riding strolling and climbing why not sit down to a bowl of shchi a soured cabbage soup that originated from the region.
World Cup Games played in Nizhny Novgorod: Sweden vs Korea Republic, Argentina vs Croatia, England vs Panama, Switzerland vs Costa Rica.
During the Second World War Samara functioned as the second capital of Russia and was a key player in the Soviet Union’s space program. Today the city is better knows as Russia’s beer capital! So If you’re after warm summer weather and a cold brew make your way to this picturesque City. If you want something else to cool you down why not take a dip in the Volga river, you can also bike or walk around its paved embankments. If you’re more interested in the history of the city visit the Samara Space museum or Kuibyshev Square, the largest public square in Europe.
World Cup Games played in Samara: Costa Rica vs Serbia, Denmark vs Australia, Uraguay vs Russia, Senegal vs Colombia.
The former capital of Prussia, wedged between Poland and Lithuania, has a wealth of history it was even the birthplace of philosopher Immanuel Kant. Take a step into the history of this fascinating city by visiting its museums, cultural attractions and by sampling some traditional dishes like smoked eel or Prussian meatballs. If outdoor activities are what your heart desires then why not go fishing in the Baltic sea or go for a hike in one of the forests near the city.
World Cup Games played in Kaliningrad: Croatia vs Nigeria, Serbia vs Switzerland, Spain vs Marocco, England vs Belgium.
Host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Sochi is no stranger to having its streets filled with sports fans. The stadiums for the Olympics are truly beautiful and worth a look. Outside of the stadium action, the City is just as interesting. Go hiking on Mount Akhun in search of medieval Christian church ruins and hidden caves. If your travelling with kids, pay a visit to Sochi park a relatively new amusements park in the City. When you’re done exploring find yourself some shashlik, grilled meat kebabs, or indulge on Black Sea oysters and fresh mussels.
World Cup Games played in Sochi: Portugal vs Spain, Belgium vs Panama, Germany vs Sweden, Australia vs Peru.
For a full schedule of the games, and to plan your itinerary click here